Thousands have joined a march for Welsh independence in Cardiff.
Activists with large flags and banners and Welsh football bucket hats marched through the town center led by a samba band.
The rally was organized by All Under One Banner Cymru (AUOB) and Yes Cymru, who claim the UK Government in Westminster no longer has the best interests of the Welsh people in mind.
A similar event held in Wrexham, North Wales, in July attracted around 8,000 supporters.
There were concerns over how activists would arrive at Saturday’s march given the impact of this weekend’s national rail strikes, but AUOB Cymru was still hopeful a large turnout would take place.
Leading the march and carrying a long sign reading “Annibyniaeth” meaning independence were Plaid Cymru leader and Senedd member Adam Price and ex-Plaid leader Leanne Wood.
Mr Price told the PA news agency he believed the protesters had been spurred on by a report published on Friday which claimed to debunk the idea that Wales was “too small and too poor to thrive as an independent nation”.
AUOB Cymru’s Harriet Protheroe-Soltani said: “With the UK Government’s recent tax cuts for the rich and continuing erosion of workers’ rights, it’s more important than ever for people to come out and show that we don’t trust Westminster to look after the interests of Wales .”
YesCymru leader Gwern Gwynfil said he wanted the march to be a “loud and joyful celebration.”
The march started at noon from Windsor Place and made a 1.5 mile loop along Queen Street, St John Street, Working Street, Hayes, Mill Lane, St Mary’s Street, the High Street and Duke Street before returning to where he started.
Speeches and performances will follow.
The line-up includes actor Julian Lewis Jones, who plays Boremund Baratheon in the hit HBO series and Game Of Thrones prequel House Of The Dragon.
Other speakers include former Plaid Cymru leader Dafydd Wigley, as well as actress and novelist Ffion Dafis, singer Eadyth Crawford and Irish comedian Tadhg Hickey, who will also make appearances.
Fringe events have been organized to run into the evening including an Independence gig which will take place at live music venue The Globe.
A recent YouGov poll commissioned by ITV Wales and Cardiff University found that over a fifth (24%) of Welsh voters would back an independent Wales in a hypothetical referendum.
More than half (52%) said they would vote against, while 14% said they didn’t know how to vote.
A Cardiff City Council official told the PA they believed around 4,800 people were at the march.
Student Mirain Owen, 17, traveled to the march with her father from Swansea and said she believed support for independence was growing among young people.
“I’m here to support independence as a young person who wants to see a brighter future for Wales,” she said.
“I don’t think the current situation is working for Wales and I think we definitely need to change something, as recent events at Westminster have shown us so clearly.
“I think young people are more supportive of independence than ever before because everything that happens affects our lives, there’s nothing we can do.”
As the Windsor Place speeches began, Hickey’s mention of Prime Minister Liz Truss drew loud boos from the crowd.
Lewis Jones took the stage and called the British Government “the worst show in the West End right now”.
He said: “We were the first colony of England and in a way we are the last colony of England. But enough is enough.
“It is time for us as a nation to stand on our own two feet.
“We’re big enough. we are strong enough And we will fight for that.
“Let this day ignite a fire in all our bellies,” he ended with applause.
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https://www.newschainonline.com/news/thousands-join-march-calling-for-welsh-independence-295590 Thousands join the march demanding Welsh independence