In brief

Thousands march in Toulouse for Occitan language in education

Up to 15,000 students could be left without learning the language from 2019-2020 academic year

Author: Jornalet / Luc Schwartz
 A call from the Regional Center of Occitan Teaching of Toulouse (CRÈO Tolosa) to protest against the abolition of Occitan language in public education received a positive response from several thousand people from all over Occitania, who marched 17 February in downtown Toulouse. The protest called for an urgent reversal of the decision not to fund Occitan classes beginning from the 2019-2020 academic year. The march received support from the ranks of Occitanism: elected representatives, artists, students, parents... The call gathered some 5,000 protesters according to the organization (3,000 according to the police, 2,000 according to France 3).

No Occitania without Occitan”

Under the slogan “No Occitania without Occitan,” the demonstration received the support of MEP José Bové and regional councilors Gérard Onesta, M. Aude Lumeau Perceptis and Patric Roux. On behalf of the mayor of Toulouse, Jean-Luc Moudenc, his deputy Jean-Michel Lattes attended the march. Representatives from Catalonia’s General Council of Aran also attended.

Protesters fear some 15,000 students will be left without the opportunity to learn Occitan in the academic region of Toulouse in secondary education after French authorities have announced an end to the specific funding of such classes. 50 teachers of Occitan are also hit by the cut.

Occitania regional president Carole Delga has asked the French government to reconsider the decision and to continue to provide funding for the teaching of Occitan and other minoritised languages.

(This news is adapted from Occitan news site Jornalet.)