Aquitaine's languages regional councilor Dàvid Grosclaude is on hunger strike since yesterday 27 May at the headquarters of the Bordeaux region.
"Signs of contempt for the [French] state towards our language are going on, and even proliferate. With the last of these signs, enough is enough! I have decided to carry out an action, and I am asking for your support. It is an action for the dignity and legitimacy of our commitment to the recognition of the Occitan language," the pro-Occitan politician yesterday said in a press release.
Grosclaude is seeking to unblock a situation created by a lack of response from the French state services regarding the Public Office for the Occitan Language (ÒPLO). The establishment of this body was passed by the regional assemblies of Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrenees in June 2014, but it has been undergoing a "blockade from the [French] central state, which is permanent when it comes to facing issues regarding the so-called regional languages," Grosclaude argues.
So that ÒPLO can see the light of day, it is only needed that a decree is published in the official gazette of the French state. ÒPLO would thus be created in the form of a public interest group (GIP). But there seems to be reluctance and disdain every time the issue of language is put into debate.
The Public Office for the Occitan Language is set to become a public body tasked with setting an inter-regional Occitan language public policy, with the aim of bringing collectivities and operators on the ground together. Similar bodies exist in the Basque Country and Brittany.
Demonstration in Carcassonne
On Friday 29 May the Occitan Party and the País Nòstre citizen movement will be holding a demonstration in support of Dàvid Grosclaude in Carcassonne. The protest will take place at 11:00 in front of the prefecture.
(This article was first published in Occitan by Jornalet, with which Nationalia has a partnership agreement.)