Hunger strike for Welsh television / Preparations for New Caledonia referendum progress

9 to 15 February

Elfed Wyn Jones (left) and a screenshot of Welsh language channel S4C.
Elfed Wyn Jones (left) and a screenshot of Welsh language channel S4C.
 WEEKLY ROUNDUP. A campaign demanding the devolution of broadcasting powers to Wales is stepping up this week as a young activist is planning to start a week-long hunger strike. Another protest is taking place between Luxembourg and Strasbourg as internationalists are staging a march in solidarity with Kurdistan. Meanwhile in Paris, agreements and preparations for the referendum on self-determination of New Caledonia are progressing.


Hunger strike in Wales in demand of broadcasting powers. Elfed Wyn Jones, a 20-year-old farmer and activist, is set to hold a week-long hunger strike since 20 February to demand from UK authorities the devolution of broadcasting powers to the Welsh National Assembly. The protest is part of a wider campaign, as main pro-Welsh language grassroots group Cymdeithas has explained. In January, 12 activists held a day-long hunger strike for the same reason. The protests are taking place amid concerns that funding for the only Welsh-language TV channel, S4C, could be cut.

Broadcasting is not part of 20 areas in which Wales has been devolved powers. But Cymdeithas recalls that Wales only has one single Welsh language TV station while “hundreds” of English language channels exists, group president Heledd Gwyndaf regrets. The organization believes the share of Welsh language broadcasting will only increase if powers are devolved.

Last month, over 40 Welsh artists and academics asked UK prime minister Theresa May to devolve the powers. But May’s government argues the economic volume of the broadcasting sector advises that those powers remain a responsibility of UK authorities.


French Senate agreement on New Caledonia referendum. Senate members have given their green light to a law containing the deal on the electoral roll for the self-determination referendum to held in November 2018. The agreement was inked 2 November 2017 by unionist and pro-independence parties. It allows the inscription of a further 11,000 voters —most of them Kanak— to the restricted electoral roll for the referendum in which New Caledonians are set to vote whether they split from France. The law will be formally put into Senate vote 20 February, to be forwarded to the French National Assembly.

A march of internationalists in solidarity with Kurdistan. Some 200 people, according to Firat News, are walking the distance between Luxembourg and Strasbourg from 8 to 17 February. They demand freedom for PKK imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan and protest Turkey’s invasion of Efrîn. Some activists from Catalonia have joined the march. Meanwhile, some 15,000 people demonstrated in Strasbourg 11 February, again for Öcalan’s liberation.