Pro-Occitan candidates to stand for 2014 local election in 100 municipalities under Bastir! banner

Political movement vows to foster the use of Occitan, is in favour of local-based and social economy · Occitan Party supports Bastir!, says movement is “larger” and seeking to gather pro-Occitan activists

Municipalities along Occitania are set to witness next year the appearance of a new, pro-Occitan movement in the local political arena. The movement Bastir! ("To build!", in Occitan language) is ready to field candidates in at least 100 municipalities, including Toulouse and other towns and villages in the regions of Aquitaine, Midi-Pyrenées, Languedoc and Provence. Members of the movement, gathered in Muret on September 14th, lauched an appeal to more candidate lists to be shaped.

Bastir! candidates will stand for the March 2014 local elections under a common set of core programme areas where the promotion of Occitan is one of the key points. The movement vows to encourage the establishment of bilingual Occitan-French classrooms and of Occitan-medium Calandreta schools. The pro-Occitan movement also wants to foster the use of the language in the media and in cultural life.

In addition to this, Bastir! proposes to propel the use of public and ecological transport, to help the growth of a local-based, social economy, and to prepare a "coherent" urban development that takes into consideration local needs and social life.

The Occitan Party is supportive of Bastir!, and some of its leaders are taking part in the project, as for example David Grosclaude or Guilhem Latrubesse. But the party insists on the fact that Bastir! is a "larger" movement seeking to gather all pro-Occitan activists under a single political programme.