Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood has marked an important day in the history of the Rhondda with a speech at one of the area’s newest venues.
The Rhondda AM addressed a gathering at Treorci’s High Street Social almost 89 years after miners took a stand against the crushing poverty of the 1920s.
‘Red Sunday’ in the Rhondda was a gathering on Penrhys mountain on September 18th, 1927, to demonstrate and organise against the Tory Westminster Government and exploitative coal mine owners.
That event was addressed by vocal miners’ leader AJ Cook who subsequently called for a hunger march to take place a couple of months later to coincide with the opening of Parliament.
Speaking at High Street Social, Ms Wood said it was important to come together to commemorate “the rich, political history of the Rhondda.”
“Red Sunday in the Rhondda, and the march that followed, didn’t end the hardship and hunger – that continued into the 1930s and through to, and beyond, the Second World War,” said Ms Wood.
“But it did make its mark. It may not have been as well known as the Jarrow march, which took place some nine years later, but it was significant in the battle that took place between people in this valley and the establishment.
“And it is symbolic, and relevant today, in that if we are to overcome our economic struggle, we are going to have to unite against the establishment and take matters into our own hands.”
Ms Wood added: “During these days when politics can seem dark, when it can feel as though there is a relentless march to the right, it is now more than ever we need a conscious remembering of our history. Or as Gwyn Alf Williams would have said: ‘It is now that we need some peoples’ remembrancing.’
“If we can engage in that, perhaps we will be able to see links and commonalities with our past, especially in terms of politics.”
Catherine Hughes, owner of High Street Social, said: “We at High Street Social have a unique perspective of the Rhondda. We are truly respectful of the past, the people who established their roots here, who worked the black seam and who created this amazing community - full of energy and culture - in music, sport, art. But we are also prospective, looking forward with a new energy to a brighter future for our Valley.
“The event we hosted with Leanne fitted into this ethos – it remembered a key event in the history of our ancestors but looked to what we can possibly learn from the courage shown by those miners who marched to London.”
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