CAMPAIGNING for Welsh independence is returning to the streets today as the first march in support of the cause since before the pandemic is set to take place in Wrexham. 

The town had been due to host the first Welsh independence march of 2020 after the campaign gained prominence following marches in Caernarfon, Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil during 2019. 

Though the pandemic prevented events from going ahead in 2020, and for most of last year, it also provided a platform for debate on independence as Wales’ powers and government were given a higher profile due to Covid restrictions. 

Different approaches to public health measures, and policy decisions such as on support measures like furlough which were beyond the control of the Welsh Government, also underlined the country’s status, and restraints on its power, in the United Kingdom. 

Membership of the independence campaign group Yes Cymru was also have reported to have hit 20,000 during 2020. 

Today’s event in Wrexham has been months in the planning with organisers All Under One Banner (AUOB) Cymru keen to demonstrate support for independence is more than simply an online phenomenon. 

It is going ahead despite wrangling with Wrexham council earlier this week over a policy that banned political events from the Llwyn Isaf field outside the town's Guildhall. The march and the activities around it are supported financially by Yes Cymru and organised by the group in association with AUOB and Indy Fest Wrecsam.

The AUOB campaign mirrors that adopted in Scotland where the campaign intended to bring all independence supporters together to show support, regardless of wider differences or campaign approaches, helped build momentum ahead of, and since, the 2014 referendum. 

The march also comes amid increasing tensions over the UK’s devolution settlement. This week Westminster politicians and parties gave short shrift to the Scottish Government's plan for a 2023 independence referendum while the Conservative UK government also announced it intended to repeal Welsh trade union legislation. 

It was also revealed the Welsh and Scottish governments will have their currents budgets cut to shore up spending on providing military equipment to Ukraine. 

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has sought to use the march as a platform to highlight his party’s traditional role as independence flagbearers, and his comments from earlier this week when he suggested the move to repeal the trade union act should prompt a referendum

Ahead of today’s march Price has appealed for other parties to back it in supporting Welsh independence. 

Price said: “Wales has a choice. We can either stand by while nations like Scotland leave this sinking ship – or we can take our future into our own hands. Plaid Cymru has a simple answer to the challenge posed by Westminster, and that is independence.  

"Plaid Cymru is the only party represented in the Senedd that has Welsh independence as its vision of a better, fairer, more democratic future – but we extend the invitation to all other parties. If they believe that Wales can succeed, then join us in our call.”  

In the Senedd this week first minister Mark Drakeford said his position is that Wales should be able to hold an independence referendum if a party advocating a breakaway from the UK wins a majority, but he won’t be committing Welsh Labour to a radical shift in its constitutional position. 

But the party does have an independence supporters group and Dylan Lewis-Rowlands, , co-chair of Labour for Independence, is among those due to address today’s rally in Wrexham. 

Organisers say the march will start at 12pm on at Llwyn Isaf and supporters are being encouraged to meet from 10.30am and to bring flags, banners, drums and other instruments. 

An 'Indy Market' is being organised to coincide with the march, with more than 20 stalls offering local food, drink and produce, including Indy Wales merchandise. The market will be at Queen's Square, from 9.30am to 4pm. 

Following the march there will be a rally with speakers and music and big screens showing the events from the stage.  

Among those appearing are Dafydd Iwan, comedian and broadcaster Tudur Owen, Wrexham Plaid Cymru County Councillor Carrie Harper, Archdruid Myrddin ap Dafydd, and ‘Her Game Too' football ambassador Roopa Vyas.