Black Lives Matter. Statement

Statement demanding that no more babies die in prison

End the imprisonment of pregnant people and the avoidable deaths of babies in prison We are prisoners, ex-prisoners, academics, health workers, local councillors and social justice groups who were outraged and broken-hearted to hear the news that two babies have needlessly died in prison in the last year. We call on the Ministry of Justice […]

Steps towards sustainable transportation in Cymru

Barriers to inevitable and urgent change The cancellation of the new M4 relief road in 2019 marked an opportunity for Cymru to break with the unsustainable transportation policies of the past, especially our chronic over-reliance on cars1. But there are barriers to be overcome before we can even begin seeking appropriate solutions. The first barrier […]

Westminster’s plans will devastate our rural communities – we must oppose them

Note: This speech at the XR Cardiff Rising Tide event was delivered on 2nd September 2020 before the publication of the Internal Market Bill, which only underscores everything said below, whilst adding a deliberate attack on devolution and the right of Welsh people to self-government to the Westminster government’s aims. My name’s Siwan and I’m […]

Undod statement: The threat to security here has never been from migrants

Undod stands in solidarity with all people seeking passage to Britain’s shores, who are forced to face dangerous routes and exploitative brokers by the UK and the EU’s brutal immigration systems. We join in mourning the 16-year-old child who lost their life in the English Channel and in condemning the assault on another 20-year-old migrant […]

Undod statement on exam results in Wales

Undod condemns the decision by the Welsh Government not to trust in our teachers and to assign grades instead on the basis of an algorithm endorsed by a Tory Government in Westminster. This action has thrown into stark relief the structural inequalities that operate in our education system, and has further entrenched the biases that […]

Climate justice is social justice

The following sets the case for a radical approach to tackling the climate crisis in Wales and invites contributions from Undod members to explore related topics in further detail. The real crisis looms… Viewed from the midst of a global pandemic, it might be tempting to forget that we are also in the grip of […]

Hiroshima-Nagasaki 75: working towards a nuclear-free Wales

75 years have passed since the Americans, with British agreement, dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is the first time, and so far the only time nuclear weapons of mass destruction have been used. It is commonly thought that this led to the end of World War II, but Japan was already on […]

Mental health in Wales: the gap between rhetoric and reality

Content warning: this article discusses suicide and neglect within mental inpatient settings. Introduction Late in the afternoon of Friday January 24th 2020, the Welsh Government published the third and final delivery plan for their ten year strategy on mental health. Following a six week consultation the previous summer, Ministers spent five months sitting on responses […]

The arithmetic of populism

Some months ago Angharad Dafis wrote about the closure of Ysgol Felindre.  Here she reflects on subsequent events, and how the story of a village school in Wales exposes the chimera of a caring, communitarian Wales, illustrating how deeply enmeshed we are in the fraudulent neoliberal practices of the British state. I never really relished […]

Solving the housing crisis in Wales

As long as capitalism prevails, housing will always be a commodity or investment for some whilst others live in misery Engels, The Housing Question The coronavirus crisis has been defined by class. The last few months have seen working-class people forced out to work in dangerous conditions to keep us safe whilst the rest of […]

Solving the spectre of food poverty in Wales through Universal Basic Income

Food banks have stepped up to the plate in the austerity years, and throughout the corona-crisis they are proving to be more necessary than ever with queues for emergency food parcels increasing by the week. In March, the Trussell Trust, one of many UK food bank charities, experienced an 81% increase in demand. It’s an example of […]

Cofiwch Epynt… Is it not high time that the army left the area?

This is the slogan on the side of a bus stop shelter on the road from Cwm y Glo to Llanrug, four miles outside Caernarfon. One is used to seeing ‘Cofiwch Dryweryn’, but this is a new twist. I do not know who the artist is, but they’ve chosen the same colour – red text […]

Solidarity with Kongreya Star and the women of Northeast Syria

A few days ago, we lost three friends in an attack on a gathering of women activists in Northeast Syria. Though we had never met them, and they lived in a region far away from ours, we were united by our common struggle for women’s lives. For devoting their lives to the fight against patriarchal […]

Why the flooding in the Rhondda is a political failure

We stand in solidarity with people in the Rhondda whose homes have been flooded for the third time this year, and we support Leanne Wood’s call for an independent inquiry into this repeated flooding. Wood, Member of the Senedd for the Rhondda, claims that urgent assistance is required to stop this happening again, saying that […]

Flushed away? Penygroes factory workers need an alternative

Originally published by Dolan Northwood Hygiene’s threatened closure of the paper products factory in Penygroes should surprise no-one. The facilities have been under threat before, but have survived. But it looks like that COVID-19 will finally kill off the factory according to its owners. But is this true? This is what the company had to […]

Undod urgent appeal: 24 hours to save Tramshed

“We want Cardiff Council to feel the outrage that its people feel over the idea of another Gwdihŵ and over the umpteenth time their interests have been steamrolled in favour of some corporate development.” Cardiff Council, infamous for their short-sighted approach to preserving culture in a city as historic as Cardiff, are yet again on […]

The military museum is an insult. Let’s work together to stop it.

Plans for the building of a Museum of Military Medicine at Britannia Park, down Cardiff Bay, have met fierce criticism over the past week. There is a widespread feeling that, once again, Cardiff is being developed outside of the influence of its residents. This proposed development is one story among many in Cardiff. We have […]

The end of Welsh farming?

As the world faces a global pandemic that originated with unsafe food production, you might think that food safety would be high on the political agenda. Similarly, as many countries brace for food shortages arising from Covid-19’s disruption to the global supply chains of both produce and labour, you might think that food security and […]

No going back to normal – the left must seize the moment and dominate the crisis

Originally published by the author on 26 Ebrill 2020 The Italian Marxist revolutionary Antonio Gramsci dedicated much of his thought to the concept of crises. This was the result of him coming of age and then living through a series of crises on the world scale (WW1, the 1929 stock market crash), and a domestic crisis which […]

Remembering George Floyd: Undod stands in solidarity with anti-racist protesters

Undod stands in solidarity with those demanding justice for George Floyd, a Black man murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis, and all those who fight against racism and state violence everywhere. The violent suppression of protests across the US, from casual brutality to rubber bullets and the indiscriminate use of pepper spray reveals […]

Buying local: sustainable communities, the Caernarfon way

Part of the series Wales’ next step A year ago, everyone took great delight in the colourful umbrellas on Stryd y Plas, not because it was raining cats and dogs, but because it was a pleasant, sunny day. This was the latest idea on the street to make it more attractive. Indeed, on the weekend […]

Why would I be interested in something political like Undod?

Part of the series Wales’ next step I’m not going to pretend that I’m not a political person – I am. I always have been. As are my family and as my children will grow up to be. So, it is easy for me to say that everyone should be actively interested in politics – […]

A national movement for political change is possible – and it is necessary.

Part of the series Wales’ next step You may be among those that have asked, so what’s the story? Or reflected on a question that is asked fairly often, namely: ‘Why?’ What follows sets out some considerations on the purpose of Undod, at this time. The starting point is the need for a group that […]

Wales’ next step: Solving street homelessness

Part of the series Wales’ next step “The previous homelessness system was not appropriate or fair, and the bold actions taken during this crisis demonstrate this clearly. There must be no going back to the old system. The crisis must be the catalyst to finally solve homelessness.” In Cardiff, a city which has embarrassingly become […]

Wales’ next step: a new series

No more top-down politics: a one-way track to more poverty, more inequality, and a deepening of the ecological crisis. We need to take the initiative. Over the coming weeks we will set out the possibilities that present themselves to the country as it emerges from the crisis. The coronavirus represents the most drastic manifestation of […]

Community, society, and economy: response to Covid in Penygroes

This is a translation of the original article in Welsh. On Sunday evening, March 15th, 2020, Yr Orsaf community café in Penygroes was comfortably full. Local poet Karen Owen was hosting an evening with Aled Jones Williams, and the café had just celebrated its first year in existence. “Things were progressing really well” said one […]

Gordon the Big Engine: a political appointment

In a recent series of blogs, Undod has been forthcoming in its criticism of Welsh Government for its handling of the Covid-19 crisis from the very beginning, when a rugby match between Wales and Scotland was not cancelled until the last minute – and when it was too late to stop thousands of fans from […]

Building a better Wales: beyond incarceration

Today should have been a celebration of Welsh culture, identity and independence in one of Wales’ most iconic towns, Wrexham: home of Welsh football, excellent lager, Gŵyl Twm Sbaen, Saith Seren, and pioneer of Welsh nonconformism, Morgan Llwyd. Instead, we are holed up during a period of self-isolation in a desperate crisis that few would […]

Now is not the time to “get behind” the dear leaders.

October 21st, 1966 We are in a schoolroom; on the eve of the half-term holidays. In a few seconds the vast mound of dirt and coal waste and mud on the hillside above us will start to slide downhill. Most of us will die, and those who live will live forever with the unspeakable guilt […]

Welsh Government has the powers to reduce crisis poverty – now

Attention has rightly turned to basic income as a way of ensuring financial security for everyone during the pandemic and resulting deep economic recession. Facing the prospect of shattered livelihoods and disappearing incomes, we have seen the UK Treasury make guarantees to business in the form of an 80% wage subsidy, rate relief and various […]

Welsh Government: always one step behind

More than two weeks into the COVID-19 crisis and the signs are not good in Wales. The NHS Health Board bearing the name of its founder is currently recording higher levels of infection per 100,000 people than London, while the state of Wales as a whole is comparable to the English West Midlands – one […]

The politics of mutual aid during the COVID-19 crisis

Crisis and community There has been endless talk about the politics surrounding the COVID-19 crisis—including important critiques of the disastrous response by the UK and the Welsh governments. This is an important place to start, because we need to recognise this as a political crisis, especially during a time when some are condemning others for […]

In a pandemic scenario, Welsh Government must offer decisive political leadership

Following last night’s announcement by the UK Government, echoed by the First Minister, Wales is now entering a soft version of the lock-downs that have been enacted  in Italy, Spain and France. Yet there should be no doubt, immediate further action is needed here in Wales as outlined in Undod’s statement two days ago. Our […]

Responding to the coronavirus pandemic: our demands of Welsh Government

By initially following a strategy opposed to the guidance of the World Health Organisation and evidence of what has worked in other countries, the UK government has lost weeks in the fight against COVID-19  — a mistake that is likely to cost lives without urgent and radical steps to tackle the spread of the virus […]

A lethal case of one-partyism

This weekend has seen Wales embarrassed on a global scale, as the Welsh Government stood by whilst the WRU attempted to hold the dead rubber Wales v Scotland rugby game. At first, we thought it was a mistake, a delay. They’ll cancel it, don’t worry. Memes circulated – ‘we can’t cancel the rugby mun, Denzil’s […]

Felindre’s bitter pill: we need stronger protection for rural Welsh-medium schools

This piece was contributed by Angharad Dafis, a representative of the supporters of Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Felindre. We welcome the Welsh Language Commissioner’s far-reaching verdict that the City and County of Swansea failed to take the essential statutory step of carrying out an assessment of the effect on the Welsh language within the community before setting […]

Healthy communities are the basis of our lives

Healthy communities are the basis of our lives. That’s the belief of a group of people from Gwynedd and Anglesey who are developing an alternative strategy for community development. They call themselves “SAIL” – meaning “Basis” – because community is the basis of everything. “SAIL” has nothing to do with yachting! The basis of the […]

The problems of eco-capitalism

In the middle of our multiple crises, modified forms of capitalism – usually branded New Green Deal or something similar – are presented as solutions. This is a dangerous distraction. Introduction Only a madman or an economist would dispute that the world is in the grip of a series of related ecological, climate and equality […]

Precarious in the extreme: what the press isn’t saying about our universities

The pattern became obvious, soon enough. In the past, students asked for the extenuating circumstances form for a variety of reasons: an illness during the exam period, a death in the family, from time to time a personal crisis or a bout of poor mental health. But now, there are only two reasons: anxiety and […]

Mass civil disobedience breaks out in Catalunya

Cymraeg | català Undod / solidarity with Catalunya Yesterday the Spanish Supreme Court finally gave their verdicts against the nine Catalan political prisoners on charges, including ‘rebellion’ and ‘sedition’, associated with the October 1st 2017 referendum on independence for Catalunya. All were prominent politicians or cultural leaders and Catalunya has been anxiously awaiting the expected […]

Plaid Cymru and nukes – meltdown mentality

Plaid Cymru meets for its annual conference at Swansea over the weekend, and no doubt we’ll hear all sorts of promises about the independent Wales which seems to be closer than it has been for ages. But can we rely on Plaid to lead us to the promised land? Or will the party lead us […]