Celtic League News
Over the last few years the Kernow Branch of the Celtic League has been one of the more successful branches of the League in recruiting members.
One of the reasons the Branch gives for its membership success is its use of social media. The Branch makes full use of Twitter and Facebook in particular, with 1000 Twitter followers and almost 4000 ‘Friends’ on Facebook. In addition the Branch has a Paypal account where members can join the branch automatically, which the branch membership secretary says not only cuts down on paperwork, but people increasingly want to pay electronically. Below the branch writes about its latest recruit – racism campaigner Samuel Farmer.
“Cornwall Branch of the Celtic League welcomes Samuel Farmer, the anti-racism campaigner and Director of ‘The Hope Project Cornwall CIC as new full member.
The Cornish Branch of the Celtic League – An Kesunyans Keltek Scoren Gernewek – are delighted to welcome Samuel Farmer as a new full member of the organisation and hopes to utilise his experience working with minorities in order to obtain the greatest possible benefit for all the Cornish people following the announcement that the Cornish people were to recognised as a National Minority.
Samuel identifies as black and has a personal heritage derived from the Cherokee, Irish and Welsh peoples and is a prominent campaigner against racism in the Duchy.
Sadly, he has been subject of much racism himself and was the victim of crimes which resulted in his ‘Hope Project’ in St. Agnes being burned down twice and the estimated resultant loss amounting to £100,000, depriving youngsters of a managed facility and with the subsequent police investigation recording it as having been a racially motivated crime. However, as he points out, the problems have not been with the real indigenous Cornish people but with a few who have moved from elsewhere in the UK to make the place their new home who have used the Cornish as a smokescreen for their exclusionary crimes.
Not to be defeated, Samuel, a trained outdoor adventure training specialist and teacher of 20 years experience, as well as being a musician, youth mentor and Director of the ‘Hope Project Cornwall’ Community Interest Company (CIC) has started a groundbreaking campaign entitled ‘Thank you Cornwall, you are a Nation’ which has drawn the support of many from the various global ethnic communities who were at various times helped by Cornwall and her people. He now feels it is time to say ‘thank you’ to the Cornish through this platform.
Reading of the campaigning activities of the Celtic League, Mr. Farmer made contact with the organisation which has roster consultative status at the United Nations, and met with representatives of the local Branch. Following discussions, he decided to become one of the League’s latest full members and due to this there have been numerous applications to join from other people from different ethnic origins.
Samuel, who has advised the Mayor of Truro with his campaign on local affairs involving racism and inter racial harmony has openly stated that he is incensed that Padstow’s ‘Darkie Day’ was condemned as being racist by some prominent, albeit misguided Westminster politicians, and that it was nothing of the sort and moreover, he is saddened that this condemnation was done in his name.
‘I believe ‘Darkie Day’ is a valuable and integral part of ancient Cornish traditions and in fact the whole event was embedded in Cornish folklore which may even have predated local knowledge that black people ever existed.’ he said, continuing, ‘It may even celebrate that black slaves found sanctuary and momentary freedom to roam in the Cornish coves. Cornwall has been known globally as a sanctuary. In any case, it is immoral to take away traditions which wrongly brand the Cornish people as racist. Cornwall has lost out due to the desire not to offend!’
‘I am very impressed with the Celtic League NGO, its inclusive caring and understanding approach and its ongoing call for Cornish self government and the great Cornish welcome given by its members. I believe that the Cornish people, now finally recognised as a
National Minority in their own right, have long been treated as second class citizens in their own Nation. Their battles are the same faced by all other minorities and ethnicities and as such, all minority peoples need to protect and support each other. I really respect the League’s call for a ‘one and all’ inclusive approach to Cornish home rule and I support its call made of the politicians and political parties, campaigners and organisations to work more closely together for the good of all the people of Cornwall, to set up a Cornish assembly bringing democracy closer, to save valuable assets in terms of heritage and history and to improve our lot here. We can do better for our youngsters, for our needy and for those who make this their home. In fact, Cornwall and the Cornish are as good as their motto ‘one and all’ and that fact should be celebrated along with the good they have done around the world. Cornwall is a unique place in the western hemisphere.’
Mike Chappell, Convener of the League’s Cornish Branch said, ‘We have been literally inundated with membership applications since the Scottish referendum. It has been astonishing. We already have longstanding members who come from the Indian sub continent and now we warmly welcome Mr. Farmer. We condemn without reservation the racism he has been subject of and admire his pro Cornish outlook. It is enlightened and a beacon of hope to the brighter future which beckons, a future in which the people of Cornwall, no matter from where they originate, can live together and work for a viable alternative to the distant and quite frankly, uncaring and corrupt Westminster government, a government which represents the skeleton of Empire caught up in the dogma of its own greed and injustice. We are not calling for independence; we are calling for an Assembly with powers, an alternative to a Cornwall Council begging for crumbs from the Westminster table. Cornwall has always been an inclusive and open place. We are far from being the ‘insular peninsula’ portrayed by many detractors up in England. We hold out our hand in friendship and welcome to anyone and everyone who believes we can do better. As Samuel points out, the good thing about starting afresh is that we can build a new society whilst carefully retaining our proud Celtic heritage and what has made Cornwall a special place down the thousands of years. We must look back to the best of who we are and then look forward to the best of what we can be. Our culture and traditions make up what we are and as a National minority, we need to be strong and to confidently stand up for what we believe. As Samuel so rightly says, for the sake of ‘one and all’.’”
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