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Sunday, 2 June, 2002, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
Republicans stage jubilee protest
Street party
Supporters of the royals are likely to outnumber those against
Anti-royalists in south Wales have begun a three-day festival in a counter-attack on the Golden Jubilee celebrations.

A coalition called 'Stuff The Monarchy' is staging a republican "jamboree" at Pontypridd which will last until Tuesday.


It's as disrespectful as we can make it, because we have no time for the English monarchy

Anti-jubilee organiser Tim Richards

Those behind the festival of music, poetry, and debate, have claimed it will be bigger than any pro-monarchy jubilee event in Wales.

Organiser Tim Richards said his idea was an opportunity for people to "escape" mainstream jubilee celebrations.

He described Stuff The Monarchy as "a loose coalition of Welsh socialists, republicans, trade unionists and radical green campaigners."

Mr Richards said it would be "a cultural celebration of the alternative."

Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen is currently on a tour of the UK

He said the festival developed because organisers were frustrated with what they saw as a lack of mainstream media coverage of anti-monarchy sentiments.

"Originally it was just to escape the madness of the royal jubilee, but so many people became interested, we thought we would do something that would celebrate the people as opposed to celebrating an out-dated, Anglo-German monarchy," he explained.

Mr Richards made no apology to pro-royalists who might be offended by the event.

"It's as disrespectful as we can make it, because we have no time for the English monarchy," he said.

"Lefties"

"They are a complete irrelevance to the ordinary people of Wales, and they are a constitutional anachronism."

But South Wales Central AM Jonathan Morgan, who admitted to being a "hardened monarchist and royalist", dismissed the gathering as "a collection of Lefties, misfits and Marxists."

"The republican movement has really had its day," he told BBC News Online.

"The vast majority of people will be celebrating the reign of an amazing individual.

Partying

"The whole jubilee period has reinforced the role of the monarch."

Despite the Pontypridd event, supporters of the royals continue partying across Wales.

A total of 460 streets and roads are being closed over the holiday ready for the biggest party seen for decades.

Many more impromptu celebrations are expected to be held as Jubilee and World Cup fever, helped by summer sunshine, sweep across the counties.

In the village of Roget in Monmouthshire, locals have spent the past year planning their own four-day party - a village fete-style event, complete with traditional entertainments and side-stalls.

In Cardiff Bay people are being treated to free entertainments, including street theatre, opera and pop concerts.

And 100 bonfires are expected to burn across the nation's skies as Wales joins the UK-wide beacon network.


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30 May 02 | Wales
27 May 02 | Entertainment
16 May 02 | Entertainment
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