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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 August, 2003, 05:59 GMT 06:59 UK
Pressure group in Festival picket
Janet Street-Porter
Janet Street-Porter - pickets will target her show
Journalist and presenter Janet Street-Porter is facing picketing protestors at her Edinburgh Fringe Festival one-woman revue.

The Welsh-language pressure group Cymuned are angry at remarks she made about the Welsh, criticising aspects of north Wales as "racist."

Cymuned members are to picket her show, All the Rage!, on Saturday following comments she made last week on BBC Radio Five Live.

The picket will launch a new campaign by Cymuned, "No Hatred - Stop Minority Bashing" and the new campaign will target individuals and institutions making anti-Welsh comments.

Ms Street-Porter said that some councillors in north Wales were "completely racist".

In an article promoting her Edinburgh show, in The Observer on 27 July, Street-Porter she was quoted as saying about the Welsh language: "There are no words for anything invented after the Black Death."

The Observer also claimed that she found the Welsh language "ugly and ludicrous".

Writing as Editor of the Independent on Sunday in 2001, Ms Street-Porter said that "when you consider that the Welsh language is only kept alive by committees inventing new words for modern inventions like the motor car and the television set, you don't know whether to laugh or cry".

Cymuned member Aran Jones, who will be at the Edinburgh picket, said: "Janet Street-Porter's persistent attacks on a minority language like Welsh are unacceptable in a culture that is supposed to respect and defend minorities.

"If she had made comments similar to those about black culture, her Edinburgh show would never have been given permission to open."

He claimed: "This sort of smear is institutionalised minority-bashing. Bashing Welsh speakers is the only form of minority-bashing that is still socially respectable in Britain".

Cymned picket is start of new campaign

"Cymuned calls on Janet Street-Porter not to make further comments that promote intolerance towards the Welsh-language and Welsh-speaking communities.

"In the future, Cymuned will picket individuals, including politicians, who make comments that smear minority communities, and in particular a minority language like Welsh and its speakers."

Janet-Street Porter's show, All the Rage!, is on at the Assembly Rooms, George Street, Edinburgh.

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