The easing of pandemic restrictions could see a return of pro-independence marches.

Earlier this week the first minister, Mark Drakeford, announced plans to relax the Covid rules, meaning more people can meet up both indoors and outdoors.

The Welsh Government is planning to put Wales on alert level zero on August 7, which would mean no legal limits on the number of people who can meet in private homes, or public places.

This has lead to hopes among independence march organisers that they can get back to planning demonstrations and rallies

Three rallies held in 2019 were seen as particular successes for the independence movement.

Thousands marched on the streets of Cardiff, Caernarfon and Merthyr Tydfil in the year before the pandemic, with more marches planned for 2020 beginning with one in Wrexham. But Covid-19 rules meant that demonstration could not go ahead as planned.

Lucia Gittins-Jones, chair of Yes Wrecsam said: "The independence march scheduled for April 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic, and we've been waiting since then to hear when it would be safe to march again. This was to have been the first such march in the North-east - after successful events in Cardiff, Merthyr and Caernarfon.

"People in Wrecsam, like the rest of Wales, are looking forward to the day when we can come together without the spectre of Covid. We would want to make sure everyone can be safe but also that they can have a good time. We hope it is not in the too distant future and we look forward to welcoming people from across the country to our wonderful town.”

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When asked by The National at Wednesday night’s ministerial briefing, Mr Drakeford welcomed the return of large protests on the scale of the 2019 rallies.

First minister, Mark Drakeford, said: “I have always been in favour of protest myself, I’ve spent a lot of my life in them so it would be wrong of me not to welcome it by others. I hope that when people are thinking of those sort of events they will continue to think about their obligation in a way that respects the context within which they are organising those things.

“And I think within Wales that has been the case more often than not. Organisers of protests have done it in consultation with the police and others and have done it in a way that respects the risks that are still there in a third wave of coronavirus.

“The right to protest is a fundamental right in a democratic society, I hope and expect that it will be exercised responsibly.”

Sarah Rees, acting-chair of Yes Cymru, said: “YesCymru welcomes the comments made by the first minister. It’s only right that in a democratic society citizens should be able to protest and demonstrate for their rights. 

"We thank the first minister for taking a different outlook to the Westminster government. Wales has a long and rich history of radical protests, this cannot be brought to an end by politicians in Westminster.”

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