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Plaque commemorating those killed in Merthyr Rising torn down by vandal

Merthyr Rising

A newly-erected plaque commemorating those killed in the Merthyr Rising has been torn down.

The memorial was erected by Valleys Underground— a Marxist organisation advocating a Socialist Welsh Republic through community action.

The plaque read:

"In Loving Memory

of the 20 innocents shot dead

by the British Army on this square

for demanding a better life.

Martyrs of the 1831 Merthyr Rising,

Martyrs of the Welsh Working-Class.

- Welsh Underground Network (WUN)"

In response to the vandalism, the Welsh Underground Network— to which Valleys Underground belongs— said: "We're disappointed, but not surprised, an individual tore the Memorial Plaque away in the late hours of last night. We intend to put up a new and improved plaque asap, and will continue to do so until a permanent memorial is in place."

Merthyr Rising

The Merthyr Rising of 1831 marked the violent culmination of years of simmering social unrest among the working class population of the town.

Workers protested against high levels of unemployment and a fall in wages.

The workers stormed the town with chants of "Caws a bara" (cheese and bread) and "I lawr â'r Brenin" (down with the king).

The British Army was sent to the town to restore order— resulting in the deaths of up to twenty-four protestors. A further twenty-six protestors were arrested and put on trial.

One of the protesters, Dic Penderyn, was sentenced to death by hanging for allegedly stabbing a solider with a bayonet— although he is widely believed to have been wrongly convicted.

After his death he came to be seen as a martyr for working-class people throughout the country.

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