It is also the birthday of my friend Manjeet Kaur, who is fighting for asylum.
She’s the chair of human rights organisation, RAPAR. As well as campaigning for migrant rights and disability rights, she also campaigns against the bedroom tax and the rise of the far right.
She was also recently a nominee* for the Women on the Move awards .
We go to tribunal next month, so would the few people who look this blog please read about her campaign here and see what you can do to help.
*(me and Yaz did it)
Another of my extended familia let me take her photo today for the After Porajmos project.
As a follow-up from the Holocaust Memorial Day event…
Just got in from our Holocaust Memorial Day event…
I was really worried that the event would just end up being a load of Gadje councillors giving self-righteous speeches about acceptance with no Roma voice- and although I’d failed to tempt familia mea on up on a Friday evening, it went well nonetheless- with Mike and Patty Linfoot (the Romanichal family we supported last year) really stealing the show regarding their struggle for basic rights in Chorley.
One of our volunteers from Romania, Gabi, read about the history of the Roma and Steph told the story of the Bockova family (who sadly we couldn’t get hold of to attend and speak themselves as they’ve gone off the RAPAR radar a little). Sandy also told the story of Jan, one of her protégés who joined us for the evening but didn’t want to read himself.
Charl and me made a little art display for people to enjoy while they fumbled for tea and coffee making apparatus. I showed some of the photos for the ‘After Porajmos’ project while Charl presented some little drawings inspired by the images.
We were also greatly honoured when Patty presented us with a gift of a Romany flag.
So it was a nice evening. Everyone said it was very good, very impressive. I thought it was maybe a bit… usual- but I do go to these things a lot. And I have been working on it for ages so nothing was new to me. There were a couple new faces and all our regular allies (Barry, Ruth and Mark etc) showed their faces.
Sandy wants to do another event for Edelezi in April. I want to get over this one first.
Mike Linfoot said that they’d never be able to do an event like this in Chorley. I suggested we try- and it might end up like the French taunting scenes on Monty Python and the Holy Grail. But we’ll see.