PUBLIC MEETING ON DISABILITY AND PROTEST AGAINST POTENTIAL CLOSURE OF THE FERMOY UNIT

Accounts of a public meeting about disability and a protest against the possible closure of the Fermoy Unit, enlivened with photographs. Read, enjoy and please share!

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INTRODUCTION

I am treating these two events together because my attendance at each was connected, and I talked about one at the other. While I had strong personal reasons for attending both events, I was also motivated by not wanting to be in a position of “when they came for me there was no one left to speak out”. I will deal with the two events in chronological order and at the very end will also share some unrelated photos.

THE PUBLIC MEETING ON DISABILITY

This toom place at the Vauxhall Centre in Norwich on Thursday evening. After speeches from various prominent local campaigners came the keynote speech of the evening. This was Roddy Slorach, author of “The Politics of Disability”, talking about the ideas expounded in his book. After this there was time for contributions from the floor. It was during this period that today’s demonstration was mentioned, and more details provided by me as the second part of my own contribution following mentioning the Positive Autism Awareness Conference of the previous Friday. Here are some photos from that evening for you…

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One of the organizing groups displayed this banner.
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Equal Lives provided this superb display board
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Norfolk DPAC had this on show
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A shot of the platform
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The full platform plus the young woman doing sign language translations for deaf people.

THE PROTEST AGAINST THE POSSIBLE CLOSURE OF THE FERMOY UNIT

I took custody of the National Autistic Society West Norfolk Branch banners and some NAS flags yesterday evening, and worked out a way to set up the banners that was suitable for them being on a march:

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Some string and a couple of old cricket stumps provided my answer to the question of how to make these banners suitable for carrying on a march. The appearance may be less than convincing, but it held up for the duration of the march – job done!

We assembled at the bandstand in The Walks at 12 noon, and Jo Rust who did most of the organizing introduced a few speakers, before we set off on our march around the town. Many people expressed support for us while we marched through town, and at least one person took the trouble to express their gratitude that NAS were represented on the march. The event then finished with a few speeches outside the Majestic Cinema. Although organized by the local Labour Party and the King’s Lynn and District Trades Union Council this march was not a party political event, and Sir Henry Bellingham MP had been invited to attend and to make a speech, an invitation that he spurned. The turnout was excellent, helped by bright sunny weather (yes there was a serious nip to the wind, but this is King’s Lynn after all).

I finish this brief account with a few photos…

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At the bandstand
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A great placard produced by a teenage mental health camapigner
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The same placard
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The NAS West Norfolk banner post-march
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Jo Rust making her final speech of the day.

SOME UNRELATED PHOTOS

I start this section with a photographic message for those who have reached this part of the post…

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My remaining photos are presented as a’tiled mosaic’ – to view an individual image at full size click on it…

Author: Thomas

I am branch secretary of NAS West Norfolk and #actuallyautistic (diagnosed 10 years ago at the comparatively advanced age of 31). I am a keen photographer, so that most of my own posts contain photos. I am a keen cricket fan and often write about that subject. I also focus a lot on politics and on nature.

5 thoughts on “PUBLIC MEETING ON DISABILITY AND PROTEST AGAINST POTENTIAL CLOSURE OF THE FERMOY UNIT”

  1. love the banners and well done guys. we need people to campaign for such issues as NO to local mental health cuts, much appreciated. Thank you

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