Phewww, at last, another new normal is staggering into sight, and we can finally fling away the Zoom and start some social, life, and action, again.
Time to hop off the Corona Coaster and learn how to live with the virus – slowly, surely, and safely,
I’m not going to lie to you , it takes some getting used to mind. The Gig Girls and I spent two hours last Friday in wild weather, fiddling with the Academy App, and bolting down a Bearded Taco before it was blown away, just to see each other in real life instead of on an iPad – true love that.
It’s not all dishy Rishi’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ though, I’m also energised and eager to start some crucial campaigning with the newly-formed Stand Up To Racism Vale Group.
I’m proud to be part of these Black-led campaigners who, with the strong support of Allies, are looking to unite our communities – locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
As always, I’ll be blogging about our activity and making the media sit up and take notice of us and our social justice stories. Please feel to join us here if you’re willing to help make that difference.
Anyway, tomorrow (Thursday) after many meetings staring at the screen, and working through Whats App, our first actual face to face is taking place. Socially distanced, but so sweet to have that human connection as we put the world to rights, cup of coffee in one hand, pen in the other.
I learnt many Lockdown Lessons but my biggest take was that I need to be actively anti-racist, so being able to do something tangible is totally satisfying.
I get the #BlackLives Matter movement of course, but now is the time to Speak Up and start to tackle the real reluctance and resistant to change.
A process started with the beautiful BLM Barry Protest at the fag end of Lockdown and carrying on with that long list of wrongs to right.
One current Campaign is for Barry’s first Black female Councillor Gwen Payne, and others too, to be recognised for the role they played in our town’s history. A Black Lives Legacy must be made by Barry Town Council – it is the right thing to do.
The struggle is so real though, look at the BLM Bitter Win over the Penrhyn Protest, and the recent racist incident at the Captain’s Wife.
Stand up for Racism Vale will also strongly stand in solidarity with our regional. national, and international campaigners, who are fighting a systematic system of racism to find the justice they deserve.
These Campaigns include:
He was 13 years old. His name is Christopher Kapessa. A murder without an investigation from South Wales Police despite evidence of manslaughter presented by the CPS.
She was 12 years old. Her name is Shukri Abdi. A murder without an investigation from Greater Manchester Police. Shukri left Somali a refugee of war, sought sanctuary in Britain, was drowned for the aspiration.
In an unprovoked attack Siyanda was racially abused and physically assaulted. No investigation of those that attacked her – instead she now faces a 4 1/2 year prison sentence.
We will be showing our tangible support at the Justice Now Protest at City Hall from 12 noon this Saturday – September 5th, and urge you to do so too.
Now is the time to call out our systems, institutions, and elected bodies.
Vale Stand Up Racism will always fight to right racist wrongs, but we will also always look to celebrate Barry’s Black Lives to – the legacy, the local activists and advocates pushing for real change today, and our up and coming Black youth.
With Black History Month just a month away, what better way to educate, inform, and even entertain, through showcasing Black lives, past, present and future – watch this space.
All these protests and plans really resonate with me, as it give me a cracking chance to put my money where my mouth is and show just how much of an active ally I really am.
Just like all those friends and supporters who stood, and still stand, with me and the LGBTQ community to which I belong.
There is an immense power in that.
No Justice, No Peace.
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
The dedicated community supporter, passionate arts lover, and award-winning queer activist, can be contacted here.