Black Lives Matter.

June’s Charity of the month is a no brainer. I’m joining the chorus of white voices proclaiming that we must do better. It’s not enough to say ‘I’m not racist’. We have to act. We have to listen. We have to educate ourselves. We must fight both with Black people & against our own participation in their oppression.

We all benefit from centuries of white supremacy. It is our responsibility to teach ourselves about the institutional racism that makes our lives easier and the historical wrongs that created our current system. It is our duty to listen to what Black activists ask of us, to always pass the mic. It is essential that we act; sign the petition, write to your repressive, boycott brands who don’t walk the walk, protest & donate whatever you can.

This month I have chosen to support three organisations suggested by Black Activists.

Philadelphia Community Bail Fund does exactly what the name suggests. The American bail system is set up in way that means people without means often spend time incarcerated before they are ever brought to trial. Bail funds are even more important at times like this.

I learned about cruelty The Loveland Foundation from the work of Rachel Cargle. Their therapy fund for black women & girls provides access to mental health services that would otherwise be out of reach to their service users. As a person who has lived with mental illness my entire adult life I know how important treatment is. I am eternally grateful that I found people who could help me via the NHS. The work that Loveland do is life saving & changing.

Finally I gave directly to the family of George Floyd through Gofundme. The family intend to use the funds to cover a variety of essential expenses. Funeral costs, legal bills, therapy & of course for the care of his children. To have a loved one murdered in such brutal, public & racist way is deeply traumatic. This family deserve our support.

I urge you to seek out & amplify Black voices. Reading posts like this does not count as doing the work. I am a white women with much to learn. Please follow, read & support the tireless work of Black activists, educators & creators. Social media timelines are full of recommendations, if yours isn’t it is time to ask yourself why. And do something about it. Here are some incredible people whose work I consume.

I also want to point you towards this list of organisations doing anti racist work. I hope to donate to more in the coming months. I hope you will give if you can. Monetary Support for Anti Racist Action. *

*I did not compile this list.

Power to the people…

If like me, you are firmly planted on the left of politics, you are probably despairing at the moment. Trump has been in power for 13 days & he’s already making terrifying changes. It’s easy to feel far away & powerless, especially when you have a disability. However, the truth is there is lots we can all do & it’s essential that everyone does what they can. 


The most obvious sign of dissent are protests. Taking to the streets & making your opposition clear can be very powerful. I know this can be difficult & sometimes down right impossible for those with disabilities. The most important thing is not to feel guilty about missing protests. You have to put your health first. You can still engage with the movement by sharing details and pictures of marches on social media. If you can manage for 10 or 20 mins, go for that time only. Every little bit counts. 


Another great way to combat Trump’s facist agenda when differently abled is to make strategic charitable donations. 

Southern Poverty Law Centre is an organisation that fights intolerance. The monitor & inform the public of hate groups, help the most vulnerable seek justice, educate communities to reduce prejudice & much more. Racists & extremists are emboldened in the current climate, funding a group like this pushes back. 

American Civil Liberties Union defends freedom of expression & equal rights for all. The first weeks of this new administration have already shown signs of hostility towards free press. Rumoured changes to laws protecting the LBGTQ community are very worrying. Now more than ever a group that can fight injustice through the courts is required. 
Planned Parenthood Aims to provide affordable health & reproductive care to all women (& others who need their services). Along with vital access to contraceptives and abortion PP also offer sex education, sti testing,smear tests & breast exams. With a president on record as believing that people who have an abortion should be punished, this safe access must be preserved. The entirety of PP’s services save & improve incalculable lives. It is an essential organisation.

There are of course many other charities worthy of your support. From refugee orgs to LBGTQ rights groups, there are no shortage of worthy non profits. Anything you can give will help. If eveyone gave even 50p it would make a massive difference. Having said that, I know not eveyone has any money to spare. Again, you can help by sharing groups on social media & getting their message to a wider audience. 

Try to engage with bigotry in your own friendship/family groups. Trust me I know how infuriating this can be. It hurts so much more to discover someone you care about holds these vile beliefs , but some folk can be saved from the dark side. Know your history & use it. There are so many similarities to be drawn between the period between the world wars & the period after the financial crisis. For example the conditions in Germany during the Weimer Republic helped to create an environment for Hitler to flourish in. Compare Trump’s strategies to that of Hitler’s, the parallels are frightening. Learn about American history, having an understanding of it’s story helps to illustrate what is so wrong about modern racism, xenophobia misogyny. Do remember it is also ok to withdraw. If someone stubbornly sticks with toxic views, you are entirely with your rights to ditch them

Share your message in as many forums as possible. Share articles & graphics on social media. Join local political groups, help distribute leaflets or raise funds if your health allows. Talk about your opinions on the ‘alt right’ on your blog or in your art. Make your voice heard in any way you can. Their is value in solidarity, it is massively comforting to know one is not alone. 

Last, but absolutely not least, do not forget about what’s happening at home. Post brexit Britain is no picnic; hate crimes have seen a 40% increase since the referendum. Our government is purposely defunding the NHS & cuts in benefits for the most vulnerable members of society are ongoing. There is work to be done  here too. Write  to your Mp about important votes & any issues you feel are critical. Apply all of the suggestions above when fighting on the home front. 

Finally, support local charities too. This month I’m turning my charitable attentions to Refuweegee. They are committed to ensuring refugees arriving in Glasgow receive a warm Glaswegian welcome. You can donate money or goods & even write a nice letter for our new arrivals. 

Go forth & fight the good, inclusive fight! 

There is a crack in everything….

So, here I am apologising for my absence again. I’ve had an iffy few weeks. To begin with there was bad health news, which left me struggling to keep my mood boyant. Then there was a new medication that makes me nauseous 24/7 & vom almost everything I eat. Finally, there is the Trump debacle & that’s hit me even harder than I thought it would. 

For a bleeding heart leftie like me the current political climate is an anathma. I don’t want to write another horrified how did this happen piece, but I don’t feel able to say nothing. I perhaps sounds naive, but I really do believe in governing for the greater good. Sometimes that involves sacrifices & I am happy to make some to ensure the basic well being of everyone. I am utterly disgusted by the rise of the politic of fear & hate. I have watched with growing dismay as we slip further to the right & minds slide closed. I’m tired of hearing about downtrodden people voting against the establishment. There is no excuse for supporting racism, misogyny, homophobia & all manner of vile prejudice. Raising the privileged & corrupt is not only wrong, it’s incredibly stupid. As already witnessed in the UK, those who already have the least lose the most. 

With far right parties gaining popularity across Europe; I fear the worst is yet to come. Marine Le Pen is already talking about creating a new world. That world is not one that I care to live in. For the first time in my life I am scared of the direction society is being pushed. I say that in the full knowledge that I live in a progressive country & hold privileges many don’t. I cannot even begin to imagine the terror others must be feeling. 

So, forgive me if I am lack inspiration & my words are ineloquent. It feels as though decent people have received a damaging blow. I know we must stay in the fight & I intend to keep my fists up.  I hope you will be with me. 

Woman of the Week…

Picking a woman of the week has never been simpler. In the turmoil of the EU Referendum results only one politician has come out prepared. Nicola Sturgeon is an impressive politician. In a sea of vague non answers, she has a definitive plan. 

  
 Watching the First Minister speak on the steps of Bute House really made me proud to have voted SNP. Not only did she calmly lay out the steps her government would take to maintain European business links & investment in Scotland, but she unequivocally declared immigrants welcome. Her language made it clear that there is no room in Scotland for racism or Xenophobia. 

‘Indeed, I want to take the opportunity this morning to speak directly to citizens of other EU countries living here in Scotland – you remain welcome here, Scotland is your home and your contribution is valued.’
The leaders of the leave campaign are either silent or back tracking on promises. The government has no strategy for negotiating our exit from the EU & both the Tories & Labour seem determined to destroy their parties from within. There is justifiably an air of spreading panic. Nicola Sturgeon has been my sole ray of hope. Her clear & authoritative addresses have reassured me that Scotland, at least, has solid leadership. 

  
I am proud to be governed by such a progressive & passionate woman. I am delighted to belong to a country that has rejected fear & prejudice. I live in hope that Ms Sturgeon will steer our  celtic ship to independence.