I’ve lost my blogging mojo at the mo, but I couldn’t let the sun set on this week without recording what an amazing week it has been.
It started off with a trip to the big smoke on Monday to have an initial meeting about the #LBBill, a proposed private members bill instigated by the legends that are Mark Neary and Steve Broach. You can read more about what it contains in Mark’s summary of the day here or in more detail in several posts on Steve’s blog here. The first draft will be launched in the next month or so and we’ll be looking for input from you all. The meeting was small and just involved Mark, Steve, Sara, Richard and myself. We kept it intentionally small to try and nail the process, roles and responsibilities and actions required to take it forward. In true #JusticeforLB style we’re taking an organic route (making it up as we go along with all the expertise we can gather on the way).
Sara and I have been in very close contact since February this year, but we’ve only actually met in the flesh once before, so it was a real treat to spend the next few days together, starting with the train from London to Lancaster with very precious cargo, the amazing LB Justice Quilt. 273 patches of hope stitched together into an astonishing banner that demands Justice for LB and for all dudes. A perfect reflection of all that was magnificent about the #107days campaign, crowdsourced and volunteer run, and absolutely determined to keep a spotlight on the dire ‘care’ and support that existed for LB, and for so many others.
Lancaster University was the venue of the CEDR Disability Studies Conference 2014. I can honestly say I have never been to a more welcoming, accessible, passionate or fascinating conference. Every keynote, every breakout session, every evening had my brain firing off in all directions, listening through the #JusticeforLB lens, that appears to cover my line of sight most of the time these days. Love isn’t really a word I’d associate with a conference, but I felt surrounded by love, and commitment, and support for JusticeforLB (and for many others). I had only met three people in real life before the conference, and yet there was no point when I felt out of it. It really was remarkable, and it was a real honour to meet so many people who had supported #107days and shake them by the hand/give them a hug. Sara and I are very aware that there are so many people who have supported the campaign who we’ve yet to meet, so we’re thinking about what we can do about that, perhaps a festival or unfestival in the spring!
The final act before the long journey home, was a quick ‘what next’ meeting with Sara, Damian, Chris and Hannah. We are plotting and planning and there will be more on that in due course, suffice to say that we’re not planning on becoming silent any time soon. We’re all in this for the long haul, and I for one feel overwhelmed with the love and support and shared commitment to get JusticeforLB. Thanks to each and every one of you, progress may feel slow at times, but we are getting there, there is a blazing light at the end of this dark and murky tunnel, and its shining a lot brighter after last week.