On 14th February, LGT’s Campaigns and Community Development Officer Clemmie James and intern Angela Mahoney spoke at the International LUSH Summit in central London.
LUSH funds grassroots groups and organisations working in human, animal, ocean and environmental rights and has supported LGT’s #Weareallsomanythings campaign. LGT was asked to talk about how the law has affected Gypsies and Travellers and their traditional way of life in London over the last 40 years.
Angela, who is 16, delivered a passionate and eloquent talk. Here she talks to Clemmie about the experience.
What was the talk about ?
It was about the right to live our culture, looking at the institutionalised racism towards Gypsies and Travellers in all the laws that have come out to stop us being who we are. We told the history of these laws – like the Caravan Act 1968 and The Criminal Justice Act. We talked about our human rights to live our way of life.
What was it like for you to give the talk?
Interesting, because I saw that there are people willing to help and support us. They see that what TV programmes like My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding show is wrong. They only show the bad side. It was also fun because people wanted to know and help but didn’t know how to.
What was the most interesting question you were asked?
It was “What can we do to help Gypsies and Travellers?” It showed me that there are people that want to help but don’t know how.
What other talks /workshops did you go to?
I went to Blueart, which was about a mother and daughter who set up a charity in America which shows the sea to children with less money. They also show how science can be fun. I took part in that workshop and answered a question about feeling judged and overcoming it.
What was the atmosphere like?
The atmosphere was inspiring because it was all different people, but it was also a little intense. And the people there were very determined to show that everyone counts. When I took part in a printing workshop and said I wanted to give up they wouldn’t let me and they helped me finish my print.
What did you like best about the day?
Meeting new people who want to help and support us.