Tottenham Community Press – Your news your way

Screenshot_20171114-162530A few months ago, I joined the advisory group of the Tottenham Community Press (TCP), a fresh, exciting, new, independent, high quality newspaper aiming to tell the stories of the vibrant Tottenham community their way. To celebrate its 1st birthday and promote its crowdfunding campaign, TCP has made a fantastic 4 minute video. I am one of the people interviewed. You can watch it HERE.

Proof Magazine Launch in Parliament

ProofI spent a wonderful afternoon in Parliament on the 18th of July, leading a delegation from Hackney Community Law Centre to the House of Commons for the launch of the issue 3 of Proof Magazine – ‘Why legal aid matters‘.

The publication, produced by The Justice Gap (for whom I am a commissioning editor) and The Justice Alliance – a coalition of charities, community groups, legal campaigners and trade unions who campaign against Government cuts to legal aid – tells the story of why legal aid matters promoting the campaign to highlight the devastating impact of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO), which was introduced by the former coalition government in 2012. The magazine was funded through a crowdfunding campaign I ran in June 2016.

Team HCLC and Julius

It was wonderful that Julius Holgate, a Hackney Community Law Centre client, came up to Parliament with my colleagues and I to speak about his terrible experience with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Julius is a double amputee with no legs who had been assessed ‘fit for work’ by the DWP. The DWP had argued that because he had arms, he could use them to ‘climb’ stairs and so had ‘mobility’. When his benefits were cut, Julius fell into debt and had to pawn his jewellery to survive. It was only when Hackney Community Law Centre got involved – despite there being no legal aid funding to do so – that the DWP overturned this decision. Continue reading “Proof Magazine Launch in Parliament”

Abbott Appreciation

D and MI was delighted to attend a recent ‘Abbott Appreciation’ evening in honour of my friend Diane Abbott, the Member of Parliament for Hackney North and Stoke Newington and Shadow Home Secretary.

During the 2017 general election campaign, Diane was subjected to misogynoir and abuse that went beyond even the high levels she normally receives.

Distressed and disgusted by the situation, a group of switched on ‘woke’ young black women decided to hold an #AbbottAppreciation evening for Diane to show solidarity and thank her for breaking through the glass ceiling and entering parliament as the first black female MP on June the 11th 1987.

I was pleased to be at the event to show my own personal appreciation for Diane who has been a loyal and supportive friend to me. In 2007, when I went through a terrible political and personal time, she (unlike some other politicians with whom I’d been close friends) never abandoned me. I only survived this horrible period because of friends like her.

Well done to #AbbottAppreciation organiser Stephanie Ouzo and her kick ass friends for holding Diane up to the light. Still she rises.

Read more about the wonderful Abbott Appreciation event HERE.