Stand Up To Racism

Stand Up To Racism.

Today I joined the march in Parliament Square to #StandUpToRacism. I heard powerful speakers like Nahella Ashraf who’s words reminded me that our identity is not the property of others and it’s not up for debate and discussion by fascist men. Our crowd of a few thousand walked from parliament square to Victoria and the chant that landed with me the most were “Who’s streets? Our streets!”

As I walked the streets of London that I have been walking for 20 years of working life I reflect on the emotions surfacing in me. I find I can’t join the march with my voice. All the words get stuck in my throat. So my husband and I hold hands and walk in silence.

I look over to my left where there seems to be some commotion and I hear some men swearing and shouting racist slur. Their faces angry and their gestures provocative. The stewards guide the march in an alternate direction and the chanting gets louder. People hug and hold each other closer. More smiles and more passion.

I notice that now I am crying. Tears just stream down my face for the rest of the march. I let them. It’s important to hurt and cry when I am hearing words and feeling feelings that haunt me from my childhood. I am sorry we are here again.

#antifacism #sohoradio #womenoftheworld #racism #nahellaashraf #standuptoracism

Pride London 2018!

PRIDE – as I floated through the centre of London on top of a Bus stating ‘Mental Health First Aid for All’ I felt like I was on top of the world.

Not only was I here with my, decade old, friends and colleagues, I was draped in a saree representing Asian heritage and people from my community. Some of those were in the crowd cheering me on. Almost all of them were totally surprised by a ‘woman in a saree on top of the mental health bus’.

As I connected with people who looked like me I smiled with all my heart and pulled my best pose and I stood a little taller in my attempt to reflect their pride. An honour I felt very privileged to have, in those moments.

My heart also sent out love to those who will never find a space to come out or even know the words with which to talk about their identity. I received a gorgeous message from another Asian woman, who took a picture from the crowd, found me on social media and sent it on. she said ‘the whole day made my heart swell up with pride…love is love, isn’t it!’ Yes it is. 

Obviously my pride saree was just amazing! The @mhfaengland crew know how to celebrate.  @prideinlondon