I’ve not blogged in an age, mostly because I’ve struggled to find anything positive to say. Anyone who has read this blog before will know that I don’t require myself to be positive (in fact I think society is obsessed with doing everything in it’s power to portray wonderful joy and happiness, especially on social media, so much so that we’ve forgotten that you need shades of grey in life to appreciate the colour), however I do try to be constructive. That’s been hard lately.
I blogged back in July about my thoughts, a year after my hairhack.
I feel sadness, just deep sadness that it is now almost two years since LB died and we’re still not really any closer to getting Justice.
Every time I’ve sat down to blog since I’ve found myself with nothing more to add.
We have relentlessly campaigned for JusticeforLB for so long now, with the smallest flickers of progress. As I sat on a bus back from London with Sara and Rich last week I was struck by how much of their lives have been destroyed by others. I can not even begin to imagine the impact of your child dying. I can’t begin to imagine what it must feel like for them as we approach LB’s inquest.
My stomach churns every time I step inside that Coroner’s Court, I have to remind myself to breathe and that the deep anxiety that runs through me is a normal and reasonable reaction given the behaviour of the parties involved so far. If I feel like that, a deep anxiety equivalent to sitting a relentless, never ending exam, what must it be like for Sara and Rich and Connor’s closest family and friends? Sara gives some idea of what it’s like in a Community Care article by Andy McNicoll published today that you can read here.
So why have I finally found the momentum to put fingers to keyboard? Well late last night as I was trawling social media I stumbled across this picture on Instagram:
This mini protest banner was stitched by my own fair hands (who knew; turns out if you’re not on social media there are other, more gentle and creative ways to share messages) and is one of several placed on display in Oxford over the past week or so. Discovering the Craftivist Collective and what they stand for has been a sort of tonic. Seeing the demonstrations and outpouring of solidarity for refugees has too (crafty, protesty and otherwise). I know deep down inside that people do care, I know learning disabled people may not feature highly in mainstream media, or in most people’s lives, however we may, just may, be making progress towards changing that.
The Connor Manifesto of JusticeforLB had ridiculously, wildly ambitious aims that included promoting proper informed debate about the status of learning disabled adults as full citizens in the UK. Maybe craftivism and gently prompting people to consider what happened to LB could help with that.
A press release was issued by Inquest today ahead of LB’s inquest next week and there is a quote from Paul of My Life My Choice in it. We thought it was important that we didn’t try and speak for learning disabled people and that the media heard from them directly. Paul had this to say:
Connor’s death shocked everybody in My Life My Choice. The inquest is important because Connor is important and we need to know the truth about how he died.
Next week we embark on the next step in securing JusticeforLB. The inquest should provide some answers. Like Paul said the inquest is important, because Connor is important. We’ll be live tweeting the proceedings from @LBInquest if you’re interested.
In the meantime, we’ll keep stitching and prompting the good people of Oxfordshire (or you wherever you are) to consider what more you can do to genuinely include learning disabled people as full citizens, fully human. As they should be.