Thursday, 8 October 2015
We Shall Overcome Weekend 2015
Wow, what a week!!! I've had no time to mourn the end of Vegan Mofo. As soon as we finished work on Thursday it was straight into action with We Shall Overcome weekend. Matt played at 7 different events over 4 days and it was an amazing experience seeing the whole idea come together with events all around the country happening at the same time and for the same reasons. My friends who happen to be vegans too put on fantastic events. Here's Lynnmarie who runs Manchester Vegan Society and her partner Martin the Mod who runs Mod's Veggie Vegan Cafe. They put on a brilliant day in Manchester City Centre at the Thirsty Scholar Pub with bands, poets and speakers and off course Lynnmarie's wonderful vegan cakes for sale.
This was a picture just outside the Thirsty Scholar and too good an opportunity to miss. The woman with pink hair is our friend Morag Rose who runs psychogeographic group, the Loiterers Resistance Movement. Morag curated and led a fascinating walk around central Manchester on the Sunday morning sharing stories of public/private space, radical history, community resistance and more. Along the walk Matt and Steve on accordian gave a musical accompaniment. If you're near Manchester check out the group, they run walks every first Sunday of the month.
The banner in this picture was the idea of my work colleague and fellow vegan Helen of Helenmakes blog. It's made up of knitted and crocheted squares. I'm proud to say I knitted 18 of them. The weekend coincided with the Tory's arriving in Manchester for their annual conference so here's the banner welcoming them to Manchester. When we were at the Thirsty Scholar on the Sunday afternoon the massive demo passed by outside and we went out to watch. It was amazing to see the banner going past in the march, I think it took about 7 people to carry it!
My contribution was a baking one. I made an anti-austerity cake march for our event that we put on in Glossop on the Saturday night. All the slogans are from real banners from marches that have taken place in Bristol and London. I aimed to raise £30 by selling the cakes for donations and was delighted to get over £50! The money along with the other money we raised on the night and the tons of food donations has gone to our local food bank. As much as the events were about raising funds and goods they were also about bringing together communities and empowering people and getting them to feel that they do have a voice. I even got up on a stage and addressed a room full of people with a microphone, twice, which just shows the power of these events!
Here's the final picture of the weekend which I think sums up the spirit of the weekend. We ended up for our last gig at Bagthorpe near Nottingham. Matt was joined on stage by all the other musicans who had played at the event to sing 'We Shall Overcome'. What you can't see in the shot is that rest of the pub on their feet singing along. I'll leave you with this piece written by one of the organisers. Hope some of you will be involved in WSO 16!