Wednesday, 19 December 2012
The Power of Protest
Well done Act Up!
In Act Up's words this is what happened:
"Act Up had a very successful campaign outside the Old Town Hall in Stratford this afternoon. We held placards and handed out the leaflets to the people attending the event.
After one of the ticket holders to the event went and spoke on our behalf to the organisers two of us were invited in to hear an 'explanation' of what had happened.
We met with the manager of the Old Town Hall and the person that organised the community centres and who had emailed us on Monday to tell that our performance was cancelled. They apologised for what they called a 'fatal error' in the way they had dealt with the situation. They said that the play was not festive enough for a Christmas party and that, as it was a ticketed event, the visitors wouldn't have had a choice of whether they wanted to watch our play or not. We explained how hurt the members of Act Up were and how we all saw it as censorship of disabled people's stories, as that was what the play had been about. They said that it was not censorship, that they truly believed in free speech and that the only reason they had cancelled it was because it was not a Christmas play! We said, the way to prove to our members that they were not trying to censor our play was to provide us another opportunity to perform it in the New Year. They promised that they would do so and would get back to us with dates of upcoming council events that we could perform at in January. They also sought to reassure us that we could continue to rehearse in the community centre.
We are happy that we organised the protest, as if we hadn't, the council would have just thought they could get away with treating us so appallingly. We very much hope that the council will provide us with opportunity to perform Atos stories in the new year, but will only be reassured when they actually give us a date of an event at which we can perform."