Contaminated Blood Demonstration 30-06-2010

This week I attended the Contaminated Blood demonstration in London.  This is my account of the event:
Karen and I and wheely bags.
Train from Kiddy
pork pie and sandwiches.
Change at Smethick
Disappearing train
What the… where d’it go??
Next one appears
Will we make connection?
Two minutes to spare,
cross platform onto London train.
Phew.
Oh no.
Fatality on the line.
Diversion via Stafford
north to go south.
Educate woman on train
She wishes us luck.
Late arrival.
Tube across London
meet Cheryl
bus to Southfields
meal.
Exhaustion.
Up and out
Sun is bright and we are early.
Good journey in
Meet mum and dad at cafe.
Walk to Trafalgar Square
see ship in a bottle on a plinth.
Seemingly hundreds of people
reporters
cameras
busy organised activity.
Donning t-shirts
erecting banners
distributing placards
and we’re off…

Snake way down street
get attention from some
Blatant ignore-ance from others.
Walk, limp, wheel.
Hand out leaflets
explaining our cause.
Meet new campaigners,
catch up with friends,
remember too many now gone.

Congregate outside Downing Street

leave room for people to pass.
Would you like a leaflet?
Mostly taken.
Some don’t look us in the eye
and walk on –
silence is violence.
Policeman doesn’t move us on,
he has haemophiliac son.
Small delegation to number 10
led by Lord Morris
hand in letters and a wreath
representing those we’ve lost to contaminated blood.
Photos taken
interviews given.

Back on the street
on to the Houses of Parliament.
Problems getting in.
No t-shirts
No banners
No placards
No leaflets
Not allowed.
Remove t-shirts,
put placards and banners in ring-fenced pen,
leaflets stuffed in bag.
Why-ever is this necessary?
Queue in heat
hot
thirsty
tired.
Through security,
very late for meeting
rush to room 4a.
Lord Morris still speaking,
heads popping in and out
“We have booked this room”.
Need us out,
Still ours right now.
“Proportion of those infected
who’ve since died
greater than that of Black Death.”
This is our Red Death. 
And still no justice.
Must leave room
mill around in corridor
try to ascertain plan for the rest of the day.
Arrange to meet MP in central lobby
make way there,
wait.
Lots of us
waiting.
MP comes.
Introduce mum, dad and Karen.
He offers tour,
is this time waster?
Seems not, so we accept.
Through into House of Lords
red, ornate, grandeur,
round to terrace on Thames
back into House of Commons

masses of records
floor to ceiling

past library

round back of speakers chair
gargantuan statues of previous PM’s.
Good god!
Maggie quite horrific.

Onwards under Bridge Street
through tunnel, like tube station
I say,
and there it is
MP’s own private entrance to tube.
Up and out into Portcullis House,
cost millions to build, apparently.

Tea and business.
Explain our situation
stress how long we’ve been battling governments
and losing friends.
Show him letters
articles written over the years.
He asks what we actually want,
specifics.
Talk about money
on-going support and lump payments,
input into future treatment decisions,
everything in Lord Morris’s Bill.
Will he support EDM?
No.
They are government graffiti.
What will he do??
Stresses his support of our campaign,
will attempt to get written question,
asking government to clarify their position.
I will send him the bill and David Cameron’s letter.
Mum’s a cynic.
Understandably.
I feel quietly optimistic.
I think…

We leave.
Search out others.
Share experiences,
pints,
support.

So much more to do.

0 thoughts on “Contaminated Blood Demonstration 30-06-2010

  1. Many thanks must go to all those involved in the demo – from those who conceived the idea, to those who created the t-shirts and the placards, to those who came on a coach all the way from south Wales and everyone else in between.Thank you. We will get there…

    Like

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