On 9 February, over fifty activists from across the country attended the official launch of Neurodivergent Labour at a meeting in London. The term “neurodivergent” refers to the condition of being cognitively atypical, e.g. autistic, dyslexic, dyspraxic, or Tourette’s.
The organisation has been born out of the groundwork laid through the drafting of Labour’s Autism and Neurodiversity manifesto, and is now looking forward to hosting its founding AGM later this year. At the meeting, the organisation agreed its aims as: “to develop socialist policy on neurological diversity; • to win support for Labour among neurodivergent people and their supporters; • to campaign against discrimination, exclusion, oppression and injustice and for equality for neurodivergent people; • to provide support to neurodivergent Labour Party members who are experiencing discrimination; • and to work to make the Labour Party more accessible to its neurodiverse membership”.
The event was good-natured, with lively discussion, and it was clear that the room had a wealth of knowledge and energy. Members discussed a range of issues that affect the neurodivergent population – disability, education, LGBT rights, the welfare system and much else. There was appetite for developing a trade union network to encourage neurodivergent people to be able to defend their rights in the workplace and challenge the hostile nature of the work regime, as well as to bring neurodivergent issues into the political arena of the trade union movement.
The meeting elected two convenors — Janine Booth and Austin Harney — to organise groups to carry out the tasks of promoting the manifesto and organising the founding AGM. To find out more or get involved, see here.