Neurodivergent Labour builds on successful first year

Submitted by AWL on 1 December, 2020 - 7:43 Author: Jessica Bradwell
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Neurodivergent Labour marked the end of its first year with a constructive and democratic online AGM on 28 November.

Reviewing the past year, Chair Janine Booth described ND Labour’s response to political developments during the year, including taking on anti-vaccination propaganda and supporting trade union disputes while helping them to become more accessible. Campaigns Officer Andy Forse reported on ND Labour’s involvement in the ongoing campaign to stop the deportation of 22-year-old autistic man Osime Brown to Jamaica.

Trade union organising received a boost with the passing of a constitutional change allowing members to set up workplace or industrial ND Labour groups. We look forward to ND Labour education workers, ND Labour transport workers, and more! This was one of several rule changes which together have given the organisation a more slimline and democratic constitution.

There were four policy debates on motions submitted by members, with Workers’ Liberty members taking a leading role.

The AGM passed a resolution about neurodiversity in the justice system, which explained that the Osime Brown case is symptomatic of the systemic criminalisation of neurodivergent people, who often fall foul of lack of support when young, followed by biased judgement of their behaviour and an inaccessible justice system.

A resolution on neurodiversity and migration dealt with similar themes, and agreed that in a world where migration is inevitable and increasing, we can choose whether to address it harshly or with compassion. ND Labour chose the latter, and will campaign to defend and extend free movement.

A motion on trans rights attracted contributions for and against. The resulting resolution, passed overwhelmingly, commits ND Labour to support the rights of neurodivergent trans people.

The final resolution noted the difficulties caused to autistic and other neurodivergent people by the Covid pandemic and the fragmentation of the social care system. It resolved to continue campaigning in support of a publicly-owned and well-funded care system with secure and well-paid staff, and supporting the work of Safe and Equal.

ND Labour has elected a new Executive, with some officers staying in post and some new members joining. All are motivated to step up our campaigning and organising work.

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