Since the last “Musings”, I have spent 4 lovely days in Edinburgh at a gathering of Scottish DEEP groups.
Yes reader, I know I am english, but according to my Grandmother, we are related to General Gordon, who led the ill-fated defence of Khartoum in 1885.
It was good to finally meet some of the DEEP members and their supporters from Scotland and Northern Ireland, often the only contact is through social media.
Chatting over my time there reinforced that they face many of the challenges we do in England.
People living with Dementia, may have universal rights, rights that still apply when we have lost mental capacity, but we also face many universal challenges, abuses of our rights, things that would not be tolerated with other chronic terminal conditions.
Seemingly, rights hard fought for in the 20th Century are still not universal, in fact the perceptions of many is that we are drifting back, unnoticed by society in general, to the time of the 1930’s, where things quietly changed and rights quietly restricted.
Where those in certain social, religious, racial and disability groups were abused, ghettoised and discriminated against.
On this day in 1966, In Canton, Mississippi, civil rights marchers tried to erect tents on the grounds of McNeal Elementary School, they were pressed and tear-gassed by the Mississippi State Police, who were joined by other police agencies.
This contradicted the governor’s commitment to protect them. Leaders felt the violence took place because President Lyndon B. Johnson had not offered federal forces to protect them following the violence in Philadelphia.
Before that, while relations were often tense, the police had mostly respected the marchers.
Several marchers were wounded in the Canton attack, one severely. Human Rights Medical Committee members conducted a house-to-house search that night looking for wounded marchers.
The marchers sought refuge at Holy Child Jesus Catholic mission.
There the Franciscan sisters extended their help and hospitality to the marchers, especially to the wounded.
The following night the marchers returned to stay on the grounds of McNeal School without incident, as they did not attempt to erect tents.
After a short hospital treatment, Meredith was released
People living with Dementia are often seen as “Asocial”, meaning they are seen as avoiding social interaction; inconsiderate of, or hostile to others.
In fact they may have unmet needs, often confounded by the inability to communicate those unmet needs effectively.
“Would I feel as safe somewhere else?….nope….would I feel as welcome and at home…..nope……so I’ll keep staying at Appletrees for as long as I’m able….after all….this view from my room has so many happy memories attached, so many happy ghosts smiling and keeping me company in Keswick …….“
Wendy Mitchell’s article titled A couple of days in my paradise……..