I got a lovely phonecall in late summer/early spring that I’d been nominated for the Sheila McKechnie Foundation’s Campaigner Awards. Eventually it emerged that my nominee was the lovely Tim Gee – author of Counterpower. Thank you, Tim!
I was equal parts delighted and embarrassed, to be honest, and didn’t know what to say to the interview panel about ‘your campaign’ (which one?! I kind of have two…). But either way, I went in for the interview and told the panel about the royal wedding incident which got me involved, told them about the Pageantry & Precrime website I set up to gather all the statements and videos about the policing into one place, and how I’d reported from the High Court every day of the trial.
I told them about my other (more ongoing) work with Netpol, the network for police monitoring. When they asked for references the lovely director of Netpol, Val Swain, and Ronan McNern from Occupy Records both said lovely things about me. (Thank you, guys!)
And in August I got a very nice phonecall that I was a finalist in the London Social Justice category, and please come to the awards ceremony hosted by Jon Snow.
I took Val as my plus one, we met Jon Snow and ate nice canapes. It was a lovely surprise to bump into singer/songwriter and old friend Chris T-T there – he was singing a song to close the awards ceremony – and Tisha, a fellow legal observer who was also a finalist – for her work with environmental campaign Frack Off.
And here are all the finalists and winners. Details of what we do are available on the Sheila McKechnie Foundation website. (I’m to the far right, looking awkward.)
The grand prize in each category was some one-to-one personalised tuition in how to be a better campaigner. Much as I’d love to have won it was a bizarre and wonderful surprise to be part of it at all. Nice canapes in St Martin-in-the-Fields and standing in the same room as Zac Goldsmith is never what I had in mind when I first decided that the Met were not going to get away with what they’d done. However – it’s absolutely brilliant to know there’s an organisation recognising and supporting the campaigners. As soon as I have any annual leave spare next year I’ll be doing one of their training courses. Whoo! Thank you and goodnight.