Blackpool Mayor asks us to fight for our rights!

What are you doing on 7 April? Why? I hear you ask. Well it’s a Tuesday evening; usually I would have my feet up, with a brew and a biscuit, reading or watching some rubbish on the telly. Monday 7 April, however, will be a little different. There’ll still be tea and coffee, a Hobnob or two, but instead of filling my mind with the latest CSI or reality TV show, I’ll be joining Blackpool’s mayor and others to chat about civil rights. Councillor Eddie Collett came into his prestigious role for 2013 – 2014 as the only mayor to memory that has taken on mayoral duties while also continuing to work full time. Ever busy with his career and wining and dining at his constituents’ request, Councillor Collett has been working hard to promote and raise funds for his two chosen charities: Snows Heights activity centre and Liberty, also known as the National Council for Civil Liberties. Founded in 1934, Liberty works to promote human rights and civil liberties through research, policy work, litigation, education and advice. I caught up with Eddie on a lunch break to find out why he chose to represent Liberty as one of his mayoral charities:

You might not think about human rights every day, but life would be very different without them. They mean you cannot be tortured, enslaved, or punished without trial. You can speak freely, protest peacefully and believe what you like. You have the right to a family, to privacy, to an education. You have the right to life.

Councillor Collett provided many examples of how Liberty has campaigned successfully on issues we have all seen, heard and been outraged by; the infiltration of protest groups by undercover police using the identities of deceased children, mobile phone hacking, the selling of credit score records, national ID cards and much more. It’s too easy to be passive and let things go, to not take these issues as serious but we should. We should hold the powerful to account. Liberty seems a more than worthy cause. It’s about YOUR rights, and OUR rights. The right to peaceful protest, the right to privacy, the right to practice your beliefs, to have a fair trial, to be free from discrimination… many of these rights are often breached or impeded on, but who is going to raise their voice loud enough and often enough to protect our human rights?

This first meeting of minds will hopefully develop into a working committee to campaign for and raise awareness of our human rights.

To join us in support and celebration of Liberty’s 80th anniversary campaign meet us on Monday April 2014 from 7.00pm at the Mayor’s Parlour, Blackpool Town Hall. You do not need to confirm your attendance beforehand but this can be a help for organisation purposes. If you would like to confirm your attendance, or for more information, please contact Councillor Collett at: [email protected]mayor More information on Liberty, their work and Human Rights can be found on the website: http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/

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