Image © Alyson Campbell
Everybody’s OK, but Me
Daubed on the side of a bus, Everybody’s OK but Me – a call out by the Samaritans. What does that message on the side of a bus say if you’re a wheelchair user and can’t get on the bloody bus?
Interesting travelling companions on a D.A.N action (Disabled People’s direct action network). We were joined by the Samaritans and a rather clingy cop who marched alongside me the whole way. My comrade marching behind pushing a pram is the celebrated Sara Beer, Disabled artist, actor and activist. Inside that pram is Macsen McKay, now an up and coming Disabled artist, actor and activist!
Sectioning the DWP
On 23rd September 2020 Julie Mc joined Dolly Sen’s direct action accompanied by Jan McLachlan. They offered their essential services to the government and applied a Section 136 to the Department of Work and Pensions.
Becoming an activist at 10 years old, Julie Mc led a strike in Church Drive primary school alongside Elaine Dodd, Glenda Owen and Janet Hall, protesting against the extra Maths sessions delivered for girls whilst the boys were allowed to play football. The Bebington News became involved when Glenda Owen’s mother joined the protest. As a result, all girls were allowed to play football. In 1970, we were the first girls on Merseyside to join mixed teams.
At 14 Julie Mc wrote her first play: ‘Sensing Freedom’ about a conversation on a street corner outside the Punch and Judy cafe, between Liverpool’s outspoken Union leader Bessie Braddock and Black civil rights champion Malcolm X.
At 15 she was continually carpeted before the formidable Head Mistress, Winifred Ashton, for challenging authority.
‘You are Odd!’ she was told.
In 2009 that was reframed – ‘You have ODD!’ said Patricia Okahashi and Denise Young of ‘Picture This Film Festival’…‘Oppositional Defiance Disorder’ they chorused. At last, a diagnosis we are all willing to agree has some appeal.
McNamara has fought for social justice all of her life and remains dedicated to a world where all citizens are equally valued. The exclusion of people with mental health issues and learning difficulties at every level of public life is one that she is deeply passionate to change. Join the battle?