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African Rainbow Family

Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTIQ) People of African Heritage including Refugees and wider Black and Asian Minority Ethnic Groups

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#Vigil

“I Am Baga Too”: Manchester Marches Against Boko Haram

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Exactly seven days before Valentine’s Day, central Manchester was occupied by activists marching in solidarity with the victims of Boko Haram’s heinous January attacks. Not only did the vigil – organised by self-funded collective African Rainbow Family (ARF) – condemn the attacks, but it raised the alarm against the lack of mainstream media coverage. With people from various backgrounds, ethnicities, ages and faiths, up to 60 activists gathered in Piccadilly Gardens, having walked from St Peters Square via Market Street where the march commenced.

Echoing the reverberation of the megaphone’s “I Am Baga Too” and “Black Lives Matter Too”, the protesters peacefully marched with lit candles and placards denoting the value of all human life, regardless of background or social standing.

Despite the outbreak of news interest in the initial kidnappings of 200 schoolgirls in March 2014 – including a social media hashtag campaign that even Michelle Obama took part in – little-to-no light has been shone over Boko Haram’s further spate of abductions of women and recent bombing of an estimated 2,000 civilian lives.

The rally’s aim was to raise awareness of those neglected by mainstream media and to provoke “a national debate with western and African leaders” driven towards active change rather than lip-service, founder of ARF Aderonke Apata told TNT.

RF is the group behind last December’s march along Portland Street, Manchester. The convention saw hundreds of activists protesting against institutionalised injustices such as that which happened to the late Mike Brown from Ferguson, Missouri USA.

“Going forward, we want to see more communication between activist groups and volunteers. We want to connect with each other as we are more powerful together. Ultimately we want community voices to be heard,” one of the co-organisers said.

Terrorist militant group, Boko Haram, has taken over the Baga town of north-east Nigeria. It continues its monstrous crimes against thousands of innocent women and children. Activists feel there is no other option but to take to the streets in protest, rather than mirror the meek and passive reaction of mainstream media. The next public meeting has been provisionally booked according to ARF group; however, the date will be confirmed soon. In the meantime, we should all continue to let the appalling silence burst away from us. More details of the news coverage of the vigil can be found  here.

Candlelit Vigil For The Victims of The Horrific #Baga Attack, 7th Feb 2015 @ 4pm En Route St Peters Square to Piccadilly.

#BlackLivesMatterToo #Baga
Join us as we march ARM-IN-ARM in solidarity through Manchester in remembrance of those who have lost their lives in tragedies neglected by the mainstream, to stand with all those affected by the hateful Boko Haram group, and to remind the world that @BlackLivesMatterToo!

 We will gather at St Peter Square and make our way to Piccadilly Gardens, where we will have our speakers.

This barbaric and horrific Baga attacks which took place between the 3rd and 7th of January 2015 have been underreported. A confirmed 150 people lost their lives, with an estimated number of over 2000 strewed bodies unaccounted for, and over 35,000 displaced by the violence of Boko Haram.

Boko Haram are a terrorist organization affiliated with Al-Qaeda, active in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad. Governments are reported to have misreported/underestimated the numbers of victims in an attempt to downplay the threat of this organization, who have so far claimed over 7000 lives since 2009, and forced more than a million to flee.

In April 2014 Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls, the majority of which remain missing to this day -:http://bringbackourgirls.us/
Speakers include:

Aderonke Apata

Human Rights Activist, LGBTIQ Equality Advocate and Feminist. An unstoppable force in fighting for justice. she started the shutdown Yarl’s Wood campaign from inside Yarl’s Wood in 2012. In spite of terrible violence and human rights violations, chose to stand up not only for herself, but for others who have experienced injustice and continue to challenge the government and legal system that penalises the many LGBT refugees seeking asylum in the UK.

Winner of the Positive Role Model for LGBT National Diversity Awards 2014 and number 41 on the 101Independent Newspaper’s Rainbow list 2014 Most Influential LGBT people in UK.

Twitter handle is rock4_ronnie.https://www.facebook.com/ronke.bamidele.9/friends

Alfa Kuabo

A Cultural and Political Activist from Angola; also a video producer for different African TV stations in the UK such as Bentv, Mwangoletv and Soltv.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1UdNfdoJBA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijwkWOnmW4M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNCSxG2PnoU

 Prince Odunze O. Odunze

A film graduate of Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

Happily married with 2 children a boy and a girl. A human right activist, a social critic and freedom campaigner. A visionary leader, motivational speaker, life coach, community organizer and serial entrepreneur.

Other speakers to follow

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