Tealight Talks - "Uprising" Part 2
Each month, the editors of Tealight Press interview each other with questions based on the months theme. For this months 'Tealight Talks', Matt interviews Sash on Tealight's topic for February, "Uprising."
Have you ever taken part in a protest?
I've been to a few. While I was a student I marched at an anti-Trump protest and to promote fossil fuel divestment. More recently I took part in Black Lives Matter and Trans Lives Matter marches in Nottingham, UK. Seeing the turnout for the BLM protests really sparked a lot of emotions in me... It was just such a huge number of people coming together for something so important.
And of course I've attended Pride many times, which started as a protest and is still to a large extent about staking our right to be here.
“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” What’s a cause you feel strongly about?
So many. Black Lives Matter and Trans Lives Matter are just incredibly important. I also think it's so important to pressure companies to reduce their waste and for everyone to move towards a more sustainable lifestyle.
What’s your favourite piece of media focusing on themes of uprising?
I love the book and movie Pride, based on the true stories of miners working with LGBTQIA rights activists across the UK during Margaret Thatcher's time as Prime Minister. It shows so much about what can happen when people work together and focus on their similarities, rather than their differences. It's a piece of history where, to be honest, I feel pretty cheated that I didn't learn about it earlier. It's so inspiring!
Western media often stays silent on protests happening around the world. Is there a particular cause you’re aware of that you wish more people were?
There are things we're aware of in a general sense, like that many countries have less access to food/clean water/education/etc than us in the West, but so often that exists in a vague bubble where we're blissfully ignorant and privileged enough not to need the details.
There are a lot of human rights issues in Cambodia which are definitely worth reading about, but too difficult to succinctly sum up here. This article gives a brief overview of the events of last few years: https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/cambodia#
If you were to give advice to someone attending their first protest, what would it be?
Take water and snacks. Don't be afraid to talk to people, especially if you want to find out more about how to support the cause after the protest is over. If you're there as an ally, don't talk over the people who the protest is for - respect their space and amplify their voices.
Wear comfortable shoes.