MGAG supporters sent a strong message to Nottingham City Council about the Marcus Garvey Day Centre Service.
Images (c) Mkuu Amani/PML
An estimated one hundred people marched through Nottingham city centre to protest against the closure or relocation of the Marcus Garvey Day Centre.
The council had, earlier that day, announced that its plans to relocate the service had been withdrawn. However, despite this and the harsh weather conditions the march went ahead.
At approx 1pm the march set out from the Day Centre location at Lenton Boulevard and followed a route which led to the Council House in the city centre. A rally lasting several hours was then held outside the building.
Guest speakers included the President of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, David Weaver. He invited the crowd to congratulate the Marcus Garvey Action Group for ‘doing such sterling work in getting so many people here.’
He went on to say, “The Council are saying that they’ve reversed their decision. They’ve made a decision to review the budget. But you know something? As the son of a Minister, in God I trust. Anybody else is on probation.”
Weaver also warned against complacency and urged that supporters continue to ‘lobby, fight and demand’ right through until the new administration is formed following the elections on 2nd May.
Guest speaker Louise Lange, a senior citizen who has used the Day Centre service for many years, explained how a previous relocation from the Afro-Caribbean National Artistic Centre to its current location at the Marcus Garvey Centre, had impacted upon her and others.
Mrs Lange also recounted her early experiences of moving to Britain.
“I came here in 1957.” she said, “If I wanted £10 I had to work eighty-eight hours. I used to work forty four hours for £5. So things change you know. I hope it will be better for this young generation.”
According to the Office for National Statistics composite price index, prices in 2017 are 2,191.90% higher than average prices throughout 1957. The pound experienced an average inflation rate of 5.36% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.
In other words, £10 in 1957 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £229.19 in 2017, a difference of £219.19 over 60 years.
Guest speaker Lee Jasper, a former Senior Policy Advisor on Equalities to the Mayor of London said, “The Marcus Garvey Centre must be respected as an institution that belongs to one of the oldest settled black communities here in the United Kingdom.
“How come every other community can get a Centre but when we want a Centre they want us to rent one? What I say is that the Windrush Generation’s contribution to the making of modern Britain, and after the colonialism and slavery that gave rise to the industrial revolution, means that they should be giving you buildings, not taking them away.”
A spokesperson from the Marcus Garvey Action Group confirmed that further meetings are being planned.