As you may be aware, the autistic community is currently fighting for a young, Black, autistic man called Osime Brown.
Osime was arrested under the controversial and now-unlawful Joint Enterprise law (guilt by association) for simply walking with two older boys from the group foster care home where Osime was staying. Those older boys stole a mobile phone, and Osime tried to stop them. He was sentenced to five years in prison.
Since being incarcerated, trauma has caused Osime’s mental and physical health to deteriorate. He’s had two major heart surgeries and has been coughing up blood for a month. He is in urgent need of consistent, skilled medical care which he cannot get in prison.
What’s worse is that Osime is scheduled to be deported to Jamaica upon his release where he has not lived since he was 4 years old, and has no family or friends out there.
Osime is learning disabled and struggles to understand how far away Jamaica is, asking his mother which bus he needs to take from Jamaica to get back home to her in Birmingham, UK.
Osime is very vulnerable and would be at significant risk if sent back to Jamaica.
Local and Global Events
Local Action in London
Autistic Inclusive Meets (AIM) have organised a physical, on-the-ground protest (Facebook event found here) outside the Home Office in London to ask for Osime’s release and to stop the deportation order. See the linked Facebook event for more info about safe protesting and social distancing tips.
WHERE AND WHEN?
Where: Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 4DF
When: Protest will start at 13:00 (1pm GMT) and last until 16:00 (4pm GMT) on Friday, 4th September, 2020
Global Action, Online
Where: worldwide, online
When: Between NOW and September 5, 2020
There is also a global CALL TO ACTION in place asking everyone in the world to affirm that Black autistic lives matter and stand in solidarity with Osime Brown. We are asking that if you can’t attend the protest in London, you demonstrate online in your own way and hashtag your efforts with #OsimeMatters and #FreeOsimeBrown.
Here are some ideas of how you can demonstrate. Simply do one of the following, or come up with your own idea, and post the images online:
- Make a sign demanding justice for Osime Brown
- Use sidewalk chalk to decorate your area with the tags #OsimeMatters and #FreeOsimeBrown and your own mural
- Decorate a cake for Osime
- Sing a song and post it with the tags
- Make art or crafts for Osime
- Contact local orgs and ask them to participate online
- Write an article or post to raise awareness of racism and ableism and injustice against Osime
- Ask your local and special interest online communities to get involved
- Post early and ask your friends and followers to help
- Decorate your home or storefront windows with messages directing people to https://FreeOsimeBrown.com and include the hashtags
- Post a video of something you are doing and talk about how Osime Brown should also be allowed to freely access hobbies and develop his talents
- Make graphics to help advertise this global event
- Write a poem, blog, or open letter for Osime. Don’t forget the hashtags
- Enlist your place of work to get involved and use their social media to spread the message
If none of those resonate with you, please use your creativity and passion to come up with your own ideas. No efforts are too small.
You can even use this opportunity to involve your children (in age-appropriate ways) and teach them about the importance of anti-racism, civic engagement, inclusion, autism acceptance, and activism.
This CALL TO ACTION is urgent as Osime’s life, health, and wellbeing are in jeopardy. Now is the time to act. We are an infinitely more powerful force of change as a community, and we must now use our voices to speak out for Osime Brown, who is being silenced by an institutionally racist and ableist system.
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