Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Protect My Baby, Protect Me 2009

"Protect My Baby, Protect Me"
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Join Us!
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A Breastfeeding Picnic at Parliament Square, London

And A Regional Centre Near You!
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Monday July 20th, Noon 'till 3pm
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R.S.V.P
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You can also attend online if you cannot physically make an event:
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This year's Breastfeeding Picnic continues on under the Protect My Baby, Protect Me banner, as it will do, every year, until legislation is introduced in England & Wales, protecting babies and mothers from harassment during feeds.
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The Breastfeeding Picnic will once again take place on Parliament Square the day before Westminster breaks up for Summer Recess, to ask MPs to think about babies and their Mums, during the long summer break. Regional picnics will also take place up and down the country in the constituencies, for those MPs who have already left London. (There is no escape, honourable peoples.)
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We've also launched an epetition at Downing Street, to ask the Prime Minister to bring in said legislation. The petition reads:
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We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to bring in new and specific legislation in England and Wales, to make it an offence to prevent a parent or caregiver feeding milk to a hungry child, in any location the child has a right to be. We also ask that this legislation makes it a specific offence to intimidate or harass the parent or caregiver feeding their child.
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Babies and children need feeding regularly. Many mothers feel intimidated about feeding their child in public spaces, and are often subjected to bullying and harassment, and demands the feed be stopped and they leave the premises or public space in which the child is feeding. We ask that all children, and their caregivers, be given protection to allow them to be fed milk, regardless of type of milk, feeding method and location. Make it a specific offence to interfere or ask the feed be stopped. Babies and children deserve protection, as do their caregivers.
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If you are a UK citizen, or an ex-patriot citizens overseas or in the Armed forces, please sign this petition. And don't forget to also sign in the name of your own baby! What a wonderful keepsake, to put their name on this petition asking for protection for their right to feed in public spaces. Print it off and put it in their keepsake box - or go fully ITC, and save the webpage on disc for them. :-) Democracy in action, babies and children count too.
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There will be regular updates on the various details of the main event, and the Regional picnics, but you can act now, to help:
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1) Sign the petition if you are a UK citizen, at home or abroad. Sign on behalf of your children.
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2) Invite your MP to attend the picnic and also to sign the petition. Do this for MPs throughout the UK, not just those in England & Wales.
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Dear .....
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As a constituent, I'm inviting you attend a Breastfeeding Picnic in Parliament Square on Monday July 20th, 2009, from noon 'till 3pm. The picnic is being run by Mums, for Mums, to highlight the need for legislation in England & Wales to protect hungry babies needing milk feeds in public spaces. Many Mums and babies face harassment, bullying and being asked to stop the feed. At last year's regional events, many local newspapers publicising picnics, published the most horrific and vile comments about babies needing to feed, and some comments that men would be turning up with video cameras to film the free pornography show. Such was the bigotry expressed, one of the regional picnics had to have pre-arranged police support. After the London event, two mothers were subsequently harassed and asked to stop feeding their babies as they travelled home alone on public transport. This sort of lactaphobia must be stopped: hungry babies need fed where and when they get hungry. Mothers have reported for years that they feel unsafe feeding their babies in public spaces, due to such bigotry, and in England & Wales no one is listening. We need protection for England & Wales, similar to that in Scotland. It is simply unacceptable that mothers have protected when feeding their children in Edinburgh, but not in London or Cardiff.
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There is an epetition in support of such legislation lodged at Downing Street. I'd ask, as your constituent, that you consider showing your support for hungry babies and children, by signing the petition. If you do not feel you can do so, I'd appreciate a response detailing why not. The petition is at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/protectbaby/
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Looking forward to an early reply
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Yours faithfully
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To find your MP, simply click this link, put your postcode into the box, and you can then hit 'email your mp' and it will open an email form automatically.
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3) Forward on information about both the Breastfeeding Picnic, and the petition, to all appropriate forums and communities. Spread the Word!
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4) Volunteer to run a regional picnic, or help support one already in place. Email breastfeedingpicnic@nursingmatters.org.uk and offer your services. All you need is another Mum, a couple of babies, and some tea and cakes. :-)
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Details of the regional picnics will follow shortly.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you seen this article?

http://www.babiesnappies.co.uk/2008/07/20/breastfeeding-in-public-the-laws-made-clear/

It suggests that we have been protected for about 30 years under the sex discrimination act. It is certainly what I intend to quote and persue if ever I am asked to stop feeding my baby! I understand that there is the need for a specific law, but in the meantime, for anyone who is harassed I think its worth knowing!?!

Morgan said...

Yes, I have read the article, and it is linked too in posts from here at the time.

However, it only applies for the provision of good and services, so only applies to premises, not public spaces. Also, the UK Gov only mentioned it at the time of the article - no one has ever seen it in that light before.

Also, no one has ever sued.

It does not prevent harassment, it only seeks to sue after the event.

Also, the Equality Bill mentioned by the Government at the time of the article, does not include breastfeeding at all.

Bucket of white paint. Large brush.

However, yes, it is very useful to be able to say to a cafe owner "Are you aware I can sue you under the Sex Discr Act for asking me to leave for breastfeeding?"

However, if he says "Tough, move." you have to leave, and then personally collect the evidence that will hold up in court, and then engage/find payment for a lawyer, and bring a personal law suit against him.

It also does not protect the baby's right to food - if the baby is being fed the father, or grandmother, in a bottle, and they are told to stop the feed and get out as the cafe doesn't like their tables being used up for bottle feeding - they have to stop the feed and go, and no one can be sued. Yes, that's much more rare than being harrassed for breastfeeding - but the feeding method isn't the point: the baby being hungry is the point.

It's explained more fully here:

http://one-of-those-women.blogspot.com/2008/07/how-stupid-do-they-think-we-are.html

Claire said...

Just thought I'd post that Lynne Jones (Selly Oak, Birmingham) has written to me to say that she supports us and is going to attend Birmingham Picnic! She said she'll be there at the start but will have to leave because she has to get to London.

I'll make sure we send her your way!