Mandela 8 Liverpool : UNI to celebrate centenary of Mandela’s birth with people of Liverpool
UNI supports Mandela project in Liverpool
July 18 2018 is the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth. Madiba, as he was known in South Africa, died on 5th December 2013. Around the world centenary events will be organised this year to celebrate the life of Mandela and what he stood for – peace, unity, tolerance and understanding.
Liverpool will mark the centenary in a special way with the creation of a permanent artwork and education legacy in Princes Park:
"Princes Park is situated in Liverpool. In the park there will be a small island, the tribute to Mandela will be built on the island as a place to remember and reflect. The island will be joined to the park by a bridge which will bear the name of UNI and our UK affiliates. We are proud that we could help make it happen!"
The name of the campaign, Mandela 8, is driven by the community of Liverpool 8: the postcode which is at heart of the black neighbourhood which campaigned against the anti-apartheid regime. A group has been created to organise the project, including Liverpool Council, the Steve Biko Housing Association, and local trade union, and is supported by UNI Global Union.
A launch event, hosted by TUC North -West Regional Secretary Lynn Collins, took place at the Houses of Parliament recently which included the organisers, veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle based in the UK who addressed the gathering.
Sonia Bassey from Liverpool 8 said, “We are a campaigning city and wanted to celebrate the most significant global leader of our time.”
Lord Peter Hain, renowned anti-apartheid activist said, “In a world lacking leaders, we are inspired by the leadership and above all what he stood for: democracy, freedom, justice, worker rights, equality and decent work.”
UNI Global Union was represented at the event by General Secretary Philip Jennings and President of UNI Women, Denise McGuire.
In his remarks Jennings referred to building the link between our World Congress in Cape Town 2014, which celebrated 20 years of South African democracy and our World Congress in Liverpool June.
Jennings said, “Our contribution to the Mandela 8 project will be part of the legacy we leave to the city of Liverpool. At our Cape Town Congress we were all moved by the words of the Rivonia trialist, Ahmed ‘Kathy’ Kathrada who spoke to us about his 27 years in prison and his sadness at the loss of Mandela. They had been jailed together on Robin Island for 18 years. Kathy has also since passed away. We must never forget their struggle and what they stood for.”
The UNI GS said Mandela’s memory inspires us every day in the never ending struggle to secure human rights for workers. He added that the Mandela 8 project was a fitting tribute for Mandela and all those who fought against the evil of apartheid.