We were nine members from JAG in Sweden who travelled by bus from Stockholm to France together with our personal assistants to participate in Freedom Drive in Strasbourg. Here are some pictures and impressions from the trip and the Freedom Drive week.
The map: This is the way we went. It’s 1 660 km.
Our bus: Outside the JAG headquarter early on Saturday morning. Time to jump on the bus.
Sunday lunch: Quick lunch at the ferry between Denmark and Germany.
Pouring rain: Germany did not appear from it’s best.
Bus music:But some music cheered us up
No sooner had we arrived to Strasbourg before it was time for the first meeting. It was a meeting at the university with local authorities and the Independent Living movement in Strasbourg. Uloba, JAG and Independent Living Belgium were invited to talk about how to arrange personal assistance through cooperatives. From JAG participated Birgitta Tullberg, member of the board in JAG, and Kerstin Sellin. Birgitta Tullberg showed pictures and told about her everyday life with the help of her assistant Anna. After Birgittas presentation there was a lively discussion. The French, who still believes in the”medical model”, was both outraged and curious about the possibility to live a free life with personal assistance when you have intellectual disabilities.
Here is the whole Swedish group gathered outside the parliament, waiting to get our name tags and enter the security check.
Meeting Swedish MEPs:Overall we were about 50 persons from Sweden who met with seven Swedish MEPs. We talked about the right to personal assistance, deinstitutionalization, accessibility and cut downs across Europe that affect people with disabilities. Sweden is no exception.
Cecilia Wikström, the Swedish MEP, took on the ULOBA t-shirt and joined the Freedom Drive on Wednesday.
Peter Lambreghts, board member in ENIL and ENIL Western Regional Team coordinator, in the march to the parliament.
Vibeke Marøy Melstrøm: Speaking outside the EU parliament ENIL president Vibeke Marøy Melstrøm reminded us that we who were there represented all persons all over Europe who couldn’t come because they are forced to live their lives in institutions, separated from both families and the rest of the society.
Thanks to all of you who participated in the Freedom Drive!
Harald, Karl, Victor, Karin, Veronica, Mattias, Birgitta, Simon and Helene