Where We Are So Far 19/05/2010

The Project Negative Crew!

The Project Negative people have been very busy this month, working hard to spread awareness of the gay and bi blood ban in Britain and doing their very best to get it lifted.

For those of you who missed the demonstration outside of the Birmingham blood donation bank of the 5th May, the day was a complete success but not without a few hiccups cropping up along the way.

Project Negatives efforts to publicise the demonstration worked a little too well, we had an article appear in the Daily Mail as well as Pink News and Midlands Zone magazine. In the end the blood bank got in contact with us and gave us a very stern talking to which we thought was quite rude because we are a peaceful bunch here and it’s our right to protest what we consider to be unjust and downright wrong.

When the Project Negative crew arrived outside of the blood bank it was very touching to see just how many supporters had turned up to join in our peaceful demonstration and I thank you all. There was also a posse of police officers ready and waiting to great us too, riding a riot van and wearing bullet proof vests might I add. I don’t know what they were expecting because im pretty sure we went it and after a brief conversation with Project Negatives boss man Adam, the police men seemed pretty happy with just… well hanging out with us. 

Project Negatives Boss-man Adam Stewart

 

Keith James, aged 50, was the officer in charge and quite possibly the most friendly police man I have ever met (not that I’ve had the chance to meet many). He understood about Project negatives cause and even though he couldn’t give his personal opinion about the ban because he was on duty at the time, he did tell me “I think this demonstration is going great, it’s obvious there are a large number of people out there who support you as a cause. Keep doing what you’re doing and make sure you always stick up for what you believe in because that how you win.” Wise words Keith, we will do our darn best!

Project Negative’s Home Girl Jade Dale interviewing Green Partys Phil Simpson

Phil Simpson, the Green Party candidate for Birmingham, Edgbaston, also turned up at the demonstration to show his support for Project Negative. He told us “I’m here to give my support to Project Negative. It’s about making sure the gay and lesbian community feel fully included in our society and can make the contribution that I know so many of them want to by giving blood.” While discussing the blood ban and the danger of HIV and Aids further, he stated “I would have thought science would have moved on, it is possible to screen for it.” We hear you loud and clear Mr Simpson (he earns the ‘Mr’ because he’s a very important political person you see).  

Michael Cashman Interview

The Project Negative crew are also happy to announce the launch of our very first radio documentary! The story follows three men who are refused the donation of their healthy blood which could be used to save the life of another. They each give an account of their own experiences upon learning about the blood ban and their blood donation refusals. The guys openly express their personal opinions and thoughts for the listeners and don’t hold anything back. To have a listen to their stories go to the Project Negative website.

Also a big up to all Project Negatives Facebook pals, all 1,449 of you! Thanks for your support guys it means a lot. Lucy Hanouille also wrote on the Project Negative wall commenting “Twenty years – and there are still too many people who believe AIDS is a gay disease. It is ridiculous. AIDS is a virus that does not discriminate.” Wayne Clinton also wrote on our group’s wall saying “I think this is a great cause” and added “I think there is a great chance they can get bad blood from heterosexual people so why are homosexual being penalized, not fair in this day and age… There is a HIV test that can check within 5 mins so this could be used if that is what the issues are.” We hear you Lucy and Wayne, it’s not fair but with your help we can fight this and hopefully one day make it right.

So keep spreading awareness of the gay and bi blood donation ban currently blanketing Britain and we will be doing the same here at the Project Negative! If you want to join the 338 people who have already signed the Project Negative anti-blood ban petition please do so at ipetions. Keep your eyes open for the new Project Negative posters which will be soon appearing in and around the Midlands. For any more information about our cause check out the snazzy Project Negative website.

By Kimberley Gammon

Where We Are So Far 28/4/10

Here’s another quick update for all the Project Negative supporters out there! Don’t worry, we haven’t been slacking since the last-time we spoke.

The official Project Negative website is now up and running! With all the latest news updates about our cause, podcasts from our project people, a petition to sign, some rather retro looking pictures of the crew behind the cause and even a shop!

The next event Project Negative are planning is a demonstration outside the Birmingham Blood Centre on Wednesday the 5th of May between 5pm and 7pm. Don’t worry we won’t be starting any riots, our plan is to essentially be rejected! We aim to gather as many supporters as we possibly can and then fill in the blood donation forms declaring (guys: that you are gay or bi) or (girls: that you have had the naughty fun time with a bi man in the last year because, yes, that means your rejected too). We don’t mind a few white lies so even if you haven’t but you support our cause you can join in! Then when we are rewarded with our rubbish rejection cards we want to post a picture of you holding the card. Each member of the demonstration will then be given a pint of fake blood to pour into a clear dustbin so they can see just how much blood they have rejected and hopefully hang their heads in shame. That blood could be saving lives.

The Project Negative podcasts have been a massive hit! You can find them on our website or even on iTunes (yes we are getting that big people) so plug yourself in and have a listen. I’m about to do some name dropping here, are you ready for it? Alright here we go… we got the chance to chat with Labour MEP, Mr Michael Cashman who can be heard on the podcast discussing the blood ban with the Project Negative crew, along with Nick Henderson from the LGBT Network. There is also a video up on our site from the BCU Question Time, where we got the chance to hear what local candidates in the Perry Barr constituency had to say about the current blood ban blanketing Britain so check out the video.

We have also been busy spreading ourselves around some serious media bases, trying to get our cause heard and the Project Negative name known. So far things have been going great. The people behind the project are over the moon with all the support the bigger organisations have been showing our little cause, which is gradually growing! Both the Midlands Zone Magazine and Pink Paper are in full support of our organisation and have information covering the Blood Bank demonstration and more about our cause on their websites. The Green Party of England and Wales also fully endorse our campaign and give their support.

Of course we can’t forget our Project Negative facebook friends and fans! With a whopping 1,239 friends we are starting to feel popular, so thank you guys for all of your support and comments about our cause. supporter Anthony Mark wrote “I hope you’ll be taking a tally of blood types from those attending. As someone with blood type O-, I would especially like to be able to donate on the grounds that my blood could be used on any patient, not to mention the fact that it’s the only blood type I could receive in a transfusion. I wonder how much of this precious O- blood they are turning down.” Which is a great idea and we will be doing just that my friend!

We have also managed to tally up over a thousand signatures for our online petition which is fantastic! But as I’ve said before we are a greedy lot here at Project Negative and we want more, so help spread the word and stop this ban. It would be great to see some new faces at the Blood Bank demonstration on Wednesday the 5th so come along our join in!

By Kimberley Gammon