11 April 2016

Natalie Bennett visited Manchester last week and we made sure she had a very full schedule! In the afternoon, Natalie visited South Manchester and met local residents with our candidate for Whalley Range, Ben Godfrey.

Later on in the day, Natalie and Ben were shown round the excellent Stories of Sacrifice (linked) event at the British Muslim Heritage Centre (BHMC). Chair Nasar Mahmood and project manager Ashraf Ali spoke with Natalie about the exhibition and the importance of highlighting this under known aspect of the First World War.

The engaging Stories of Sacrifice exhibition details how much Muslims were involved in the war. 400,000 Muslims from India alone saw combat during the conflict, with 89,000 Muslim soldiers dying while fighting on the British side. Such a huge contribution should be better known and Natalie was very impressed by the exhibit. Co-Chair of Manchester Green Party Matt Schreibke said, “We feel it is really important that more people know about this aspect of the First World War. Too often Muslims are portrayed by some as not being part of Britain. This exhibit shows that this view is nonsense. Muslim people are an important part of British society, and have been for much longer than many people think.”

Later, Natalie joined Vincent Walsh from 20s Plenty and Chris Allan from the Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign as part of our Healthier Streets event, which explored how we can make our streets healthier and safer for all. Natalie spoke of the importance of “making public transport the natural choice for getting around”.

Ben Godfrey said, “We held this event because residents said that problems with traffic and puddles caused by blocked drains were a major concern in the area. I am committed to ensuring that the Council tackles both the short and long term causes of these issues.”

The event was well attended with more chairs being needed. Throughout the evening, the BMHC provided excellent hospitality and made everyone feel really welcome. We look forward to working with the team at the BMHC in future. We are also looking forward to Natalie returning to Manchester next month. 

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