Bourne Free and AmnesTea 2022


In June, at the start of Refugee week, Lucy Freeman hosted another AmnesTea at her home in Southbourne. This was an excuse to drink tea, eat cake and but some of the many donated books. Like Bourne Free, this was the first for a few years. But the weather was kind and we raised £100. Many thanks to Lucy for hosting (and doing alot of baking!) and everyone who turned up and donated.

Bourne Free

We had doubts. Having attended successful Bourne Free’s in the Lower Gardens for 5 years until the pandemic hit, we were surprised at the move to Meyrick Park. Also that it was no longer a free event and it would cost £20 for anyone to access the site. We knew at least one local charity had decided against attending because of this.

But the organisers knew what they were doing. It was them who wanted the large expanse of Meyrick Park – and the crowds flocked in. With an afternoon and evening of live entertainment, plus many stalls and other attractions, you could argue that £20 was good value.

The weather was dry and very hot. There was a constant steam of people passing our stall, many stopped to have a “Love is a Human Right” selfie or a sticker. But we got many to sign our petitions – 190 signatures. These were for the release of Zahra Sedishi-Hamadani  and Yulia Tsvetkova

An Iranian gender nonconforming human rights defender Zahra Sedighi-Hamadani, known as Sareh, has been arbitrarily detained in Urumieh, West Azerbaijan province, since 27 October 2021 due to her real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity as well as her social media posts and statements in defence of LGBTI rights.

Feminist activist and artist Yulia Tsvetkova, who was charged with “disseminating pornography” for creating body-positive illustrations of female sexual organs, a crime punishable by up to six years in prison, At the time of Bourne Free her trial was in progress. On 15th July she was acquitted of these absurd charges. It has since been reported that Russian prosecutors have now appealed that decision.

Bourne Free 2022