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Discussing enslavement


The legacy of enslavement in Stroud and beyond will be the topic of an online discussion on Wednesday, April 6 from 7.30pm to 9pm.

A panel of speakers will discuss the subject of ‘Enslavement, Colonialism and Empire: how this shapes who we are today and what should we do about it?’

The audience will hear how wealth from enslavement and colonialism helped drive the industrial revolution in the UK, including Stroud, through the building of mills, canals and railways. There will be a discussion about how this history affects our attitudes to other countries, migrants and our diverse society today.

The meeting is the latest in the regular Cloud Café debates about topical issues, run by Stroud District Green Party. Event organiser Martin Whiteside said: “Some local massive estates were bought with profits from enslavement and Empire. Some of the owners of these estates are currently making further profits from greenfield development and soaring house prices, while limiting public access to a few footpaths. Meanwhile, people who would like to grow food or plant trees are excluded by unaffordable land prices.”

Following the presentations, there will be an opportunity for audience experiences, discussion and debate.

The event is free to attend but there will be the chance to make donations to cover costs. To join, or to receive a link to watch the video afterwards, register here

The speakers

Cleo Lake is a social justice activist, artist, first Woman of Colour and first Green Party Lord Mayor of Bristol (2018-19). She is involved in community arts and the issues around the Colston statue and reparations.

Stuart Butler is well known in Stroud as a radical historian, offering alternative insights into the district’s history. He is a writer, teacher, poet and performer. 

Jyoti Fernandes is policy and campaigns coordinator for the Landworkers Alliance, a union representing agroecological farmers, foresters and landworkers in the UK. She is a farmer whose smallholding is home to collectively owned processing facilities used by more than 50 local farms. 

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