FITZGERALD’S PARK, CORK.
28th MAY, 2023.
Blessed with beautiful weather, our event took place in the green and natural surroundings of Fitzgerald’s Park on Sunday afternoon. Our theme song ‘Standby Me’ and many other ‘Freedom’ songs provided an initial background atmosphere before the event commenced with a live performance by The Nonis Choir who received a rapturous response to their wonderful, harmonising and spiritual songs.
This was followed by a number of personal testimonies, some by people speaking theirs for the first time and all highlighting the negative experience their encounter with the psychiatric system had proved to be. It was and is a system of locked doors for everyone, forced drugging and electroshock, a system that is doing harm in the name of doing good and a system that routinely discriminates against people by denying them their basic human/civil rights. The ongoing revolving door syndrome was proof of just how ineffective the system is, how overdependent it is on the practice of multi-drugging and how blind it is to the resulting adverse effects. Some speakers also pointed out the knock-on divisions and negative effects on the wider family while one spoke of the tyranny of psychiatry and quoted C. S. Lewis “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.”
Unfortunately, we experienced a technical hitch with our microphone which meant that vocal cords were well stretched but the messages were still conveyed.
A candle was lit and a memorial ceremony also took place for over 20 named people, either members or supporters of MindFreedomm Ireland as well as all others who had become victims of psychiatry.
We were also delighted to have present over 20 students and their professor from the Dominican University of California in continuation of a relationship that had been established over 10 years ago and all of whom spoke of how they valued the event and of how it was so important for them to hear of the lived experience of the earlier speakers for use in their own future careers.
A special birthday cake made and beautifully decorated by Lexie Hurley was then shared by all and the afternoon concluded with more Freedom songs and dancing.
We would like to thank everyone for contributing to the success of the event, all who had travelled long distances to be present and others who were with us in spirit, The Nonis Choir and all our speakers who told their stories and Alanagh and Cassidy for being so very helpful.
And lastly, we want to salute other members of MindFreedom Ireland who, on the same day, held an electroshock protest outside the historic GPO in Dublin in what was the first such protest on the capital’s main thoroughfare. A report on it will follow shortly.