I had an email this week asking if I knew whether anyone in Chiswick is organising a Big Lunch event on the weekend of 17 / 18 June to mark the anniversary of Jo Cox’s death. I am not aware of any plans but have undertaken to try and find out.
In the eight months since her murder our once proud multi-cultural society seems to have unravelled a little more. Her killer was a far right extremist, a white supremacist who repeatedly shot and stabbed during the referendum campaign her while saying: “This is for Britain”, “keep Britain independent”, and “Britain first.” The Leave vote seems to have given all the nutters permission to come out of the woodwork.
I remember only too well the National Front skinheads in our neighbourhood in Bristol spreading their poison in the seventies. I haven’t belonged to a political party since I was 18 but used to enjoy the odd Anti Nazi League march. I’m not big on street parties and bunting but the idea of Chiswick declaring itself a racism free zone by supporting the Big Lunch and by extension the Jo Cox Foundation is something that appeals to me.
So what is a Big Lunch? The idea is to have a community event involving food, which may or may not be a street party and may or may not decide to raise money for charity at the same time. It represents the coming together of three groups: the Eden Project, a lottery funded group which aims to ‘improve the happiness and wellbeing of people across the UK by helping to build more resilient and better connected communities’, The Big Get Together, launched by Jamie Oliver and the Duchess of Cornwall last month in honour of Jo Cox and the Jo Cox foundation, set up to continue her work for ‘a fairer, kinder and more tolerant world’. What’s not to like?
If you’re thinking about organising a Big Lunch event in Chiswick or know someone who is, please email me at email@example.com or Katie Kurilecz at the International Refugee Trust, which is based in Chiswick. They are looking to organise a Big Lunch event one or help anyone else who’s trying to do the same. firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 8994 9120.