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 Although my memory is somewhat sketchy, there are some pivotal moments in my mothers’ life that remain permanently vivid and etched in my heart, because her thunderous quality left me spinning. Her education in Kenya was limited. English was not her mother tongue and she was not raised in a home where politics and current affairs were discussed at the dinner table. However I believe her fighting spirit is innate, but also stems from the many challenges she’s faced and knocked down. With endless ammunition she has always been equipped to cut through injustice, maybe the pace has slowed down but not the passion. She once said to me in Guajarati, “This generation has so much at their doorstep. You press a button and get an answer. You have access to all the education and knowledge from all over the world, but if you were stuck in a jungle or a city without your smartphone you wouldn’t know which direction to go. Wrong or right in my days we made a move, without the equipment you have.” My mother came to London on her own in 1966 on a Friday and the following Monday she was working as a machinist for Ladybird, a Children’s clothing company. Ten years later she was working for Grunwick, a film processing Laboratory in Willesden that soon made controversial headlines. Here is a small part of my mother’s journey… “It’s important to have guts in life because then you can do anything. With guts you can make the life you want in this world. If you sit in silence unhappy, than what is your life? In 1976, I walked out of my job at Grunwick to support the Grunwick Strikers. I was working for a photographic company in Willesden. The conditions there were not good, the pay was very low, people had to work very hard and you didn’t have your freedom like a normal human being, some workers had to ask for permission to go to the toilet. Some ladies mainly Asian were scared, but not me. Must be that I am mad, I didn’t think, in my mind I just wanted a Union in this company and to support my workers and friends. I was young and I didn’t even think what is going to happen in my life, I just thought if there is a union, my life will be better. After some years I went to work for Chemilines, we women wanted a Union there but it didn’t happen. Later I worked for another factory who make security alarms. It was Friday 3pm and after working here for 13 years the manager tells me and 20 others, ‘don’t come to work on Monday, there is no work.’ I said ‘Why do you say this to me? I know this is unfair dismissal, there are other workers who don’t even come to work, who don’t even work when they are at work, but I can see you have made some people your favorites.’ Myself and 2 others went to the citizen advice bureau and there I saw Mahmoud who used to work for Grunwick. I told him, ‘if you can win this, then I will take the action.’ Then I found Fatima my lawyer and she told me, ‘I used to come and stand on the Grunwick picket line and I will win for you.’ We didn’t win at the tribunal, but we went to the higher courts in London. At this same time I found another factory job, but I was so scared that I must be on a black list that I didn’t say one word about the court date. I start a new job and I take off a day to fight unfair dismissal for the old job, and this time we won. I have been standing up all my life. The Grunwick strike lasted two years, and APEX is the trade union that supported us and paid us some wage. We had caravans to sit in when it was cold and the people in Willesden would open their front doors and give us tea. Many people, all these ordinary men and women were there. We didn’t win this fight but just think how many thousands and thousands of supporters came, from Yorkshire we had the Arthur Scargill and many miners, we had Jack Dromey, in London the Post Office and so many other trade unions supported us. There were hundreds of police and everything started from one little Asian lady, Jayaben Desai who had the guts.”