Breastfeeding Picnics 2010

13 07 2010

First of all, an apology for the lateness of these updates.  More about that on the longer spiel at the bottom.
Second of all, this list will be updated further, between now and Sunday: part and parcel of why everything got so late this year!  See below.
Third of all, several of the picnics, may be linked live by ITV news, this year, and I will, again, update that, here, as the week goes on.  I think so far we are looking at Westminster, Birmingham, and Nottingham.


Westminster Breastfeeding Picnic
next to Parliament
Monday July 19th
noon – 3pm
Facebook Group
Birmingham Breastfeeding Picnic
Colmore Row
Monday July 19th
noon – 3pm
Facebook Group
Nottingham Breastfeeding Picnic
Waverly Street 
Monday July 19th
noon- 3pm
Warrington Breastfeeding Picnic
next to Town Hall
Monday July 19th
noon – 2pm
Facebook Group
Dorset Breastfeeding Picnic
Bournemouth Gardens
opposite big balloon
Monday July 19th
noon – 3pm
Facebook Group
Wrecsam Breastfeeding Picnic
behind the Guidlhall, Queen’s Square
Monday July 19th
noon – 3pm
Facebook Group
Stroud Breastfeeding Picnic
Stratford Park
near the bandstand
11am – 2pm
Monday July 19th


Changes To The Breastfeeding Picnic 2011
I said above, that the picnics got squeezed out on organisation this year.  The primary reason for this, was the General Election.  Recess dates for Westminster aren’t published that far ahead, and the delay on the forming of the new Government, which took, if you recall, weeks rather than a day or two, really put pressure on us organising Westminster.  In fact, we finally announced the date, before the Westminster recess dates were published, and crossed our fingers.
Realistically, we also had to wait until the Coalition Government, had set its own agenda for the Parliament ahead.  Not only could they have announced a Breastfeeding Bill, there was also the matter of waiting to see the tone and mood of their agenda: to speak effectively to them, in their own terms.
All this pushed the planning waaay down the line.  Combined with my moving house several hundred miles, and Emily Pulling, the picnic’s founder, juggling family employment issues, meant there just hasn’t been space to slowly build up, as we usually do.  After all, we are Just Mums With Attitude.  đź™‚
The huge upheaval of the political situation, has also meant there has been discussion of two of the thorny issues about organising the picnics.  Many picnic organisers, know they would get more turn out, at the weekend.  The entire point, however, was to highlight the issue to Westminster, which does not sit on the Weekend.  Our picnic organisers in Scotland, have also pointed out that when it’s held in late July, Holyrood, the Scottish Parliament, is already in recess.  And as Scotland has this law, then allowing for MSP attendance, makes good political sense.
Emily and I had resisted changing the set-up,. as we felt a central MP presence at Westminster, was more important: we need at law for outside Scotland!  However, it’s been pointed out, that feedback from MPs has often said, they would attend a weekend event in their constituency, but they are too busy at Westminster, at the end of the session, to attend the central one.
Therefore, from 2011, we are changing the structure of the National Breastfeeding Picnic.  It will take place over a weekend, late in June or early in July.

EDIT:  June18/19th, 2011

Local organisers will be free to hold their picnic on either the Saturday, or the Sunday, of that weekend.  This enables family and religious observations commitments, to be accommodated for the main organiser.  There will always be a Westminster Picnic, but it will be equal to the other picnics, not the central event.  So organisers can invite their MP first and foremost to their own constituency, and if they are in Westminster that weekend, they can attend the Westminster one.

Whilst I will be hosting the final “central” Westminster Picnic on Monday, from 2011 I will be hosting the “No Borders” Breastfeeding Picnic on the A1 at the Scottish/England Border!  Just to show the inanity, and inequality.  (Okay, a photoshoot will be done at the Border, but the actual Picnic will be in beautiful Berwick-Upon-Tweed.)
Over the four years since Emily’s original Breastfeeding Picnic at Parliament Square, we’ve learned a lot about how to go about this, as a mother-to-mother thing, done on the cheap and with minimum work.  So we’ve also developed a clearer pathway on how to take part.  
If you want to organise a Breastfeeding Picnic, then join the National Breastfeeding Picnic group on yahoo groups.  It’s moderated entry, to stop spam, just say in your message where you want to organise one.  Then you’ll have access to the “How too..” sheets.  (Very simple, very clearly laid out.)
If you want to attend a Breastfeeding Picnic, join the Facebook group, and then each event is listed as an event.  Or read this blog.
See you on Monday!



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