The fun was definitely put into fundraising at the launch party of campaigning charity Medical Justice at London nightclub Cargo on 3 July.
Featuring a musical line-up good enough to coax even the most uncharitable of folk out on a school night, Cargo’s bare brick arches were filled with hundreds of people dancing to a cornucopia of world sounds. From the joyful soukous music of Congolese band, the ZongZing All Stars, through the dhol-heavy beats of the Asian Dub Foundation Soundsystem to the dancehall DJs Heatwave, the entertainment was an impressive celebration of multicultural London. Also performing were African-English MC Yungun, former UK DMC champion turntablist Mr Thing and spoken word quartet A Poem Between People.
‘Although most of the money we raised was spent on producing our document, “Beyond Comprehension and Decency”: an introduction to the work of Medical Justice, we were pleased with the event because we felt like we’d really put Medical Justice on the map’, said volunteer Emma Ginn. ‘It was a real party – you don’t often see that many lawyers and doctors letting their hair down at the same time!’ All the artists agreed to perform for free and Ginn says many have been badgering her to organise another event as soon as possible. ‘Everyone keeps asking when the next party is’, she says, ‘So it may well become an annual event.’
Medical Justice is a voluntary network of medical and legal professionals, health campaigners and former immigration detainees. Founded in October 2005, to defend and promote the health and associated legal rights of immigration detainees in Britain, the organisation both lobbies for change and works with individual detainees. Staffed entirely by volunteers and funded solely by donations, so far Medical Justice has, among other things, arranged for the release of 200 patients from detention and persuaded the Home Office to stop the routine handcuffing of asylum seekers being transported to hospital from detention centres.
Another, less musical, launch of Medical Justice will be chaired by Lord Ramsbotham at the House of Commons on Thursday 12 July.