A gathering of like-minded people.
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A show of solidarity in the fight against the drugging of children.
A feeling of an intense connection with those you meet.
That was the Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles on Saturday 12th February as the Citizens Commission on Human Rights [CCHR] hosted their 43rd annual award ceremony - count them folks, that's 43.
I learned last year that I had been chosen to receive an award at this years event, along with two far more worthy winners than I, in Amy Philo and Celeste Steubing.
It's pretty difficult, even for the likes of me, to put into words of how proud I was to be amongst such strong advocates. To have ones work recognized by the biggest bad ass movement out there is very humbling. Uplifting isn't a word I would normally use for an event that highlights death and family destruction, in this instance I can think of no better description.
I have met so many wonderful people, each with their own sad stories to tell, each with hearts full of kindness, love and camaraderie. CCHR are without a shadow of a doubt the masters of creating awareness. A room with 1200 people was evidence of that, as were the tears of finally realising that no parent has to suffer the death of their child to psychiatric drugs alone.
Here we have an organisation who pretty much grab this sick and twisted industry by the bollocks and don't let go until they get a result.
I'm scratching my head hard here to think of another organisation, that gives power to the people, who can boast the achievements that CCHR can.
Okay, I don't want to sound like I'm sticking my tongue down the back of their trousers or in the LA Hubs instance, skirts - they pretty much know how I feel about them. I love them to bits for what they have done...and what they continue to do.
I got to meet many familiar names I had only previously seen via the medium of blogs/websites, even met new faces whom are now firm friends.
Folk from all over the world attended this years event, Brits, Canadians, Americans, Japanese... many more.
You see, CCHR and I are alike in as much that we have a pretty 'bang on' sense of humour. What could piss off GlaxoSmithKline more than Bob Fiddaman getting an award for basically highlighting their dark history? With a wry smile someone at CCHR thought it would be highly entertaining to sit me around a table with the office of Baum Hedlund Attorneys. A classic two finger salute to the Paxil/Seroxat Pushers.
The event was a red carpet affair complete with tuxedos and stunning frocks, I opted for the tux before anyone shouts "Fid is a transvestite!"
I am deeply honoured to be recognised by the whoop ass machine that is CCHR. I am deeply humbled to share in the experiences of the mothers I met, Celeste, Maria, Sheila, Christian, Amy, Mathy, each with heart-wrenching stories, each with the courage and strength to keep on fighting against the very same people that caused them heartache.
I feel privileged to sit at the very same table as the Baum gang, even more privileged to visit their offices and to share lunch and dinner with them. Here we have a law firm that do what they do because they don't like what they see. It's not about money for Baum, it's about the victims.
I've been hugged by a zillion people, chaperoned around Hollywood, been treated like a movie star because there's a bunch of people across the pond who can actually see what I have been up against during my time writing this blog. Special thanks to the British actor, Hal Ozsan, who presented me with my award with a very touching introduction.
Watch this space folks - I'm about to embark on a journey that will see a whole bunch of us kick some New Zealand psych's ass into the middle of next week, a Prozac pusher with no empathy and one who has a complete disdain for human life. I'm with the sisterhood on this one.
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