Tag Archive: flash mob

Yes to flash mob, no to forced marriage

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PERFORMANCE: West Midlands Police held a flash mob at Birmingham’s New Street station to kick off their new forced marriage campaign

PERFORMANCE: West Midlands Police held a flash mob at Birmingham’s New Street station to kick off their new forced marriage campaign

New police campaign aims to tackle illegal wedlock

West Midlands Police have launched their latest forced marriage campaign for the region with two flash mob performances in Birmingham New Street station.

Detective Sergeant Trudy Gittins, WMP’s subject matter expert on forced marriage said: “We’ve timed our new awareness raising campaign ahead of the school and university Christmas break, a time when young people may be taken abroad to be married, often under the guise of a holiday."

Dancing to Bruno Mars’ iconic love song ‘Marry You’ the flash mob - a mixture of professional dancers, student volunteers and off duty West Midlands Police Officers - launched the new campaign to hundreds of unsuspecting commuters, thrusting what is currently a hidden crime directly into the public eye.

Forced marriage happens when the bride, groom or both do not want to get married but are forced to by others, usually their families. People forced into marriage may be tricked into going abroad, physically threatened or emotionally blackmailed.

Detective Sergeant Gittins added: “According to statistics from the Government’s Forced Marriage Unit, here in the West Midlands we have the second highest number of forced marriage victims.

“We know that forced marriage knows no boundaries in terms of race, religion, culture, gender, class or geography and can happen to anyone, anywhere in the region.

“The message our flash mob gave out is clear. A marriage proposal is supposed to make you happy. If you don’t feel happy about getting married or are feeling under pressure to do so, then this is wrong and West Midlands Police can help you.”

Going abroad is a central theme of the campaign and West Midlands Police have been working with Birmingham Airport to have stickers displayed in airport toilets, encouraging people who have worries leaving the country, or arriving back here to call 101 or ask a member of staff.

Also making up the campaign is ‘Ask Arita’ - a mock problem page which can be found on West Midlands Police’s website with answers to a number of questions relating to the complex issue that is forced marriage.

There will also be a vlog style YouTube henna tutorial on WMP’s YouTube account with a very special message.

  • Every week West Midlands Police receives a call from someone worried about forced marriage
  • From the 50 calls WMP has received so far this year, 23 have been recorded as crimes
  • Forced marriage charity Karma Nirvana receives the second highest number of calls from the West Midlands, after London
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Music for Youth: Choir head to capital for Schools Proms

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The Parkinson Lane Community Choir will be joined by pupils from ten other schools as they perform at the Schools Prom in November

The Parkinson Lane Community Choir will be joined by pupils from ten other schools as they perform at the Schools Prom in November

From a flash mob on the streets of Halifax to performing at the Royal Albert Hall, Calderdale’s schoolchildren have certainly found their voice this year and are ready to take on one of the most prestigious school events in the calendar.

Pupils from ten primary schools across Halifax will head to London in November as they prepare to perform at the annual Schools Prom event at the Royal Albert Hall.

Almost 700 children from Parkinson Lane Community Primary School are spearheading the project alongside their music teachers, turn musical conductors for the ‘Calderdale Massed Ensemble’ team – Shahbaz Hussain and Bobby R.S.

More than 600 children invaded the streets of Halifax earlier this month as part of a flashmob event to raise awareness of their success

More than 600 children invaded the streets of Halifax earlier this month as part of a flashmob event to raise awareness of their success

The local representatives will perform on one of the nation’s most famous stages as part of the ‘Metamorphosis’ themed concert in the first of three evenings organised by national youth music organisation Music for Youth.

A song made famous by the Qawwali legend, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, entitled ‘Tumhein Dillagi’ will be performed by the schools, bringing a whole new genre of music to the Schools Prom.

Musical conductor, Bobby, said he was excited when he first heard the school’s bid had been accepted and was now ready to travel to the capital next month.

Bobby R.S piano

Bobby R.S piano

“The night before the announcement was made I was a little bit nervous but remained confident that we were good enough to perform at the Proms,” he said.

“Over the past few months, we have been looking at community cohesion work, studying Razia Sultan and emperors and empresses.

“The children performed a one hour play which also looked at the differences between good and bad, justice and injustice, through song and theatre.

“It is this idea that will be taken to the Schools Prom and we are all now very excited to take this new type of music, and performance, to the prestigious event.”

All children will wear costumes during the production whilst an interpretive dance is set to accompany the 650-strong choir.

Rizwana Ahmed, deputy headteacher at Parkinson Lane, acknowledged the hard work undertaken by pupils and staff.

“The staff of the school have really excelled themselves, the children rose to the occasion and performed the play and song in a manner that made them stand out from the rest,” she said.

“Having seen the children performing I know the audience of the Royal Albert Hall will not be disappointed.”

Shahbaz Hussain

Shahbaz Hussain

Giving a further insight as to what the performance will entail, Mrs Akhtar Hussain added: “At intervals the chants are broken by individual performers that make your insides glow with pride.”

An audience at the Victoria Theatre enjoyed a sneak preview of the performance in July, which was very well received whilst closer to home, a flashmob overtook the streets of Halifax with hundreds of youngsters showcasing their singing talents.

The first evening of the Schools Proms will take place on Monday 10th November with 11 schools from Calderdale taking part in the event.

The schools involved in the project are: All Saints CE (VA) J & I School, Holy Trinity P.S CE, Luddenden CE School, Mount Pellon Primary Academy, Parkinson Lane Community Primary School, St Augustine’s CE, St Mary’s Catholic PS, Warley Road PS, Halifax High, The Crossley Heath School and The North Halifax Grammar School.

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