OPINION Kaite O'Reilly

NWR Issue 96

Rich Text

It's 1995 and I’m lying in front of the wheels of a bus in Wood Street, Cardiff. The bus is ticking over, the driver occasionally revving the engine to try and scare me and so dislodge my body from beneath his bumper. As he does so, a thrilling reverberation is sent through the fat rubber of the wheel and into my waist. I am exhilarated and equally terrified. I haven’t been in an accident; I’m participating in a demonstration by the disability rights movement’s Direct Action Network, insisting ‘public transport’ is indeed public and accessible to all. DAN have brought the centre of Cardiff to a standstill, and other disabled activists have halted the trains at Cardiff Central. My contribution to the protest is over swiftly. Within seconds I’m yanked out by my feet.

I’ve always liked my politics with adrenaline.

I’ve always liked my writing infused with politics – but delicately so. My involvement with the disability civil rights movement and culture has impacted on the content, form, and aesthetic of my creative work; it
has helped shape me into the writer I am.

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