Candidate for Westfield

Fasil Demsash - Candidate for Westfield

Fasil is originally from Ethiopia, but was forced to flee the country in 2001 after being arrested, detained and tortured for leading a student demonstration against the arrest, detention and killing of university students. Initially travelling to Canada, where he achieved first and masters degrees in education, he came to York in 2007. Since arriving in York he has worked for the City of York Council and as a seasonal instructor for Hull York Medical School, and as a research assistant on projects funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Fasil has been campaigning for the Labour Party since 2008, supporting first Hugh Bayley and later Rachael Maskell in their campaigns. He was particularly involved with Hugh Bayley in the second reading of the Torture Bill, lobbying and writing a statement in support, reflecting his experiences in Ethiopia. He has shared his experiences for a wide range of audiences, for events such as Holocaust Memorial Day, Remembrance Day, World Refugee Day and York City of Sanctuary. He has served as a polling clerk and presiding officer at elections in York from 2009 to 2017. He has worked with diverse communities in York, supporting them to engage in education, employment and democratic processes, and has volunteered for various charities and extensively advocated for social equality, fairness, inclusion and cultural diversity in York.

“My personal interest in standing for council arose from two fundemental values. The first is my family background in Ethiopia where my parents and grandparents were working class citizens who supported the Ethiopian Revolution in 1974. Born and raised in socialist Ethiopia, I am a caring, loving and compassionate person, who would stand for the common good of the working class of British society.

“The second and probably most crucial factor is my confidence in the working class of British society who elected Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party. I am a great admirer of Jeremy Corbyn for his lifelong commitment to the values of working class Britain and his advocacy for a new kind of world that is free from nuclear power. I want to be part of this great history by serving as Labour Councillor in my constituency.

“Above all, I strongly believe that my personal background, skills and experiences will enable me to represent my community and deliver the best services consistent with the values of the Labour Party. I would like to serve my community by being the first Black Socialist Labour Councillor in York.”

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