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Leela Simms: A great loss to the Green Party and society generally

Leela carrying the Green Party banner on the "We want our buses back" demo in 2005

Leela carrying the Green Party banner on the “We want our buses back” demo in 2005

Jon Ashe, Chair of Sheffield & Rotherham Green Party, said “We’re very sad about Leela’s death. She was a terrific Green Party colleague and friend – passionate, courageous and committed. And always a strong advocate for fairness, social justice and human rights, never afraid to challenge the status quo. I have particularly special memories of working closely with Leela on Jillian Creasy’s re-election campaign a few years ago. We’ll miss her greatly”.

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Leela protesting about lack of Council action on Climate Change

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Leela busy in the kitchen preparing for the meal for Kashmir, with Mervyn Smith (sadly also deceased), 2005

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Cllr Creasy added, “The photos of Leela say it all – in every one she is wearing a huge smile. My fondest memories of her are around the Occupy movement. Towards the end of the Occupation, the group squatted, and then got permission, to occupy the Citadel (ex Salvation Army building)  on Pinstone Street. It  was in a dilapidated state, but people quickly mended the roof, unblocked leaking gutters and reconnected the water and electricity. Leela set to work cleaning the amazing auditorium, which was thick with pigeon droppings. The conference ended with an incredible evening of entertainment – music and dance and circus acts –  in the tiered auditorium, a totally joyful celebration of people working together to challenge the status quo.
“One of Leela’s passions was trying to do something about poor air quality. It is so ironic that she died of cancer, which is becoming commoner as we are all exposed to more and more pollutants. I saw her in the city centre soon after her diagnosis. She was steadfastly positive, basking in the kindness of all the friends who rallied around her.“She will be sorely missed.”
Leela’s funeral will be at 2pm at Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium on Thurs 18th September. It will be followed by a post-funeral gathering (ie Wake) at Hagglers Corner from 4pm.

We would love you to share your memories of Leela below.

Topics: General, Jillian Creasy, Jon Ashe

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