Shahmir Sanni was thrust into the international spotlight after blowing the whistle on Vote Leave’s law-breaking during the EU referendum. Shortly after the story broke in the Guardian, he was outed by Number 10 — thus putting in jeopardy the lives of his family back in Pakistan, his own mental and emotional health and his future.
But like so many queer people of colour, Shahmir is resilient and brave. And while he’s been wounded and bruised, he’s certainly not been deterred. Today, we discuss his motivations for joining the Vote Leave campaign, the far-reaching implications of his public outing, why surrounding himself with queer people of colour is helping him heal and his hopes for his future and ours.
Over the course of our conversation, I was so thoroughly impressed with Shahmir’s tenacity. Doing the right thing is often not the easy road, and he certainly could have stayed quiet and saved himself a great deal of pain — but he didn’t. Shahmir believes in democracy, in people and that this country has a responsibility to be better.
Shahmir is a reminder to us all that the only way to secure the future we deserve is to fight for it — tooth and nail.
In a recent article in the Guardian Carole Cadwalladr says this, “Cheating on a scale not seen this century has been exposed – and almost nothing has happened. Nothing, except a kicking and a bruising for Sanni.”
Among several investigations he’s helping with, Shahmir is taking legal action against Number 10 and the Taxpayer’s Alliance. Support with whatever you can spare: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/brexit-whistleblower/.
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