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Musician & Activist

Mohannad Bashir, 34

My VoiceLeigh Davies
00:00 / 03:56

Maybe I’m taking the skills and the confidence from being on stage with my band ‘Torchbearer’, and using that as a skill to transfer over to my campaigning. Because, outside of my music, I’ve been very blessed to take the stage and go and speak at different events, about police brutality, about racism… because I’m the lead campaigner for ‘Justice for Mouayed Bashir’. Mouayed Bashir is my brother, and sadly Mouayed Bashir died after police contact here in Newport - in Maesglas to be more precise, in the family home - back on the 17th February of 2021.

After what happened, I packed my stuff and moved from London back to Newport to be with the family to support them during that difficult time… because the first year is always rough. I’ve never been the type of person who, y’know, speaks with a microphone in front of hundreds, a handful, or even thousands of people… or, you know, even going to demonstrations, or going to marches - that’s just not me. My stage is with my guys - with my band - and my voice is my bass guitar. So to swap that, and go solo, just using the mic, and using my thoughts, and my feelings, and the facts and figures about what’s happening with regards to police brutality here in the UK… it’s a learning curve. And I had to learn on the spot, taking it one day at a time, one step at a time. So yeah, taking that out there, speaking at The Senedd, speaking outside Number 10, speaking outside Parliament, going to demos, and marches, dealing with the media… it’s a different world.

But it’s driven by a passion, because he’s my blood, he’s my brother. He was the second born in the family. We were a family of 5, but now we’re down to 4… Mouayed was my best friend when we were little. We were like Tom and Jerry always causing problems around the house. Haha. Bless, my mum had to deal with a lot of stuff, y’know, dealing with 3 boys.

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