I know this blog isn't about music (if you're reading this at the orignal posting place of my blogger, you'll know it's primarily a music blog) however, Pigtails and Army Boots is also a feminist minded show, and I think people who listen to the show may be interested in this too.
Anyway, on Saturday 6th March 2010, the third annual Million Wome Rise March took place. The march was against male violence to women and the aim of it was to show those in power that we have had enough and want a stop to all of it- there is a lot of violence towards women- rape, domestic violence, sexual violence, trafficking and much more. I'm very aware that some of these things happen to men too, and of course I'm against that too (I'm personally against violence to all living things, hence my choice to be vegan) but the sad thing is the majority of violence happens towards women.
This was my first time going to the march and it was well worth it.
My friend Rachel and I went together, and the meeting place was at Speakers Corner at Hyde Park in London, took us a while to find it as Hyde Park is stupidly huge, but it was obvious when we came across a mass crowd of women (and children, no men were allowed) holding banners, some dressed up. We had some time before the march was going to get under way so we had a look around and saw banners for many womens groups and centres including the Womens Institute, London Feminists, CARE, Rape Crisis, The Butterfly Project (I think that's what they were called) and many more large and local groups. There was every age group you could imagine, and every ethnicity too.
The march actually started about 1pm, we got passed a paper with the chants we were to use on it, and then went under the subway to the other side of the road to the starting point with thousands of other women and children. Then we proceeded through Oxford Street, Regents Street and Picadilly for the next 2 hours making lots of noise and doing chants like " 1234, stop the violence, stop the hate" and "what do we want? justice! when do we want it? NOW!" and attracting a lot of attention from passers by.
We finished at Trafalgar Square where there was a rally and we listened to a lot of inspiring speeches and had some music too, including an artist called Sarah Bennet who led us into a mass sing along of 4 Non Blondes what's up what was really awesome!
We had talks from Disability Awareness in Action (I nearly cried, some of the stories they had to tell were so sad and terrifying) Unison, CARE international, Iranian Women's League, Mothers Against Violence, Women's Resource Centre, OBJECT, and others.
All in all, I was tired by the end of it but inspired, I'm starting up a feminist group in my town and hope to do more activism relating to these issues as it also made me so angry, it's terrible that there is still so much of this violence happening in our modern society.
once agin, photos are on my facebook page