Anti-violence against women protesters hit London’s streets. By Felicity Collier
THOUSANDS of women protested against the “global pandemic” of male violence at the weekend.
Women called for “safe streets” and “no excuse for violent men,” and protested against female genital mutilation (FGM) at the 10th annual Million Women Rise march in central London on Saturday.
They chanted: “Whatever I wear, wherever I go, Yes means Yes and No means No.”
March organiser Sabrina Qureshi said: “A lot of us have worked in domestic violence and sexual violence [support services].
“I was getting paid to give a woman space, but that space afterwards — her healing — wasn’t being supported by society or the government, because male violence is so normalised.
“So we had to do something more, not just the therapy.
“We have to change society, hearts and minds.”
Ann Samuel, who attended the march, said: “I think more needs to be done against domestic abuse, domestic violence for women. They say when one woman stands up, they stand up for all women.
“Services are being cut and we can’t let that happen. It affects everyone one way or another, so being here makes a difference.”
And communists in Britain also celebrated International Women’s Day on Saturday, packing into London’s Marx Memorial Library for a rally on Women in the Struggle for Change and Revolution.
Mary Davis of the Communist Party of Britain recounted the crucial part played by women in the October Revolution of 1917.
Women from democratic organisations of Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Greece and Cyprus spoke of the struggle of the left against imperialist intervention, war and dictatorial regimes.
They highlighted the role of women in the fight for equality, justice, peace and socialism.
The Communist Party of Israel’s Rawda Makoul spoke about the joint struggle of Palestinian and Jewish women in the country.
Liz Payne, who chaired the meeting, said: “This is an important event in the calendar of the left in Britain.
“It not only makes us better informed of the interconnectedness of all our struggles, it also inspires us and energises us to go forward.”