Women's March London - Bread and Roses for change

Rossella Forle’

REUTERS

REUTERS

The March in London joined millions of women from 30 countries around the globe in a Women’s Wave of solidarity leading thousands to take the street of London.

Women raised their voices through the #MeToo campaign and #TimesUp movements, now joining the call in London for the #WeAreChange movement.

 The theme for the London chapter this year was “bread and roses,” in honour of the Polish-born American suffragette and worker’s rights campaigner Rose Schneiderman, to symbolise the hunger to thrive and not just survive on bread.

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What’s the Women’s March London?

Women’s March London is a women-led movement that is conduit for social change with a mission to address each of inequalities and injustices. The aim of the movement is to create a democratic movement that is accountable, accessible, effective and safe.

The Women’s March London incubates and nurture capacity; build grassroots feminist organisations; and support collectives.

When it started?

On January 21, 2017, the first day of Donald Trump’s Presidency, women-led marches, welcoming all participants, took place across the world, with the largest in Washington D.C. The organisers of the London march, called on people of all genders to march in London as part of an international day of action in solidarity. 

Sajeela Kershi - Comedian and Author

Sajeela Kershi - Comedian and Author

Why Bread and Roses?

In 1912 women led the Bread and Roses protest which revolutionised workers’ right for women to achieve better working and living conditions.

In 2019, women are leading the Bread and Roses protest for Prosperity and against Austerity to achieve better working and living conditions.

A hundred and seven years later, women still bear the brunt of economic oppression. We have the right to thrive and not just to survive. 

Austerity is the common cause for inhuman cuts on public funding for essential services, as Sophie Walker was saying yesterday. Discrimination policies that create a hostile environment; imposition of economic oppression on the less privileged; fostering divisive rhetoric that results in anti- semitism, islamophobia, racism and fascism; and regression of women’s rights by disempowering many from escaping domestic violence and abuse.

Women Labour Movement 1912 Massachusetts - Credit to The Mary Sue

Women Labour Movement 1912 Massachusetts - Credit to The Mary Sue

Why we march against Austerity?

We want to give voice to all those women that don’t’ have one. As the many women that intervened yesterday, we marched for:

Public Founding and Services

As Mary Mason from Solace Women’s Aid said “We continue to disregard women and children in our society – not just to provide adequate services to support those who are abused but actively creating systems which support the abuse – universal credit paid to one member of the household. Cuts to vital support mean that fewer women can access refuge space, more women are forced in prostitution for the scandalous rent for sex sector growing.

Domestic Violence and Abuse

 Lucilla Grandada from EVAW, leading coalition on ending violence against women, said “Austerity has been devastating for the life-saving services women rely on. Specialist support created by and for women and girls in their communities providing counselling, safe housing, legal help, and places of safety have all struggled to stay open because funding has been torn away. Cuts have also made it harder for survivors to get justice – from slashing legal aid to closing courts – it’s harder than ever to challenge injustice and fight for basic rights”.

Refugees and Asylum Seeker

Marchu Girma from Women for Refugee Women said “Austerity policies always hit the poorest and most marginalised women the hardest. Refugee women come to the UK looking for safety but are instead facing new dangers from being made destitute. At Women for Refugee Women, we are seeing more and more women who are homeless and have no support”.

Political Gender Gap

Amanda Carpenter from 50:50 parliament said: “Austerity disenfranchises women, it deters political participants and puts barriers in the way of engagement. 50:50 campaign for equal seats and equal say in Parliament to redress the balance ensuring women’s voices are part of policy and law-making.

 

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In the coldest day of January Trafalgar Square was full of women from different walks of life, all there listening to inspirational women and as part of the change we pledge to protect and serve each other with love unity and solidarity. Promise to exercise our civic duty to vote in every circumstance that will shape a progressive society and a conviction to call out any racism or form of phobia we see online and offline.

And as Alexia Pepper Caires said “Be loud, be quiet, be smooth, be whatever you want to be, but don’t let anyone telling you how to be a feminist activist”

Picture by alliance/Zuma

Picture by alliance/Zuma

JOIN THE FIGHT

About Women’s March Global

Women’s March Global empowers communities, organisations and individuals to start Chapters, take action, organise event and learn.

Women’s March Global community chapters are run independently, under a free license from Women’s March Global.

For media enquiries regarding Women’s March London please contact Melissa Durell

Email: melissa@womensmarchglobal.com

Website: www.womensmarchglobal.com

Facebook: @Womens-March-Global

Twitter: @WM_global

Instagram: @womensmarchglobal