Rain and snow did not deter what the organizers claim to be up to seven thousand attendees at The Women’s March London 2018 Time’s Up rally
Catalysed by Donald’s Trump inauguration, The Women’s March was a worldwide protest held on January 21, 2017. The movement has broad aims encompassing legislative and social change centered around issues such as women’s rights, reproductive rights, health care reforms, immigration reforms, environmental policies, religious freedom, workers’ rights, and LGBT rights.
Since the first march, revelations of sexual misconduct by powerful Hollywood men led to the growth of the #metoo movement and the subsequent establishment of The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, served as an inspiration for 2018’s Women’s March London’s titled ‘Time’s Up’. The rally speaker and Labour MP, Stella Creasy, took the opportunity to announce the setting up of a similar fund to The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, which provides subsidized legal support to those who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace.
Creasy went on to say: “A year ago, everyone told us this was a flash in the pan. They said women would march and then they’ll go home and nothing will change. That’s the point. Everything has to change because #MeToo isn’t just some hashtag, it’s saying we’re not going to cope anymore, we’re going to change the rules.”
Speakers came from a range of different backgrounds including a journalist and author of Why I’m no longer talking to White People About Race, Reni Eddo-Lodge, a Transgender activist and journalist, Paris Lees, and a Community midwife and NHS activist, Isabelle Lemberger-Cooper, among many others. The speaker and President of Salford University Students Union, Zamzam Ibrahim, briefly described what the rally was about:
“This isn’t about Trump, Weinstein, or any man who uses his power at the expense of women. This indeed is about what it means to be a woman in the 21st century. You see, all of our lives we have been told to accept sexual violence. It is not a question if it’s going to happen but when? Women are taught to fear the night, taught to walk home key in hand; woman are taught to find a man, any man, to walk us home, not knowing that that man is six times more likely to harm us than anyone else. This is a tipping point, for women across the world, who are saying enough.”
Holding signs saying “Grab Em In The Patriarchy”, “#timesup”, and other colorful slogans, the crowd consisted of women, men, and non-binary people of all ages. A volunteer at The Women’s March and one of the organizers of the Women’s March Canberra 2017, Lizzy O’Shea, 25, gave her thoughts on the day:
“It was really moving to see thousands of people standing together in the snow at the Women’s March in London today.
The speakers all had incredibly diverse experiences but the message was simple – time is up on inequality and hate. There was a strong call for mobilization – to leave the protest and go off into your life and actively support and drive movements for change everyday.
It was clear to me that while we need to come back next year and maybe the year after, things are changing. There was so much energy to say that we’ve had enough and we won’t settle for the status quo.”
(Featured image: Julian Coleman)