The 8th of March is International Women’s Day – this year, men and women are being encouraged to take stand against the Irish government’s anti-abortion policy.
Strike4Repeal is a strike action that took place yesterday in Ireland, the UK and New York City. The strike was sparked by the Irish government’s refusal to call a referendum and repeal the 8th Amendment.
In Strike4Repeal’s own words, “in October of last year, thousands of people in more than 60 cities in Poland went on strike to protect their access to abortion, and won”. Strike4Repeal’s methods are based on this victory and hope to do the same for Ireland.
The University of Liverpool’s Pro-Choice Society organised a protest in the University Square yesterday in solidarity with the women of Ireland who don’t have the right to an abortion.
The Pro-Choice Society helped Liverpool do their bit by organising a set of informative and moving speeches, a poem by Charlotte Evans, a two-minute silence in solidarity with Irish women followed by the popping of black balloons, as well as plenty of chanting. A placard-making meeting also took place prior to the demonstration – the wonderful creations are shown in the above photograph.
Nothing but enthusiasm and unity was present at the demonstration, shown by the communal backlash to a group of aggressive skateboarders who shouted obscene remarks as they flew past. This was no match for the group of passionate men and women who gathered in University Square.
Speaker and Pro-Choice Society member Katrina McDonnell explained: “the 8th Amendment doesn’t allow us to have rights over our own bodies, we feel this is outdated and needs to be repealed. As an Irish person living in Liverpool I think it’s really important to show our solidarity from over here”.
It takes at least one day for an Irish woman to travel to the UK and get an abortion. Strike4Repeal encouraged everyone to take a day off, cover a colleagues’ hours and many other suggestions – all explained in their ‘About’ Facebook tab. Many other women chose to wear red or black, refrain from any shopping or hold their own demonstrations in workplaces to show solidarity.
Happy International Women’s Day!