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Slutwalk

 

3-4000 lined the streets in what can only be said was a slightly incoherent and schizophrenic march. But still a brilliant one. Rarely do anarchists enjoy an A to B march, the long wait before hand, the stumbling steps, the flood of “revolutionary “ papers being shoved into your hands by manically grinning hammer an sickle wearing students, the stewards, the aggressive police, the boring speeches at the end and all the fucking whistles.

But slut walk was different. It was fun! When I first got there I saw the stewards were carrying little heart balloons and seemed friendly, just strolling around. There was hardly a hammer an sickle in site. The atmosphere was like the start of a party, when no one really knows each other, but you know you’re all there to party. Numbers kept swelling till eventually 3- 4000 people (mostly women) had amassed.

Some of the banners attacked low conviction rates of rapists, some declared “police protect property, not women” there was no one theme, so many different homemade banners, what a change from the normal see of political printed placards thatblock out the sun on every march.

I walked from the back to the front of the march, at the back there seemed a slight unease, chants from the 70’s of ‘However we dress, wherever we go. Yes means yes, and no means no’ were being cried out by some of the more traditional feminists. A more conservative dress code was in place, there were quite a few men hanging onto banners and stumbling along joining in on some half hearted chants. They seemed a little uncomfortable marching under the word “slut” but knew they could not ignore a large march of angry women on the streets.

Ten minutes walk through the marching crowd and an instant change was visible, there were far more women, more of them dressed in fancy clothing, and the chants from the back of the crowd had been lost to a pretty well sung rendition of “when the sluts come marching out” it was great.

At the front of the march Alarm! Chucked out the leaflets we’d brought along- 400 gone in minutes,
all advertising our follow on debate.

Then we went an listened to the speakers in the square, something I haven’t done since I heard Galloway at a StWC rally ten years ago, But this was different. No bearded pensioners running on about Labour in the 70’s or telling me who to vote for and how violence is wrong. No, the stage was filled with young intelligent women firing into the crowd with a mash of anger, love and outrage. All the speakers had something to say that was worth listening too, I couldn’t believe it. The only surprise left was seeing hundreds of naked cyclists ride past who got a massive roar of support from the crowd.

But I still wasn’t sure what I had marched for, Is it an attack on Ken Clarkes “its only rape if you get killed after” comments?  Is it a reclaiming of the word Slut? Was it solidarity with the Canadian Slut Walk?

Like any new politics on the streets it’s going to be a little incoherent at times, not easy to fit into a box, and I think that’s what made it so good, so fresh and sooo interesting.

If you want to talk more about SlutWalk come and join us tonight at LARC 62 fieldgate street E1 1ES from 7 for a discussion on SlutWalk.

Come talk SlutWalk Monday 13 June

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Categories: ALARM!
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