I AM ROARING, I AM A WOMAN


The workshop I attended on August 18th dealt with a huge subject: the historical stages of women's protests. The speaker from Glasgow museums showed us some pictures of women gathering in Glasgow from the SUFFRAGETTES to nowadays. She said that during the 80s she and her relatives were involved in protests for the rights of immigrants who had decided for many reasons to establish their families in Scotland. She also showed us how the feminist movement is always looking to link people: when SUFFRAGETTE activists fought and obtained the right to vote, they didn’t stop being involved in other political issues fighting for the rights of people with no voice. She highlighted the personality of MARY BARBOUR who fought against unfair rent rises. Our journey on the Glasgow protest history continued with the WOMEN’S PEACE CRUSADE, in which the speaker quoted HELEN CRAWFURD. In 1976 more than 5000 people attended an anti-war demonstration in Glasgow Green. Later on, Helen became a councillor. In the 60s women fought to extend the right to use the contraceptive pill to single women too. Indeed, this right was only for married women and two doctors needed to give approval. During these years organisations like Women’s aid were established. There was a link between peace movements and feminist protests. The feminist movement was often involved in protests about the civil rights movement in the USA, anti-apartheid in South Africa, and gay and lesbian liberation movements. It was interesting to discover a place 20 miles outside Glasgow called FASLANE. In 1982 the Government decided to house nuclear missiles at the Faslane naval base on the Clyde. A peace camp was set up by anti-nuclear protestors. It was called GIE’S CAMP and it is still available to visit, even though the caravans were removed. Women were able to create banners and helped families who fought with rent rises, helping to avoid people starving. In 1989, Thatcher imposed an unfair new tax called the Poll tax and introduced it a year earlier in Scotland. This led to a campaign of non-payment of this tax. Women organised to stop warrant sales of people’s property as non-payment escalated. Nowadays women fight to be equally paid, for access to nurseries and schools for children, and for more opportunities for women to work. It was an interesting excursion through Women's protests in Glasgow, even though it did not mention the Biafra’s war and Glasgow’s involvement in it. I chose for my own banner a sentence from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie “we should all be feminist”. The things I chose to protest were infibulations and breast ironing. These two events still happen not only in Africa and India, but also in Europe and significantly in Europe the only country that takes to court parents who have done this to their girls is France. The author Waris Dirie from Somalia in her book Desert Children said that in the UK, NHS doctors are not prepared enough to discover the intention of migrant families by talking openly with them about it. The other slogans in the banners of my fellow volunteers at the workshop were the following: SISTERS NOT CISTERS – LIBERATE FAT BLACK WOMEN NON-ACCESSABILITY IS DISCRIMINATIONPEACE TO THE STREETS OF IRAQINCLUDE BLACK HISTORY IN OUR CURRICULUMLIBRARIES ARE FIREFLIES Currently, the main protest we can lead is for the environment, because we are destroying our world. We should adopt different ways to live happily reusing clothes and nappies, avoiding plastic whenever available, and walking instead of travelling with cars. Greta Thunberg is only 16 years old and she has showed us how to talk to the entire world.

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