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Friday Activism November 29, 2005

Posted by Winter in activism, the adventures of mind the gap.
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On Friday 25th November we took to the streets of Cardiff, for the first time, with a petition and some stickers bearing our logo. We are petitioning the Welsh Assembly, asking for public awareness campaigns about rape and domestic abuse, more funding to all agencies dealing with violence against women and changes in the court system dealing with rape victims. Basically, we want them to prioritise violence against women and rape as issues and take them much more seriously.The campaign has really been carried through by S and T without whom it never would have happened. T. did all the posters, leaflets and the cute stickers, which look fabulous. Although we had endless problems with the printers, they were ready at the last hour. S. designed the petition, wrote the cover letter and tried to persuade the County Council to let us have a stall in town. They refused, but said we could collect signatures as long as we kept moving. We get the impression that they wanted to put us off and they were particularly unhappy about the idea of a petition about rape, as if it was too radical for Cardiff. We decided to go ahead anyway and it was the right decision, because after the Amnesty report and the Swansea case, the issue was fresh in peoples’ consciousness. S and T were brilliant at stopping people, but we weren’t quite so adept. It’s hard work. But the good news is, so far we have collected about 140 signatures and we also managed to network with Welsh Women’s Aid who turned up with a table. We learned a valuable lesson because they didn’t have permission either, but they just did it. As they said, the worst thing that could happen would be getting moved on.


Interestingly, men were generally very keen to sign and chat about the issue. We think that after all the recent publicity, the men we met were eager to make it clear that they do not think women are responsible for getting raped and to tell us they were horrified by the Amnesty report. Sadly, but unsurprisingly, the most difficult group to approach were young women who really did not want to know. Some responded by saying “I’m alright” as if to make it clear that the issue was not relevant to their lives.Overall, it did feel really good to be out there and actually doing something and, on the whole, the people we talked to were positive. We didn’t get any trouble for using the phrase “Hi, I’m from a feminist group” when we stopped them.

“Isn’t she doing well!”

We’ll continue running the petition until the 10th December – the end of the 16 days of action and Human Rights Day and we’ll let you know how it goes.

Naiades and Winter

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Comments»

1. ms. b. - December 2, 2005

It’s really heartening to see people taking action on feminist issues. Go you lot!

2. Siberian Fall - December 2, 2005

Great pictures, and the hats rock! I am in awe of all of you. I know just how cold it was that day! Lx

3. The Happy Feminist - December 7, 2005

This post is featured in the Carnival of Feminists at

http://happyfeminist.typepad.com/happyfeminist/2005/12/holly_at_self_p.html


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