“Too many protest singers, not enough protest songs” ~ Edwyn Collins
Or, as defined by my dictionary
Protest (n): an expression of strong opposition to or disapproval of something in the form of a public demonstration or other action
I’ve never been a great protester. Probably due to a mixture of lack of knowledge and lack of interest. However I have become much more aware of many injustices in the world over the last few years and, whilst you can’t fight every battle, I do know make my voice heard on things that matter to me.
In the last year, I’ve signed countless petitions, written to my MP on several occasions, been out on strike, helped to fundraise, and been on protests marches.
It’s the last that I want to say a little more on.
Firstly, the Slutwalk. I don’t have the words for how much the reasons for this existing infuriate me. In this day and age for police officers to tell college girls to watch how they dress so they don’t get sexually assaulted is an outrage. The full details of the story are here. Now, this would be to a degree mitigated if they’d pop in to talk to some college guys and told them not to sexually assault women but that doesn’t seem to have happened. One question: WHY NOT? The overwhelming majority of women I know have not been sexually assaulted. The overwhelmingly majority of guys I know haven’t sexually assaulted anyone. Yet one group gets told not to incite such behaviour but the other doesn’t get told not to do it? Give me a break.
Secondly, the recent Police Federation march against the cuts to pay and conditions. I’ve said it before and for clarity I’ll say it again, I am not a police officer. Check out #antiwinsornetwork if you want to read more from those directly affected. I went to show my support for this because friends and people I love will be adversely affected by this. I went because I think our police service is the best in the world and I want it to remain so. I went because, as a member of the public, if I or any of my loved ones suffer a crime I want there to be fully trained police officers there to deal with it. They do a job that many of us couldn’t. They deserve our respect and our support.
Third and finally, I did a sponsored walk as part of The Justice Gap team the other day. I love saying ‘sponsored walk’, it makes me feel about ten years old! Now this wasn’t a protest march, it was to raise funds for law centres,. The reason I mention it is this is yet another area that needs our support. The justice system needs these centres, needs legal aid lawyers, and they are also being failed by LASPO being given Royal Assent. For further information, please have a look here. It’s also not too late to chuck our team a few quid, details here.
This is just a snapshot of what I’ve done, what inspires me to get involved. The central theme for me is justice, in various forms. There are many, many worthy causes and fights in the world. These are just some of the ones close to my heart.
What inspires you to get involve, fundraise, protest? Thoughts, as always on a comment-box shaped postcard please.