London feminists turn out in 1950s style to urge coalition: don’t turn back clock on womens’ rights

Protesters march to the Treasury

Pic: Jane McCallion

Over 2,000 people marched from Temple to the Treasury on Saturday to protest against the disproportionate effect of government cuts on women.

The demonstration, organised by feminist group the Fawcett Society, began at Temple underground station and ended on Horse Guards Road.

Among the groups attending were the east and south London chapters of the Society, which between them cover Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Lewisham and Croydon.

The march was named ‘Don’t turn back time’ and protesters were encouraged to dress up in outfits from the 1950s, when women’s rights were severely curtailed.

Hetty Bax, 18, from Stoke Newington, said she was worried that young women her age were being doubly affected by both the cuts impeding women’s right to work and those affecting young people as a whole.

Onlookers stopped to take photographs and applaud the march, with one tourist even stopping to shout: “Mexicanos los apoyan!” – Mexico supports them.

While speeches were being made by noted campaigners, including Heather Wakefield, UNISON National Secretary for local government and Angela Mason CBE, Chair of the Fawcett Society, Treasury staff inside could be seen peering round the curtains to look at the crowd below.

The march dispersed peacefully after the end of the speeches.

Reclaim the Night, a rally protesting about violence against women and government cuts that affect women, will be held on November 26.

The TUC national day of action follows four days later, with thousands expected to attend.


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