If you passed by Parliament Square today, you might have thought you were having a ghostly vision of yesteryear or flashbacks of the Olympic Opening Ceremony, with drumming, singing suffragettes marching towards the Houses of Parliament. In fact, you wouldn’t be far off the mark. As part of a lobby organised by women’s rights organisation UK Feminista, the volunteers from this summer’s Opening Ceremony reprised their roles as suffragettes and led a march on Parliament, where mass meetings with MPs had been organised to bring concerns including abortion, objectification, childcare and violence against women to the forefront of politics today.
The rally was led by Dr Helen Pankhurst, great-granddaughter of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, who stormed Parliament in 1908 and told us that ‘what’s fantastic about the Olympic suffragettes was that they got together because they wanted to be involved as volunteers in the Olympics, not because they were suffragettes or feminists. But now it’s real activism, so the suffragettes have become real suffragettes.’ The striking images of the suffragettes outside a foggy Parliament shows how far we have come, but also the long way we still need to travel for women’s equality. Victoria Gray
To learn more about UK Feminista or to take action about women’s rights, visit ukfeminista.org.uk.
The drummers from the Olympic Opening Ceremony get back into action
The march begins…
Soon the suffragettes take over Parliament Square…
Followed by hundreds of protesters (and all additional supporters who could escape on their lunchbreaks)
Before everyone moved on to talk to their MPs