Mothers March

The Mothers March For Everyone’s Survival & Welfare which called for an end to cuts, poverty and discrimination was the final event I photographed around International Women’s Day this year, and the one that I enjoyed most. Not because it was the most radical or the event that to me most reflected the spirit and history of International Women’s Day – though it was. Not because of the diversity of those taking part and the individual nature of all the placards – hardly two the same – and banners, although this does perhaps make photography easier.

It was certainly the most friendly and welcoming of the three IWD related events I covered this year, and one that involved women, children and men working together, although it was an event organised by women’s organisations.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

But perhaps most importantly, although it was organised it had a feeling or freedom and a little chaos that I think is truly liberating.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

Of course there were plenty of serious political issues around – and some, such as rape and asylum issues that women on the march have experienced first-hand, but I rather liked the placard that said ‘Don’t take the fun out of being a mum’ and there are serious issues behind this as well. Another placard stated ‘Mothers Want to Care. Only 6% want full time jobs’ and there were others around the same issue. Caring really is central to any civilised society and another said ‘Invest in caring not killing! Good for Mothers Good for Soldiers.’

© 2011, Peter Marshall

For once there were no real photographic problems, except a little carelessness on my part that led to me working for some time with the D300 set on ISO 1600 – but that isn’t a great problem so long as you get the exposure correct. The light was good,  there were few police around, just a few friendly stewards,  and even my foot with which I’ve had problems for some months had shifted down a notch or two from agony towards discomfort. And for once it was a dry day too. More pictures and text at Mothers March for Survival on My London Diary.

I was sorry to have to rush away and catch a bus after the march reached SOAS, as I would have liked to hear the address by Selma James (on International Womens Day) and the report from Winconsin, but there was another protest I wanted to photograph.

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