Women On The March

From the Workfare protest I rushed a quarter of a mile west to Orchard St, where an all-women march was forming up. The Million Women Rise is an annual international event held close to International Women’s Day, campaigning to end violence against women.

© 2012, Peter Marshall

Of course there were not a million women on the streets of London, perhaps a little over a thousand, but it was still a sizeable event, and one of relatively few that makes its way down London’s main shopping street, and I took most of my photographs on Oxford St.

© 2012, Peter Marshall

I’ve photographed it I think every year since it began a few years back, and I’ve occasionally had some rather hostile reactions from a few of the women taking part – including some of the students. It’s certainly an event it would be rather easier for a woman to photograph, and I can’t work in my normal manner.  I didn’t have any problems this year, but in previous years the march stewards have sometimes been rather aggressive towards men who stepped off the pavement while the march was on the road.

© 2012, Peter Marshall

I don’t like to stand back and use a long lens, but I did use the 18-105 towards the longer end rather more than I usually do. Possibly I needn’t have been worried, because on the few occasions I did go onto the roadway to take pictures this year I didn’t get hassled, whereas in past years I’ve suffered some pretty heavy stewarding for as much as letting a toe go over the edge of the pavement. Perhaps attitudes are changing.  One of the placards many women were carrying stated ‘Together We Can End Male Violence Against Women’, but I think it will need men as well as women to do so. Most of us are against violence in person relationships, whether by men or by women on women or men.

You can see more pictures in Million Women Rise March on My London Diary.

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