The meeting was called having seen the rise in the reaction of people to the posters Youth Defence had paid to have put in on billboards, and on public transport. The facebook page Unlike Youth Defence, I trust women to decide their lives for themselves. had gathered over a 1,000 likes and with the protest being planned for the next day, it seem that the posters have had a galvanising on people who consider themselves pro-choice.
Many of those who are shocked at the posters and tactics being used are young men and women, who were only kids or not even born when we had the 1994 abortion referendum in this country and are looking for away to have their voice heard.
The pro choice position has never had the same united front or rallying point as the pro life position,
never ran the same rallys, workshops and passed on how to campaign; the meeting was I think a starting point for that to change.
The meeting was posted in a invite only event on FB and a friend of mine who was invited, invited me a few hours before the meeting was due to kick off. It’s been a long time from when I was last in a room of a group of people who were pro choice and coming together to talk about that topic. It’s easily been 16 years and back then it was a WRAC meeting of mostly Women’s Rights Officers hosted in what was the USI offices off Aston quay.
In total there were over 40 people at the meeting, only 10 of them were men, the demographic was mostly young women in their 20s, which was good to see. Some were there as members of groups,
RAG, ActiononX, Lashback, Choice Ireland, UCD ProChoice, TCD Gender Equality, WSM, Grrrl Germs, Rabble, All Ireland Rally for Choice and Unlike Youth Defence, I trust women to decide their lives for themselves (linkspam for all these groups will be at the end of the post) and several people who are not party of any group but who want to take part in making sure pro choice voices are heard.
It was wonderful to be in a room with so many people who are passionate about a woman’s right to choose and who are or who are becoming activists. Out of the discussions there was the clear need to do something to counteract the pressure which pro life groups are putting one people and the government in the run up to the expert group which was set up to look at how legislation can be put in place 20 years after the X case.
There were also biscuits.
It is wonderful to the enthusiasm and the drive to get actions started. The internet gives a level of communication and connectedness which pro choice people didn’t have back in 1992. A way to get the work out and to rally people.
The demo which happened the next day out side Lenister house was due to just two young women who decided that ‘something’ had to be done and used the resources they had available at their finger tips, to bring people together. Their willingness to stand up and to take the time to make posters resulted in over 300 prochoice people protesting. I have never been in or seen such a large gathering of pro choice people in Ireland, it was refreshing.
Most of the people I know are pro choice, but quietly so, they don’t feel the need to bang a drum about it or else they are aware that, there are people who will call them baby murders and cause a scene. Which is one of the tactics pro life groups have used in the past. Just as the taboo about abortion has to be broken, so has the taboo about being pro choice.
If you are prochoice and want to become actively involved in some of the actions demos which are going to be happening between now and the 28th September (international abortion rights day) then keep an eye on the newly formed Irish Choice Network’s pages.
The Irish Choice Network was one of the things which came out of the meeting, the aim of it is to connect pro choice groups and people across the country. Want to get a group of people together to plan an action or if you have something planned and want more people to know about it and take part, then that is what the Irish Choice Network is for. I for one am looking forward to what Ireland’s pro choice movement will do next.
RAG : https://www.facebook.com/ragdublin http://ragdublin.blogspot.ie/
Choice Ireland: http://www.choiceireland.org/
UCD ProChoice: https://www.facebook.com/pages/UCD-Pro-Choice-Society/119514614775123
TCD Gender Equality: http://www.trinitysocieties.ie/society/47/gender-equality-society
Grrrl Germs: https://www.facebook.com/GrrrlGerms
All Ireland Rally for Choice: https://www.facebook.com/IrelandForChoice
Unlike Youth Defence, I trust women to decide their lives for themselves : https://www.facebook.com/notalwaysabetteroption