The 5th Annual March for Choice, took place on Saturday the 24th of September. We assembled at the Unite offices before meeting up with the other trade unionists for repeal and moving up to the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square, before we marched to Dáil Éireann.
In the weeks before hand (and no doubt after) Unite members from the Dublin Youth Activists group have spoken and will speak at multiple events representing both Unite and The trade Union Campaign to Repeal the 8th.
The theme of the march this year was ‘Rise and Repeal’ a comment on the failure of our Republic to fulfil the promise of equality made in 1916.
100 years ago, the signatories of the Irish proclamation declared a land of “equal rights and equal opportunities” for all its citizens, but this Republic has failed to live up to their ideals. Until recently, our women revolutionaries – who fought and died alongside their male counterparts – were erased from history; quite literally in the case of Elizabeth O’Farrell, a trained midwife, suffragist and trade unionist. This ‘airbrushing’ continues to this day – the parallels between Nurse O’Farrell’s photograph, and the removal of Maser’s Repeal the 8th mural are clear to see.
The Easter Rising sought Sovereignty and self determination for Ireland. Today, we seek the same control over our own bodies. No longer will the Irish State force us to self-administer health care by taking abortion pills (risking a fourteen year jail term), or spend thousands of euro travelling secretly to England. This year we, the women of Ireland, with the support of all those who care about equality and human rights, are self administering our independence.
Women’s rights are Human Rights. There can be no freedom without Women’s freedom. Enough blood has been spilled, enough women have died unwillingly. No more death, no more silence, no more shame. This is our Rising! Rise, and Repeal the 8th!