Report from the London Slut Walk

Fortunately for everyone concerned there don’t seem to be any pictures of me on the London Slut Walk, though I did take a few snaps myself. The walk was a terribly civilised and jolly affair, the sun was shining the marchers friendly and the police generally low key (as long as you didn’t look down the side streets). The turn out was good with some reports claiming hundreds* and others the more realistic 5,000 odd. The banners on the walk were largely home-made witty and on topic, with the obligatory SWP placards much in the minority (and being frequently converted into a useful supply of ticks and paper for more individual messages). So from my point of view and that of the people I was walking with really a very excellent demo. Amazingly there was no violence, so I guess that is just the reserve of students and those are possibly motivated more by fiscal matters than principle.

Oddly it seems that some people (Guido) still don’t get the point of the work, which possibly means it wasn’t actually that successful except as a show of strength and mutual support for those that already got the message. I’m really not sure why it’s so tricky to grasp that the point isn’t the affect it has on risk but on how the authorities respond to the victim afterwards, and the seemingly well ingrained idea that the victim in some fashion deserved it (unless I’m really missing the point).

The rally in Trafalgar Square at the end of the walk left me a tad less enthused. Partly as I often wonder what the point of these speeches are as they almost always preaching to the converted and just giving people a chance to go “yay!”, but I guess they’re traditional and give the media something more to say and make for a clear end to the event. But that aside on this occasion there was very much a feeling of “and now a word from our sponsors”. Which for me at least raised the problem that my presence there lent tacit support to the agenda of every “sponsor” that was on stage, just because we both support a mutual cause doesn’t mean I support your cause either in whole or in part. Which of course means I’ve just argued myself out of my previous claim that they were all preaching to the converted.

Sadly due to having to go and get a pint I missed hearing the ever erudite Laurie Penny speaking, but it was a very good pint.

* Yes a few thousand is still hundreds but…

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