This page provides information about some of the things we did in 2008.
LFN Christmas Party 2008
One evening just before Christmas, LFN took over an upstairs room in a pub in Clapham, where we laughed and celebrated another great year of Feminist action.
Reclaim The Night 2008
The London Feminist Network organises the annual national Reclaim The Night march. This year it was held on Saturday 22 November. Approximately 2000 women of all ages and backgrounds joined the march to say NO to rape and male sexual violence against women. Report and pictures >>
Stripping The Illusion Campaign
Object – Challenging Objectification, is aiming to change the licensing of lap dancing clubs, which are currently licensed like cafes and karaoke bars rather than the commercial sex establishments that they are. This means that they are springing up all over the place and local authorities have very little power to refuse them licenses. This is a disaster for women and girls.
The launch was held at the House of Commons with an impressive line up of speakers. There has been tireless activity over the summer and autumn in support of the campaign with members and supporters campaigning on high streets around the country. On 25 November 2008 they delivered petitions with 8500 signatures to 10 Downing Street.
For a model letter to send to your MP, see the Object Website.
Miss-Ogynist University Pageants Campaign
Rightmost photo © Eric Lang/The Beaver.
Women from LFN and Object joined with SOAS students for a rowdy enthusiastic demonstration outside the Miss SOAS round of the Miss University pageants at the Crystal Club, 78 Wells Street, W1 on Tuesday 25 November.
Chanting ‘We are here for education, not for your ejaculation!’ and ‘Hey, hey, mister, mister, get your paws off my sister!’ around 20 women and six men protested for over two hours, holding banners saying ‘We are not objects. We object’ and ‘Beauty is not a contest’.
The pageant organiser called the police who turned up with two riot vans but did not intervene. The protest was organised by SOAS Women’s Officer Eleanor James who is co-ordinating further demonstrations against the pageants.
Despite passing a motion at a SOAS Students’ Union UGM, students were not able to stop the contest going ahead.
There was a similar demonstration outside the Miss LSE round of the pageant. Further rounds of the beauty pageant and protests against them are due to take place at the same venue on Tuesday evenings commencing at around 10pm. The final will be some time in February 2009. Contact Eleanor for more information women [at] soas.ac [dot] uk.
Reports of the Miss Kings protest in the main stream press:
Feminism in London 08
The London Feminist Network held a very successful and inspring one-day conference on Saturday 11 October in Conway Hall, Holborn. With a theme of “the power of women”, the day featured some of the many feminist activist groups that are campaigning in and around London. There were talks, workshops and a chance to network. The event was for women and pro-feminist men. And afterwards there was a fantastic fundraising comedy night at a pub nearby.
More at: http://www.feminisminlondon.org.uk/
Over the summer months, members raise money for the London Feminist Network by volunteering to work for the Workers Beer Company, which supplies beer tents to festivals. This is usually a lot of fun and you get a free ticket to the festival too.
Million Women Rise – 8 March 2008
Members of the London Feminist Network joined with thousands of other women from all over the country to march in protest at the continuing tide of male violence against women and children in this country and all over the world. We marched because we are outraged by this violence, and by the appalling rape conviction rate (stuck for years at around 5% of reported rapes – and most rapes are not reported to the police).
We are outraged that the funding is being withdrawn from specialist rape crisis and domestic violence organisations that have built up expertise over decades and whose survival is now under threat. And that thirty years after the Equal Pay Act, women still earn much less than men for work of equal value.
We gathered in Hyde Park and then marched to Trafalgar Square where there was a rally with inspirational speakers from all over the world.
When we arrived in Trafalgar Square, we were greeted with this poem on a giant screen:
Once the rally started, the screen was used to project the speakers and the signers so we could all see at the back.
For more information, including a full list of our demands, go to: http://www.millionwomenrise.com/
For a great report and links to some the organisations that were present read the F-Word report.
capitalwoman – 8 March 2008
The London Feminist Network celebrated International Women’s Day at capitalwoman 2008 at the Queen Elizabeth 11 Conference Centre, Westminster. We had a stall where we sold “London Feminist” t-shirts, gave out flyers for Reclaim the Night 2008, and took details from numerous women who expressed interest in joining the London Feminist Network.
Stop The Strip Club
Members of LFN joined with about 100 others to protest the application currently being made to Hackney Council by Satchmo’s on Stoke Newington Road (North London) for a license to put on strip shows. For more information and details about what you can do to help prevent Satchmo’s being used for table dancing and pole dancing, go to: http://www.stopthestrippub.blogspot.com.
Abortion Rights Lobby of Parliament and Public Meetings
The 1967 Abortion Act came under serious attack in Parliament in 2008. Abortion Rights called several national lobbies of Parliament to make sure MPs felt the strength of pro-choice opinion ahead of key votes.
FEM 08 – Saturday 26 April 2008
Members of the LFN travelled to Sheffield to take part in this free one-day conference organised by Sheffield University Students’ Union that featured practical workshops and inspiring talks from leading gender equality campaigners.
Picket in support of Southall Black Sisters – 26 February 2008
LFN members joined the picket outside Ealing Town Hall in support of Southall Black Sisters, whose funding is under threat. Southall Black Sisters is a long-standing feminist campaining and support organisation for black and minority ethnic women affected by all forms of male violence.
The picket outside the town hall was well attended and many women packed the gallery inside.
Unfortunately Ealing Council had already decided to slash the funding of this specialist feminist organisation and instead provide funds for borough-wide domestic violence initiatives. Many women were angry that this longstanding feminist organisation was under threat and the meeting was disrupted. More >>
Launch of the Feminist Coalition Against Prostitution (FCAP)
On Monday 11th February, around 130 people, including many members of LFN, attended the successful launch of this feminist campaigning organisation. We have the aim that one day we will wake in a Britain in which women and children are not for sale. Many thanks to the inspirational speakers: Gunilla Ekberg from Sweden, Jan MacLeod from the Glasgow Women’s Support Project, Aravinda Kosaraju from CROP, MP Fiona MacTaggart, Denise Marshall, Director of Eaves, and to the fabulous chairperson, Hilary McCollum. More >>
Abortion Rights Protest
On Wednesday 6th February, members of LFN joined with hundreds of others in Westminster to protest against MP Ann Widdecome’s road show ‘Not on your life … or anyone else’s’ which is promoting anti-abortion goals around the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. The protest was organised by Abortion Rights. More >>