What we did in 2009

The page provides information about some of the things we did in 2009.

Candle lit vigil, Trafalgar Square, Wednesday 25th November 2009

On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, women from the London Feminist Network joined with women from Million Women Rise, Object, Roshni and the Women and the Girls Network to have a peaceful candle-lit vigil in remembrance of women who have been murdered and affected by male violence.


We brought candles for ourselves and for women we want to remember. The vigil was a sign of peaceful resistence to the day to day, hour by hour, minute by minute systematic violence, threat of violence and oppression inflicted on women worldwide and a protest at the recent sexual attack on a woman at the Reclaim The Night march.

Read Gem’s blog on the F-Word: http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2009/11/vigil

Reclaim The Night 2009

The London Feminist Network organises the annual national Reclaim The Night march. In 2009 it was held on Saturday 21 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 >>

Feminism in London 09, Saturday 10 October 2009

About 500 women and men came to the second Feminism in London conference organised by the London Feminist Network. Below is a selection of things they wrote afterwards.

“I really enjoyed yesterday… it was such a brilliant feminist tonic, having been out of the loop for some months. All those feminists/ ‘almost feminists’ milling around keen to see and hear everything that had been organised – it was a thing to behold! Well done organisers/ helpers/ speakers!!”

“Thank you so much to all the organisers of FiL. Three of us travelled from Portsmouth and had a wondeful day. Although it was cramped, it is just brilliant that the numbers are increasing. Can’t wait for next year.”

“It was a great day, Bea Campbell’s speech rocked and I got to talk to so many fabulous women with a passion for feminism. Looking forwards to next year!”

“I just wanted to add wow! What a brilliant day, … if you are a feminist why would you want to be anywhere else? Thank you to all those involved in providing such an amazing, gut wrenching, inspiring day. Can’t wait for next year!”

“I just wanted to say thank you to … all the LFN for a fantastic day yesterday… I was delighted – and not a little moved – to be part of a women’s liberation conference again — I was very involved in the … movement in the 80s & early 90s. Just recently moved to London so it was the perfect introduction to this city for me. I got soooooooooo much from the day, not least the slide show on pornification. Many, many thanks and congratulations to all.”

More on the Feminism in London website >>

Miss England protest, 20 July 2009

LFN members joined women from Mind The Gap (London Student Feminists), Object and the Social Workers Party in a peaceful protest outside the Miss England contest in the Hilton Hotel in the Edgware Road. This meant that the audience and judges entered the Hilton earlier in the evening via a rear entrance.

Speakers at the protest included members of the London Feminist Network, Object, Mind The Gap and the SWP. Photographers from the BBC and the Evening Standard took numerous photographs and we had words of encouragement and support from female and male passers-by, including one woman driver with her teenage female passengers who hooted and waved at us. An elderly woman in a hijab joined us in chanting our protest songs.

Why are we protesting?

Launch of Object and Eaves ‘Demand Change’ campaign

The real choice in prostitution is the choice of a punter not to be violent. Even if he chooses to treat you with ‘respect’ he is legitimising an industry which is used by other punters to be violent or abusive” Rebecca Mott (read her blog)

On Wednesday, 24 June OBJECT and Eaves launched the Demand Change! Campaign at the Houses of Parliament to call on the Government to fulfil its multiple international and domestic obligations to tackle demand for prostitution. Object and Eaves advocate the adoption of the `Nordic model’ which decriminalises those who sell sexual services whilst criminalising those who purchase them (as adopted by Sweden, Norway, Finland and soon Iceland). This will be a crucial step towards ending the exploitation and abuse experienced by many women and girls in prostitution.

Victor Malarek, an award winning Canadian journalist (author of The Natashas) spoke about his new book `The Johns’ – which looks at the demand for prostitution. Other speakers included survivors of prostitution, representatives from health, exiting services, law agencies working with people in prostitution, and representatives from student and trade unions.

Bank Holiday walk and picnic

On the second May Bank Holiday, a group of us (plus friends and family) went on a fundraising walk and picnic. We met at Hampstead Heath tube station and walked across the heath to Golders Hill park. We stopped for a rest at Boadicea’s Mound. This is a Neolithic burial site, which is associated with Queen Boadicea, who led her people into her final battle against the Romans near this site. We all paid a small donation to raise funds for Feminism in London 09.

LFN Feminar

On Saturday 18 April, LFN held its first ever “feminar”. 17 women came along and we had a productive and thought-provoking afternoon. Becca Morden did a wonderful job of chairing the meeting and making everyone feel welcome. Julia Long presented a powerful slideshow devised by Rebecca Whisnant, Robert Jensen and Gail Dines, which aims to educate the public about the nature, impact and harms of the contemporary pornography industry, with a particular focus on its effects on children. This was followed by two excellent speakers – Laura Colclough, youth outreach worker for Rape Crisis (Wycombe,Chiltern and South Bucks) who spoke about her work delivering lessons on pornography and violence against women in state secondary schools and Elizabeth Carola who talked about anti-porn campaigning in the 80s.

Put People First, But Don’t Put Women Second, 28 March 2009

LFN members marched in the Put People First demonstration in Central London as part of a global campaign to challenge the G20, ahead of their 2nd April summit on the global financial crisis.

We joined the women’s contingent that was co-ordinated by WILPF (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom) behind the slogans PUT PEOPLE FIRST – BUT DON’T PUT WOMEN SECOND and LISTEN TO WOMEN FOR A CHANGE. WILPF had prepared some great placards setting out the isses:

WOMEN WORDWIDE ARE

  • 50% of people
  • 20% of MPs
  • 70% of the poor

WILPF SAYS MOVE RESOURCES:

  • From the rich to the poor
  • From warfare to welfare
  • From rich countries to poor countries
  • From environmental damage to environmental protection
  • From military jobs to green energy jobs
  • From men to women through a fair pay structure and child support

We say “No” to state pimping outside Brixton Job Centre Plus

Members of LFN joined a protest organised by Object outside Brixton Job Centre Plus at 6pm on Thursday 26 March, 2009.

Government-run Job Centres currently carry adverts for lap dancers, ‘masseurs’, ‘escorts’, web cam strippers and sex chat line operators. This means that the state is acting as a pimp as it promotes and legitimizes an industry that is based upon violence to women.

Million Women Rise, Saturday 7 March 2009

Million Women Rise brought together women from all over the UK to protest against male violence against women and children in all its forms. We gathered in Portman Square behind Marble Arch station before setting off along Oxford Street and down Regent Street. It was a bright spring Saturday afternoon and we chanted, sang and drummed as we made our way through the streets which were bussling with shoppers, many of whom cheered as we went past and had an overwhelmingly positive response. The march ended with a rally in Waterloo Place.

More on Million Women Rise:

Feminist Self Defence Training

LFN members took part in a feminist self defence training day run by the London Centre For Personal Safety. Female instructors taught and demonstrated practical techniques and coached us while we practised them and highly-trained male instructors wore padding and body armour so that we could practice hitting and kicking with full force. It was a fantastic day and we all left feeling empowered and with new confidence in our ability to defend and stand up for ourselves.

Million Women Rise Fundraiser

On Saturday 14 February, the organisers of Million Women Rise held a fundraising evening at the UCL Hospitals Sports & Social Club in Gower Street, London. This was a great evening with fabulous home-cooked food, a drumming workshop, music and comedy. There was even a swimming pool and sauna.

Feminist Book  Group

The LFN book group has been meeting every month for over four years to discuss a whole series of fantastic feminist books. At our first anniversary evening, on 18 March 2008, there were women representing every decade from their 20s through to their 60s. One young woman who came for the first time said “It is so fantastic to be in a feminist group with women from such a wide range of ages.” More >>