England, Wales and Scotland section of International Socialist Alternative

Building a fighting movement against gender violence

On 25 November, Socialist Feminist Alternative is calling for the widest possible mobilisation for protests against misogynistic and transphobic violence. This date is the UN’s annual day for the elimination of gender violence. We want to turn it into a launchpad for the type of movement we all know is desperately needed against the oppression of this sick system which is literally killing us.

Multiple times over the last few years thousands of us here in the UK, and millions around the globe, have come out onto the streets when our sisters have been murdered – Brianna Ghey, Sabina Nessa, Sarah Everard and hundreds more. We have demanded the justice that is so often denied to us by courts that victim blame and police forces that have been proven to be institutionally sexist and queerphobic. We have demanded the basic right to be able to live our lives and walk the streets free from fear.

But we won’t ever get real justice, freedom or safety on the basis of capitalism. It is no coincidence that we are seeing a rise in transphobic and homophobic violence at the same time as the Tories are banning unisex toilets in new builds and trying to force teachers to out trans students. And it’s no coincidence that the culture war of the right is escalating in that way at the same time as we face a cost of living crisis, intensifying climate catastrophe and all the establishment parties in chaos.

Their system is in crisis and as always they are turning on the most marginalised and oppressed in an attempt to distract and divide us. From the moral panic about trans people’s participation in sport (and even chess!), to vile racism against refugees, to the archaic prosecution of people seeking abortions outside of Britain’s outdated laws, it is disproportionately women and gender non-conforming people paying the price with our lives and our right to bodily autonomy.

So while we will continue to protest against every instance of gender violence, let’s not wait for the inevitable next time. Let’s get organised now, using 25N as a rallying cry for the feminist and workers’ movements to go on the offensive and fight for the type of change needed to end gender violence once and for all. For Socialist Feminist Alternative, these five demands make a very good start at that to organise around for 25N:

Organise against this violent system! Build protests and walkouts at every opportunity against gender violence, harassment and abuse. Form coalitions to build for mass protests on 25 November and beyond.

Make our schools safe places for all. Solidarity between students and teachers to fight the new Tory gender guidance. Protest against sexist, racist and anti-trans uniform policies. For fully funded LGBTQ+ inclusive sex and relationships education as part of a curriculum worked out by education unions, students and communities. Kick the market out of education!

Trans-inclusive healthcare now as part of a fully funded, publicly owned NHS. End the crisis of waiting lists for gender-affirming care such as puberty blockers and mental health services. Support health workers fighting to defend our health service!

Resources and support for survivors of abuse. Reopen all refuges and invest to expand spaces, including specialist services for migrants and LGBTQ+ survivors. A mass programme of council-house building to meet need and offer an escape route for those who need it.

A socialist alternative to the violence and oppression of capitalism! For an international, socialist feminist struggle against capitalism – an inherently oppressive and exploitative system – and for a world free from misogyny, homophobia and transphobia, where everyone is able to live safely, freely and truly liberated.

Building a 25N protest in your area

Step One: Build 25N coalitions!

Use our template letter (available here) to reach out to other activists and groups to get involved. Organise a planning meeting that can discuss details.

Step Two: Decide the details

The best place might be somewhere in the town centre known for protests. It might be outside a council building if there is a threatened service closure, it might be in your school playground, or anywhere else that makes sense, based on the issue and who is involved.

Will it be a static ‘speak out’ type event or a marching protest? Planning some speakers in advance who concentrate on different parts of our demands is a good idea. Make sure you have all the materials you will need – like a megaphone.

Step Three: Spread the word

We can provide you with colour leaflets and posters. Think about the best places to campaign with these.

You could use sign-up sheets, which is a great way to start conversations with people while you are handing out leaflets. You can also gather contact details to remind people closer to the time.

A good social media campaign can make a big difference – think about all the different platforms and types of content.

Step Four: Keep building the coalition

Those who are keen to get involved could be invited to get together to make banners for the protest, or take part in informal discussions or reading groups related to the political issues.

Step Five: on the day

Make sure the organisers arrive early to set up and that you are visible and dynamic by the time protesters start to arrive. Be bold, vibrant and make your voices heard! Collect details from as many attendees as possible so that you can let them know about future events and see if they want to protest again soon.


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