150 join International Women’s Day rally in Leeds

The Leeds Women’s Strike Assembly organised a lunchtime walkout and an evening meeting. Socialist Party members and campaigners for Women’s Lives Matter participated, linking women’s struggle to ending austerity and fighting for socialism. We also helped to organise the day’s events.

By Nina Brown, Leeds Socialist Party & Women’s Lives Matter

Socialist Party member Amy Cousens spoke at the lunchtime rally from Women’s Lives Matter. The crowd of 150 nodded and cheered in agreement with the fact that women cannot wait for a Jeremy Corbyn government but need action against austerity now. The University and College Union and others also spoke.

We marched, banging pots and pans, wearing red, shouting chants, and stopping traffic. People on their lunchbreaks joined us as we passed. They cheered us from the streets, taking leaflets faster than we could hand them out. Bus drivers, retail workers, carers and older people clapped, honked and gave us the thumbs up.

Security workers attempted to stop us entering the posh shopping centres, but we were unstoppable. Ten people bought copies of the Socialist and people liked our petitions against Universal Credit and cuts to domestic violence services. 50 people came to the evening meeting.

Leeds Socialist Party plans to renew our efforts in building Women’s Lives Matter. We will speak at trade union and Labour Party meetings, hold our own public meeting, and build for a lobby this summer to demand the council reverse domestic violence service cuts.

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