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Countering the Irish "Pro-Life" Rally - Pro-Choice Counter Demonstration

category ireland / britain | gender | news report author Thursday July 07, 2011 21:50author by Cian Lynch - WSM Report this post to the editors

WSM and other pro-choice activists took place in a counter demonstration to the “Rally for Life” which took place in Dublin on Sunday 3 July 2011. The anti-abortion rally was organised by Youth Defence (including “The Life Institute”(previously Mother & Campaign – an outgrowth of Youth Defense) and Belfast Based "Precious Life". Approximately 2,000 people seem to have attended. The pro-choice counter demonstration, organised at short notice was still attended by around 300 people. Many attending the anti-abortion rally came from all over Ireland and even included a small group of migrants from the Philippines. There were some tense exchanges between pro-choice campaigners and anti-abortion marchers.

As is to be expected on such events, there was a strong religious element, with some marchers holding banners of the virgin mary and one man walking quietly and holding a crucifix to the counter demonstration like a talisman to ward off evil. Another notable character was a chap who had draped himself in the Israeli flag and who held up a cardboard sign to the pro-choice campaigners which read “nazi scum”! Two open topped buses had been requisitioned for the anti-abortion march and these incongrously blasted out tunes like House of Pain's “Jump Around”, a band known for “drinking prodigious amounts of beer, and swearing constantly.” - a strange choice indeed for a demonstration with such religious and moralistic overtones!

The pro-choice demonstrators gathered at the spire in good humor with drummers and loudspeakers and several speakers addressed the crowd including Suzanne Lee and Leness Falls . Some of the more memorable chants from the pro-choice side were “Get your rosaries off our ovaries” and “pro-life, its a lie, you don't care if women die”. As the rally passed the counter demonstrators gathered on both sides of the road around the spire and the atmosphere was tense at times as Gardai moved several people along from the march who seemed eager for a physical confrontation. Some anti-abortion demonstrators infiltrated the pro-choice demo and began chanting “life, life” in opposition to the calls for “choice”. A speaker on the pro-choice demonstration called for restraint and to avoid being provoked to violence, which was much applauded.

WORDS: Cian Lynch IMAGE: Andrew Flood

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