For one night in Portsmouth, we came, we chanted and we made the streets safe for women.
And what a night it was.
This year’s march saw over 250 women, men and children taking to the streets, carrying some of the best banners we’ve seen so far and without doubt, the best dancing. Special mention for White Ribbon volunteers Yaz and Corina, who led the march with some of the best dance moves we’ve seen in quite some time.
While we’re on the subject of credit where it’s due, massive thanks go to Batala for setting the pace of the march with their signature drumming, to all our speakers and performers and to the ever-faithful band of White Ribbon volunteers whose combined efforts make the event possible.
But of course, our biggest thanks go to everyone who attended – because it’s you that make the difference by shouting out that Pompey will not commit, condone or stay silent about violence against women and girls.
This was our fourth march, but the second year White Ribbon has celebrated local activism with its Outstanding Achievement Award. And the winner was Solent Feminist Network – a group comprised entirely of volunteers who have led on and supported some of 2011/12’s biggest campaigns against VAWG.
This year also saw a special award to our very own Chief Executive, Shonagh Dillon – in recognition of many years of activism, campaigning and hard work to make sure the voices of victims and survivors are heard.
The march closed with a fantastic pledge from the night’s compere, actor Kirsty Dillon: “Next year we want the march to be even bigger and even louder – we’re aiming for 1000 marchers to fill the Guildhall Square.”
If you’re not sure whether to be one of them, check out this video and make up your mind.
Convinced? Good. See you in 2013!