Saturday, March 5. Outside Charing Cross Police Station, large crowds of women convened to rally against male violence before marching to New Scotland Yard – where police officers were revealed last month to have sent violently racist, misogynist and homophobic WhatsApp messages. Protestors banged drums and demanded a total “overhaul” of the police, and many wore red to symbolise the blood of women who have died at the hands of men. The protest took place almost exactly a year after Sarah Everard’s death last March: in that time, at least 125 women have been killed.
A few minutes down the road, at Trafalgar Square, around two thousand protesters gathered to protest Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. On the 10th day of the Russian occupation of Ukraine, demonstrators in London called for more weapons for Ukraine’s fighters, more visas for the war’s refugees, and the implementation of a no-fly zone over the country. A banner held outside the National Gallery read: “When the last Ukrainian soldier falls, Putin will come for you ladies & gents.”
A kilometre away in Soho Square, trans people and allies flocked together for the Trans Autonomy Now demo. Over a hundred people from across the country gathered to oppose the government’s gender recognition system and demand trans autonomy, in a show of community and resistance. The demo was aptly timed: just last month, the BBC was called out for its rampant transphobia, while a report published in January condemned the UK for ‘dehumanising’ trans people.
From violence against women to virulent attacks on trans rights to war: there’s a hell of a lot to protest about at the moment (there was also, on the same day, a protest about the cost of living crisis, and a sex strike is due to take place tomorrow). While it’s easy to feel hopeless given the current sorry state of affairs, seeing thousands of people take to the streets and feeling the palpable buzz of action is reason to be hopeful.
Here are a selection of photos from three rageful but powerful protests that happened this weekend (see more in the gallery above).