In addition to running the Jar Belles site, I’m part of Fourth Wave: London Feminist Activists, and I would like to invite all of you lovely Jar Belles to our Feminist Solidarity Fest.
Feminist Solidarity Fest is an event to promote solidarity (duh) across all supporters of gender equality. We want to make it as open to people as possible, encouraging not only strident feminists to attend (though we obviously love ‘em) but also people who would agree that men and women should be equal but haven’t given it much more thought than that. This is for two main reasons:
- To remind ourselves, and the media, of just how many people want gender equality in the UK (and globally) today. Feminist Solidarity Fest isn’t just for the strident feminists out there; it’s for everyone who agrees that men and women should be equal. It’s time we stood up and were counted. There are still so many goals that the majority of people want: an end to violence against women, equal pay for equal work, a right to equal education and opportunities for boys and girls. Greater gender equality in the UK would benefit everyone.
- To bridge the divides between feminist groups for one day and remind ourselves of our common goals. We want to establish a feeling of community amongst feminists, giving all you lovely people the opportunity to meet one another, and we want to fight the idea that infighting is inevitable. Finally, we want to create a cohesive, powerful movement. After all, we’re stronger together.
The event will take the form of a community picnic, with speakers, poets and musicians. It’s completely free, though you’re welcome to donate to the running of it via our Donations page (we don’t receive any funding other than from this page and the odd small fundraiser), and everyone is welcome. Speakers and performers confirmed so far include:
Rabina Khan – Writer, politician, former Cabinet Member for Housing and community worker in Tower Hamlets
Janine Booth – Trade Unionist, Marxist and Socialist-Feminist, Janine will be speaking as well as performing some of her fantastic poetry
My Tights Won’t Stay Up – The hilarious women behind ‘Week in Sexist News’; they’ll be performing this for us live
Baroness Jenny Jones of Moulscoomb – The first Green life peer in the House of Lords, Jenny Jones has also been a member of the London Assembly since 2000
Great Men Value Women – A project to engage men and boys in promoting gender equality; Project Manager David Brockway and Ambassador Siana Bangura will be running an interactive workshop for us
Sophie Elliott – Editor and founder of ‘unashamedly feminist’ Parallel magazine
Shagufta Iqbal – Powerful Bristol-born spoken word poet, examining gender, race, and culture
Schools Consent Project – Provides workshops in schools for boys and girls to explore the legal framework surrounding sexual offences and consent. Co-directors Rebecca and Laura will be presenting
Kerry Abel – Kerry is Chair at Abortion Rights, the UK’s national pro-choice campaign
Marie Hanson – Aka ‘The Queen of Doddington’, a politician who runs empowerment workshops on the estate
Siana Bangura – Writer, spoken word poet and editor of No Fly on the Wall, which discusses and celebrate intersectional feminism. Siana will be speaking as well as performing some of her compelling poetry
Laura Coryton – Laura is the founder of the Stop Taxing Periods. Period. campaign, which fights to remove the tax on sanity products
Shabana Kausar – National women’s campaigner, formerly of Women’s Aid and now PRIMH and National Stella Project Coordinator at Against Violence and Abuse
Neha Shah – A feminist, mental health activist and journalist, Neha blogs for the Huffington Post
Angela Howard – A feminist and Happiness Coach, Angela will be running a workshop on resolving emotional barriers such as anxiety and depression
Tomandparis – Soulful singer songwriter duo from Bury St Edmunds
Gaptooth – Gaptooth is a feminist electronic pop singer/songwriter based in East London
As you can see, we’ve got a great line-up filled with amazing people, and it will be a good opportunity to hear about some of the latest feminist campaigns. FSF is also a great opportunity to learn more if you’re curious about feminism in general. If you’re already clued up, bring a friend or relative (or all of them!) so that they can get involved too. Who knows, maybe if we all put our heads together we’ll even come up with a solution for the patriarchy. If not, let’s hope for a good time.
I look forward to seeing you there!
Feminist Solidarity Fest will take place in Hackney Downs park, London, on Sunday 6th September, and starts at 12pm. For further information, please see the Feminist Solidarity Fest website: https://femsolidarityfest.wordpress.com/