On the third of march 2011 seven women in Abidjan on the Ivory coast were mown down by gunfire.
They were there, protesting peacefully about Laurent Gbagbo who has squatted in presidential power refusing to leave after he was legally voted out. Mothers, daughters and sisters took to the streets to peacefully show their support for the recognised majority holder in that vote; Alassane Outtara.
Seven of them paid with their lives.
We don’t realise how intensely privileged we are to have such an established right to protest. Todays news is regularly filled with people who face so much to stand up and say, “We disagree… we want something else. ” People who understand the risk and brave it.
To the people who feel that the men and women sitting behind a banks counter ready to pay in cheques or help you with withdrawals are in fact the fat cats who hedgefunded us into financial failure and therefore deserve to be stormed, terrified and to have bricks thrown at them, the people who possibly have confused the teenage fashion fan on a minimum wage working in Topshop for a tax exile, I say to you, frankly – you cunts.
Sorry to anyone offended by such frank cussing but to be honest those pathetic, adrenalin fueled, short-sighted, self righteous arseholes – have to me – just pissed all over those women’s corpses. Frankly if I could get my hands on them I’d be trying out a few of my previous thoughts about physically violent women. At the very least they’d be on my time-out step having a good think about their actions.
Zeph, Ida and I had a fantastic march. We were surrounded by a massive range of people – all passionate about showing their opposition to these cuts to vital services and heard many options and possibilities for genuine alternatives.
I came away tired, happy and optimistic. I still retain that feeling although I am dismayed about the huge media coverage of a minority. I hope their actions have not totally overshadowed the rest of us who came and stood shoulder to shoulder, (watch it – I feel a Comrade rising to my lips..)
Zeph was amazing, really engaged in why we were there and helpful. Ida would have liked a banner to wave. I saw her drinking in the atmosphere and the people around us were charmed by her regal waving to the applauding people on the pavements. I’m pretty sure she thought they were there for her.
The food bribery held out until the journey home and thankfully both kids fell asleep on the coach back. Possibly the most hair-raising aspect of the day was hearing Reg, sharing the seat in front with Zeph, sharing some of his huge store of filthy stories and jokes. I had a brief chat with Zeph about context. He lets me know he knows what context is and do I? Since I’m the one who used the C word at sports day. I subside.
Today has been full of small important pleasures. We mooched around the garden.
I’ve used up all the sand laying a couple of slabs. Going to have to beg another lift…
We planted seeds. Courgettes, peas, borlotti beans, snapdragons, lupins, sweetpeas, teasels, cress and a mysterious packet in Italian that I have assumed is mixed salad leaves.
We look at all the different daffodils, Ida shows me her favourite;