My first march, my first ‘Pussy Grabs Back’

 

Just two days ago, I walked alongside tens of thousands of Australians who protested in the streets of our capital cities and towns against gender based violence. 

#March4Justice was sparked by the bravery of Brittany Higgins coming forward with the truth about her experience of sexual assault in Parliament house. The march was an equally heart-breaking and heart-opening event – a reminder of the power of people, and the power of voice in making a change.  It  transported me back to my first ever march.

 

 

I still remember it vividly. It was 2016. I was living in Berlin, broke, 20 years old and very naïve. The weight of the world was only just beginning to sit upon my shoulders and I’d started to understand that life wasn’t all that easy. The shared flat that I lived in had rats and holes in the wall. I was heartbroken and winter had just set in. I divided my time by angstily watching from my window as old leaves collected on the ground and scrolling on Facebook. It was the first time that I felt truly uncomfortable in myself. And to top it all off, Trump had just been elected. When this happened, my Facebook and Instagram seemed suddenly to become just a long  noticeboard of similarly angry and hopeless messages. Until the day I found an event happening with the title “PUSSY GRABS BACK”

I read the bio:

“A gathering, a rally, a place to be together and voice that white supremacy will not prevail. A place to mourn the lives that will be immediately affected by this election. A day to continue the fight that has been going on for centuries, and not let down all the work that has been done so far. To stand in solidarity with all queers, trans people, people of color, muslims, mexicans, women, refugees, and every marginalized person on this planet.”

I pushed myself out of bed and went. There were people I’d never seen before – mainly women, children, trans people, non-binary people but male allies too. Everyone held plaques that said: “Pussy Grabs Back!” “Equality, when do we want it? Now!” “Abolish White Supremacy!” and “Untrump the World”. 

We cried a lot. We shouted and screamed – it felt so good to scream!

 

 “Pussy Grabs Back!” 

 “Pussy Grabs Back!” 

 “Pussy Grabs Back!” 

 

 

The haze of my winter depression immediately lifted and was replaced with anger. And love. People shared their stories of assault, read their poetry of heartbreak, read Marx, read Baldwin, read Lorde, read De Beauvoir,  read Malcom X. It was a community. A community of feeling.It’s like a canon of mixed emotion fired both within and outside myself. So much emotion that I felt so elated that all I could do is cry, scream and yell. 

 

Protests and marches don’t have to be in the streets. They are everyday and everywhere – in the home, office, workplace and government…

But finding the ones where you can scream alongside other people are pretty powerful. 

 

 

 

Written and photographs by Lisabel Link

Guest Blogger + Friend of Bonnies

 

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