(I’m the only person how hasn’t use the Spuc-Off pun, tiz a good one though!)
On Saturday April 28th Demonstrations called by individuals within Bristol Anarchist Federation and Bristol’s Feminist Network countered one organised by the Society for the Protection on Unborn Children (SPUC), a “pro-life” group (we prefer the term “anti-choice”). We chose to counter this demonstration not just because SPUC believe that women should not have the right to choose what happens to their own bodies but because their other major campaign is lobbying against same-sex marriage. They are also against contraception and promote punishment for those involved in abortions involving muslim women. Although they claim to not be religious all their views are backed up with the view that they are doing the right thing by God.
The SPUC vigil was a series of 40 or so happening across the country and many experienced counter demonstrations – Cardiff, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Excellent blog on the Bath one , Our comrades in Lincoln Anarchists blog, Bristol’s Activist Twined City of Brighton, Liverpool plus others.
The SPUC Vigil totalled 20 people and the counter demo 80. So I guess that says something. The AF called counter-demo was massively bolstered by Bristol Feminist Network and other individuals who had also called a demo (around 60 people) many with home-made placards. They chose to set up shop on the other side of the road to show where majority opinion on the pro-choice debate lay. Others chose to mingle with pro-lifers and question them on their morals and support for a misogynistic, homophobic group. Many were not up for debate with us, perhaps because they could not answer our questions. It was clear many did not even know what group they were supporting by being there and accused us of lying about the homophobic bit (it’s on their website under campaigns, go look). I liked this demo because we got to work with a different set of people to normal, so for that reason alone it was successful.
Some pro-lifers however did engage in debate, one even promised not to demonstrate with SPUC again after he found out how homophobic they were, he wasn’t going to be turned on the anti-choice stance though. We received a lot of support from passers-by and drivers and hope that SPUC will think twice before holding another vigil that attempts to take away women’s autonomy of their own bodies.
Second two photos used with agreement of photographer, see her blog on the demo here
And the other point of view? That’s here.