An encounter on the demonstration calling for a permanent ceasefire
OFN Member Wendy, joins the London March and calls for a permanent ceasefire to the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Note that our blog content reflects a wide variety of experiences and views of OFN members. The OFN does not necessarily endorse or support every woman’s opinion, but we uphold women’s rights to freedom of belief, thought and expression, and we welcome differing views (both on the blog and in the comments).

Not able to walk for the whole march I sat in Trafalgar Square waiting for it to come along.  I got chatting to an Egyptian woman sitting next to me. She was a Muslim and assumed I was a Christian. She said she wasn’t on the March for religion but for peace for everyone. She wanted people to be able to live alongside each other with equal rights no matter if you are Muslim, Jewish or Christian. I said that I didn’t agree with killing any civilians and that I was there out of concern for the dying, not out of hate. When I told her that I was an atheist we got into a discussion about religion and the existence or not of Allah or a god! We had very different understanding of life, but I think we were both enjoying our discussion. Her friend joined us, and we talked about how we weren’t in favour of our governments in Egypt or Britain. That it was good that people were out demonstrating despite what our governments say. 

As we heard the March getting closer we got up to go, but before we did, we three women, previously strangers, hugged each other with spontaneous affection. It was a lovely moment. 

I watched as the March walked around Trafalgar Square and down Whitehall. I and my partner joined the trade union block for a short while. It was good to be part of the March even for a short time, seeing the various banners and placards reflecting a range of organisations but also the many homemade placards made by individuals. As an older feminist, I was particularly pleased to see so many young women on the March. They are the future! 



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