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Women's rights campaigners abused and told 'stupid women already have rights' during silent city march

By Megan Archer | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

‘Get out of the way’ and ‘stupid women already have rights’ were some of the shattering insults peaceful campaigners endured as they embarked on a silent march around Wolverhampton.

Artist Hannah Taylor orchestrated the powerful silent walk through Wolverhampton on Sunday to mark International Women’s Day 2018.

She said she was first inspired after watching the Women’s March following US President Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017.

“It made me very aware that making a fuss didn’t seem to do anything,” she said.

“So we just wanted to walk in silence as we felt like no-one was listening anyway.”

Silent campaigners walk through the streets of Wolverhampton

Dressed all in white, the women and men marched slowly hand in hand, stopping off at various landmarks along the way.

But 27-year-old Hannah, originally from Gornal, said the public reaction was ‘depressing’.

She said: “Last year people were really supportive but this year people seemed irritated we were there.

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“They were saying ‘get out of the way’, muttering about us, someone said ‘stupid women already have rights’.

Silent campaigners walk through the streets of Wolverhampton

Hannah also claimed security staff in the Mander Centre weren’t happy with the group.

“One kept following me and asking ‘are you the leader?’ and I handed him a card to show it was a silent protest but he kept asking ‘are you the leader?’.

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“It was really sad. Maybe politically things are getting so extreme, and that was why. There’s definitely been a shift of attitudes.

“Some women didn’t even take the cards we were handing out, and said they didn’t want anything to do with it.

“More blokes actually took them.”

Silent campaigners walk through the streets of Wolverhampton

The group of about 15 started at St Peter’s Church and stopped off at the Job Centre, magistrates; court, Mander Centre and Prince Albert Statue. When they reached a landmark, they then spread out into a line still holding hands and silently handed out cards explaining why they were there.

Hannah added: “We were like living statues. Overall it was really positive and empowering – all of us getting together. Hannah, ownver of The Asylum art gallery, said she was determined to come back for 2019 and march through the city streets again.

She added that the negative reaction around this year’s walk had ‘definitely’ not put her off.

The Mander Centre was not available for comment.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Deputy Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Deputy Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email megan.archer@expressandstar.co.uk.

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