By Anya Duxbury
People of all genders took to the streets of Belfast City Centre on Saturday 4 March to come together and celebrate International Women’s Day. The rally included, for the first time since 2020, a march from Writers Square to City Hall. The posters and banners were accompanied by shouting and screaming, chants and cheers, proclaiming that when women’s rights, trans rights and migrants’ rights are under attack, we will all “Stand Up and Fight Back!” The return of the march was a cause for celebration, with a fantastic turnout and crowds of shoppers stopping to watch or even join in.
Whilst it was a joyful event, there was both sadness and anger at the lack of change and women’s lives lost since the last rally. It was especially powerful to see Natalie McNally’s family in attendance, standing proud at the front of the crowd. The speakers were inspiring, with the crowd loudly showing support for migrant mothers, the rights of disabled women, Women’s Aid, and the Regina Coeli house. Whilst there was a transphobic comment made by one of the speakers, the crowd immediately rallied, and a powerful show of support and solidarity for the trans community followed. The trans flag was held high and an ABBA soundtrack set the scene for a final dance party in the crowd.