Photos from Jen Kelly, Video by Kate Brady.
The shite weather and bus strikes didn’t deter thousands of marchers who showed for the largest ever March for Choice in Dublin on Saturday.
Despite the weather, spirits were high. With many march participants singing and chanting spurred on by the presence of some damn tight drum ensembles. Others were content to just stroll, keeping an eye out for mates usually ran into with ease at pro-choice demonstrations, but now scattered to the winds among thousands for whom this may have been their first demo.
Of course, there were many there who’d marched before and often. With photos of two friends popping up on Twitter, one taken in 1983 and another today. How much longer must they wait?
We fought the 8th amendment then and we're still fighting for reproductive rights. pic.twitter.com/gJzUifIrWU
— Cathy Power (@cathypower) September 24, 2016
The large turnout was quite possibly a reflection of the recent organising and empowerment derived from the marriage equality and the water charge campaigns, but almost certainly a testament to the years of work and dedication that the Abortion Rights Campaign have put in on the issue.
Support was not just confined to the streets, signs and shows of support adorned buildings the route of the march – from the Gate Theatre with their windows full of people to the woman on her balcony from the Pearse St flats with her lighter out ‘keeping it lit’ to rapturous applause.
There was an atmosphere of anger, resolve, determination -but also optimism, a palpable sense that a referendum on the amendment will become a reality.
Of course, die hard anti-choicers attempted to make their presence felt. Two muppets waving a Vatican flag abused those as they marched by, and one prominent pro-life activist was caught rapid in a Repeal jumper posing with a placard designed to portray pro-choicers as baby killing loons.
Which of course shows the frustration and desperation of the anti-choice brigade – as they realise the tide has well and truly turned.
Check out our piece on a post-8th Amendment Ireland here.