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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 6 June, 2020
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Here's how Irish emigrants in 23 cities are showing their support for Repeal The 8th today

It’s all part of a ‘global gathering’ to coincide with the March For Choice.

THIS AFTERNOON, THOUSANDS of people will attend the fifth annual pro-choice march in Dublin.

The March For Choice, which is organised by the Abortion Rights Campaign, bills itself as the biggest pro-choice event in Ireland and kicks off at 2pm from the Garden of Remembrance this afternoon.

But people won’t just be marching in Dublin. In fact, there are demonstrations planned in 23 cities to coincide with the March For Choice today.

It’s all part of Repeal the 8th – A Global Gathering, an initiative organised by The Scarlet Brigade.

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Scarlet Brigade is a blog set up by two Irish women, Karen Twomey and Fiona Gwozdz. Twomey, who originally hails from Cork, works in television and film production in Vancouver. Gwozdz is from Dublin and works in marketing in Portland.

Twomey tells DailyEdge.ie that both women were “scarlet for Ireland’s eighth amendment and wanted to do something about it” and decided to arrange a global gathering aimed at Irish abroad who want to show their support for the repeal movement.

Whether they can organize a rally, a peaceful protest, a picnic to support this movement or just take a snapshot on their own and post it to social media, we think it’ll be a great way to show a flood of support from around the world to REPEAL THE 8th.

Twomey says that living in Canada has “been a huge eye opener and showed how backwards Ireland can be” when it comes to abortion legislation and equality.

Anytime I would discuss the repeal movement or women’s rights in Ireland with Canadian people it would me met with shock and anger. Abortion has been legal in all cases in Canada for 50 years, the streets are painted with pride flags, our prime minister marches in pride parades and talks openly about being a feminist and legalizing marijuana.

“It’s really inspiring, but also, again, a reminder of how far Ireland has to go in terms of real equality for everyone.”

Twomey believes that change will be pushed forward by the younger generation, but pointed out that many live abroad and will therefore be unable to vote should a referendum be held.

It was this feeling of being “voiceless” that inspired Twomey to organise the global gathering.

So far, there are a wide array of events scheduled to take place in major Irish expat hubs like London, Vancouver, New York, San Francisco, Melbourne, Boston and Sydney.

For instance, there’s a pot luck picnic brunch taking place in Montreal, a protest outside the Irish Consulate happening in New York and a peaceful gathering in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Twomey says that this demonstrates the appetite for change among Irish people abroad.

All of these events just go to show how passionate Irish people abroad feel about repealing. So much hard work from everyone has gone into planning these events the past month or so and we will be standing strong in solidarity on Saturday to demand change from the government.

A full list of cities participating can be found on the official event here.

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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