Keep anti-abortion activists out of Birmingham's public spaces.

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To Birmingham City Council: disallow the use of Victoria Square for the pro-life event organised by March for Life on May 20th 2017

On Saturday 20th May, Birmingham City Centre will see the largest anti-abortion event in the UK take over Victoria Square. Life-Fest is a ticketed “family” event involving a stage, speeches, musicians and private security. It is a loud and unashamed show of strength by the anti-abortion group March for Life, calling for full  criminalization of abortion. It is not easy to miss this event when in the city centre.

For this event to take place in a central, public space in Birmingham not only presents an aggressive and hateful disturbance in our city but also suggests our city councillors condone the propagandizing of these sexist and dangerous views.

While freedom of speech allows groups such as March for Life to hold their event, the sexist and dehumanising language used by this group is not the speech of freedom. We the undersigned call on the members of Birmingham City Council to oppose giving them a central, public venue. We call on BCC to take action to cancel this event and any future events to be held in Victoria Square by March for Life.

The right wing Christian group hold the motto: “Life from conception - no exception”, which explicitly values the potential life of a zygote above the physical and mental health, and even the life, of the pregnant person.

We expect this year's event to be even more overt than in previous years, as this year is the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act, which was the first to allow people in England, Scotland and Wales access to safe and effective terminations of their pregnancies. Despite this long-standing law, the rights of women to choose whether or not to go through pregnancy and childbirth have been attacked both in Parliament and on the streets in every year since the Act was passed.

People accessing terminations are routinely harassed by pro-life groups, making an already difficult decision more difficult and even traumatic. To allow this March and festival to go ahead in Victoria Square is to amplify the already loud voice to those who wish to remove these rights.

March For Life UK is an anti-abortion organisation, demonstrating for a complete ban on abortion. They stem from an American organisation of the same name who host a national march annually in Washington DC.

For more information on this group see the organisation’s website (TW: anti-abortion, sexism, slut-shaming) : www.marchforlife.co.uk/



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