Feminism and migrants’ rights at the centre: Feminist Fightback’s speech to the Demand Democracy demo

Full text of Feminist Fightback’s speech at the #stopthecoupdemo today:

“Feminist Fightback has been out on the streets every single night this week – opposing Boris Johnson’s authoritarian power grab, defending migrants’ rights and demanding free movement for all. Some people have asked us what any of this has to do with feminism, so I am here today to say loud and clear that migration is a feminist issue.

Right now Feminist Fightback is campaigning against the NHS charges imposed on certain groups of migrants seeking health care, including maternity and abortion services. If a woman giving birth doesn’t have the right papers she will be charged up to £6700. If she can’t afford to pay these charges, they will be passed on to a debt collector, and if she still can’t pay she’ll reported to the Home Office. It is over 100 years since women were first granted the parliamentary vote, and yet in 2019 women living only a few miles away from where we’re standing today, are being denied a basic human right.

Watching the pathetic dick-waving bully-boy antics of the Tory frontbench over the last 10 days is all the confirmation we need that the feminist struggle is far from over. It comes as no surprise that Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees Mogg hate women as much as they hate migrants and as much as they hate democracy. Boris Johnson’s entire career has been devoted to making sexist comments, including describing Muslim women as ‘letterboxes’ and ‘bank robbers’. Jacob Rees Mogg opposes abortion even in case of rape and incest.

Women’s rights and queer rights have always been among the first casualties of fascism and racism. In Britain today toxic masculinity is once again driving the rise of the hard right. And if we’re going to stop them we need feminist politics at the heart of our movement. I don’t know about you, but Feminist Fightback has had enough of this shit! We’re ready for a better world, in which people of all genders, and people of all nations are treated as human beings and not as cogs in a machine or as collateral damage in a rich man’s game. And we’re ready to start building that better world with each and every one of you!”