What Women Want
Female activists march on Whitehall and raid French frigate
8th March 2002
A Global Women's Strike on March 8 saw female activists across the world demonstrating for a series of humanitarian demands. In London, hundreds of women endured the rain to join a march through Whitehall demanding deinvestment in military budgets, pay equity for all, workplace rights, the abolition of Third Word debt, accessible services, non-destructive energy and technology and asylum from persecution.
In Scotland, eight female activists broke into a military depot next to Faslane Nuclear base on the River Clyde at 5am on March 11. The activists were part of a weekend gathering of campaigners meeting to celebrate International Women's Day. Having entered the depot the eight women climbed on board the French frigate 'Degrasse' which, the women claimed, was involved in sinking the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior in Aukland Harbour, New Zealand in 1985.
As bemused French marines attempted to grab the women, three managed to climb 50 ft up the ship's masts to hang a banner say 'Women of the world unite for a world without war'. They then D-locked their necks to the ship and after five hours of negotiations with the French military and MoD police they were cut free using hydraulic cutters. The women then refused to leave the ship voluntarily and were abseiled down by a climbing team before being charged with breeching the peace, breaking Faslane bylaws. Three of the activists were also charged with resisting arrest.
Two spokeswomen for the activists, describing themselves as Mary and Daisy Vexed told SQUALL: "The women believe that the international military machine is conspiring to strengthen its power through fear and violence and they do not accept this as a way forward, so seek to disrupt."