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International Women’s Day – a walk home from work

I’d just finished my last class at eight in the evening and I was tired. I couldn’t wait to get home, eat and sleep.

On the way to the Metro I saw the Police forming a road block and wondered what the problem was. Fire? There weren’t any fire engines. Terrorist threat? They were still allowing buses and pedestrians through. And Beyonce had left a long time ago, taking all terrorist interest with her.

Then I heard it. A loud protest March.

Just outside Urquinaona Metro Station, people were marching from Plaza Catalunya onto Via Laietana. There was the rhythmic thunderous sound of close to a hundred Drums. Mmm so maybe I wasn’t feeling that tired. I could Walk past the march and have a look.

I glimpsed a sign, We’re all Putas, and the marchers were dressed in purple T-shirts. A march for Women’s Day to protest gender inequality.

I went Closer to take a picture. Good for a facebook update perhaps.

I got up on a planter to get my shot, while those inexorable drums sounded, reverberating in my stomach. The junglist beats stirred things inside me. I know others were feeling it because they were doing what I was. Standing tall, necks craning, almost unconscious of our feet carrying us closer and closer.

Soon I was swaying my hips. Then I was stepping off the Pavement. Suddenly I was in the march. Ahead, a girl on the pavement dangled her foot over the edge, hesitated, then hopped in. Turning, she pulled her boyfriend down. Now they were dance-marching too.

Then I was at the front of our section. Then we were near the police station and I was wondering just how good an idea it was to be in the front row near the police. I looked behind me, it was all smiling joy and primeval drums. Ah! It was a women’s march, not a testosterone fueled anger management workshop. It was all good.

Even when numbers swelled to uncomfortable levels, and we were jammed in the street shoulder to shoulder, there was no problem. When dancers were directed to crouch, the little old couple beside me, holding tight to each other, lowered themselves too. A powerfully built man with dreadlocks came up and passed a glass a beer around the drummers, patiently waiting to carry it to each woman. No one wanted that sound to stop. Down the road we went, down and into Placa Jaume where grey haired women stood on stage and spoke about the need to end gender inequality in here and around the world.

Best protest march. Best walk home after work.

International Women's Day Barcelona

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International Women’s Day – a walk home from work


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