DIJON: A “feminist wave” to put an end to gender-based and sexual violence

During a stroll which took place in song and in peace, the speeches notably denounced “transphobia” and “putophobia”. About fifteen sex workers from Besançon took part in this march bringing together more than 200 people this Saturday, November 27.

At the call of the feminist collective of November 25, a march was organized this Saturday, November 27, 2021 in the streets of Dijon as part of the International Day against gender-based and sexual violence.

A national demonstration took place on November 21 in Paris, bringing together 18,000 people according to the police headquarters (50,000 according to the We All collective).

In Dijon, in 2019, nearly 1,000 people took part in a similar march followed, in 2020, by a “sign action” due to the health crisis.

Protest not declared but accompanied by police officers

This Saturday, in the context of both the Covid-19 epidemic, the launch of the Christmas festivities and a marked arrival of the cold, more than 200 people show up at Place Darcy to begin the stroll behind the banner announcing “a feminist wave to end gender-based and sexual violence”.

The day before, the prefect of Côte-d’Or had indicated that he regretted that this event had not been declared in order to prepare a concerted course. In fact, the walk will take place in peace.

Only the rue de la Préfecture, banned from the demonstration for this Saturday, will be blocked by the police, forcing the procession to pass twice through the rue Jean-Jacques-Rousseau, with police on bicycles accompanying the participants to manage traffic.

In addition to the collective of November 25, we note the presence of fifteen sex workers from Besançon under the banner “Whores in the soul”, the CGT and Solidaires unions as well as the student association FEBIA.

“A pacifist festive demonstration that gives energy and power”

Around 2.30 p.m., the procession sets off without speaking – the political declarations are scheduled to be read by particular themes during stages on the route – but after a song to set the tone for “a peaceful peaceful demonstration. which gives energy and power ”.

Extracts: “listen to the noise of the paving stones, here comes the feminists, against the violent and the sexists, (…) already from childhood we are sexualized, and over our body, we no longer have control. , (…) If I say no to you and bah it’s not yes, the exchanges are cool if it is agreed, (…) aggressors rapists the system protects you, but don’t come up against our procession”.

Behind the head banner, the signs are waving: “no, that’s no”, “down with putophobia”, “sexism is everywhere, so are we”, “let us free ourselves from the male”, “your hand on my body, my fist in your mouth “,” solidarity with veiled women “,” so that our lives are no longer classified without continuation “,” my body, my choice, stop violence “.

The first names of women victims of murder by a spouse or ex-spouse – also called “feminicide” – are also brandished, associated with their age. In 2021, to date, there are 100 women who have died in these circumstances (102 in 2020, 156 in 2019, 120 in 2018).

“Aggressor, rapist, it’s up to you to be afraid”

The slogans also fuse: “the patriarchy will not fall on its own, let’s organize to trample on it”, “no rapist in our neighborhood, no neighborhood for rapists”, “aggressor, rapist, it’s yours to be afraid ”,“ facho, macho, we will have your skin ”,“ we are strong, we are proud, and feminists and radicals and angry ”,“ national police, patriarchal militia ”,“ boss, homeland, patriarchy, same root, same fight ”.

After having walked along the Christmas market on rue de la Liberté, the first stop is at Place du Bareuzai to read excerpts from “H24 – 24 heures dans la vie d’une femme”, compiling the monologues of 24 writers and brought to the screen on Arte by 24 actresses to denounce violence against women.

The demands of sex workers

Place Notre-Dame, the speaking out denounce the assaults, thefts, rapes and murders of sex workers. 1,230 reports were reportedly made in 2021.

The speaker deplores the fact that she does not benefit from “any state protection” – booed by the demonstrators – and working conditions which have worsened since the 2016 law to strengthen the fight against the prostitution system which penalizes clients in their imposing a fine of up to 1,500 euros.

The offense of procuring prevents sex workers from “[s]’self-organize, to [se] support and [se] protect between colleagues, to have a family life, children, a companion or a companion and also to be a tenant of an apartment ”.

The speaker established a direct link between “the increase in violence” and this law: “the State supposedly wants to protect us, rules us in the position of victims of our clients and pimps but it only made us precarious, vulnerable and isolated ”.

Finally, in the name of Whores in the Soul, the speaker demands “the freedom to offer sex services for a fee to our clients and our adult clients”, asks for a framework allowing clients to respect the conditions set by the workers of the sex such as wearing a condom and refuses “harassment by the police”.

“Trans people are made invisible”

Place de la République, the speech concerns transphobia, that is to say discrimination and violence against a transgender person: “transphobia kills, this year 375 trans and non-conforming people were murdered. in the world”. To honor them, World Transgender Day of Remembrance is being held on November 20.

The difficult counting of these tragedies in France does not make it possible to establish such statistics on the scale of the country. On the other hand, the collective Trans Inter Comté deplores the suicide in 2021 of Amélia having lived in Besançon: “she was trans, she was a woman and we loved her, no offense to all the censors of the city”.

“Not being able to identify with the gender that we were arbitrarily assigned at birth is not in itself a problem. What poses a problem for trans people is invisibilization, silencing, injunctions to remain in the assigned gender, administrative and medical blockages, beatings, etc. ”, denounces with emotion the person at the microphone. “Fired in militant feminist circles, marginalized in LGBT circles, trans people are made invisible. Even our people forget about us ”.

Antifascism and feminism

By chanting “no feminism without trans”, the demonstrators set out again in the direction of the Antiquaires district. Along the way, several collages are made to display in particular “protect your daughters, educate your sons”.

On the way for two hours, the procession has lost troops. About fifty people arrive at the Place du Théâtre around 4.30 p.m. for the last speech, a libertarian harangue emphasizing the convergence between anti-fascism and feminism as part of the campaign for the presidential election.

Jean-Christophe Tardivon


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