Festival of Choice main day – 16th September 2017
From 11.00 to 21.00 – Registration starts at 10.30
Amnesty International UK, 17-25 New Inn Yard, EC2A 3EA
10.30 – 11.00 Registration
11.00 – 12.30 Panel: “Under attack: Women’s right to choose in times of political turmoil and rising fundamentalisms” – with speakers from IPPF, Sisters Uncut, Amnesty International UK and Marie Stopes International
Speakers will be addressing the global challenges faced by women around the world in securing and defending reproductive and sexual health rights. Topics will include the global gag rule’s effect on funding, repercussions endured by women’s rights defenders and activists, stigmas against reproductive and sexual health service providers and women accessing these services.
12.30 – 13.00 Break
13.00 – 14.30 Workshop 1: “Direct action and reproductive rights” organised by Feminist Fightback
27th October 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act, a piece of legislation which increased the ability of women in England, Scotland and Wales to make decisions about their own bodies. Not so in Northern Ireland, where abortion remains illegal in almost all cases. Join Feminist Fightback and friends as we plan a special anniversary action in solidarity with those who are still unable to access safe, legal abortion in Northern Ireland.
13.00 – 14.30 Workshop 2: “How to talk about abortion and stigma” organised by IPPF
IPPF will host an interactive workshop focusing on the messages we receive about abortion from media and society, and how they can reinforce abortion stigma. The workshop will start a discussion about how we can reframe words/images to fight inaccurate/stigmatising perceptions of those who have abortions (which will hopefully be useful for the creative workshops later in the day!)
14.30 – 15.00 Talk: “Abortion rights in 2017: an international overview“ by Marge Berer, International Coordinator, International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion
15.00 – 15.30 Talk: “East London Strippers Collective presents… A Manifesto For Change” by East London Strippers Collective
15.00 – 16.30 Workshop 3: “Self -healing & Stitching” – Embroidery organised by Angela Camacho
A meditative practice of needlework and self preservation. Angela Camacho (TheBonitaChola on Instagram) is an Indigenous creative, Bruja and community organiser. She collaborates with women and children in underprivileged areas of London to produce and deliver healing arts and crafts workshops that are grounded in her indigenous culture and traditions. Her workshops brings together communities, artists and activists to explore issues of sexism, environmental crisis, multi-national exploitation, housing and welfare for refugees and migrants.
15.45 – 17.15 Screening & panel discussion: “Abortion in Ireland and Northern Ireland 101” organised by London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign
Everyday, 11 women travel from Ireland to England for abortion. Join the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign for a excerpt of Free Safe Legal, a crowd-funded documentary following the campaign to decriminalise abortion in Ireland & Northern Ireland, and a panel discussion with activists and campaigners fighting for change including Doughty Street Chambers Barrister (acting for A & B) Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, Senior Lecturer in Medical Law at Queen Mary University of London School of Law and Lawyers for Choice Ireland Dr Ruth Fletcher, member of Alliance for Choice Danielle Roberts, Free Safe Legal director Hattie Ladd and Abortion Support Network’s helpline volunteer Maddie Telford.
16.30 – 17.00 Break
17.00 – 18.30 Workshop 4: “Creative Writing as Self-care” organised by Charlotte Heather
A workshop that focuses on the cathartic side of creative writing exercises around the topics of the Festival of Choice. No writing experience necessary, write in whichever language is most comfortable – you don’t have to share your work unless you want to!
17.30 – 18.30 Talk “Obstetric violence is a feminist issue” with Jesusa Ricoy
An exploration on the topic of obstetric violence, also called abuse during pregnancy and childbirth, an important and urgent feminist reclaim and part of our fight for our reproductive rights.
18.30 – 19.30 Workshop 5: “Empowered to choose: harassment and ownership of our bodies” organised by Hollaback
19.30 – 21.00 Play “Mission Abort” and Q&A – Written and performed by Therese Ramstedt, directed by Claire Stone, produced by Courtenay Johnson
“Masterfully executed, Mission Abort tackles the taboo around abortion and makes the important point that it’s an issue that society should no longer be ashamed to address.” – Edinburgh Festivals Magazine, ★★★★
17th September 2017
Common House, Unit E, 5 Pundersons Gardens, Bethnal Green, E2 9QG
16.00 – 18.00 Feminist Fightback organising meeting
For those interested in the collective’s work and reproductive justice, join their monthly organising meeting for political discussion and to plan upcoming activities. Details here.
30th September 2017
13.00 Patients Not Passports with Docs Not Cops
Join a coalition of anti-racism and pro-migrant organisations to protest immigration checks and upfront charging, including maternity charging, for NHS patients and to share stories highlighting the impacts of these changes. Details here.
14.00 – 15.00 London Solidarity march at the Irish Embassy
Join the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign to march in solidarity with the 6th annual March for Choice in Dublin, organised by Abortion Rights Campaign. Details here.
22.00 – late Skirt: club night
A perfect way to close off the Festival of Choice – dancing to 90’s bangers at this fundraiser for Abortion Support Network! Come down to Hackney for a pro-choice party, details here.
*The programme and timings may be subject to last minute changes*