Ode to ARC - a video love story


To mark International Women's Day 2019 we are releasing this video that celebrates the grassroots womens organising responsible for victory in the 2018 abortion referendum.  We'd heard the text at the ARC Christmas party and immediately felt it would make a fantastic video, hopefully you will agree.  The authors introduction is below, we've also recorded a background interview with her about the campaign which gets further into the grassroots organising themes expressed in the video, see link at end.

The author Mary writes "On International Womens Day two years ago we gathered on O'Connell  Bridge and in towns all around Ireland as part of Strike 4 Repeal, demanding that the government call a referendum on the 8th amendment. On International Womens Day last year, we marched under the banner of Votes for Repeal. We had a proposed referendum date, the structure of a campaign, energy, commitment and determination. But the result was far from certain. On International Womens Day this year, Ireland is free of the 8th amendment. Barriers to access remain and the work of ensuring free, safe, legal and local abortion care for everyone who wants and needs it continues. But we are in a place we did not think we would be a few short years ago. We have moved out from under the shadow of the 8th. We got here through collective action, hard compromises, exhaustion, friendship, compassion, determination and grit.

I wrote this piece partly as a reaction to frustration at the praising of politicians as the champions of the campaign, and the blanking out of the campaign as a grassroots women led movement. I wrote it partly out of wanting to pay tribute to the women I met and worked with over the past 2 years or so in ARC.  I also wanted to pay tribute to the quiet, mundane, essential work, to the sheer scale of the work, to the support and solidarity, to the feeling that washed over me on the 25th and 26th of May. I wanted to pay tribute to the fact that so many people in so many ways did their absolute best.

Maybe it will make you think of people you organised with. Maybe your experience of the campaign was different but some of the sentiment may be similar. I wrote it with respect, admiration and love for the women I saw making huge sacrifices and compromises daily, working with skill, drive, commitment and determination, the women who held me together, the women who did their best and so much more. And, in ways, I wrote it for every person in every county who was part of getting us to 66.4%.


Words at https://marymcoogan.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/an-ode/

Listen to the background interview about this video at https://www.mixcloud.com/workerssolidarity/whose-the-manager-ode-to-arc-background-interview/

For more on the campaign see http://www.wsm.ie/repeal-8th and https://www.abortionrightscampaign.ie