#IWillGoOut Campaign faced police obstruction

Nationwide women safety movement tagged Anti-national and denied permission by Delhi Police. The obstruction shamed the event and the organizers still the news was hardly covered by any media house except The Hindu and a couple more.

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Delhi: The Delhi-Dwarka Chapter of nationwide movement ‘I Will Go Out’ faced police resistance and permission denials hours before the march was to commence on January 21, 2017. The event for women safety and freedom was marked anti-nationalist and communal on a leaflet distributed in Dwarka.

11The social media campaign that turned into national march #IWillGoO ut flagged off across 21 cities all over the country on January 21 to convey solidarity with the survivors of sexual assault in Bengaluru on New Year’s Eve. Hundreds of women came on streets in solidarity against sexual harassment and to reclaim their right to safe public spaces.

The Delhi Commissioner of Police and the organising committee indulged in a battle over event permissions. the wide Hashmi, a social activist and the leader of Dwarka protest said, “Even though we sent an application seeking permission eight days prior to the event, DCP rejected it. He raised baseless queries regarding footfall, arrangements, medical facility and stage issues. The partially constructed stage was also removed by the Police.”

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The location was later changed from Sector 6 Market, Dwarka to Maxfort School. The time set for the event from 9 pm to 12 midnight was preponed by two hours. The posters for the event were redesigned mentioning changes and released press releases. The arrangements were made for the new location and people were informed over social media and Whatsapp.

Highly communal, defamatory and provocative leaflets were inserted in Dwarka newspapers giving a call to people not to attend the program. The anonymous leaflet read the event being organised by ‘anti-national’ people. Shabanam Hashmi and the members of Dwarka Collective have written an application to the Delhi Police Commissioner seeking investigation of the police opposition and miscreants.

leafletThough obstructed, the women were successful in organising the program and coming out in large number to protest for their freedom and proving #IWillGoOut. Dwarka groups celebrated womanhood with dance, poetry, qawwali, music and standup comedy to be performed by youth, women, artists from within Dwarka and other parts of Delhi.

While Delhi faced troubles with police, the country
wide movement was a success in Mumbai Pune, Nagpur, Bhopal, Silchar and Thrissur. Both men and women raised placards emphasising women’s rights over their body, the freedom to dress the way they want and to live without any fear. They voiced slogans like “Azadi, Azadi, a NO means a NO and my clothes, my body.” The voice of the protesters was loud and clear and brought the entire nation together.

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