This is the speech Susan Rae, the Scottish Green Party’s candidate for the Leith Walk ward in the May 2017 council elections, gave at the WMV Sister Women’s March in Edinburgh on Saturday 20th January. Reprinted here by permission.
Hello and welcome to Edinburgh.
This is my first speaking event this year and I could not be prouder to be with you. I send solidarity from my fellow Scottish Green candidate Claire Miller who cannot be here today.
We’ve gathered here today in circumstances that in all honesty not a single woman out here, whether they are young, fresh and fiery, like Leah, or those like me who are not only pre-Google, but pre-proper feminism would have considered possible a year ago.
But we are here together – all of us – because the only way to stand up to a man who considers using his awesome sheer male money fuelled power of his voice to silence us; whose only consistent traits are inconsistency and pure misogyny is not compliance. You want to silence our voice?
We will not be silenced.
For what will unite us is HOPE. Look at all of us here today, sending a message to the man who has conned and connived his way into the man in the White House.
Mr Trump we have been here before.
Because our mothers fought you. And our grandmothers fought you.
This parvenu treats our planet like he treats women. An alpha male, a sexual predator, a hardcore misogynist with some really concerning mummy issues.
This gives me HOPE.
Because what I have come to see is a thwarted toddler. If you take away the alleged billions and the power all you have left is an attention seeking 4 year old who bullies all the other kids because his mum seriously overdid the positive reinforcement.
And we all know those.
The world is full of those.
They are everywhere.
They perpetrate domestic violence, they rape, they troll, they sexually harass, they grope, they abuse, continually overlook us, interrupt us, traffic us, shame us, kill us, lock us in basements and bind us with poverty.
We fight sexism and misogyny every single day. On our streets. In our workplaces. In our homes. This sexist, racist, ignorant, vulgarian does not frighten me. And he should not frighten you. This new emboldened breed of ill-bred alt-rights don’t like experts and denigrate and abuse them? Well. Ooops.
We have experts. Literally awash with them. We have activists, specialists, scientists, community organisers, teachers, mothers, academics, doctors, union organisers, carers, students and politicians. And we will not allow you to spread your poison and blight our lives because you want to accumulate more shiny stuff? No. Just no. Just go to your room and stay there for four years or until we sort this carnage out. Because No.
You cannot attack our sisters and brothers;
legislate our wombs;
bind us in poverty;
criminalise us for our skin colour, or our sexuality or gender.
Or our activism.
We will fight you and we will win. Because we are not afraid of you.
Because at the core you are just another
attention seeking child.
And the noise! You are so noisy. Full of sound. And Fury. And demented tweets. And that, Mr Trump, is the substance of you.
There are millions of us across the world and we are watching and we are ready. We will abide by Michelle Obama’s rule ‘when they go low, we go high’ but you would do well to remember that some of us are quite small, therefore naturally low and way past angry.
Across the US and global social media, the far right lambast us and abuse us and label anyone who cares about the future of our planet, the rights of our citizens and who fights for social justice as a snowflake.
Well here is the thing about snowflakes. I know this because of those pesky books I will insist on reading. There are four basic types of snowflake, each with their own sub-categories. Yet every single one is individual and each has an intricate beauty. However, depending on conditions, if certain snowflakes bond and layer and fall in a specific formation, together they create the conditions for an avalanche: an unstoppable force that can tear down a mountain.
And here today I see so many beautiful snowflakes, rainbow snowflakes, ready to fight together. So Mr Trump be aware. Our millions of snowflakes are made of steel. And we are coming for you.
Welcome to the sisterhood, Leah. Thank you and Calum and all those here today. You carry our banner and you carry our HOPE.
Together we will fight this odious man and his poisonous ideology. We’ve done it before. We will do it again. We don’t have to be afraid. Because together, steel snowflakes, we rise.
A million people marched in Washington D.C.: over a million more in cities around the US: and hundreds of thousands in cities around the world. In Edinburgh, over two thousand people were part of the first anti-Trump protests of the next four years.