Indian embassy protest: raging against rape

Claire Laker-Mansfield

Rage, disbelief and above all a deep sense of solidarity were on display at a protest outside the Indian embassy on 7 January. Socialist Party members joined 500 women and men to support India’s growing anti-rape movement.

Disgust at the horrific gang rape which sparked the movement was matched by an understanding of the endemic nature of this crime in Indian society. Placard slogans included ‘don’t blame the victims’.

Protesters were clearly looking for answers as to how we can campaign to stop rape and violence against women. Socialist Party members were proud to be able to point out the work of our sister party in India, New Socialist Alternative (

We raised the need to view rape within the context of the widespread sexism within societies based on class oppression, and to link it to the struggle against austerity and capitalism.

We also raised the need to fight sexism in Britain. The Socialist Students campaign Rape is No Joke, which takes up the issue of ‘rape jokes’ in comedy, drew widespread support with many signing up to get involved.

As the movement continues in India, young women and men across the world are drawing inspiration from this struggle as well as gaining confidence to fight sexism and oppression in all its forms.