Once you get scarlet fever, there’s very little you can do about it. Anything can trigger it and the symptoms can vary widely. From a slight toe curl cringe at the sight of a Kardashian, to a full on scarleptic fit when you get a flashback to this photo of Enda Kenny being caught rapid on his way for a bag of cans with d ladz:
But a full on stage 5 level of mortification known medically as a case of ‘The Ed Sheeran’s’ is reserved solely for the 8th amendment. If you don’t know what the 8th amendment is, then, please, swap lives with us so we can have second of being scarlet free.
The 8th amendment is the law in Ireland that equates the life of a foetus to that of a grown woman making it illegal to procure an abortion in all cases. Even in cases of rape, incest and fatal fetal abnormality. For a detailed scarlet look-back on Irish women’s rights, check out our scarlet timeline.
As a colonized nation, oppression is inevitably inbred in Irish culture. So much so that we have a full-on addiction to it. And as much as we like to think we have moved on from the dark ol’ days of the Catholic Church’s reign, there are still lads sniffing lines of holy communion off the alter every Sunday and politicians standing for a daily prayer in the Dail.
People think the Magdalene Laundries are something from the history books, yet just 4 months ago we were still digging up the remains of the children who died at the hands of the the so called “pro-life” Catholic Church. Of course there has been some positive signs of us going clean after same sex marriage was legalized. Yet, 50% of our populations bodies are written into law. 50% of our population has to justify on a daily basis why they should have bodily autonomy. 50% of our population have basically got stage five scarlet fever, just by virtue of the fact they were born with a set of ovaries.
Now, while we may not be able to do anything about Enda cycling around in head to toe Mayo, or Ed Sheeran stalking Galway Girls, we can do something about the 8th amendment. And we are.
There are thousands of volunteers in Ireland, and 1.5 million people in the coalition to repeal the 8th amendment (the largest civil coalition in Irish history), fighting to repeal. Marching, organising, educating and tirelessly fighting for the rights of pregnant people in Ireland to have bodily autonomy. Fighting for the 12 women a day forced to travel abroad for an abortion. Fighting for all the people who cannot afford to travel. Fighting for the suicidal pregnant woman who was sectioned after requesting an abortion. Fighting for the pregnant woman, who even in death, was stripped of her rights. And always, ALWAYS fighting for Savita, and those who have lost their lives because of the 8th amendment. We are not “pro-abortion.” We are pro-choice.
We at the Scarlet Brigade are just two people (Karen & Fiona). We are Irish, obviously scarlet, and live abroad. To give ourselves a chance of getting over 8th-induced scarlet fever, despite being so far away, we wanted and NEEDED to get involved in this fight. So last year, to coincide with the March 4 Choice in Dublin, we set up Repeal Global in the hopes of getting some Irish abroad to set up solidarity events with us. Obviously, with ‘Scarlet over the 8th’ being a plague on Ireland, diaspora around the globe jumped at the chance to get involved. The passion and solidarity was actually overwhelming and showed us that recovery from scarlet fever can be made when a load of sound people come together and have their voices heard.
Joined by others hoping to escape the scarlet plague in over 30 cities from Paris to Vancouver, New York to London, Kathmandu and beyond, people joined us to stand on the right side of history in solidarity with the 25,000 marching for choice in Dublin. The global gathering last year opened a door for many other Irish people abroad and their allies to engage with the fight for free, safe and legal access to abortion, and also encouraged us to start discussing what the 8th amendment means with people living at home and how it impacts all pregnant people in Ireland.
Since last year, many Abortion Rights Campaign and Repeal Global groups have popped up abroad to fight to repeal the 8th, globally. Repeal NYC, London Irish ARC, Irish Pro Choice in Oz, Scottish Irish ARC and loads of unofficial groups in Vancouver, Portland, Brussels and beyond continue to organise abroad.
Major strides have been made politically since the March for Choice last year: A citizens assembly was held where members unanimously agreed that major change needs to happen. A Strike 4 Repeal in Ireland and about 8 million other protests at home and abroad leading up to this moment were also held.
We are on the brink of a referendum. It’s coming. We don’t know exactly when but it will be early next year, according to the government. All good news. Scarlet subsided a little bit. Well………..not really. The hard work is really just beginning because as we know, oppression addicts like Ireland aren’t just gonna get clean on the first go. It’s time for an intervention. It’s time for the Irish abroad to get MORE involved. It’s time for us all to break down the doors of the Dail and shout ‘HERE, yiz are making a holy fucking show of us all over the world! Do yiz have any idea what they’re saying about us? We look like we’re writing the sequel to The Handmaids Tale. The version Margaret Atwood was too afraid to write. Can yiz just repeal the fucking 8th already?? Canada managed to do it 50 years ago. England did it. Jesus, even India did it. We’re not coming back unless yiz clean the gaff up. It’s a fucking mess. And for FUCK SAKE can one of yiz cancel the fucking Angelus. We look like a bunch of nut-jobs, standing in fields staring into space while the scarlet alarm bells ring out. Saaaaake.”
We know that not everyone is going to be able to afford the flight back for “Storm The Dail” 2017, so we have decided to do a ‘Global March 4 Choice’ again this year. Bigger, Better and Louder! On September 30th to coincide with the March 4 Choice in Dublin we will be encouraging Irish people and our allies to set up events in your local areas.
There are Repeal Global activists all over the world. Just to name some Repeal Global & ARC Outposts:
If your area isn’t on the list and you want it to start an event, it’s mad easy. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Hit up Repeal Global or Scarlet Brigade on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (details at end of page for all). We can help with any info and can also add you to the closed Repeal Global Organiser Group on Facebook where we share event information and tips.
- See event template here of the Vancouver event that you can copy and use for your own. Cover photo and profile photo for social media are below to use.
- After you have set up your event, make sure to let us know so we can spread the word and also connect you with other people in the area.
We’ll be posting helpful templates of posters for events and fact sheets to share soon.
Together, in a scarlet haze, we will repeal.
Giz a shout at: