Bernadette Smyth: conviction and restraining order quashed

Anti abortion campaigner Bernadette Smyth was cleared on appeal yesterday. She had initially been convicted of harassing Dawn Purvis at the end of last year. At the original trail the judge Chris Holmes made a number of interesting comments. He stated: “I want to make it absolutely clear that I do not feel it’s appropriate for anyone to be stopped outside this clinic in any form, shape or fashion and questioned either to their identity, why they are going in …

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Belfast Feminist Network: A reply to WriteNoise

One of our contributors Write Noise wrote a post titled Feminism versus Bernadette Smyth three days ago. Responding the Belfast Feminist Network Committee have asked for an opportunity to respond to some of comments made in this post So feminism has been subjected to trial by Slugger courtesy of WriteNoise with the Belfast Feminist Network used as a focal point for debate. We at BFN have decided to respond by issuing an open invitation to all and sundry to join …

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Feminism versus Bernadette Smyth?

What does it mean to be a feminist? Not easy to define, by any means. How about a feminist in NI today? Even more complex. The women’s movement in Northern Ireland has hit some pretty difficult stumbling blocks over the last four or five decades. The divergence on the treatment of female republican prisoners and their subsequent protests in Armagh Gaol was one such stumbling block in the 1970s / 1980s. The awarding of a Nobel Prize to two NI women in 1976 was, on the other …

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