On Saturday 27th September, Anna, Becky and Cora went along to The Emily Tree‘s march and picnic. They had an amazing time, and wanted to share it all with PBG!
What is the Emily Tree and why is it a good group?
Becky – The Emily Tree is a group based in London that’s working to get more young women involved with politics.
Cora – I think what’s great about the Emily Tree is how open and accessible it is – it’s easy for young people to feel really removed from feminism for any number of reasons and the Emily Tree smashes them all!
Anna – Definitely, it’s non-academic, teenage girl based. It’s fun and exciting and creative and was created by two really inspiring funny women.
Becky – Yeah, it’s really, really inclusive as well, which is amazing – it’s feminism for everyone, not just for the privileged.
Anna – Which is SO NICE, because lots of organisations for teens can be patronising, or just don’t listen to us.
Becky – And the people who run it are two of the best people in the world ever.
Becky – It started off with a march, which we didn’t get to.
Anna – Very sad about that! But Cora got to go!! And she brought us sashes!!
Cora – The march was brilliant! We sang, laughed, and definitely caught the attention of quite a few passers-by. We even got a car horn beep!!
Becky – Oh wow! It sounds amazing, gutted to have missed it. But it was really cool to see you all walking towards us in the park, this sea of purple/green/white with signs! After we’d eaten, there were a ton of speakers, who were all very amazing and inspirational.
Anna – Definitely! And Becky and I were lucky enough to speak! Becky was amazing!!! And listening to all the other campaign leaders and young women was just fab!
Becky- Thank you so much Anna! You were super fab too. You made us very proud.
Anna – One of my fave moments was when Cora was walking towards Becky and I and we just ran and hugged her/squished her! I also enjoyed the fact that people came up and told me they found my speech good, because public speaking is a fear of mine and so I was really proud I did it! And then also just feeling incredibly inspired and happy about all the young women there!
Cora – I think for me the best part was the two of you speaking! I swelled up with pride honestly because I know it took a lot. You two are amazing.
Becky – Yeah, it was so good to see you both!! I really enjoyed getting to meet so many amazing people, and to hear some really powerful speeches. And I agree with you Anna, getting to speak was such a huge thing, I felt really proud to have had a chance to share my thoughts with the group. It also meant a lot that people told me they thought it was good and inspiring, as I was so inspired by everyone else. Anna and I agreed at the end it was like a circle of inspiration!!
Cora – There were so many incredible people- speakers and attendees generally, I left feeling super inspired!!
Anna – Yeah!! I also loved being INSIDE the Emily Tree. It was like I was a Dryad.
Becky – Firstly, in a general way, because it was getting young women talking about feminism, and getting them to speak to people who are campaigning around important issues.
Cora – It really brought the issues to the public too, we did attract a lot of attention!
Becky – Yeah, the march was such a good idea.
Anna – I also think it was just so important to have a safe fun space to help rejuvenate everyone so we can go out and CHANGE THE WORLD.
Becky – Definitely!! Personally, I found it really moving and empowering- I have to admit that I was very near tears at points. It’s really easy to feel alone as a feminist (as I spoke about in my speech) and the whole day was a reminder that we are not alone at all.
Cora – It was a real reminder of both how much and how little has changed- so many of the suffragette values are still very relevant.
Becky – Completely agree with you Cora – everyone thinks that the suffragettes have come and gone, but yesterday was such a huge reminder that they haven’t – their legacy stays, and we are continuing their work. Emily matters!!
Anna – Yes!!!!
What would you say to other people who might have a chance to do a similar thing?
Becky – I would say definitely, definitely do it!! Even if it’s a three hour coach journey, it is so unbelievably worth it. Honestly.
Anna – Definitely agree!! And there is no pressure to speak or anything it’s just about celebrating girls as they are, and even if you are scared of people (like me!) I would recommend it! Maybe bring a friend though!
Cora – I think any chance to get involved in campaigning should be pursued – the sense of community and cohesion was great! It’s such a valuable experience to have had, we’re very lucky!
Are you planning to do anything as a result of it, either now or in the future?
Becky – Well, I’ve already contacted the 50:50 parliament campaign youth group, so I’m getting involved with that! And hopefully the No More Page 3 group as well. Would be great to link in with #emilymatters too.
Anna – Yeah! I just want to do all of the things!
Becky – Same here!!
Cora – For sure, keep on keeping on! This year’s been incredible so far, and every event like this I go to seems to offer another tonne of opportunities. It’s overwhelming really, in the best possible way.
Anna – I’m already so excited for next year!
Becky – Yeah, there’s loads planned, and it’s all very exciting.
Anna – I want to get more involved in the NMP3 stuff and just keep going strong as a PBG writer.
Becky – That’s great Anna!! It just generally helped empower me more, and kind of gave me a space to rejuvenate a bit, so I’m even more determined than ever. And yes!!!!! Totally agree with you there Anna, it’s made me want to do more of the talking stuff!!! As well as that I was really interested in what Jane Ellison, the MP, said about getting involved. I might write to my local MP and see if I can get an internship or opportunity of some kind.
Anna – Yeah! Talking to MPs is great and I didn’t realise it’s actually quite easy.
Cora – Definitely want to pursue that! It sounds much simpler to get in touch with MPs than I’d imagined, and it’s got the potential to be both useful and game-changing! Girls inside Parliament is brilliant as a statement in itself.