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Aurat March 2020 mural vandalised in Lahore

You can tear down the posters, not us: volunteers

SAMAA | - Posted: Feb 23, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Posted: Feb 23, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 years ago

Photo: Aurat March/Instagram

A mural created by volunteers and participants of the Aurat March 2020 at Lahore’s Hussain Chowk was torn down Saturday evening leaving marchers even more motivated than they were before.

“We had arranged a poster competition where female illustrators and designers were told to design posters for the march and send them in,” volunteer Amna Chaudhry told SAMAA Digital on Sunday.

The team received an overwhelming response after which they decided to install a mural in the city. “All the artists were called to put up their posters on the wall to showcase the essence of the march and promote it,” Chaudhry said.

But four to five hours after they had completed the activity the mural was torn down. “The posters were not just torn, somebody had actually ripped through them,” the volunteer said.

Chaudhry also confirmed that they had taken permission from the authorities before the activity was even planned. “We had chosen Hussain Chowk as it is the centre of the city and a good place for promotion purposes,” she said.

Organisers of the Aurat March shared the before and after pictures of mural on the march’s official social media accounts after which support started pouring in for them.

Several activists condemned the incident. Salman Sufi, founder of the Salman Sufi Foundation, called it a show of the “insecurities deeply embedded within certain elements of society”.

Human rights lawyer Nighat Dad took to Twitter and said that if the posters put up by women receive this much hatred, what about the hatred received by women who stand up for their rights.

Volunteer Chaudhry, however, said that the incident did not and will not bring the spirits of the volunteers and organisers down. “You can tear down the posters but you can’t tear us apart,” she said.

“We will resist all things like these and keep putting up posters,” she said.

Chaudhry added that they will soon lodge a complaint. “We have uploaded the posters on social media and have asked supporters to print them out and put them up in their neighbourhoods as a form of resistance.”

The Aurat March will take place across Pakistan on March 8. Fundraisers for the march have started in several cities.

“For those who ask why we march – this is why!” Chaudhry added.

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Lahore, Hussain Chowk, Aurat March, murals, posters, torn, volunteers,

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