A PEACEFUL rally to oppose the rape and violation of the world’s women was barred from Albury’s twilight market tomorrow night because it was not the right fit.
Padma Ayyagari had hoped to raise awareness as part of One Billion Rising, a global dance protest.
The group claims one billion women, a third of all women, will be beaten or raped in their lifetime.
“My attempt to convince the Albury Council to allow this event at QEII square alongside the market failed because the council felt that this event did not fit the criteria of market,” she said.
“It is disappointing, given we have a mayor who is a woman, majority of workers in the council who are women and the events co-ordinator of the market is a woman.
“I know it was late notice for the council too.
“I only decided on the weekend to do this, I couldn’t ignore what was happening, so I contacted the council on Monday.
“The council says other groups want to use the market as a platform and they have rejected them too.
“But they didn’t understand that this is a community initiative, not an organisation looking to set up shop.”
Ms Ayyagari said the council, to its credit, had offered alternatives and the Border’s first One Billion Rising rally would be held tomorrow from 6.30pm in Hovell Tree Park.
“We could get 50 women we could get 500,” she said.
“It has been all over social media.
“While this is not a huge issue in the western world, all women would know a story of domestic violence.
“We just want women to come along as a bit of a flash mob, sit around on picnic rugs, dance when necessary.”
A council spokesman said it was pleased a venue had been found.
“Violence against women is something that cannot be tolerated and the council is keen to support activities that help raise awareness about this important issue,” he said.
“A clash with our twilight markets meant that an alternate venue had to be found.
“The council was happy to make QEII Square available to One Billion Rising activities during the day but that option didn’t suit organisers.
“We’ve since settled on Hovell Tree Park as a suitable alternative.”