- 27 Jan 22
Following the horrific murder of Ashling Murphy, you might have thought that men would respect women's right to highlight the issue of male against female violence. But the disruption of a People Before Profit meeting confirms that there are deeply misogynistic creeps out there, who are determined to make their unpleasant presence felt by targeting events which highlight gender-based violence.
An as yet unidentified man hijacked an online People Before Profit meeting on Tuesday night, making deliberately provocative expressions and noises during discussions regarding gender-based violence. People Before Profit is a left-wing Irish socialist party, with four current TDs in Dáil Éireann: Richard Boyd-Barrett, Bríd Smith, Gino Kenny and Paul Murphy. The party has one MLA in the Stormont Assembly, Gerry Carroll, who was elected in Belfast West.
The aggressively disruptive incident was filmed and posted to Twitter by Belfast city councillor, Fiona Ferguson, who was a speaker at the event. The video shows a man labeled 'BRO EN DISCORFD' intentionally interrupting a talk being given by PBP councillor, Adrienne Wallace.
"Have you nothing better to do than harass women?" Ferguson can be heard asking, in the video.
"The actions of the men who disrupted our meeting is an expression of a group who know their ideas and beliefs are going to be washed away," said Wallace in a statement to Hot Press. "It was desperate."
The deeply unpleasant interruptions on Tuesday night followed a similar instance earlier this month, when a man hijacked a women's-only vigil for Ashling Murphy, using the Zoom meeting to stream himself masturbating in full view of the attendees. "Our point was proven tonight. Women are not safe ANYWHERE," event organiser Evie Nevin tweeted after that particular (and particularly horrible) incident.
The issue of violence against women has risen to wider national attention, following the murder of primary school teacher Ashling Murphy earlier this month. Across the country – and indeed the world – her name became synonymous with the movement, prompting a new drive towards finding solutions to the all-too-pervasive problem.
"Across Ireland, from the murder of Ashling Murphy to the unearthing of disgraceful sexist tweets by leading politicians," Ferguson said, "it's clear we need a reckoning with societal misogyny... We need to build a different kind of society where women are valued and treated equally."
Comments on social media have called for accountability, as well as demanding that the Gardaí should carry out the necessary investigations to identify and charge the disruptors.
"We'll bring it to the doors of the Dáil until we see change," said Wallace. "Enough is enough."
This pathetic excuse of a man just interrupted a meeting about ending gender violence in society - singing and playing music and preventing me from speaking. Other men left disgusting sexual comments.
Nothing better to do but target us. It didn't stop us of course. @AdriennePBPA pic.twitter.com/PZWQ0orrtE
— Cllr Fiona Ferguson (@fiona_ferg) January 25, 2022
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