An estimated 600 protesters from women’s groups, Unions, charities, political parties and members of the public descended on sunny Belfast and Derry/Londonderry yesterday to rally against the controversial two-child tax credit cap and ‘rape clause’.

The rally, which was organised by Women’s Aid and grassroots collective Reclaim The Agenda, was also attended by Scottish MP Alison Thewliss, who has been campaigning against the rape clause and two-child cap since 2015.

Thewliss gave a rousing speech, brandishing the divisive rape clause assessment form as she informed a horrified crowd of what rape victims could expect to endure during assessments.

Other speakers included Kellie Turtle of WRDA, Louise Kennedy of Women’s Aid, Maria Morgan from NIPSA and Jo Smith from Windsor Women’s Centre.

Here are some highlights of the day:

Alison Thewliss
Alison Thewliss MP addresses the crowd
Jo Windsor
Jo from Windsor Women’s Centre talks about the plight of families in marginalised areas
Louise WAFNI
Louise from Women’s Aid describes the impact of the 2 child cap on domestic violence victims
Maria NIPSA
Maria from NIPSA confirming Union support for anti-rape clause campaign
Kellie T
Women’s Sector Lobbyist Kellie Turtle’s messaging was on point
ICTU
ICTU were out in force
Handmaids
Our three handmaids weren’t allowed to speak, but they carried an important message nonetheless
Amnesty and NIASW
Amnesty International and NI Association of Social Workers came out to demand an end to the rape clause and 2-child cap
Reclaim the Night were there in solidarity – this year’s Reclaim The Night march is on 25th November in Belfast
GNBWN
The wonderful women of Greater North Belfast Women’s Network
NUS-USI & SF
NUS-USI President Olivia with Sinn Fein’s Jemma Dolan
NUS-USI
NUS-USI promoting the Rally For Choice, which takes place in Belfast on Sat 14th October
Placards
Our message is clear – The Family Cap Hurts Children!
Solidarity
Solidarity from women’s groups and Unions alike
scrap the 2 child Cap
scrap the 2 child Cap
TrustWomen
#TrustWomen coalition
Unison and VSNI
UNISON and Victim Support NI are strongly opposed to the Rape Clause and family cap
Windsor
Windsor Women’s Centre say scrap the family cap!
Women's Aid
Janine & Ali from Women’s Aid, who organised the rally along with Reclaim The Agenda
Alex Maskey Orlaithi Flynn SF
Sinn Fein’s Alex Maskey and Órlaithí Flynn attended the protest. Also spotted in the crowd was ex-Belfast Mayor Máirtín Ó’Muilleoir.
Ballybeen Women's Centre
The awesome Ballybeen Women’s Centre joined the protest
Gerry & Matt PBP
Gerry Carroll & Matt Collins from People Before Profit joined the rally. An anti-austerity rally organised by Carroll and May Blood will take place on 1st October.
Green Party
The Green Party was strongly represented at the rally
Social Workers & QUB
NIASW had a strong showing at the protest. Social workers object to the government’s expectation that they will call out rape clause assessments.
Alliance’s Paula Bradshaw has written to Sec of State James Brokenshire demanding answers about the rape clause
Meeting
After the protest, stakeholders met with Alison Thewliss to discuss next steps in the campaign against the two-child cap and rape clause.