How We Work
We spent 2020-2022 testing different models of engagement. Here’s our bottom line:
Without building power, nothing is going to change. No petition, clicktivism, or one-off protest gets us where we need to get to.
There’s a fundamental problem that both sexism and feminism has been individualised: when we feel the sting of sexism, we are told this is our problem to deal with. We are funnelled into processes that are individual - workplace tribunals, the criminal justice system, sharing things on social media, or therapeutic support. But because the problem is society-wide, it's not something individuals acting alone can change.
All of these systems might have their place - but for collective, structural issues we need a collective, structural solution. We’re clear, to win at the scale that women want and society needs, we need to build collective power and we need to act with the right tactics and strategy to be effective. Not relying on petitions; not having a ‘membership list’ that is actually just a list of people who have subscribed to the same emails; not being dependent on government money for services we’re running. We need to be free to name problems and take action to fix them, organised and disciplined enough to do it well, and in deep relationships across lines of difference enough to act together with trust.
We know that there are thousands of people out there who are wanting to make change. If you want to join forces with other people who want to win real and lasting change Love & Power is a home for you.
Over the next three years, we are building chapters across the country . They will be organised by geography - because that’s how our political system works - to represent the diversity and energy of the people who live there. Members can also opt into affinity groups - for example, bringing teachers together, or single mums.
If you are excited by this - come build it with us. There are many way to be part of it.. You can be be part of building a local chapter near you, joining one once we get to you, or donating to us. Whatever support you can give to help us build we are excited to do it together.
People have done it before…we can do it again.
This methodology isn’t new in the UK. It’s called community organising, and lots of women have done this before. Take the story of Lilian Bilocca:
In 1926, Lillian Bilocca was born in Hull and like a lot of local people, her life was intertwined with the local fishing industry. Her dad, husband and son all worked at sea on the Hull fishing trawlers and Lilian herself worked onshore, filleting the catch like her mother had done before her.
In early 1968, over the course of three weeks, Lilian's community was hit by the Hull triple trawler tragedy, resulting in 58 deaths. This wasn’t just sad, it was unjust, these tragedies. They were preventable if they had had certain safety equipment and enough people on board. After the second trawler was lost at sea, Lilian is said to have turned to her daughter and said ‘enough is enough!’.
Instead of feeling hopeless, Lilian turned her rage and pain into power…
A shortened timeline of some feminist change in the UK
Equal Pay Fight Begins
The first recorded fight for equal pay with men in women card setters in Yorkshire and Women Power Loom Weavers Association in Glasgow.
Custody of Infants Act
Before this act, men would often have automatic custody of their children when marriages broke down. Due to the campaigning of divorced mothers, this act allowed mothers to petition the courts for custody or access to their children.
The London Nine
Nine women were the first to face a ‘General Examination for Women’, giving women the ability to go to universit.
The Night Cleaners Strikes
An effort to unionise night cleaners, who were often left unrepresented and unprotected from their dangerous and low paid jobs. Two mass strikes were co-ordinated, and the cleaners won - their demands of better pay and conditions were met.
Brixton Black Women’s Group is Formed
BBWG focused on practical action, running campaigns that centred the experiences of Black women in the feminist movement.
Grunwick Factory Dispute
This multi year fight - led by women of South East Asian heritage, many of whom were immigrants from East Africa - against low pay and racist hiring practices at the Grunwick factory, and many of the leaders also went on to lead the campaign against the practice of virginity testing on immigrants (mainly Asian) women at Heathrow.