If there ever was a movie premiere just crying out for a protest it’s Suffragette. And that’s exactly what happened this evening in London’s Leicester Square.
At first it seemed like any other film premiere. Fans lining the red carpet, the stars of the movie posing for selfies and signing autographs.
And then things took a rather exciting turn… in the shape of feminists jumping the barriers to invade the Odeon cinema red carpet.
The Guardian reported that activists from Sisters Uncut, who campaign against domestic violence, were “physically carried and pushed back over barriers.” Meanwhile more demonstrators let off flares outside the building, creating huge clouds of green and purple smoke.
In total over 100 feminists took part in the protest, the aim of which was to spread the Sisters Uncut “feministo:” “To those in power, our message is this: your cuts are sexist, your cuts are dangerous, and you think that you can get away with them because you have targeted the people who you perceive as powerless. We are those people, we are women, we will not be silenced. We stand united and fight together, and together we will win.”
“The struggle for women’s liberation isn’t over,” said one of the demonstrators. “At a time when two women a week are killed by violent men in the U.K., we need to keep fighting because dead women can’t vote. This in the context of austerity. Access for women to social housing, benefits and legal aid have all been reduced and women are dying.”
They’ve certainly raised awareness of their cause and even have the support of a couple of the Suffragette cast members.
Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Edith New in the film, carried on signing autographs and posing for photographs with fans as the protest continued behind her. She later gave the activists her seal of approval, telling Sky News their protest was the “perfect” response to the film, saying: “I’m glad our film has done something. That’s exactly what it’s there for.”
Her co-star Romola Garai, who plays Alice Haughton, said that she hadn’t spoken directly to the protesters but was “happy to see the suffrage movement is alive and happening.”
The BFI London Film Festival runs until Oct. 18. Suffragette goes on general U.K. release on Oct. 12.