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I’m not Irish. It’s not my decision. It’s not my uterus at risk.

And yet I keep looking at twitter, looking at all these photos of people, mostly women but not all, flying off from some airport somewhere in the world to come home to vote. Some have a personal tale to tell, or that of a friend; many don’t. They’re just coming home because it’s the right thing to do and how often do you get the chance to really do the right thing? Someone tweeted this morning that her friend had literally just found out she was still eligible to vote so she was running for the airport.

Read this for a story:

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How many stories do you need to read about women who lost their life or almost lost their life because doctors weren’t allowed to do what they knew how to do because the law said no. The risk, the emotional anguish and heart ache all so much worse at a time of your life when you need all the support you can get.

There’s a facebook group where those who don’t have the right to vote are funding travel for those who can vote but can’t afford to. Once you’ve left Ireland for eighteen months you lose the right to vote and there is no postal vote other than for a few exceptions. So those who can’t are helping those who could. Visit Abroad for Yes if you want.

What gets to me is the sheer solidarity and compassion shown here. Normally when social media goes mad over some campaign there a litany of why are you getting excited about this when you didn’t get excited about that. And it’s often right. A reasonable campaign gets the piss taken because it’s not perfect. People are just getting together and joining in with love and good wishes if they can’t do anything else.

In this world it is very easy to think that those without power can’t do anything to make change. Oppression of women, of gay people. transgenders, disabled, black, not white, young, old is prevalent, to greater or lesser degrees the world over. And yet, those without the power are more numerous and capable of coming together in a great show of force. Belgium’s motto is “l’union fait la force”, or strength in unity and that applies here. It is so genuinely heart-warming to see people put aside their day-to-day lives to travel home to vote for something that *may* never affect them.

Anyway, love and best wishes to all those who are voting yes and sorrow for those voting no.

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