(AFP) – Nov 30, 2011
SINGAPORE — Protest-averse Singapore will allow a "SlutWalk" rally against sexual violence to be held this weekend, police said Wednesday after a public squabble between the authorities and organisers.
"A permit has been approved," a police spokesman told AFP.
Unlike SlutWalk marches held in other cities, the Singapore edition will be restricted to a free-speech park called Speakers' Corner in line with strict laws against street demonstrations.
The organisers had insisted they never needed a permit in the first place but police said the global nature of the movement and expected presence of foreigners made it necessary.
SlutWalk events in other countries featured scantily-dressed women insisting on their right to wear what they want without being harassed or assaulted.
The Singapore event will include dances, speeches as well as a muay thai martial arts demonstration.
The organisers are appealing out of principle to the minister in charge of the police to waive the permit requirement, which comes with a Sg$50 ($38.64) fee, but said they would pay it if their request was rejected.
"SlutWalk Singapore has been granted the police permit, but we have sent in an appeal to Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean to have it waived," they said on their Facebook site.
SlutWalks have been held in dozens of cities around the world, including Toronto, Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand, New Delhi, Philadelphia, Seoul, Sydney, Washington, Paris and Berlin.
Alex Au, a social critic and gay rights activist, ridiculed the police reaction to the SlutWalk, saying in a blog that "maybe our senior civil servants can?t get past the word 'slut' and have begun to hyperventilate."
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