Dozens of feminist protestors have staged a demonstration at the red carpet reception for the movie Suffragette, which held its premiere at Leicester Square in London on Wednesday afternoon.

Activists from the feminist group Sisters Uncut, who campaign against domestic violence, used the glitzy red carpet event to stage a vocal protest against funding cuts to domestic violence services, with nearly 100 demonstrators clambering over the barriers and lying down on the walkway, while their comrades shouted slogans such as “cuts kill” and “dead women don’t vote”.

Suffragette'Suffragette' stars at the Leicester Square premiere

Janelle Brown, a member of the organisation, told BBC London: “We came to the Suffragette premiere today because the struggle is definitely not over… …Two women each week are killed in Britain because of domestic violence. Austerity reduces women's access to legal aid and support services. The most drastic cuts were to specialist services. We're a direct action group and we know that was the tactic the suffragettes used too.”

Green and purple smoke bombs were let off just yards away from where the movie’s stars, including Helena Bonham Carter, Carey Mulligan and Romola Garai, were standing being photographed outside.

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However, they didn’t seem to be fazed by the incidents, with Bonham Carter applauding the protestors saying: “I think it's marvellous. That is exactly what the suffragettes were about. Hopefully the film will inspire anybody who feels an injustice has been done, to be bold enough to protest.”

Her co-star Romola Garai said: “I haven’t spoken to them [the protesters] or seen their demands but I’m happy to see the suffrage movement is alive and happening.”

Mulligan, who has recently given birth to her first child, plays aspiring suffragette Maud Watts. She said: “Hopefully this film will inspire everyone in the way they view the world. We are an unbalanced society – women and men – and films like this inspire conversations about how we can correct that imbalance.”

Suffragette kicked off the BFI London Film Festival, which runs until October 18th. The movie gets its full release in British cinemas on October 12th.

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