Reclaim the Night, a Women’s campaign protesting street harassment, sexual violence against women and victim blaming, is returning to Manchester. With the campaign, we are ‘reclaiming’ the streets and demanding more provisions to help women feel safer walking alone at night.
The annual march will start at Owens’ Park, Fallowfield at 7pm this Thursday and head down Wilmslow Road and Oxford Road, which will be closed to traffic, ending at Manchester Students’ Union. Reclaim the Night organisers say, “this year’s march is going to bigger and brighter than ever. Bring your glow sticks, bring your friends and bring your voices.”
The evening will continue with the FREE Reclaim the Night After Party at Manchester Students’ Union from 8.30pm, a neon party featuring Thirsty Girls Collective, cocktails, a photobooth and more.
This year, Reclaim the Night has a list of specific campaign aims that provide the theme for this year’s march. Its three main objectives for the 2019 campaign are:
- Lobby the council to increase street lighting in Rusholme, Fallowfield and Withington as well as increasing police presence on the streets.
- Lobby the council to stop cuts to Women’s shelters and increase funding for local services that support victims.
- Increase awareness of where victims can report acts of violence, hopefully leading to an increase in the use of reporting services.
As well as the annual march, which has been held since 1977, Reclaim the Night is hosting a wider campaign this year with many ways to get involved.
- Join the march and be sure to share and invite all your friends to the Facebook event.
- Sign the petition to lobby Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, with the campaign’s demands to make our safety on the streets a priority.
- Write to the council and make your voice heard. Reclaim the Night have launched a letter writing campaign to encourage people to write about why Reclaim is important to them. Visit the Reclaim the Night website for more information.
- Promote the event on social media #ReclaimtheNight2019
SU Women’s Officer, Sara Heddi, told Her Campus Manchester, that she wanted to host a wider campaign because, in past years, she felt that “the message was getting lost and there wasn’t a clear purpose of the night. We wanted people to know exactly what is it they’re marching for. We wanted this year to make an impact.”
So, get involved and be a part of the force making such impact. Women Unite! Reclaim the Night!