Reclaim the Night North
Posted by charliegrrl on March 5, 2008
Me, Northwest Feminists and Sisters marched throughout Manchester March 1st for Reclaim the Night North. It pissed it down…tis what you get up north. You also get the delerious and fervent queer activists protesting against feminism…but I’ll come onto this later…
Below photo was knicked from Laura’s ace write up on The F Word.
So about 300-400 women and men…oh sorry and trans and queer people…marched through Manchester on a Saturday night protesting against violence against women- that’s right violence against women, not men nor trans people. We marched through the drinking areas and got the usual abuse from men- ‘You’re all a bunch of lesbians!’ Yeah so what if we fucking are. Men frequently approached the women’s march to harrass. For some reason we had loads of police stewarding the march. Last year we had no police and the RTN march went fine. The police aint our friends so I didn’t appreciate their presence this year. If we can’t march without police protection, we aren’t really reclaiming the night.
We arrived back at the Student’s Union for talks. Ju Gosling, a disability rights activist, gave a good speech about how disabled women experience violence from men in the home and on the streets. She talked about how disabled women are encouraged to stay indoors for their own safety, rather than, for those who are able to leave their home, the right to roam free from violence.
Another woman speaker, not sure of her name, spoke about setting up the first rape crisis centre in Brighton. She spoke about her and her Sisters setting it up on a shoe string. She then talked about how more recently a family member was raped, so they tried to contact a local rape crisis centre and there wasn’t one.
I did enjoy the march but there were a few things I had issue with…
We had to listen to a female New Labour MP…who was obviously trying to convince us that New Labour are a pro-woman party. Cos why..? They have a few middle class women in parliament..? Support rape crisis centres, give us a affordable housing and a decent living wage, stop cutting our benefits, free asylum seeking women from detention and start helping women exit prostitution…and then maybe we will consider New Labour to be pro-woman.
We also had a speech from the Manchester University Women’s Officer. I know she’s a nice lass, but I cringed when she was on a rant about how student women are the best type of feminist activists because they are bright and ‘educated’. EEEEEEKKKK! Very middle class thing to say.
Why were there men on the march..? Were they there to reclaim the night for us..? Can we not do anything now without men being present..? No, it’s not revolutionary or 21st century for men to march against violence in what is traditionally a women only march. We aren’t making anymore advances for women’s rights by including men in Reclaim the Night. We are in fact removing another women only event off the feminist calender.
And as for the anti-feminist protest at the march organised by queer and trans activists…well I think I’ll save my vehemence for the next blog post. Yes you better believe it. So many women only spaces have been attacked and destroyed in Amercia by the queer and trans activists…and it’s happening here.