Blog of Feminist Activism

The feminist activism of charliegrrl and co

Reclaim The Night 2006

Posted by charliegrrl on November 29, 2006

Here are some photos of Reclaim The Night 2006

We assembled in Trafalgar Square, then headed off through the streets of London. There was such a buzzing atmosphere. The police estimated 700 women attended. What was especially moving for me, was seeing women from the crowd join in on the march in support. Also, to see the crowd clapping and to know that our message against sexual violence was reaching so many people.

LFN

Women Not Sex Objects

Along the march, we came across a large group of men standing outside a pub, hurling abuse at us, booing, laughing, and shouting ‘Get Your Tits Out!’. There presence was intimidating. I still can’t get over their blatent misogyny. To shout abuse and mock at least 700 women on a march against sexual violence… it’s beyond words.

 Men hurling abuse

 The police were clearly taken aback by this, and to them it was a clear example of what women have to put up with. I was so enraged I hurled abuse back, but I felt antagonising them could have tainted Reclaim The Night as a peaceful march.

 On a more positive note, a new feminist group- East Midland Feminists!

East Midland Feminists

I marched along with Object.

Obejctors

When we reached Spearmint Rhino, a lapdancing club, Object stood outside with their banner ‘Women Not Sex Objects’ in the face of a dozen bouncers. The bouncers epitomized patriarchal power, in the way they stood all macho protecting their den of sexual exploitation. The police gathered around the club to ‘protect’ them from I suppose anger from the crowd. Women booed as they walked past. I got told sharply by a Reclaim The Night steward to move along, as we don’t want to be percieved as anti-sex workers… I’m not anti-sex workers, I’m against the sex industry and I resent being told to move when I wished to express this with fellow women.

Object

We want safer streets

After much chanting of ‘Hey Ho, Sexual Violence has got to Go!’ and ‘We Have the Right, to Walk the Streets at Night, Without the Fear of Rape!’…we assembled in ULU for speeches and music.

The speeches began with a woman telling us how she used to live in the same block of flats as an abusive man. She was pregnant at the time, yet he would harrass her and trash her flat. The housing association were reluctant to help her.

Rape Crisis gave a speech about how Rape Crisis centres are closing throughout the UK due to a lack of funding.

Finn McKay gave an excellent closing speech on the plight of women and linked in pornogaphy and the sex industry to sexual violence, which almost had Stormy jumping through the roof with praise!

Finn Mckay

 Overall, I found Reclaim The Night to be a profoundly moving experience. Thanks to everyone who organised it, and to all the women who marched.

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6 Responses to “Reclaim The Night 2006”

  1. Great weekend with ya Charlie. And yes thanks to everyone x

  2. Anji said

    Sounds like it was a brilliant experience. I’m hoping to attend the next one – I couldn’t afford the train fare to London for this one, unfortunately. Can people just turn up, or do you have to be affiliated with one of the groups involved?

  3. witchy-woo said

    Brilliant!

    Cheers, Charliegrrl 😀

  4. stormcloud said

    Anji, you are welcome to turn up by yourself, or with a group (of women, it is a women-only march).

    Great pictures Charlie…

  5. I just wanted to share this video with you. It’s a documentary about trafficking/exploitation, etc. I was made aware of it through a comment left on Broken Dreams (http://brokendreams.wordpress.com/about/#comment-251). The video is part of a contest. If it wins, $50,000 will be donated to an organization that works with victims of trafficking.

    http://www.currenttv.com/make/vc2/sot

    Blessings.

  6. Liz said

    Yay! It was fantastic. Sorry I didn’t get to meet you – I couldn’t make the pub gathering and my sis is 17 so had to leave after the rally and looking at the stalls.

    I’m still feeling very empowered though!

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