We braved the cold on Saturday evening to carry the WRC banner through the streets of central London to raise awareness about violence against women and demand safety for women on the streets at night. It was a really positive and uplifting march with lots of chanting (my favourite is the call and response: “hay, ho, sexual violence has got to go!” as you can really get a good rhythm going!) and colourful handmade banners and placards representing the huge range of women who were involved.
We got the usual lads near Leicester Square being loud and obnoxious but they soon disappeared in embarrassment when they realised we were shouting about rape and domestic abuse! Along Charing Cross Road some people leaned out of their window to bang saucepan lids in support (I remember them from last year!) and of course the usual landmarks along the way – the Soho Bookshop, Harmony and Spearmint Rhino – were the focus for some particular attention.
At Friends Meeting House we had a stall outside the main auditorium and could hear the rousing speeches, it was a full house with loud cheering and even standing ovations! There was lots of interest in the action sheet for the Rape Crisis campaign and people signing up to the why women? campaign as well, and nearly all our materials were taken by interested women which meant I had a lot less to carry home!
Reclaim the Night marches happen all over the country and at different times of year (it would be nice to have one when it was a bit warmer!) so look out for one near you or join the London march in 2009!
See pictures of the night on Flickr
Weekly round-up and open thread
7 hours ago