On the coldest night so far this year, about 2000 women of all ages and backgrounds took to the streets of Central London to say NO to rape and male violence against women and to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the revived UK National Reclaim The Night marches. The evening actually started in the afternoon – in the cloisters under St James’ Church in Picadilly, where V-Day London had organised a cake and banner-making session. At 6 o’clock we wandered down to Whitehall Place, to join the growing crowd of women who had come from all over the country to join the protest.
The London Feminist Network stewards gave out banners, a choir sang and friends greeted each other. Eventually we moved off and marched through the streets of Central London singing, chanting and shouting for an end to male violence against women and an end to male impunity to rape.
“Thank you for letting me know about tonight. It was the most amazing experience.”
“Just wanted to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this year’s Reclaim The Night such a success.”
“I would also like to thank all the organisers – it was a great event, well done!!”
“It was my first RTN but definitely not the last. Excellently organised and such an empowering experience. Roll on next year.”
The march ended in Euston, where we had a rally in the Friends’ Meeting House and were joined by male supporters.
The speakers were:
- Rebecca Morden (from Scary Little Girls Productions) and long-term member of LFN was the host
- Jennifer Moses from NASUWT. Read her speech >>
- Aravinda Kkosaraju from CROP (The Coalition for the Removal of Pimping)
- Gita Patel from IMKAAN (an organisation that provides refuges for asian and black victims of domestic violence). Read her speech >>
- Jane Gregory from Bradford Rape Crisis and Vice President of Rape Crisis England and Wales
- Finn Mackay, founder of the London Feminist Network (LFN). Read her speech >>
“The speeches at the rally were excellent.”
“The main hall of Friends Meeting House was full! It was so inspiring and such wonderful speakers.”
“I agree, it was such a great night, amazing speeches and an excellent vibe on the march. Well done and thank you to all the organisers!”
The rally was followed by an after-march party at the Institute of Education Student Union. The bands included the old LFN favourite, Dworkin, and special guests 2 Hot 2 Sweat and Zombina and the Skeletones and the DJ was Pam Savage.
Gabriele, a long-standing member of LFN who was not able to attend the march due to illness, sent this message:
“Well done indeed everyone and I am sorry for not being there this year but my spirit is with you all the time but I am sure you know that! Women united will never be defeated! So once again well done everyone.”
Read the speeches:
See the video:
Get the t-shirt:
Reclaim the Night 2008 was organised by the London Feminist Network with a large list of supporters. For more information and a full list of supporters, see http://www.reclaimthenight.org/.