Monday, January 22News For London

40 years and counting, women stand together to ‘Reclaim the Night’

Hundreds of women marched through London to ‘Reclaim the night’ in an annual protest. The movement began in front of Trafalgar Square with women joining in from various age groups addressing the issue of violence against women. 

      Women ready to march at Trafalgar Square Photo Credits: Sreelakshmi Vachaspathy

Reclaim the night 2017, which has been done over the past forty years witnessed discussions made, talking about the current issues on gender discrimination. The demonstrators showed their participation by holding placards, chanting slogans and with music that created a lively atmosphere. As I arrived at Trafalgar Square, women and a few men from various nationalities had started to gather with posters and flags showing their contribution to the movement.

                                      Protesting against violence. Video Credits: Sreelakshmi Vachaspathy

To trace back to its history, the movement began in 1977, when women were asked to stay at home when it was dark during the Yorkshire Ripper’s murder spree. Since then measures have been made by women to make statement in the society fighting for their right.

The movement, this year makes it clear about how necessary it has become to fight against sexual abuse, especially in the climate of #MeToo where celebrities such as Ashley Judd, Taylor Swift, Selma Blair, Megyn Kelly and many more spoke openly about the sexual misconduct that is happening in the field of entertainment. This was one of prominent topics of discussion during the march, where they discussed issues relating to sexual assault, violence and inequality that is happening to women in the twenty first century.

Right before the march took place, I got a chance to speak with the event coordinator, Betty Boraki who said to the Westminster World that: “The aim of the march is to show women that there is a group and an army behind them. We believe in them and to collectively come together and say enough is enough.” Few of them who joined march spoke about the importance of reclaiming public space for women, where one of the demonstrators said, “Being equal is about being able to exist is public as equals.”

                                    Participation made by demonstrators. Video Credits: Sreelakshmi Vachaspathy

The rally came to an end after a couple of hours. This movement would not have been possible without the support of the Metropolitan police, who constantly supervised the march, as they not only ensured the safety of the demonstrators but also made sure there was no chaos formed for the city vehicles or commuters.

(Sub-Editor: Zahida Rizvi)