Each year, Reclaim the Night, organised by the University of Manchester’s Student Union, takes to the streets of the city to march for an end to gender based violence and the right to feel safe on the streets.
This year has once again shown the importance of continuing the fight after the shocking and brutal murders of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa and Ashling Murphy, and on the 45th anniversary of the protest it is fighting for the right of all women and marginalised genders to feel safe on our streets at night.
Reclaim the Night aims to shed light on the amount of violence still happening on the streets of the city, as well as how to educate the community and provide better, accessible services and support for victims. It begins at 6.30pm on Tuesday 22nd March at Owens Park in Fallowfield.
The march is also demanding that Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Manchester University protect and support sex-workers across Manchester.
The jeopardising of sex worker’s rights and safety is a feminist issue; one of bodily autonomy, rape culture and institutional misogyny. This is also an issue close to the student community, with the number of students engaging in sex work more than doubling over the last few years.
Jas Taylor, Women’s Officer at the University of Manchester, said: “Feminism must always be intersectional and inclusive. Witnessing the violence and danger facing sex workers aggravated by hostile legislation and policing, we stand united to fight for the rights of all women and marginalised genders to bodily autonomy, safe work environments, academic, health and wellbeing support.
“Rape culture is terrifyingly potent and pervasive, and I hope that this year’s campaign can continue the tradition of making a stand for the wellbeing of every individual impacted by gender based violence, empower people to reclaim our space in the night which is rightfully ours, and hold those in power accountable for this much-needed change.”
Alongside the march, there are other events taking place including banner making classes, a makers market and ‘Reclaim the Nightlife’ a club night taking place after the march.
It’s a place to strut out your support for student safety across Manchester as women and non-binary DJs spin tracks in YES’ Pink Room from 8.30pm – 1am.
Music comes courtesy of in-house student DJs at Fuse FM, as well as peerless Manchester women and non-binary collectives All Hands on Deck and Not Bad For A Girl.
Working in collaboration with Resist Rape Culture, the aim for the night is to show Manchester how to put on a safe night for everyone. Everyone is welcome, so even if you can’t attend the march, buy a ticket and get yourself along to raise money for the chosen causes, with all profits split between National Ugly Mugs and Support For Student Sex Workers.
Reclaim The Night Manchester
Date: Tuesday 22nd March
Starts from Owen’s Park in Fallowfield