Women Protest in Nottingham to Demand an End to Gender Violence

Cora-Laine Moynihan

Women of Nottingham marched through the city on the evening of Saturday 22nd October in solidarity to protest violence against women and girls and to reclaim the streets that many fear to walk alone at night. Impact’s Cora-Laine Moynihan reports.

The Reclaim the Night march, organised by the activism group of the same name, marched from Sneinton Market to Old Market Square at 6:45pm and back. Led by a band of drummers, women (as well as people who have experienced misogynistic oppression) raised numerous banners challenging misogyny and demanding an end to sexual assault, rape, and all forms of men’s violence and harassment against women and girls. Banners and chants included: Women deserve safety; my safety, my night, my right; and my dress is not my yes.

Throughout the march, Reclaim the Night stewards blocked cars from passing at road crossings to allow the congregation to continue. However, numerous drivers were angered because of the traffic delay. Some drivers even stepped out of their vehicles to shout offensive comments like “Go suck a dick” and “you’re all f**king whores” at members of the march.

When speaking to the women in attendance, a unanimous desire for safety and equality was expressed. UoNSU Community Officer Daisy Forster further emphasised this desire, highlighting the importance of the protest in fighting for safer spaces for women.

Members of the public passing by also demonstrated their support for the protest. When approached for comment by Impact and URN, a male Nottingham school teacher widely discussed the patriarchal system oppressing women and the need to dismantle it. “I don’t feel worried walking out on my own but I worry about my girlfriend just walking the dog alone at night.” Asked how support can be better given, he replied: “Education. Education. Education.”

“We need to massively support the females in our lives”

At Old Market Square, women rallying in solidarity with the Iranian protests joined the Reclaim the Night March as a show of unity between women worldwide.

Upon returning to Sneinton Market, a series of speeches from women advocates and survivors of sexual abuse concluded the march. Nadia Whittome, Member of Parliament for Nottingham East, closed the event by stating that she stands with all women, specifically mentioning the oppression and violence trans women, sex workers, migrant women, and survivors of abuse face. 

To finish, she added: “Let’s keep making noise, let’s keep reclaiming our spaces, and let’s let every sister know that she will never face this struggle alone. Solidarity.”

Cora-Laine Moynihan

Featured image courtesy of Cora-Laine Moynihan. Permission for use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

In-article video courtesy of Cora-Laine Moynihan. Permission for use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this video.

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