Around 100 women attended the Leeds Reclaim the Night march on Saturday 1st December. Chanting ‘Hey-hey, ho-ho, Sexual Violence Has Got to Go’ and ‘Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes, no means no’ we made our way through the streets of Leeds.
Tanis Belsham-Wray, Leeds Trinity Socialist Students
Last year the march was met with some antagonism from drunk men and women in the city, but this year passed off far more positively, with support and cheers from passers-by. Also welcome was Unite backing for the march, but there was little visible presence of trade unions (including Unite) on the march itself. In future an effort should be made to bring trade unions and their female members into the march and its organisation.
Anger was visible at recent statements of politicians such as George Galloway about rape, suggesting that if consent had been given at some earlier point then it was not necessary, but rather ‘bad sexual ettiquette’, and actions of celebrities such as Justin Lee Collins who was recently sentenced for harrassing his girlfriend.
Leaflets for new Socialist Students campaign, Rape is No Joke, were distributed on the march which were warmly received.