Reclaim The Night, the annual march which aims to improve student safety on nights out, is back again for its 2019 edition. Continuing the same route of starting in Owens Park and finishing at the Students’ Union (SU), The Mancunion have compiled everything you need to know about the march.
Kicking off at 6:30pm at Owens Park, marchers will set off on their route down Wilmslow and Oxford Road to the SU from 7:00pm. It’s expected the march will last an hour, with protesters arriving at the SU at 8:00pm. When they arrive, a rally will take place, with the main goals of this year’s event including: “Improv[ing] the street lighting provisions in student areas. We also call for an increased police presence”, “stop[ping] the cuts to Women’s shelters and increase funding for local services that support victims”, and doing “more to increase awareness of where victims can report acts of harassment, assault and violence.”
The event to encourage more organisations to become third party hate crime reporting centres. Organisers are hoping that the number of these will double by 2020.
A petition, lobbying Manchester City Council to make implement these necessary changes, has also been distributed across Reclaim The Night’s social media platforms, and has currently been signed by almost 1,000 people.
An overview of the march on the Students’ Union website reveals that cases of sexual harassment have risen by 64% since 2016, and further, that 74 officers were lost as a result of the closure of the Serious Sexual Offences Unit at the council in 2017.
An after party will follow the rally from 8:30pm in Club Academy, with a quieter space available in Black Milk on the ground floor.
The march will also affect some bus services, with TfGM tweeting: “Travelling around
#MCR tonight? Please allow more time for travel as Reclaim the Night is taking place down Oxford Rd from 6.30pm to 9.30pm. The following bus services will be affected due to the march: 15, 18, 41, 42, 42A, 42B, 43, 53, 111, 142, 143, 147, 197, V1 and V2.” The 50 service will be unaffected by the march.
The march will be divided into three blocs – one for women, one for family and youth, and one ‘mixed’ bloc, in which marchers are encouraged to form their own blocs within the mixed area.
The event first came to the UK back in 1977, triggered by a police warning that advised women to stay indoors amid the Yorkshire Ripper murders. The Students’ Union now organises a yearly event in Manchester, taking place towards the end of February.
Last year’s march saw over 2,000 participate, travelling down Oxford Road, from Owens park to the SU, bringing the often-busy curry mile to a near standstill.
People of all genders are welcome to attend the march.
More information about Reclaim The Night 2019 can be found here.