Storm Doris didn’t stop us from Reclaiming the Night

Thousands marched in the wind and rain

At 7pm last night, over 2,500 people gathered in Owens Park to start the march against victim blaming, street harassment and violence against women.

Equipped with lots of glitter, face paint and the some of the best banners and placards I have ever seen, we walked proudly through the puddles of Storm Doris from Fallowfield down to the Manchester Academy.

It was encouraging to see so many different backgrounds, sexes, and ages coming together to fight against sexual violence and rape culture. There was an all women’s block, mixed blocks and even families participating.

It was my first time attending a protest and I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience! Chanting “2,4,6,8, Stop the Violence, Stop the Rape” whilst walking down Wilmslow Road, where so many people have been afraid to walk down alone, was such an empowering and positive feeling. I definitely felt like part of a strong, united community.

After the march stopped in the car park near the Manchester Academy, the fun only continued. We heard from several guest speakers, including Jenni Smyth (the UoM’s Women’s Officer) and heard a reading of “My Short Skirt” from the Vagina Monologues.

The party then continued in the SU with live music, speakers, crafts and delicious cupcakes!

Wind or rain, one thing is for certain; our voices and signs were too loud and colourful to be ignored. Our messages will reclaim not one, but every night.