Nottingham students ‘reclaim the night’ in late night city-centre protest

The protest was raising awareness about gender based violence

CW: Sexual assault

Hundreds of women marched through Nottingham on Saturday 27th November in a Reclaim the Night protest, campaigning for safer streets and an end to gender-based violence.

Female and non-binary students from both University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University were among a large group of protestors who took to the streets for a march and rally. The protest aimed to highlight the dangers faced by women when walking in the streets at night and public sexual harassment that they face.

Around 300 attendees marched from Sneinton market through Nottingham City Centre and ended up at Nottingham Trent University for speeches from guest speakers. The speakers included Nottingham East MP Nadia Whittome, President of UoN’s Feminist Society Ife Oyedeji, and Janelle Brown, co-founder of the Next Gen Movement.

The speeches ended in a performance from Cambridge rapper JayaHadADream, who had written a song aimed to empower women for the event. Her lyrics highlighted how she had been told that girls couldn’t rap, and that she had faced prejudice due to her gender in a male-dominated industry.

Ife Oyedeji, president of University of Nottingham’s Feminist Society spoke to The Tab Notts about their motivations for protesting: “The Reclaim the Night protest has historically served as a space for women and survivors to come together and demand an end to sexual assault and gender-based violence.

“It aims to keep the conversation about rape culture going and provide a space for marginalised genders to send an important message to leaders and the wider community about safety.

“Annually people across the UK gather to take a stand against patriarchal norms and misogyny that have birthed a very toxic victim blaming culture and socialised younger boys and men with an entitlement to other people’s bodies.

“As per the name of the protest, a main aim is to raise awareness of the need for safety at night for everyone.”

The dog’s banner read ‘my human shouldn’t feel unsafe when I’m not with her’

Nottingham police have been introducing measures to improve women’s safety, including carrying out on-the-spot urine tests in order to combat spiking. In addition, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottingham says she has invested in metal detecting wands which will be handed out to venues in Nottingham to help stop needles being brought into nightclubs.

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