Reclaim the Night in Edinburgh was a great success

I’ve been so busy doing White Ribbon stuff recently that I’ve had no time to write about it!

There was excellent publicity leading up to the Reclaim the Night march, including a piece in the Edinburgh Evening News , an article by Rebecca from the Edinburgh Feminist Network [EFN] in the F-Word and a radio interview we (me, Sandy Brindley from Rape Crisis Scotland and 2 members of the EFN) did for Good Morning Scotland on the BBC. I managed to capture the audio online so I will post it here when I have more time.

On Sunday 7th October, there was a film screening event at the Cameo cinema organised in conjunction with the March. I spoke a bit about White Ribbon before the films and the EFN talked about the March and the significance of these films. The films were excellent – Fire and Volver. It was a great opportunity to meet with the EFN and talk about the upcoming march and the men’s discussion group. The event was sold out and there was a good public response to the information stand and publicity for the March.

On Thursday 11th October I travelled through to Edinburgh for the March. We held a Men’s Discussion Group for an hour before the march set off. In the end about 10-15 people turned up and it was great to have a chance to talk about a wide range of issues relating to men’s violence against women. We focused particularly on what men can do to get more involved. To my delight several members of the group decided there and then to form a White Ribbon Edinburgh group and to meet again next week. So if anyone would like to go along, the meeting will be upstairs in the Wash Bar on The Mound from 7.30pm onwards on Thursday 18th October.

We then joined the Reclaim the Night March which had come from Lothian Road, along Princes Street and up to the Mound. There must have been several hundred people marching and excellent support from bystanders too. We marched down to the Meadows where a rally was held, including stories read out from survivors of sexual violence, and speakers from the march organisers (EFN), Sandy Brindley from Rape Crisis Scotland and me on behalf of White Ribbon. I was very nervous beforehand and the bright lights on stage made it almost impossible to read what I had prepared and written down! But I did my best to improvise, and I think it worked out well because the crowds cheered and quite a few people said later it had been a really good speech. Some members of the EFN filmed the whole march and rally so it may appear on YouTube someday!

There was a short post march article in the Edinburgh Evening News again on Friday 12th October.

You can find out more information about the event, including photos, at the Reclaim the Night Facebook group and blog.

Iain

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