We demand the right to Reclaim the Night
We, the undersigned, support the holding of a Reclaim the Night March in Exeter.
Reclaim the Night Marches are a long-standing tradition, and aim to protest violence against women. Women often feel unsafe walking alone at night – this is unacceptable. A Reclaim the Night March raises awareness of this issue and provides an opportunity for women to take to the streets without fear. It also allows men to show their support.
As well as providing a safe space to protest violence against women, Reclaim the Night marches have recently begun protesting the National Rape conviction rate. In Exeter, on top of this, there is a need for a Rape Crisis Centre. The march would also be to raise awareness of the absence of this necessity.
Exeter Police Force have refused to support this event, in effect silencing us. A statement from the police claimed that this event “would not be treated as a parade of National Significance”, and therefore would not be supported. Besides this claim being ludicrous, as women’s safety is always of national significance, without this support the march becomes financially impossible.
We, the undersigned, request that you address this issue as a matter of utmost importance, as trust in the local police force is threatened when statements like these are made, and events like these are silenced.