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Thursday, 19 May 2011

Reclaim the Night March 28.05.11 from 19:30 Usher Hall to Teviot Hall

Assemble at 19:30 outside Usher Hall, Lothian Road, march starts at 20:00 - march to Teviot Hall via Grassmarket. 
Women, children and men are welcome 

What a palava in the Old Town, women organised a Reclaim theStreet march to promote safer streets for women, however there had been some issues over their route.  They wanted to march through the Grassmarket a popular place for stag nights and large groups of drunken men.  The council was worried that due to a Champions League rugby match being on at the weekend that the women would not be safe from the loutish rugby fans !!!  also that they would cause "noise pollution" and upset Grassmarket residents by causing a noise and a commotion.  It has caused a flurry of emails between local councillors and residents who were surprised that the Grassmarket was unsafe for women and that the council had a position on "noise pollution" which appeared to be news to the residents who put up with outside drinking and evening events most weekends!

Anyway after some huffing and puffing the march will be going ahead - the organisers are sensitive to the residents have agreed not to use their drums and to be quiet whilst they tip toe through the Grassmarket and only muttering under their breathes "whose streets? our streets!" and "everywhere we go, yes means yes and no means no"

Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News organiser Laura Leath said, “The council made it clear to us that for the march to go ahead we'd need to make changes like moving it forward by an hour and remaining silent through the Grassmarket to ensure the safety of marchers.
"Obviously we'd rather march than not, but it's strange to say the least that a march highlighting violence against women is being compromised for fear of aggravating men and therefore risking the safety of women marchers.

"I hope the hypocrisy of this is not lost on local councillors and officials.

"Either the centre of Edinburgh is not safe for women or this is an over- reaction by the council.

"The point of the march is to make it clear that the responsibility for sexual and gender-based violence against women lies solely with the perpetrator.

"Women have a right to walk any time and anywhere through the streets of Edinburgh without fear of violence."

Meanwhile council officials insisted that the organisers had volunteered to alter the start time for the march and that concerns over disturbance to local residents were raised when the organisers of the march initially suggested that a drumming band may have been involved in the evening event.

In a statement released by the Council, a spokesperson said: “The organisers proposed an earlier start time which has resulted in a mutually acceptable solution.”

You can find out more about the event on the Reclaim The Night Facebook page.

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