Reclaim the night

IssueApril 2007
News by Helen

On 29 December 2006 a Reclaim The Night march was held in Ipswich: 250-300 people attended from around the country. It was sad, moving, joyful and amazing all at the same time.

It was held in response to the tragic murders of five women in our town. A collective of concerned people, including Ipswich Anarchists, formed shortly after to organise the march and vigil. The deaths opened debate and discussion on many other issues such as the decriminalisation of prostitution, street safety, sex work, women's rights.

We were fed up with being made to feel scared and being told to stay in our homes, that the best thing for our community was to be frightened and divided. We wanted a space for people to actively show their feelings about this, we wanted the people of Ipswich to feel strong, standing together in solidarity. We also wanted to send a clear message to the country about how we were feeling rather than letting journalists speak for us.

Initially we were overwhelmed with organising a national event, but received so much help from Ipswich people, fantastic support from activists throughout East Anglia and people spreading the word through- out the country that, speaking personally it really filled me with a sense that I was part of a national activist community, that, when it comes to it, can pull together. I've never experienced that feeling on such a big scale.