The march was for women and other vulnerable groups to be heard in relation to street safety, the night time economy and the spiking epidemic.
Hello everyone ??
I hope you are enjoying what is left of semester one and that you are looking forward to a well-deserved Christmas break! It has been a very busy semester but I have really enjoyed having a sense of normality back. I have been working hard on my objective of improving student safety and consent culture and would like to say a big thank you to everyone who filled out my survey. I will use the results to create a new plan of action now.
One important event I was part of organising this semester was the 44th Reclaim the Night march that happened on 27th November. The march was for women and other vulnerable groups to be heard in relation to street safety, the night time economy and the spiking epidemic.
Alongside Reclaim the Night, Leeds Uni Officers and We Own it Society I helped plan the march, arrange a placard making session, raise awareness of the march and organise a Reclaim the Dancefloor celebration event for after the march (a safe space for marginalised groups and allies to dance).
It was estimated that around 250 people attended the march which lasted just under 2 hours. The route started a Woodhouse Moor and ended at the city Town Hall. We passed all the main night time economy businesses and main hospitality streets. Many by passers stopped to hear what we were chanting and joined in. Much of the traffic on the road also had to stop which meant the protest had even more of an impact and we were heard by many people.
The march was incredibly moving, empowering and emotional for all involved but we still have a long way to go for students to feel safe on the streets, especially at night.
I have also been in reoccurring meetings and discussions with Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Police and other Leeds HE institutions to have a city wide and holistic approach to tacking these issues.
It has been confirmed that more night safe marshals will be visible during the festive period delivered through organisation Controlled Spaces on Friday and Saturday night 6pm till 5am. This service’s goal is to protect and safeguard people who become vulnerable through unexpected circumstances in the night. They also work closely with Freedom Angels and Leeds Street Angels who give welfare support to any individual who needs it on a night out. If all goes to plan the scheme is looking to expand and get extended – I can lobby for this too!
Another update is the introduction of a St John’s Ambulance mobile treatment centre on Friday and Saturday nights. This is based down the side of the Viaduct Show Bar near Lower Briggate till 3:30am.
Anyway, thank you for reading this blog and update. Stay safe, happy Christmas and remember to practice lots of selfcare in these cold winter months…