Reclaim the Night

As October comes to a close, the feminist “Reclaim the Night” marches, also known as “Take back the night”, draw near.

Reclaim the Night is an annual global protest against gendered violence and inequality traditionally held on the last Friday in October.

As is the case with much of women’s history, the origins of Reclaim the Night are poorly documented and little known.

This is an edited version of the speech given by Jackie Kriz, the president of Geelong Trades Hall Council, at the Geelong Reclaim the Night rally on October 31.

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I would like to thank the women of Reclaim the Night collective who, with support from Geelong Trades Hall, have worked tirelessly for months to organise this rally.


Wollongong activists before their large Reclaim the Night rally on October 29.

Two hundred people rallied in Melbourne on October 24 as part of the annual Reclaim the Night march to stop violence against women.

Rally speakers spoke in support of the Somali refugee woman known as Abyan and other women who have been sexually assaulted while imprisoned in Nauru detention centre.

Melbourne

Come to a screening of No Free Steps to Heaven. An Israeli journalist who visited Kurdish freedom fighters in Iraqi and Syrian Kurdistan filmed this documentary. Presented by the Socialist Alliance and Green Left Weekly. Entry $10/$5. Friday October 30 at 7pm, meal from 6.30pm. Resistance Centre, Level 5, 407 Swanston St, city. Phone 9639 8622.

Sydney

Sarah Hathway, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Geelong, and Sean Brocklehurst, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Pascoe Vale, released this statement on October 16.

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We strongly support the Reclaim the Night marches organised across Victoria and the world. Violence against women is endemic to the sexist culture promoted by our oppressive, exploitative, capitalist society. Vibrant public campaigns protesting such violence can help win better safety and rights for women, and are an important part of the struggle for a better world.

Women and men took to the street in Brunswick for Melbourne's Reclaim the Night rally and march on October 19, to demand an end to victim blaming and violence against women.

Speakers included Yorta Yorta woman Monica Morgan, chairperson of Elizabeth Hoffman House, Poppy Jacob from Hollaback Melbourne, an organisation dedicated to ending the street harassment of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer individuals, Rose Ljubicic from the Council of Single Mothers and their Children, and Jane Green, a sex worker activist from the Vixen Collective.

The Brisbane Reclaim the Night Collective released this statement on October 16.

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Reclaim the Night is a global event where women stand up against sexual violence and communities take control and respond to sexual violence against women. The event is held globally on the last Friday of October.

The Reclaim the Night Brisbane event will demand an end to sexual violence against women. The night will consist of a rally and march throughout the streets in Brisbane. The theme this year is “It’s time to end rape culture”.

The Socialist Alliance released this statement on October 16.

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The Socialist Alliance is proud to gather with fellow feminists to Reclaim the Night around Australia this year.

We share the belief that women, when we organise and forge alliances, can make change. We fight the “victim” tag as we fight sexism and violence against women.

Last year, more than 5000 people gathered in Brunswick to protest violence against women. It was the largest Reclaim the Night mobilisation since the early 1990s.

Reclaim the Night (or Take Back the Night in the United States) is a global feminist movement that protests against the specific forms of harassment, victim blaming, sexual assault and violence experienced by women.

Socialist Alternative has sparked a debate about whether socialists should be involved in feminist campaigns in an article published on its website on November 22 "Jill Meagher, Reclaim the Night and the political right"

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