Successful Reclaim the Night protest in Coventry
By Nicky Downes, Coventry NUT (personal capacity)
(In the 1980s Nicky was a student at Coventry Polytechnic now Coventry University and was also the Polytechnic’s first Sabbatical Women’s Officer)
On the 1st of March on a cold Saturday night the Reclaim the Night March organised by groups such as Warwick Anti-Sexism Society, students at Coventry University, Coventry Women’s Voices and others and supported by trade unions such as Unite, Coventry TUC and including the NUT, finished on the steps of the cathedral. It was quite easy looking across at the student’s union to draw parallels with what had happened in the 1980s and today.
It was heartening that approximately 100 women had come together to march to reclaim the streets of Coventry; to rally against sexual harassment and violence and to demand safer streets. In the 1980s under Thatcher we had similar calls. Demands for better street lighting; for choice to do what we want with our bodies and for better childcare on campus.
Today there are women, who have been the most hardest hit with the cuts to public services in this city, fighting for the most basic things: a living wage, access to children’s centres, an end to the bedroom tax and for benefits that will ensure they can feed their children. We need to take up these demands and fight against austerity cuts.
The Socialist Party is organising an evening to celebrate International Women’s Day. See below
Revolutionary Women and the Fight against Austerity
Tuesday 4th March
Esquires Café, Coventry Transport Museum, CV1 1JD
See Facebook event here