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A bit of history: Reclaim the Night marches were first organised in the 1970s by feminists in response to male violence against women. They were women-only marches to challenge the widespread view that women should be accompanied by men particularly at night, and unaccompanied women were accused of being irresponsible and therefore blamed if they were attacked. When Peter Sutcliffe was stalking and killing women in the 1980s, the police told women to stay in after dark (society nodded in agreement: a bit sad but it makes sense). Feminists suggested that men should be told to keep indoors instead (society ranted and raged: you can’t tell men what to do, you can’t curtail their freedom). Women decided to ‘reclaim the night’ by marching through city and town centres, after dark and without men, to claim our own space.
Some of the contemporary Reclaim the Night marches have a different, broader focus and encourage anyone to attend. The TUC organised march in Newcastle is one of these.