Last Friday, 7 May, about 70 gathered at the University of St Andrews' student union for to protest gender-based violence. The event, called "Reclaim the Night: Unite Against Gender-Based Violence", was organized by the St Andrews Feminist Society.
At 8:30, only about nine students had arrived, but by 9:00 the group had swelled to over seventy. After distributing homemade banners and signs, three speeches about the importance of stopping sexism and gender-based assumptions and violence launched the march. The group marched down Market Street, Largo Road, along the Kinnesburn, and ended on East Sands with a bonfire and informal discussion. The march included chants -- "no means no! yes means yes!" - and drumming by the female troupe SheBoom. The boisterous and colourful protest drew attention from passers-by, who often paused to ask marchers what was going on.
The march was attended by undergraduate and postgraduate students of the University of St Andrews, students from the University of Dundee, and local activists.
According to Miranda Myrberg, at the beach the march was interrupted by a police officer. She said they had received a permit--the march was indeed supervised by two officers--and that the officer's actions infringed on their right to protest.
"We had an interruption at Castle Sands, as the police stopped us there, forcing us to run and get a letter stating our legal rights to have a bonfire there. He also demanded that someone came with him to the police station, and Jonny Wilde, one of our members went," Ms. Myrberg said in an email. According to Ms. Myrberg, after Mr. Wilde went with the officer, the event continued as planned.
The participants greatly enjoyed the time on the beach, she said. VegSoc provided food and Gemma Lawrence and Rollo Hornyold-Strickland were performing acoustic music.
Reporting by Katie Meyer. 7 May 2010.
(Source: - The Saint)