Demonstrators gather to ‘reclaim streets’ in the dark

Gathering together after news spread through word-of-mouth, the crowd walked down Kelvin Way through Kelvingrove Park.

Demonstrators gather to ‘reclaim streets’ in the dark Instagram
A group formed outside Kelvingrove Art Gallery and walked down Kelvin Way, Glasgow.

Reclaim These Streets protestors gathered in Glasgow and Edinburgh on Friday night in memory of Sarah Everard who disappeared while walking home this month.

A group formed outside Kelvingrove Art Gallery carrying signs reading: We want to be safe not brave” and “not an irrational fear, not an over-reaction”.

Gathering together after news spread through word-of-mouth, the crowd walked down Kelvin Way through Kelvingrove Park – the subject of a petition calling for improved street lighting.

Supporters in Edinburgh took placards to Rodney Street tunnel, a path they said was an example of a space many women feel unsafe to walk down.

Previously planned vigils following the alleged kidnapping and murder of the 33-year-old Ms Everard who was walking home from a friend’s on March 3, had been cancelled and moved online. One that went ahead in Clapham Common saw intervention by London’s Metropolitan Police who then faced criticism for its heavy handed response.

Those who took part in the demonstration in Glasgow on Friday chanted: “She was only walking home.”

Rosh McGinley, 18, told STV News: “I didn’t realise that men and boys weren’t fully aware of precautions we take whilst walking in the dark and also out of respect for Sarah Everard and every girl who has experienced sexual harassment.

“It was a really good atmosphere, the people who led it and organised it did a really good job and it felt good to know that there’s strength in numbers and maybe it might lead to a change in society.”

On March 13, people left tributes at several locations across Glasgow, tying ribbons to gates and fences.

petition set up on Sunday, March 14, calling for improved lighting at Kelvingrove Park has received over 8000 signatures.

It urges Glasgow City Council to increase street lighting to help women feel safer when they are walking home.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We’re aware of a number of groups gathering in Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow, throughout the day.

“Officers have engaged with people to explain the current coronavirus regulations.

“No fixed penalty notices have been issued.”