By our Manchester correspondent Shanine Bruder
Hundreds of people, including Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, gathered at St Peter’s Square in Manchester, to support the nationwide campaign against spiking.
The protest on October 27 came after the numbers of reports of drink spiking and spiking via injection increased over the last few weeks.
The ‘girlsnightin’ protest – which was organised by the University of Manchester Students Union – began at St Peter’s Square.
At 7.05pm the protest began with girlsnightin representatives reading out a list of names of 110 women who had died in the last year due to femicide.
Amongst those names were Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa, and the names of a 2-year-old child and a 93-year-old woman.
The protest then took to the streets of Manchester city centre with hundreds of people holding signs with one reading: “Respect my existence or expect my resistance” and chanting “Whose streets? Our streets.”
Speaking to the Yorkshire Voice Shauna Spensley from Leeds said: “Well I think that sitting in and not going to clubs is going to do something, I feel like going out and actually showing your support for the movement is important.’’
The march then stopped outside HOME, where those gathered heard speeches from organisers, council members and victims.
Speaking to the crowd, Fallowfield Labour Councillor Jade Doswell said: “We are working on a street safety strategy across the whole city with other female councillors and we are meeting the representatives from the student union next week.
“’Manchester City Council and Fallowfield Council have got your back on this and we will be there to support you all the way.
“As the last speaker said, this isn’t the end – this is just the beginning.”
Girlsnightin representatives stressed that they are campaigning for tougher licensing, stronger safety measures, better support for victims, more focus on perpetrators, more education and advertising and overall better safety in the city, including lighting and transport.
They also called on Andy Burnham and night-time economy advisor for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord to do more to support this movement.
In response Sacha Lord took to Twitter to share this tweet.
The protest is just one of many events organised around this movement, with girlsnightin offering alternative events to the traditional society socials which they post details of on their Instagram page – girlsnightinmanc.