Women rally, conga & Take Back the Night

Energetic women celebrate their right to walk safely at night.
Energetic women celebrate their right to walk safely at night.

A woman’s right to walk alone after dark without the fear of rape or assault was celebrated with singing, chanting and a conga line Friday night.

A small but energetic group of women and men from all over Kingston gathered at Confederation Basin Park for “Take Back the Night,” an annual event promoting a woman’s right to safely walk the streets after dark.

“The purpose of the evening is to draw attention to violence against women and to stress that being on the streets after dark is a right that all people have,” said Caitlin Coull, public education co-ordinator for the Sexual Assault and Crisis Centre.

Event highlights included inspirational speakers, songs by Christine Donovan, and a performance by upbeat congo band Badu Zaji.

Coull said the event is not political and welcomes all supporters.

“[Take Back the Night is not meant] to be a feminist demonstration but a chance for women to express that they don’t need men to be out having a good time at night,” she said.

A symbolic walk around the city followed the rally and the evening was capped off by a Women-Only dance at the Lyons Hall on Elliot Avenue.

The Kingston Sexual Assault and Crisis Centre organized the event, which originally began in Germany before spreading to San Francisco and across the United States and Canada.

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