‘Reclaim the Streets’ demonstration in Falmouth

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Falmouth high street | Saksha Menezes

In response to alleged threats made as part of a TikTok “Rape Day” trend, a “Reclaim the Streets” demonstration was organised in Falmouth on Saturday evening (24 April).

According to messages seen by the Anchor, a local group chat of over 100 people, including students from Falmouth University, planned a competition to sexually assault the most women on or around 24 April.

The Anchor’s initial report on the controversial allegations can be found here.

On the Facebook event page, organisers said: “The university investigated this with police support, but their dismissal of the rumours as a ‘hoax’ are damaging, and overlook the wider context of gender-based violence and the fear this taps into.

“Rumours like this, whether based in fact or not, enable and valiadate the idea that violence is acceptable and even encouraged by society. They lead to more people committing offenses.

“Rumours like this feed into the fear we live with daily.

“We’re not going to let it.

“We’ve had enough of feeling unsafe after dark, walking home alone in our towns, cities, parks and beaches.

“We’re gathering to show defiance in the face of disgusting behaviour. We’re Reclaiming the Streets. Join Us.”

A group of around 100 people gathered by the Moor, the vast majority wore masks and practised social distancing.

There were several speeches from female organisers criticising the university’s response for labelling the alleged threats as a hoax, which they say is “another example of women’s fears not being taken seriously”. It was also said that “the responsibility for this violence is up to men”.

Reclaim the Streets demonstration/Saksha Menezes

There were several groups of men in the area who outwardly showed that they did not support the protest. They made lewd gestures and shouted obscenities towards protestors as they walked down the high street.