Take Back the Night/Take Back The Streets Attracts Large Audience

March 8, 2009 – Fearless Karnataka/Nirbhaya Karnataka’s Take Back the Night/Take back the Street at Banappa Park, Bangalore on International Women’s Day saw 500 hundred people gather between 9pm and 11pm. The celebratory mood at the event was evident from the variety of performances that included songs, plays, dances, and video projections. Maraa, a theatre collective, performed a street play related to the spate of attacks on women that Bangalore has witnessed in the last month. The organisers, in a unique display, collected clothes that women were wearing when they were harassed on the streets. These were displayed on a clothes line amidst the audience, and in addition to the usual suspects of sleeveless t-shirts and jeans were also ordinary salwar kameezes and kurtas.

These performances were interspersed with testimonials from women who talked about harassment and discrimination.  Revathi from Sangama talked about harassment of women who are sexual minorities including hijras. Yashoda from Karnataka Dalit Mahila Vedike spoke of the oppression faced by Dalit women and girls including sexual exploitation.

The event at Bannappa Park was preceded by a series of interactions by members of Fearless Karnataka/ Nirbhaya Karnataka in locations across Bangalore where women have been recently attacked. They performed street plays and conducted an opinion poll to get responses from bystanders on their views and reactions to women being harassed on the streets. These locations were Rest House Road, Cunningham Road, CMH Road, Ulsoor and Vasantha nagar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More pictures….

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Fearless Karnataka: People tell police – Make Bangalore safe for women

A large number of people gathered in front of DGP’s (Director General of Police, Karnataka) office yesterday (March 7) evening to put pressure on the police to perform their duty – to make the city safe and secure, to prevent attacks on women and to end moral policing.

There were a lot of new people, whom I haven’t seen before in any public protest. There was a lot of high energy, giving us hope in these times of gloom. There were students, youth, techies, artists, lawyers, activists, media persons and ordinary people.

There were also familiar faces – sexworkers, sexual minorities, human rights activists, dalit activists, women’s rights activists from various groups including Alternative Law Forum, Aneka, Karnataka Dalit Mahila Vedike, Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike, Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum, Karnataka Sex Workers Union, Manasa, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, People’s Democratic Forum, Pedestrian Pictures, Sadhane, Samara, Samanatha Mahila Vedike, Sanchaya Nele, Sangama, Suraksha, Vimochana

Lets hope this new energy will succeed in putting an end to intimidation, moral policing and mindless violence.

 

Media Coverage:

DECCAN HERALD (Slide 2 of 14)

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A woman holds a placard during a protest rally against recent alleged attacks on women, outside Karnataka state police chief’s office on the eve of international women’s day in Bangalore, on Saturday….

 

THE HINDU – Safety of women should get top priority, activists tell police 

The Karnataka police should treat the issue of safety and dignity of women in public places as top priority in the light of the series of attacks on them in Bangalore and in other parts of the State in the name of moral and cultural policing, activists of Fearless Karnataka, a forum fighting against moral policing and attacks on women, have said….

 

NDTV – Women fight for a safe Bangalore

Women in Bangalore are fighting to make the authorities in Karnataka understand that women do not feel secure and that it is an important issue. On Saturday, they took their demand for security to the door of the state’s DGP….

 

THE TRIBUNE – Fearless Karnataka flays moral policing

Volunteers of Fearless Karnataka, an umbrella organisation of various local women right groups, today urged the Karnataka Director General of Police to stop harassing women who may like to file an FIR with the police to record assault or molestation cases. A large number of activists, a majority of them women, had gathered at the DGP’s office here today to protest against the ongoing “moral policing” by thugs directed at curbing the freedom of women….

 

INDIAN EXPRESS – Karnataka police assure protection to women

Carrying placards reading “Make Bangalore safe for women” and “End violence against women”, a group of activists trooped into the office of a top Karnataka police official Saturday evening and sought action to stop increasing cases of harassment of women in the state, particularly in this capital….

How safe is Bangalore for Women? FEARLESS KARNATAKA to promote safety and reclaim public spaces.

Bangalore was known as a tolerant city, where women can walk safely.

In the past few days many women were attacked and insulted on the streets of Bangalore – for speaking in English, for wearing  jeans/ sleeveless shirts. The moral policing has spread from Mangalore to Bangalore. Some self-appointed custodians of morality want to dectate what we should do and what we should not.

In Mangalore, they attacked unmarried couples belonging to different religions, they even attacked students for speaking with classmates (same gender) of different religions.  They devided the society on religious lines. They attacked people for going to pubs. They destroyed peace and harmony in Mangalore. They forced people to live under constant fear. These fundamentalists have the active support of the present state government, who are known for spreading hate. They want to turn Karnataka into another Gujarat.

Their next target is Bangalore. They want to destroy the peaceful, tolerant and diverse nature of  Bangalore. They want to enforce their moral codes through intimidation and violence.

Many individuals and groups, who want to resist this moral policing have come together as FEARLESS KARNATAKA, to defend the freedom and rights guaranteed by our constitution.

Join the protest march to the office of Dr. Ajai Kumar Singh, DG & IGP (Karnataka), on March 7, 2009.

Join the ‘Take Back the Night’ campaign on March 8, 2009.

Lets join hands to defend – our freedom, our safety and our city.

More info about the attacks, FEARLESS KARNATAKA and planned actions: http://thepinkchaddicampaign.blogspot.com/2009/02/press-release.html

http://thepinkchaddicampaign.blogspot.com/2009/02/details-of-attacks.html

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