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Ann Arbor

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-On Saturday, April 26, over a thousand peopíe gathered for a rally on the steps of the Federal Building and then marched through the streets in a protest against rape. The "Seventh Annual Take Back the Night March and Rally" was sponsored by the Ann Arbor Coalition Against Rape. A mëmber of Agenda's volunteer staff carried a tape recorder and asked people two questions: "Why are you here?" and "How do you think it is going so far?" Wendy Martin Vm here tonight because Tm sick of living in a rape culture and Fm sick of living in a culture that practices terrorism against women. I'm sick of not being able to walk home from the library at night when I want to. I'm sick of the repercussions that those inabilities have on my life. How do you think it's going so far? It's really energetic, huge crowd and there's an incredible energy here. I'm really enjoying it. Suzanne Cohen Tm here because I think there are problems in our society, not only our city of which I am a part of, which we really have to start being aware of. I am a person in this society and I feel threatened because of what type of a person I am: a woman. I feel there are certain things that really need to be brought to people's attention, and something like this, I feel, is one way to enlighten people, to heighten their awareness, to say: "Hey, this is a problem we are having." I don't feel safe out at night I go out at night, but I don't feel safe. That fear is always there. Look at these streets we are walking down now. They're all dark, lights on the corners on the poles but none of them work. What good is that? And I need that, I need the lights there to feel safe, to feel comfortable in coming out. How was that? How do you think it's going so far? I think it's nice. I love meeting people coming out of their houses and checking us out. I think that's a step, I feel just being here. U's a nice turn-ouL That's really good. It's a good feeling. I feel this is going very nicely and it was dealt with really well. That's all. The organizers of this program really deserve a lot of credit too. Isabella Ne bel I'm here to show solidarity with other women who have, who have come to the realization that there is a lot of abuse and mistreatment of half of the population on this earth. And we have to be aware of it and we have to try and change it and we'll only be aware of it and change it when we can come together and show that we have experienced it. There is a lot of denial that goes on and this is meant to be a process of becoming aware. And we have to be aware that rape, rape happens all the time. Rape is one of the most horrible crimes-and it happens all the time, to everyone. Every woman has a chance of being raped. How do you think it's going so far? Well, I came with very much hesitation, to be honest, because I was very much wary of my own personal feelings being, being very overwhelmed, and now I realize that this is a very positive thing and that the most wonderful thing that women can do is make other women aware of their situation, and be here, to show each other that we care. And the men that were at the rally, too, they are aware of the situation. So, it's positive, it really is. It's all positive. There is no men hatred here, just hatred of a crime that's happening. And we all need to show solidarity to each other. Sondra Moore I'm here because I think it's an important cause and I was afraid that not enough people would show up. Every little bit helps, you know. How do you think it's going so far? So far it seems to be going pretty well. I think there are more people here than I expected. I'm pretty pleased. It looks pretty good. Beki Minhier I'm here partly for myself and partly for my daughter, but the main reason I'm here is for her. I know the streets probably won't be safe for me in my lifetime but they may be for her. And if we edúcate young people, young boys and young girls about the rape culture, what that means, define it for them and show them ways of achieving a different kind of culture, and having social attitudes that are responsible for themselves. When they were talking about the self-defense for girls, it really hit me how boys are trained to be aggressive and to be forceful and to get their own way and then that is interpreted on a patriarchal concioussness level of 'power-over' instead of 'cooperative-existence' kind of power. And we need to change it, and we need to start with people who are four years old like my daughter. And that's, basically, why I'm here and how I feel about it. How do you think it's going so far? I think it's terrific. This is wonderful. This is my first rally in Ann Arbor. I've been in Bowling Green, Ohio, at rallies, campus-kind-of Take Back the Night rallies, and this is really encouraging to see this many women and to see all this anger that is being put forward in a show, a real public display of attitude, and how they want to change things. I think it's wonderful. This is great. Phyllis Atkins Well, because I believe in this cause, for one thing, believe very strongly in this. I think that this has been really important to me because since I've been eleven years old, I've not been able to walk out in the street at night, OK? I was assaulted, along with my brother , when I was ten. We went to a restaurant about this time of night and this guy came over and kissed me and my brother tried to fight him and I tried to fight him. We ended uprunning for our lives and that's why I'm out here. I'm now thirty--four, and it's important. It's very important. I think we ought to be able to walk the streets, like they do in other cultures; women are protected, you know, and we can't depend on men to protect us. We have to depend on ourselves. Carne Bruck I've come here every year for the last six years. It's an increasing problem. It becomes an increasingly important for me to come to this every year because every year . . . it's very emotional for me. It's just very bad. It's a very bad situation and there are so many people that just don't understand. We need to have women march in the streets in order for them to understand. You have to yell or no one understands. How do you think it's going so far? GreaL I was really impressed with the opening. They did a great job. Fm really proud of them. It's great, really great. Diane Rucknagel I'm here to combat my sense of powerlessness, the feeling that rape is not only something that happens to people walking home at night, but is something that can happen to you while you're working. Take back the night! How do you think it's going so far? I'm a little disappointed with the turn-out from the dorms. We don't seem to be getting much of a response in terms of people joining us. But there's probably over a thousand people here which is, you know, POWERFUL! That's all I can say. I'm really out of breath. Julia 8ayha I'm here because I want to show solidarity for those of my sisters who cannot walk at night as I can. How do you think it's going so far? I think it's the biggest one they've ever had. I've been here for every one and it looks to me like a bigger crowd. It's got a lot of age ranges which is good. It's the first time I've seen so many children and you've got both a vocal crowd and a silent majority. France Schrom I'm here to protest rape and to stand up for women and women's rights and my own rights and not to be violated anymore. How do you think it's going so far? I think there's a pretty big tumouL I'm from San Fransisco and I participated in a march about three years ago in San Francisco and I'm glad to be participating here in Ann Arbor.I think there's a pretty big turn-out and I hope that the community is receptive to it. I hope, I really hope that these people understand what's going on and that women are trying to take back their own power and refuse to be violated anymore. Flo Burke Well, as a mother of three teens and a friend of some of the 'Ann Arbor young people, I think it's important for those that are out of college and into our older years, you know, to also show support for the women's movement and for freedom of choice, you know, women in the city. How do you think it's going so far? I think its very nice. It's a very big crowd and an enthusiastic crowd and I think the more of us there are telling each, the better. I've talked to young people these days that don't actually know what the feminist symbol stands for. You know, I've worn a little one.occasionally, and they didn't know what it was. They didn't know why some women might be offended by the term "lady", for example. And I starled to say to myself, I had soit of gotten bored with marching, but I thought, well, maybe there are some people out there who still need to know that there are reasons to march and the things we stand for. I think that's about all I have to say. I'm about worn out Frank Jenkins Well, I'm here because I am totally in sympathy with the purpose of the make safe streets and to combat rape and sexist attitudes. 'Women unKTakgback the night"


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