GirlsNightIn Manchester: how you can join the drink-spiking protest tonight

Students are staying away from clubs tonight in protest at a spate of incidents of drinks being spiked and are planning an event in Manchester city centre - here’s what you need to know.

Students in Manchester will be staying in and shunning clubs, bars and other venues as part of a boycott to protest about drink-spiking.

Protesters will stay at home tonight (Wednesday 27 October) after women came forward to share experiences of substances being added to their drinks on nights out.

Organisers of the Girls Night In boycott want a range of measures brought in at venues to tackle the problem.

Here is what is happening in the city this evening as part of the protest.

What is the GirlsNightIn protest?

It will begin at 5pm in The Nest at the University of Manchester Students’ Union where participants will make banners and have the opportunity to talk to local councillors about the issue.

At 6.30pm the campaigners will leave the union to walk to St Peter’s Square, where the main protest starts at 7pm.

At 8.30pm those taking part in the boycott will return to the theatre at the students’ union to watch a film and socialise with other groups at the university.

The protest has also sent an open letter to Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and other leaders at Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) urging rapid action to be taken on the issue of spiking.

In addition clubs 42nd Street and Venue are closing tonight in solidarity with the boycott.

What do the protestors want?

The open letter sets out a number of demands to tackle the problem of drink spiking.

It calls for the GMCA to provide anti-spiking devices to all clubs and bars in the city and wants a Women’s Night Safety Toolkit to detail measures that venues should have to have in place in order to be licenced.

Reports of drink spiking have been made to South Yorkshire Police

It wants women’s safety to be clearly a priority and for this to be made clear to staff and customers and for people to be encouraged to come forward to report spiking incidents.

The letter calls for staff to be trained to deal sensitively with information provided by victims and for designated employees to be on duty to handle problems of spiking and harassment.

It also wants venues to have clear written procedures explaining how they will deal with incidents of this nature.

What have the authorities said?

Greater Manchester’s night tsar Sacha Lord said last week that he wanted to meet organisers of the protest to work with them to solve the issue, which he said was completely unacceptable and had to be eradicated.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP), deputy mayor Baroness Beverley Hughes and the University of Manchester have all pledged to do more to ensure people are kept safe on nights out.