Dress code of anything goes as city to host first SlutWalk

IT is a movement sparked by a few thoughtless remarks from a Toronto police officer that has caught fire across America and Canada.

• Women march in Boston's SlutWalk. More are planned worldwide

Now the SlutWalk is coming to Edinburgh for the first time - and hundreds of people are expected to take part.

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Thousands of women across the world have already taken to the streets to protest against the view that victims of sexual assault are in some way to blame for their ordeal.

It follows remarks made by police officer Michael Sanguinetti during a visit to Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto earlier this year to advise students on personal safety.

Addressing the ten students who turned up for the pep talk, he said: "You know, I think we're beating around the bush here. I've been told I'm not supposed to say this - however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised."

Mr Sanguinetti has since apologised, but there appears to be no stopping the "SlutWalkers" now.

The first Edinburgh SlutWalk is being organised by poet Nicole Carter, who is from Penicuik, and will start from The Mound on June 4.

The walkers, who will wave placards and banners during the protest march, want to put an end to what they believe is a culture in which it is considered acceptable to blame victims of sexual assault.

Ms Carter, 35, has previously been sexually assaulted and said she was "disappointed" by Mr Sanguinetti's comments.

She added: "I want this to be a peaceful, law-abiding, inclusive and multicultural SlutWalk protest. It's all about solidarity for a common cause.

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"We will strut from The Mound along to the east end of Princes Street, and down Leith Walk to Leith Links."

Ms Carter, who now lives in north Edinburgh, is also encouraging men to take part in the walk. She said protesters were welcome to dress provocatively if they felt comfortable doing so, but were free to wear whatever they wanted.

"It's just whatever anyone feels comfortable wearing, whether that's jogging trousers, trainers and a jumper, a bikini or a mankini," she said.

"Women at other SlutWalks have dressed in a variety of outfits, from bras and pants to corsets and saris. It's a very varied attire."

The first march took place in Toronto last month, with almost 3000 people taking part.

The participants, both female and male, carried placards saying, 'Met a slut today? Don't assault her', 'Sluts pay taxes' and 'We're here, we're sluts, get used to it'.

Organisers described last Saturday's SlutWalk in Boston as a demonstration against those who blame the victims of sex crimes.

Further SlutWalks are planned for several states across America, as well as in Argentina, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the UK.

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While protesters take to Edinburgh's streets, fellow SlutWalkers in London will be marching on the same day, with more than 3600 people expected to take part.

People taking part in the Edinburgh SlutWalk will meet outside the National Gallery of Scotland at 2pm.