Yesterday’s Edinburgh Slutwalk took place against a backdrop of acrimony and dissent. The movement only formed in Canada two months ago. The Scottish capital’s controversial anti-rape march had originally been scheduled for June 4 but was delayed after the resignation and “emotional breakdown” of its Scots founder, Nicole Carter.
Following her walk out, Carter posted complaints across several Slutwalk pages, including the Toronto headquarters site, accusing the Edinburgh organisers of “utterly untrue accusations of how badly I was organising the protest”.
“I am a multiple rape victim,” she wrote, “and their aggressive take-over meant I had a breakdown.” Carter said: “[I’m] in total despair after having put so much effort into this and they made me feel so sad I was close to suicide.” She did not take part in the walk yesterday.
Sunil Bellur, spokesman for the current organising team, has said there was “no such takeover”. Bellur added that he and his colleagues stepped up when the Toronto headquarters of the movement made them aware Carter had quit.
One of the issues that had led to Carter’s resignation, Bellur claimed, was that some visitors to the movement’s website had complained about music videos she had posted.
“People who had come to the page looking for the event were just getting spammed by music videos. So they weren’t getting any information at all,” he said.
“There was genuine concern from some of the more active people on the page that we needed to focus people in a bit.” Carter has claimed these music videos, including Sugababes’ Stronger, and Survivor by Destiny’s Child, were messages of encouragement for rape victims.
Carter, who first set up her Slutwalk Facebook page in early May after hearing about the original Slutwalk in Toronto, claimed “the harassment and online bullying” was partly responsible for her breakdown.
She said: “What bothered me the most is that it’s supposed to be a protest about solidarity. It’s no longer about solidarity. People have not shown solidarity to me.
“These people should have had more consideration, but maybe that’s asking a bit much – for people to walk on eggshells in that way.”