Sarah Everard vigil: Protesters to march outside Scotland Yard today after cops storm memorial
14th March 2021

PROTESTERS are set to march to the Met Police's headquarters today after cops clashed with mourners at a vigil for Sarah Everard.

Organisers Sisters Uncut have urged demonstrators to mass at New Scotland Yard in central London for the rally at 4pm.

 




It follows yesterday's shocking scenes when cops dragged women away from a bandstand as thousands gathered in Clapham, South London, to remember Sarah, 33.

The Met's boss Dame Cressida Dick is under pressure to resign, as Home Secretary Priti Patel demanded a 'full report' after cops stormed yesterday's memorial.

In a message posted on Twitter yesterday, today's demonstration organisers said: "Tonight we attempted to have a peaceful vigil to mourn Sarah Everard and protest all forms of gendered violence.

"The police were violent towards us and prevented us from mourning. So tomorrow, we will gather at New Scotland Yard, 4pm. Join us.

"#ReclaimTheseStreets"

CLAPHAM CHAOS

The group accused police of having "abused" their powers and demanded an end to the police crime and sentencing bill, which was introduced to the Commons last week.

Trouble flared yesterday as cops arrested four protesters amid ugly scenes that marred the event.

During the afternoon, hundreds of mourners – including Kate Middleton – had laid flowers and paid respectful tribute to Sarah in a dignified display of grief and solidarity.

The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday laid daffodils  picked from the garden at Kensington Palace at the shrine.

But as dusk fell the atmosphere darkened as tensions rose when heavy-handed cops dragged women away from a candle-lit shrine.










In chaotic scenes, scuffles broke out between police and mourners in the 1,500 crowd who had massed around the bandstand.

Some shouted “shame on you” at officers as they ripped women off the metal railings.

Shocking pictures showed one 5ft 2in mourner being pinned to the floor as she was arrested and others cuffed as they were led away.

The stand-off escalated further as officers moved in to arrest a protester on the bandstand.

'DISGRACEFUL'

Police making the arresting were surrounded by an angry mob who pursued them out of the park.

Patsy Stevenson was arrested during the vigil, and said it was "disgraceful" that cops broke up what she said was a "peaceful protest".

Dramatic pictures showed a masked Ms Stevenson being held on the ground by two officers as she was handcuffed.

Ms Stevenson told Counterfire: "I was arrested by police for standing there. I wasn’t doing anything, they threw me to the floor.

"They have pictures of me on the floor being arrested. I’m 5ft 2 and I weigh nothing."


Last night, Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey called for Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick to "consider" her leadership of the force.

He branded the scenes "a complete abject tactical and moral failure on the part of the police".

Home Secretary Ms Patel has called for a "full report" from the Met Police into the clashes on the Common.

She wrote on Twitter: "Some of the footage circulating online from the vigil in Clapham is upsetting.

'TERRIBLE TIME'

"I have asked the Metropolitan Police for a full report on what happened.

"My thoughts remain with Sarah’s family and friends at this terrible time."

London mayor Sadiq Khan called the police response "neither appropriate nor proportionate".

In a lengthy statement, Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball claimed officers were faced with a “very difficult decision” as crowds became “packed tightly together, posing a very real risk of easily transmitting Covid-19.”

She said: "Those who gathered were spoken to by officers on a number of occasions and over an extended period of time.

"We repeatedly encouraged those who were there to comply with the law and leave. Regrettably, a small minority of people began chanting at officers, pushing and throwing items.

"After speaking with officers, the vast majority of people quickly left. Four arrests have been made for public order offences and for breaches of the Health Protection Regulations.”

The top cop added: "We absolutely did not want to be in a position where enforcement action was necessary. But we were placed in this position because of the overriding need to protect people’s safety.

"Let me end by saying that across the Met, we review every single event that we police to see if there are lessons that can be learnt. This one will be no different."



Source: Read Full Article