Sisters Uncut is running a third London vigil for Sarah Everard tonight in Parliament Square at 5pm.
The vigil is one of a number being held around the country to pay tribute to the 33-year-old. She went missing as she walked home from Clapham Common to Brixton on March 3 and a police officer has since been charged with her murder.
The feminist direct action group asks that attendees wear black and bring flowers, a face mask and their ‘rage’ with them to the event. It says that the vigil is being held ‘to grieve Sarah and all women whose lives have been lost to male violence – including state violence at the hands of the police and prisons.’ It says that it will also ‘stand against the government’s plans to grant police even more power through the Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill’.
On Saturday, police used force to break up a peaceful vigil on Clapham Common. The event had been cancelled after organisers were told it was illegal as it didn’t comply with lockdown restrictions, but hundreds of mourners turned up anyway.
The Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which is currently being discussed by MPs, will strengthen existing rules around the restrictions that can be put on protests, allowing law enforcers extra control over things like the start and finish time of protests, as well as noise limits. Critics say that it could impact our democratic right to protest.
‘When we first gathered to grieve on Saturday,’ write Sisters Uncut, ‘the police responded with intimidation and violence. Police violence towards women shows an institution drunk on power – yet the government wants to grant them increased powers. The police do not keep us safe. Evidence shows that investing in community solutions is the only way to keep us safe.’
The Metropolitan Police argue that their actions in Clapham on Saturday were justified. They say that they were placed in that position ‘because of the overriding need to protect people’s safety’.
Find out more about the event here.