The Reclaim These Streets Vigil In Sarah Everard’s Honour Has Been Cancelled

Photo: Glyn Kirk / AFP / Getty Images.
Update: Following the cancellation of the Clapham Common vigil in Sarah Everard's honour, organisers have arranged a doorstep vigil at 9.30pm on Saturday evening.
Participants are being asked to shine a light – a candle, a torch or a phone – to remember 33-year-old Everard and all the women lost to and affected by violence.
A crowdfunding campaign for women's charitable causes has already raised more than £230,000.
This story was originally posted at 9.30am on Saturday, 13th March
A south London vigil in honour of Sarah Everard has been cancelled, organisers have confirmed.
Reclaim These Streets had hoped to hold the vigil on Saturday evening on Clapham Common, close to where 33-year-old Everard was last seen alive.
Organisers said in a statement shared on Saturday morning that "in light of a lack of constructive engagement from the Metropolitan Police", they "could not in good faith allow [the] event to go ahead".
They are now "strongly encouraging" people not to gather on Clapham Common on Saturday evening because "the feedback from police is that doing so may place yourself legally at risk".
In addition, "the Covid-secure marshalling we would have provided" at the event will no longer be available. Details of a virtual gathering will be announced on Saturday, organisers added.
Many other vigils around the country were also being planned in honour of Everard, who disappeared while walking home in south London on 3rd March. A serving Metropolitan Police officer has now been charged with her kidnap and murder.
However, these events have now been cancelled, too. Anna Birley of Reclaim These Streets said they carry the same incredibly prohibitive legal risks for organisers.
"All the women across the country who are seeking to organise their own events too are at risk of criminal prosecutions from the Serious Crimes Act, which is what we've been threatened with," she said during an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
She added: "The inability of Scotland Yard to constructively engage with us means we can't be confident they're going to police the event in a way that's Covid safe."
In their statement, Reclaim These Streets said that anyone seeking to organise a vigil could be punished with a £10,000 fine.
Consequently, the group has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £320,000 for women's charitable causes: a sum that is equivalent to £10,000 for each of the 32 vigils planned across the UK in honour of Sarah Everard.

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