Organisers of a vigil this evening at Norwood Junction say they have abandoned their plans “with a heavy heart”, following yesterday’s High Court ruling that banned an event being held at Clapham Common to protest against violence, following the abduction and murder of Sarah Everard.
They said they made the decision to avoid having to pay the police large fines. Yesterday, Wayne Couzens, a serving Metropolitan Police officer, was charged with the kidnap and murder of Everard.
Reclaim These Streets wanted to hold a demonstration on Clapham Common, near to where the 33-year-old went missing. But organisers said despite their attempts to work with police to make sure the vigil could go ahead safely under covid lockdown restrictions, they now felt it could not.
In a statement, the group blamed the decision on a “lack of constructive engagement from the Metropolitan police” and said Scotland Yard “would not engage with our suggestions to help ensure that a legal, Covid-secure vigil could take place”.
The South Norwood vigil organisers have decided to follow suit.
“It is with both a heavy heart and an angry voice that South Norwood Tourist Board and South Norwood Community Kitchen have made the decision to cancel this evening’s Reclaim These Streets vigil. This is following the announcement by the organisers of the Clapham Common protest,” they said.
“We are sad and enraged that women’s voices have yet again been stilled by the police where one of their own brutally murdered a woman. We cannot give them the satisfaction of having to pay them huge fines.
“But don’t worry – when lockdown ends we’ll be out there in a huge mass demonstration against the patriarchy. Enough is enough.”
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This scaremongering about huge fines is now stopping individuals walking around on their own, perhaps just taking daily exercise, wearing masks and not in a group. While I’m not advocating big gatherings against the regulations, it’s very convenient for some to put a stop to this community based action and outpouring of anger and grief. Will the impetus for this protest be the same at a later date? I hope so – it will be interesting to see what happens.
Did Dominic Cummings get fined, when he broke restrictions at a very dangerous time when the virus was spreading rapidly? Hhmmmm