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Police Clash With Mourners At Sarah Everard Vigil On Clapham Common

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Police Clash With Mourners At Sarah Everard Vigil On Clapham Common

Images and footage has emerged of police clashing with mourners at tonight's vigil for Sarah Everard on Clapham Common.

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Protest group Reclaim These Streets had initially planned for a vigil to take place on Clapham Common this evening (13 March), but were told by police the event would be unsafe in light of current coronavirus restrictions.

Nevertheless, a large number of people gathered this evening on Clapham Common to mourn Everard's passing.

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Lambeth Police tweeted: "A large static gather is now building at the bandstand on #ClaphamCommon.

"Tonight's #ReclaimTheseStreets vigil has been cancelled and we'd urge people to pay their respects, but not gather in groups.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"We understand the strength of feeling and share Londoner's outrage at the disappearance and death of #SarahEverard.

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"We remain in a public health crisis and we would urge people to disperse or go home.

"Officers are speaking with those who are gathering and explaining the rules we must all follow.

"We are encouraging everyone to stick to the rules, these are there to keep everyone safe.

"The gathering at #ClaphamCommon is unsafe. Hundreds of people are tightly packed together in breach of the regulations and risking public health. We are urging people to go home and we thank those who have been engaging with officers and who are leaving."

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

In footage from the gathering, the crowd can be heard chanting 'shame on you' as police tried to disperse attendees.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Labour MP for Streatham, tweeted footage of the vigil with the caption: "This could have been the socially distanced vigil the community needed to remember Sarah and all the women who have lost their lives to violence.

"We knew what was going to happen if the event was shut down.

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"Very disappointing from Scotland Yard."

Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted to describe footage of the police response to the vigil as 'upsetting'.

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

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Following the cancellation of the Reclaim The Streets vigil, the group urged mourners to stand on their doorsteps with a candle or light at 9.30pm this evening, the time Everard is thought to have gone missing.

The organisation also set up a fundraiser to support women's causes across the country, setting their target at £320,000 - the combined total if the group had to pay a £10,000 fine for each of the 32 planned vigils which were due to go ahead.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

They wrote on their fundraiser: "We were told that pressing ahead could risk a £10,000 fine each for each woman organising. We do not want to see hundreds of thousands of pounds contributed to a system that consistently fails to keep women safe - either in public spaces or in the privacy of their homes. Women's rights are too important."

The fundraiser has so far raised over £390,000; you can donate here.

Sarah Everard, 33, went missing while on her way home from a friend's in Clapham, London, at about 9.30pm on 3 March.

Police tragically confirmed that human remains found in a woodland area in Kent earlier this week belonged to Ms Everard.

Serving police officer Wayne Couzens, 48, has been charged with murder and kidnapping.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, crime

Simon Fearn
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