Thousands March On Parliament Square In Protest Over Police Handling Of Sarah Everard Vigil
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Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in London to protest the police's handling of the Sarah Everard vigil.
Protesters flocked to Scotland Yard before moving to Parliament Square, as London mayor Sadiq Khan called for a 'full, independent' investigation into last night's events.
Activist group Sisters Uncut posted on social media to say they would be protesting in the capital, writing on Twitter: "We will not be intimidated. Do not dare lay your hands on us tonight."
SISTERS UNITED WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED. #ReclaimTheseStreets pic.twitter.com/7D7axMavhz
- Sisters Uncut (@SistersUncut) March 14, 2021
Clips shared on social media show protestors chanting, 'shame on you' others held placards with phrases such as: "We will not be silenced" and "End sexist, racist state violence."
Met Police said on Twitter that officers had urged 'hundreds' of protesters to go home.
Met Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, who has faced calls to step down, said: "We're still in a pandemic, unlawful gatherings are unlawful gatherings, officers have to take action if people are putting themselves massively at risk."
Footage caught at last night's vigil in Clapham Common showed police clashing with mourners.
Protest group Reclaim These Streets had initially planned for a vigil to take place on Clapham Common, but were told by police the event would be unsafe in light of current coronavirus restrictions.
Nevertheless, a large number of people gathered on Clapham Common to mourn Everard's passing.
In footage from the gathering, the crowd could 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.
"Very disappointing from Scotland Yard."
Mayor Khan said earlier today he was 'not satisfied' with Dame Dick's explanation into police action during the vigil.
In a statement on Twitter, he said: "I asked the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner to come into City Hall today to give me an explanation of yesterday's events and the days leading up to them. I am not satisfied with the explanation they have provided.
"I will now be asking Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary [HMIC] to conduct a full independent investigation of events yesterday evening and in previous days. I am also asking the Independent Office for Police Conduct [IOPC] to investigate the actions of police officers yesterday evening.
"It is vital that these events are not allowed to undermine the powerful calls since Sarah's murder for meaningful action to finally stop men inflicting violence on women.
"It was clear before yesterday that there isn't adequate trust and confidence from women and girls in the police and criminal justice system more widely. Further steps must now be taken to address this."
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: UK News