Arrest Your Own Trends In UK As Police Clash With Women At Sarah Everard Vigil
‘Arrest your own’ has begun trending in the UK after police officers clashed with women at a vigil held for Sarah Everard.
The way the Metropolitan Police handled the vigil has been widely criticised, with photos and footage showing officers shoving women and pinning them to the ground.
Officers were also seen handcuffing women and leading them away from Clapham Common bandstand, where the vigil took place. The Met Police has said that four arrests were made at the vigil, which it claims had been made to ‘protect people’s safety’.
The official vigil, organised by the group Reclaim These Streets, had been cancelled earlier that day ‘in light of the lack of constructive engagement from the Metropolitan Police’.
Those who wanted to honour Sarah’s memory were instead encouraged to make a donation to a Just Giving page for women’s charitable causes. At the time of writing, the page has raised more than £480,200.
Reclaim These Streets has since condemned the actions of the officers at the scene, stating:
We and women across the country are deeply saddened and angered by the scenes of police officers physically manhandling women at a vigil against male violence.
[…] This week of all weeks the police should have understood that women would need a place to mourn, reflect and show solidarity.
Now is the time for the police and the Government to recognise that the criminal justice system is failing women. Tonight, it has failed women again, in the most destructive way.
Reclaim These Streets has emphasised that the Met police had ‘failed’ to work with them to ensure that the vigil could go ahead safely, despite a High Court ruling that the vigil could ‘potentially go ahead lawfully’:
In doing so, they created a risky and unsafe situation. It is their responsibility to protect public order, public health and the right to protest – they failed tonight on all accounts.
Many others have also criticised the way the police handled the vigil, with the #arrestyourown, with many drawing comparisons to the ways in which a crowd of football fans were treated just days ago.
One person tweeted:
My opinion of Met Police has changed forever after tonight. If only they were that reactive when faced with violent men.
Imagine sending the met police to arrest women at the Vigil on Clapham Common this evening, for a woman that was murdered, by a met police officer. The irony.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has reportedly now asked the Met Police for a report on the events which unfolded, while London Mayor Sadiq Khan has stated that he was ‘urgently seeking an explanation’ from Commissioner of the Met Police, Dame Cressida Dick.
You can donate to the Just Giving page here.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas.
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