Organisers CANCEL Sarah Everard ‘Reclaim These Streets’ vigil at Clapham Common set to be held today and urge people to stay at home after they lost High Court legal challenge against Met Police
A planned vigil for Sarah Everard has been cancelled after the organisers lamented a ‘lack of constructive engagement’ with the Met Police to help make it Covid secure.
A Reclaim These Streets event was due to be held tonight at Clapham Common, near where the 33-year-old went missing on March 3.
Organisers yesterday went to the High Court for a ruling if they were allowed to host the event during lockdown, which bans gatherings, but the judge did not intervene on their behalf.
This morning a statement from the group said: ‘We have been very disappointed that given the many opportunities to engage with the organisers constructively, the Metropolitan Police have been unable to commit to anything.’
Organisers said they had made ‘every effort’ to pull off the vigil, including staggering start times, to ‘balance our right as women to freedom of expression’ with Covid curbs.
The vigil was planned for Saturday in memory of marketing executive Sarah Everard, who disappeared while walking home to Brixton on March 3
The group brought an urgent action in a bid for a declaration that any ban on outdoor gatherings under coronavirus regulations is ‘subject to the right to protest’, and thus the vigil should be allowed to happen.
Mr Justice Holgate declined to grant the group’s request and also refused to make a declaration that an alleged policy by the force of ‘prohibiting all protests, irrespective of the specific circumstances’ is unlawful.
Reclaim These Streets resolved to continue discussions with the Met, which ordered people not to gather.
After failing to break the impasse, the organisers said this morning: ‘While we have had positive discussions with the Lambeth officers present, those from Scotland Yard would not engage with our suggestions to help ensure that a legal, Covid-secure vigil could take place.
‘It remains our view that with the appropriate mutually agreed measures in place, this evening’s vigil on Clapham Common would have been safe and in line with restrictions and safety regulations.
‘However, in light of the lack of constructive engagement from the Metropolitan Police, we do not feel that we can in good faith allow tonight’s event to go ahead.’
A High Court judge last night refused to intervene on behalf of the group in a legal challenge over the right to gather for a protest during coronavirus restrictions