'It's important we stood together' - online vigil remembers Sarah Everard

Sarah Everard, 33, who left a friend's house in Clapham, south London, on Wednesday evening at aroun

Sarah Everard died after disappearing on her walk home in south London - Credit: PA Media

An online vigil was held in memory of Sarah Everard on Saturday in Suffolk, as London protests grew violent.  

Organisers from the Reclaim These Streets movement had arranged to meet in a socially-distanced manner on the Cornhill on Saturday evening in memory of the 33-year-old, whose body was discovered earlier this week. 

Serving Met Police officer Wayne Couzens, 48, has been charged with Ms Everard's murder. 

Suffolk police had urged people not to attend any of the in-person vigils as they would be in breach of the current coronavirus lockdown restrictions and so the event was cancelled

The London event was also cancelled by organisers but members of the public still arrived in Clapham Common, with the quiet gathering turning to clashes with police as the evening went on.  

Ipswich vigil organisers Grace Nicoll and Laura Polley moved their event online, but watched the events unfolding in London.  

Organisers, Laura Polley and Grace Nicoll, of Suffolk’s Reclaim The Streets event which was cancelled due to covid.

Organisers, Laura Polley and Grace Nicoll, of Suffolk’s Reclaim The Streets event which was cancelled due to covid. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson


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“It was not nice to see things had become violent,” said Miss Polley.  

 Miss Polley said it was disappointing to see police had used kettling – where crowds are contained in a limited area – to deal with those down there.  

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“We know that is dangerous,” said Miss Polley.  

Miss Polley said that in her view, the Met should have been better prepared and added that organisers had done all they could to keep people away.  

“Police should have seen it coming and worked with them,” said Miss Polley. 

“There needs to be a full investigation into the overzealous policing.” 

Laura Polley (L) and Grace Nichol (R), organised a vigil in Ipswich to remember Sarah Everend and highlight the safety...

Laura Polley (L) and Grace Nichol (R), organised a vigil in Ipswich to remember Sarah Everend and highlight the safety issues faced everyday by women across the country. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

In Ipswich, a 97-second silence during the event in recognition of a study which found 97% of young women had been subject to some form of sexual harassment. 

The organisers said they wanted to ensure the topic of women's safety remained top of the agenda.

Miss Polley said: "This conversation has needed to happen for a decade. Sarah's death has brought it home.  

"We are told to do things like wear bright clothing and hold keys but it still wasn't enough for Sarah. 

"This has shocked the whole nation - it could have happened to any one of us. The vigil was all from anger and fear." 

Miss Nicoll added: "It is such an important thing that we stood together.  

"We are making a point now that women and girls are not going to accept this anymore."

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