reclaim these streets ban

Over £30,000 has been raised for Reclaim These Streets after Met Police ban vigil

The money was raised in under two hours

Over £30,000 has been raised for campaign group Reclaim These Streets after police ban their vigil dedicated to Sarah Everard.

Reclaim These Streets were planning on hosting a vigil in Clapham Common at 6pm tomorrow evening to stand in solidarity with all women lost to violence. However on their Twitter last night the group revealed the Met Police had reversed their position on the event and said going forward with the vigil would be “unlawful”.

In a statement on their Twitter the group said the Met Police told them their “hands were tied”  because of coronavirus regulations and so the group are now seeking legal action from the High Court.

They wrote: “The Metropolitan Police have reversed their position and stated that the vigil would be unlawful, that their ‘hands are tied’ by the Covid-19 regulations and that, as organisers, we could face tens of thousands of pounds in fixed penalty notices and criminal prosecution under the Serious Crimes Act.

“We have decided to seek an urgent order from the High Court confirming that the Metropolitan Police’s understanding of the law is wrong. We hope that this will be heard tomorrow, Friday 12 March, so that the vigil can still go ahead.”

A judge will decide today if the event can go ahead. However last night Reclaim These Streets launched a fundraising campaign to cover the costs of potential fines and criminal prosecution so that the event could go ahead.

In just a few hours the group had reached their target of £30,000 and have now closed the fundraiser. If the judge gives the go ahead to the vigil the group will donate the £37,260 to a women’s charity.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said they remained in conversations with organisers of the vigil.

They said: “We understand the public’s strength of feeling and are aware of the statement issued by Reclaim The Streets with regard to a planned vigil for Sarah Everard in Clapham Common this weekend.

“We remain in discussion with the organisers about this event in light of the current Covid regulations.”

The vigil which has inspired many others to take place across the country was created after the disappearance of Sarah Everard.

Last Wednesday Sarah left her friend’s house in Clapham and was walking home to her house in Brixton, however she has not been seen or heard from since she left.

Now police have arrested a man on suspicion of murder and unidentified human remains have been discovered in woodland in Kent.

Featured image credit before edits: Matt Brown / Creative Commons Licence

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