The Metropolitan Police ‘breached rights of Sarah Everard vigil organisers’, a High Court rules

‘Today’s judgement is a victory for women’

Reclaim These Streets (RTS) tweeted this morning revealing it has won its High Court case against the Metropolitan Police Force and its actions in the run up to the planned vigil for Sarah Everard last year.

RTS shared this speech in their tweet which opens with “Today’s judgement is a victory for women.” It discusses the conclusive judgement and unlawful treatment by the Metropolitan Police Force.

Last year, RTS came together to organise a socially distanced vigil for 33-year-old Sarah Everard who was murdered by a serving police officer, Wayne Couzens in March 2021.

Four women who founded RTS and planned the vigil brought a legal challenge against the Met Police for its handling of the event both during and leading up to it. At a two-day-hearing back in January, the four founders of RTS argued the decisions made by the Met Police breached their human rights to freedom of speech and assembly. Then in a judgement on Friday, Lord Justice Warby and Mr Justice Holgate ruled in favour of the four women and found the Met’s decisions in the run up to the event were “not in accordance with the law”.

In a statement outside the Royal Courts of Justice on behalf of the four women who organised the vigil, their solicitor Theodora Middleton said: “Today’s judgement is a victory for women.”

She continued: “We came together, one year and one day ago, to organise a vigil on Clapham Common because Sarah Everard went missing from our neighbourhood. We felt sad and afraid. We were angry that women still weren’t safe and we were tired of the burden to stay safe always weighing on our shoulders. We organised it because as women we needed a space to stand together in solidarity, grief and defiance. And above all we organised it because it’s wrong that women face violence and harassment every single day.

“We couldn’t have imagined the far-reaching implications of our decision to organise, and certainly never imagined we would be here in the High Court a year later – but we couldn’t stand by in the fact of the Met Police’s determination to prevent women from exercising their human right to protest.”

You can read Theodora Middleton’s speech in full here.

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Feature image by BradleyStearn on Shuterstock.