United Kingdom

Police face chants of ‘shame on you’ as Sarah Everard protesters led away

Hundreds gathered at Clapham Common to pay their respects to Sarah Everard but officers have moved in to disperse the crowds and some were pictured being detained (Pictures: LNP/Reuters/Getty)

Police have moved in to try to break up crowds who have gathered at a memorial site for Sarah Everard.

Officers were seen leading several protesters away during heated scenes on Clapham Common.

Hundreds turned up at the bandstand in the common despite a planned vigil being cancelled at the last minute.

Police have said the gathering is ‘unsafe’, and urged people to go home.

But protesters have accused them of ‘waiting for the sun to set before they started grabbing and manhandling women in the crowd’.

It appeared some of the women at the bandstand were being arrested. Metro has asked the Met for comment.

One video posted online showed officers grabbing women before leading them away, to screaming and shouting from onlookers.

Campaign group Sisters Uncut, which had representatives attending the Clapham vigil, tweeted: ‘As soon as the sun went down, police stormed the bandstand. We do NOT answer to violent men.’

Police have moved in to try to break up the vigil (Picture: LNP)

The organisers of the vigil, Reclaim These Streets, called it off earlier after they were unable to convince police it could take place in a Covid-secure way. A judge in the high court yesterday refused to intervene in the case.

Despite the cancellation, people have been gathering at the bandstand throughout the day. There have been emotional scenes as mourners came to leave flowers and pay their respects.

As numbers swelled, police warned people not to gather in groups and urged people to stick to the rules.

A tweet from the Lambeth police account said: ‘The gathering at Clapham Common is unsafe. Hundreds of people are tightly packed together in breach of the regulations and risking public health.

‘We are urging people to go home and we thank those who have been engaging with officers and who are leaving.’

A woman is detained during the vigil for Sarah Everard on Clapham Common (Picture: Getty)
Protesters accused the police of ‘waiting for the sun to set and manhandling protestors’ (Picture: Reuters)
Police have urged crowds to disperse, claiming it’s not safe because of the risk of spreading Covid (Picture: Reuters)

Several female MPs have criticised the actions of the force and officers’ handling of the vigil.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy, who represents nearby Streatham, tweeted footage of the clashes, saying: ‘This could have been the socially distanced vigil the community needed to remember Sarah and all the women who have lost their lives to violence. We knew what was going to happen if the event was shut down.’

She added: ‘I know Lambeth Borough officers made efforts to compromise with the organisers but were overruled from high up.

‘They’ll be left to deal with the fallout of this and the further burden it places on already strained community relationships. Very disappointing from Scotland Yard.’

More to follow

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