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14th Mar 2021

Arrest Your Own trends in UK after police clash with women at Sarah Everard vigil

Wayne Farry

The hashtag has trended after the behaviour of police at last night’s Sarah Everard vigil

‘Arrest Your Own’ has begun trending in the United Kingdom following the conduct of Metropolitan police officers at last night’s vigil in memory of Sarah Everard.

The vigil, which was held in Clapham Common on Saturday evening, was disrupted by a large police presence. Police are accused of being heavy handed and using disproportionate force in handcuffing women attending an event in memory of a woman who was the victim of male violence.

Everard went missing Wednesday last week while walking home from her friend’s home. A serving Met police officer has been charged with her kidnap and murder.

The Met police have been accused of failing to constructively engage with the organisers Reclaim The Streets to allow the vigil to go ahead safely, despite a High Court ruling that the vigil ‘potentially go ahead lawfully’.

“In doing so, they created a risky and unsafe situation,” said Reclaim The Streets. “It is their responsibility to protect public order, public health and the right to protest – they failed tonight on all accounts.”

The response to a peaceful and socially distanced vigil being broken up in such a manner also led to comparisons of the police’s conduct at other events, including far-right demos last summer, violent protests which many claim was granted a higher degree of tolerance by police.

The fallout from the police’s appalling behaviour has also led to calls for the resignation of Commissioner of the Met Police, Dame Cressida Dick, and the Home Secretary Priti Patel, whom Dick reports to.

Donate to Reclaim The Streets’ Just Giving page here.