Sarah Everard: Protesters call for radical change to 'corrupt' police
Activists blocked the road outside the Met Police's headquarters on Saturday, as crowds gathered to call for change in the "corrupt" Metropolitan Police force.
Demonstrators gathered outside New Scotland Yard led by the feminist group Sisters Uncut. The protest came a day after a court ruled that the Met Police acted unlawfully in their handling of a planned Sarah Everard vigil last year.
"Violent", "repressive", "racist" and "bullshit" were some of the words protesters used to describe the police.
“We withdraw consent to die,” a Sisters Uncut organiser chanted, which was echoed by the crowd.
Green and purple flares lit up the streets and music boomed from a massive speaker as protesters marched from the Met Police headquarters, past Trafalgar Square and all the way to Charing Cross Police Station. Last month, it was revealed that racist, sexist and misogynistic messages were exchanged amongst a now disbanded group of Met Police officers based at the station.
A thousand rape alarms were activated at the station by protesters, who then launched the alarms over the bars of the station.
"A-C-A-B: All cops are bastards," they chanted.
— Damien Gayle (@damiengayle) March 12, 2022
The protest marks a year since an unofficial vigil for Sarah Everard took place - the 33-year-old who was raped and murdered by Met Police office Wayne Couzens. An official vigil had been planned by activists Reclaim These Streets, but the police force threatened organisers with £10,000 fines if they were to let it go ahead. When the news that the court had ruled in their favour broke on Friday, RTS described it as "a victory for women".
Patsy Stevenson, an activist who was famously splashed on the front page of newspapers after being arrested at the unofficial vigil for Everard, sat on the steps of the police station along with fellow activists today.
She said to the crowd: “One year ago today, the police waited until sunset to brutalise us at Clapham Common. Today, we waited until sunset to detonate 1,000 rape alarms at Charing Cross station. F**k the police,” the Guardian reports.
Protesters were also fighting against the Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill, which could see officers granted more powers to control protests by limiting noise, imposing start and finish times, and fining protesters who break rules up to £2,500.
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