Protestors gather in Parliament Square for third night of demonstrations

Protesters have gathered in Parliament Square for the third night of demonstrations against anti-women violence in the wake of Sarah Everard‘s alleged murder.

An estimated 200 protesters defied Covid regulations and gathered in the capital this afternoon after demonstrations last night saw police surround the entrance to New Scotland Yard, while also guarding a statue of New Scotland Yard.

Scenes from today’s protest so far remain relatively quiet in comparison, with around 100 police officers on duty, but remaining at a discreet distance. 

The focus of the protest has also shifted to opposition against anti-protest laws set out in the The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which could allow officers to intervene in events that are deemed to have caused ‘serious unease, alarm or distress’. The bill is set to be discussed on Tuesday. 

Many in the crowd waved Extinction Rebellion flags while others held up placards criticising the police, ‘capitalism,’ Brexit and an assortment of other global issues.

Scores of protesters laid flowers below a banner laid out in the square which declared: ‘We need to be seen and heard.’

Drumming echoed from one corner of the square as some protestors danced and shouted slogans against politicians sitting in the House of Commons.

A police helicopter hoovered overhead to monitor the vigil, which passed off peacefully.

The vigil was organised by Sisters Uncut, the organisation that led Saturday night’s event.

Attendants at today’s protests have criticised Met Police’s handling of Saturday’s vigil, with scenes of police grappling with protesters described as ‘concerning,’ by Boris Johnson last night.

As Priti Patel urges people to stay at home instead of protesting, one woman seen pinned to the ground at Saturday’s vigil said she wanted demonstrators to ‘get the message away from ”We are against the police,”‘.

Around 200 protesters have gathered in Parliament Square this afternoon, it follows gatherings and marches outside New Scotland Yard yesterday, in opposition of violence against women

Around 200 protesters have gathered in Parliament Square this afternoon, it follows gatherings and marches outside New Scotland Yard yesterday, in opposition of violence against women

Around 200 protesters have gathered in Parliament Square this afternoon, it follows gatherings and marches outside New Scotland Yard yesterday, in opposition of violence against women

Women have been sharing their experiences of harassment in the wake of the death of Sarah Everard, 33, who vanished while walking home through Clapham on March 3

Women have been sharing their experiences of harassment in the wake of the death of Sarah Everard, 33, who vanished while walking home through Clapham on March 3

Women have been sharing their experiences of harassment in the wake of the death of Sarah Everard, 33, who vanished while walking home through Clapham on March 3

One of the organisers of the vigil, speaking through a megaphone accused the Metropolitan Police of unleashing ‘state violence on women’ at a vigil for Sarah Everard on Saturday night. Pictured: Protesters are in London again today

One of the organisers of the vigil, speaking through a megaphone accused the Metropolitan Police of unleashing ‘state violence on women’ at a vigil for Sarah Everard on Saturday night. Pictured: Protesters are in London again today

One of the organisers of the vigil, speaking through a megaphone accused the Metropolitan Police of unleashing ‘state violence on women’ at a vigil for Sarah Everard on Saturday night. Pictured: Protesters are in London again today

Police officers at monitoring the protest in Parliament Square today, after demonstrations last night saw officers guard the entrance to New Scotland Yard and protect a statue of Winston Churchill

Police officers at monitoring the protest in Parliament Square today, after demonstrations last night saw officers guard the entrance to New Scotland Yard and protect a statue of Winston Churchill

Police officers at monitoring the protest in Parliament Square today, after demonstrations last night saw officers guard the entrance to New Scotland Yard and protect a statue of Winston Churchill

The crowd gathered today chanted: ‘Sisters United, will never be defeated.’

One of the organisers of the vigil, speaking through a megaphone accused the Metropolitan Police of unleashing ‘state violence on women’ on Saturday night.

As police officers looked on, the crowd roared and clapped as organisers called for stronger action to combat sexual crimes against women and accused the police force of ‘misogyny.’

Patsy Stevenson, the flame-haired protester who was seen being pinned on the ground by two policemen in images that went viral on Saturday night, said earlier today that she was ‘terrified’ by the officers’ behaviour, but refused to call Dame Cressida’s resignation. 

She told Good Morning Britain: ‘As someone who stands up for women’s rights I think we need to get the message away from ”We are against the police” and focus on how we need to open a new dialogue to protect women’s safety.’ 

Earlier today Priti Patel spoke movingly of the violence and fear faced by women in Britain today in the wake of Sarah Everard's murder - but urged people not to take part on mass protests during the Covid crisis

Earlier today Priti Patel spoke movingly of the violence and fear faced by women in Britain today in the wake of Sarah Everard's murder - but urged people not to take part on mass protests during the Covid crisis

Earlier today Priti Patel spoke movingly of the violence and fear faced by women in Britain today in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder – but urged people not to take part on mass protests during the Covid crisis

The mood of the protest has shifted to show opposition against the The Police, Crime , Sentencing and Courts Bill which could allow officers to intervene in events that are deemed to have caused 'serious unease, alarm or distress'

The mood of the protest has shifted to show opposition against the The Police, Crime , Sentencing and Courts Bill which could allow officers to intervene in events that are deemed to have caused 'serious unease, alarm or distress'

The mood of the protest has shifted to show opposition against the The Police, Crime , Sentencing and Courts Bill which could allow officers to intervene in events that are deemed to have caused ‘serious unease, alarm or distress’

Earlier today Priti Patel spoke movingly of the violence and fear faced by women in Britain today in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder – but urged people not to take part on mass protests during the Covid crisis. 

Meanwhile, Anna Birley, from campaign group Reclaim These Streets, said forcing the exit of the first female leader of Britain’s biggest police force would do nothing to advance female equality. 

‘We are a movement of women seeking to support and empower other women, and as one of the most senior women in British policing history, we do not want to add to the pile-on,’ she said.

Britons have been left divided over public gatherings and Scotland Yard’s handling of the Sarah Everard vigil, according to a snap poll today.   

Organisers Reclaim These Streets had cancelled the event after Scotland Yard rejected their proposals for making it Covid secure, and a High Court judge refused to intervene in a legal battle launched by the organisers. 

A YouGov poll in the wake of the shocking scenes has found that the public is split over whether the vigil should have been allowed to go ahead. 

Some 40 per cent of Britons argue the event should have been permitted, while 43 per cent said it should not have continued. 

And there was a clear gender divide, with 42 per cent of women backing the vigil, compared to just 38 per cent of men.

Britons have been left divided over public gatherings and Scotland Yard's handling of the Sarah Everard vigil, according to a snap poll today. Protesters have gathered in Parliament Square for a third day of demonstrations today

Britons have been left divided over public gatherings and Scotland Yard's handling of the Sarah Everard vigil, according to a snap poll today. Protesters have gathered in Parliament Square for a third day of demonstrations today

Britons have been left divided over public gatherings and Scotland Yard’s handling of the Sarah Everard vigil, according to a snap poll today. Protesters have gathered in Parliament Square for a third day of demonstrations today

Around 200 protesters have gathered in Parliament Square this evening, with police remaining a discreet distance away at this stage

Around 200 protesters have gathered in Parliament Square this evening, with police remaining a discreet distance away at this stage

Around 200 protesters have gathered in Parliament Square this evening, with police remaining a discreet distance away at this stage

Police have been criticised at the protests in London, however, one woman who was seen being restrained at the vigil in Clapham Common Saturday said: 'We need to get the message away from ''We are against the police'''

Police have been criticised at the protests in London, however, one woman who was seen being restrained at the vigil in Clapham Common Saturday said: 'We need to get the message away from ''We are against the police'''

Police have been criticised at the protests in London, however, one woman who was seen being restrained at the vigil in Clapham Common Saturday said: ‘We need to get the message away from ”We are against the police”’

Today's protests come following the death of Sarah Everard, 33, who vanished while walking home in Clapham on March 3. Some 40 per cent of Britons have said a vigil for Sarah on Saturday should have been permitted, while 43 per cent said it should not

Today's protests come following the death of Sarah Everard, 33, who vanished while walking home in Clapham on March 3. Some 40 per cent of Britons have said a vigil for Sarah on Saturday should have been permitted, while 43 per cent said it should not

Today’s protests come following the death of Sarah Everard, 33, who vanished while walking home in Clapham on March 3. Some 40 per cent of Britons have said a vigil for Sarah on Saturday should have been permitted, while 43 per cent said it should not

 

Mourners wearing facemasks went to the common throughout the day, including the Duchess of Cambridge who paid a private visit to the makeshift shrine.

But a vigil on Saturday night in Ms Everard’s memory descended into violence, culminating in police officers pinning protesters to the ground in images that appalled the nation. 

Speaking on Sunday, Boris Johnson said of the police’s response: ‘Like everyone who saw it I was deeply concerned about the footage from Clapham Common on Saturday night.

‘I have spoken with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner who has committed to reviewing how this was handled and the Home Secretary has also commissioned HM Inspectorate of Constabulary to conduct a lessons learned review into the policing of the event.

The Home Secretary faced the Commons today amid fury over the Metropolitan Police’s handling of the vigil.

Ms Patel told MPs that the scenes of officers manhandling women from the scene on Clapham Common in South London had been ‘upsetting’, and the murder had ‘rightly ignited anger’ about male violence.

But she also defended the police’s efforts during the pandemic and highlighted the death toll from coronavirus as she urged the public to stay off the streets in large groups. 

Her comments came after Boris Johnson said he has full confidence in Met chief Cressida Dick as she faces a huge backlash for defending the police operation on Saturday night.

Called to Westminster to answer an Urgent Question about the Ms Patel told MPs: ‘Over the past year during the coronavirus pandemic, the police have been faced with an unenviable and immediately difficult task. It is one for the most part that they have approached with skill and professionalism, helping to enforce regulations as determined by Parliament with one crucial objective in mind, to save lives.

‘This House approved those changes by 524 votes to 16 on January 6 this year. Sadly, as of Sunday March 14, more than 125,500 lives have been lost to this horrible virus.

Ms Patel told MPs that the scenes of officers manhandling women from the scene on Clapham Common in South London had been 'upsetting', and the murder had 'rightly ignited anger' about male violence. But she also defended the police's efforts

Ms Patel told MPs that the scenes of officers manhandling women from the scene on Clapham Common in South London had been 'upsetting', and the murder had 'rightly ignited anger' about male violence. But she also defended the police's efforts

Ms Patel told MPs that the scenes of officers manhandling women from the scene on Clapham Common in South London had been ‘upsetting’, and the murder had ‘rightly ignited anger’ about male violence. But she also defended the police’s efforts

The Home Office has ordered a full report into Met Police's handling of Saturday's vigil, but Boris Johnson has said he has full confidence in commissioner Cressida Dick

The Home Office has ordered a full report into Met Police's handling of Saturday's vigil, but Boris Johnson has said he has full confidence in commissioner Cressida Dick

The Home Office has ordered a full report into Met Police’s handling of Saturday’s vigil, but Boris Johnson has said he has full confidence in commissioner Cressida Dick

'Accounts shared online in the wake of Sarah's disappearance are so powerful because every single one of us can relate to them,' Priti Patel said earlier today, however, protesters have been critical of the Home Secretary, and the Government as a whole

'Accounts shared online in the wake of Sarah's disappearance are so powerful because every single one of us can relate to them,' Priti Patel said earlier today, however, protesters have been critical of the Home Secretary, and the Government as a whole

‘Accounts shared online in the wake of Sarah’s disappearance are so powerful because every single one of us can relate to them,’ Priti Patel said earlier today, however, protesters have been critical of the Home Secretary, and the Government as a whole

‘It is for that reason that I continue to urge everyone for as long as these regulations are in place not to participate in large gatherings or attend protests.

‘The right to protest is the cornerstone of our democracy, but the Government’s duty remains to prevent more lives being lost during this pandemic.’

Striking a more personal tone, she also said women and girls must feel safe whilst walking on the street.  

 ‘Accounts shared online in the wake of Sarah’s disappearance are so powerful because every single one of us can relate to them,’ she said.

‘Too many of us have walked home from school or work alone only to hear footsteps uncomfortably close behind us. Too many of us have pretended to be on the phone to a friend to scare someone off.

‘Too many of us have clutched our keys in our fist in case we need to defend ourselves and that is not OK.

‘Women and girls must feel safe whilst walking our streets, that is why we have continued to take action.’

Serving Met Police officer Wayne Couzens, 48, has been charged with the murder and kidnap of Sarah Everard, whose body was found in woodland in Ashford. 

Link hienalouca.com

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