Sunday, May 16

Sarah Everhard Vigil in London Is Canceled Over Covid Restrictions

The organizers of a vigil for a 33-year-old woman who went missing in London last week, and whose body was identified on Friday, canceled the gathering on Saturday, citing pandemic restrictions.

Lawmakers, activists and women’s rights organizations had called for a gathering in Clapham Common, the South London park near where the woman, Sarah Everard, was last seen alive, to demand actions to address violence against women and to pay tribute to her.

But a court ruled on Friday that the gathering could be deemed unlawful because of Covid-19 restrictions, and the police urged prospective attendees to stay at home.

The death of Ms. Everard set off an outpouring of solidarity and anger in Britain this week, with thousands of women sharing their own stories of street harassment and assault. She was last seen on CCTV at around 9.30 p.m. on March 3 while walking home from a friend’s house.

“We have been very disappointed that given the many opportunities to engage with organizers constructively, the Met Police have been unwilling to commit to anything,” they said in a statement on Saturday morning in reference to the city’s Metropolitan Police.

The organizers said they had been told that they faced a fine of 10,000 pounds ($14,000) if they went ahead with the vigil. They said that they would instead organize a virtual event and that they were setting up a fund-raiser to support women’s causes around Britain.

“We are clear that women’s voices will not be silenced, now or ever,” they said.

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