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Sarah Everard vigil

(133 Posts)
Hetty58 Mon 15-Mar-21 08:17:11

I can't help thinking that the tragic death and precious memory of this young woman - has been hijacked and used as an excuse, by those desperate to just go out, get together, ignore lockdown rules and socialise.

Am I wrong to think this way?

Gingster Mon 15-Mar-21 08:22:43

I think the same Hetty.just an excuse to cause chaos.. some people thrive on it.
What are the police to do when being pushed and screamed at. Taunted and vilified! They’re damned if they do nothing and damned if they do something .

vegansrock Mon 15-Mar-21 08:27:15

You’ve no evidence that the women there were going out for a nice jolly standing in the cold p/ wet and with the added threat of being arrested. If they just wanted a get together with mates they could have gone somewhere else. I know people who went because they were angry at the way women feel unsafe on the streets, the way women are constantly harassed by men, and how the law does not protect them. I know women who went to show their respects. The Duchess of C went to lay flowers. You can’t accuse people on the basis of zero evidence.

Lucca Mon 15-Mar-21 08:31:53

Ironic but of mistyping....

sodapop Mon 15-Mar-21 08:36:29

I agree with vegansrock this was a peaceful vigil which I think was hijacked by the usual trouble makers. Covid regulations do prohibit gatherings like this but I think the police were very heavy handed in dealing with it. It is a difficult situation all round given who was the alleged perpetrator.

sodapop Mon 15-Mar-21 08:37:46

Oh dear Lucca that was unfortunate

Hetty58 Mon 15-Mar-21 08:53:33

Wrong duchess - never mind! Vegansrock, I agree, I have no evidence.

I'm surprised, though, that a single murder, although all the more shocking with a policeman accused, has caused such an extreme reaction.

Far more young men are murdered on our streets, on a regular basis, than women. So, statistically, women are far safer out there than men.

seamstress Mon 15-Mar-21 09:03:13

Hetty you are wrong here- this is not just about murder , its about sexual harassment, rape, stalking, kerb crawling, groping, flashing and all the other ways women are harassed by men so that they don't feel safe on the streets. These are overwhelmingly crimes against women BY MEN. Little or nothing is being done to protect women.

Iam64 Mon 15-Mar-21 09:13:11

Hetty58 - yes more men are murdered. By other men.
2 women a week are killed by men they’re in, or trying to get out of, a relationship with. Women are sexually harassed and abused in various ways - by men.
No one is saying all men are Bad. The discussions and protests are saying enough

MaizieD Mon 15-Mar-21 09:35:17

Today in Parliament the government is rushing through a bill which will give police enormous powers over protests/demonstrations and potentially make them impossible. The bill includes criminalisation of actions such as causing 'serious annoyance' to others, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Commentators and ordinary citizens are horrified at the implications of this bill and many are wondering why people are not up in arms about it. Many are likening it to repressive acts enforced by totalitarian regimes to crush dissent. It conjures up images of police brutality seen recently in places like Belarus and Myanmar. The events of Saturday night on Clapham Common do not inspire confidence in the ability of the police to restrain tendencies to brutality.

Surely, one asks oneself, a country cannot reach this state of repression against the wishes of its citizens? Surely the citizens of a free country would not agree with it?

Well, one only has to come to Gnet to find people who will clearly back repression to the hilt. Who are perfectly happy to blame police brutality on the victims. The interesting question is 'Are there enough of them to let the country slide onto totalitarianism without any serious opposition and resistance?

If there are, what a sad country we are becoming.

eazybee Mon 15-Mar-21 09:35:49

This was not a vigil, it was used as a protest, in defiance of a High court ruling.

faringdon59 Mon 15-Mar-21 09:51:49

I agree eazybee, it was used as an act of defiance.
We would all like to feel safer on our streets, this goes across all genders etc.
However, a discussion about it opens up bigger questions about knife crime and tougher sentencing.
We have since the 1960's become a more lenient society and this is one of the consequences of that.
There is a sub agenda whereby people would like to see Cressida Dick resign, when in fact she has done a good a job as is possible withing a modern policing framework.

trisher Mon 15-Mar-21 09:57:01

I have conflicting views on this. Yes I think the fact that inner city streets are not safe is an issue we need to deal with, but I don't think an extreme reaction to one death will do anything. Add to that the Covid restrictions still in place and the vigil seems completely wrong. There were once Reclaim the Night marches in almost every city across the UK and that is what is needed again. I do fear that this initial reaction will just fade in time, and rather than a well organised longterm campaign, it will be one of those news items that lasts a week or until something else comes along.

Hetty58 Mon 15-Mar-21 10:02:47

seamstress, I see it this way:

As not much is happening right now, this abduction and murder was jumped upon by several causes. Lockdown's like holding down a spring, when we let go, things happen;

Yes, of course, there's ongoing concern about sexual offences (although, as yet, we have no evidence of cause of death, we do have background information - and our suspicions).

There's much hostility to police, inevitably heightened by this crime. 26 police officers were assaulted yesterday at Clapham - punched, kicked and spat at - not a good way for women to 'stand up for what they believe in'!

There's confusion over what constitutes a 'reasonable excuse' to gather outside and break lockdown rules. Even a judge wouldn't rule - leaving the public and police at loggerheads.

Meanwhile, the poor grieving family are sidetracked, the memories tainted, such a shame.

The vast majority of these crimes are committed by people known to the victim, family, friends and ex-partners, yet the perceived threat is focused on strangers. Women, apparently, 'don't feel safe on the streets' (but nobody I know personally) - when they're in greatest danger in their homes.

bonfirebirthday Mon 15-Mar-21 10:17:58

As one other post indicated, this was not a vigil it was a protest. It was deliberately orchestrated for maximum publicity. Women have felt unsafe on the streets for years. I remember the Reclaim the Streets marches at the time of the Yorkshire Ripper. It should be noted that more women are killed by someone they know than a random stranger. This does not minimise what happened to Sarah Everard, it is horrendous, but her death should not be politised. Her family should be left to grieve in peace.

Aveline Mon 15-Mar-21 10:18:16

An aspect of this surge to highlight and defend womens' rights that rather gave me pause for thought is that it took the murder of a pretty young woman to cause it. I was very struck by the Harold Shipman case. It's likely that he killed 400+ older women and got away with it for so long because no one was concerned enough to do anything about it. Do only young womens' lives matter?

dragonfly46 Mon 15-Mar-21 10:22:50

I am in two minds about this.
I think maybe if the judge had allowed the vigil it could have been organised better with the police involved.
Also if it had been allowed maybe the trouble makers would have stayed away. What you don't see on the news are all the men who turned up to make trouble.

Hetty58 Mon 15-Mar-21 10:24:55

A very good point Aveline! I suppose it is all the more tragic as she was so young, with her whole life ahead of her. Still, it's very selective, the concern - along with the perceived danger.

Impartialandeducated Mon 15-Mar-21 10:36:14

Hetty58 you claim to be surprised that a single murder should provoke this response.
Have you not heard of the revered George Floyd?

JaneJudge Mon 15-Mar-21 10:38:52

This wasn't the only vigil, there were vigils all around the country that went without any issues at all.

Hetty58 Mon 15-Mar-21 10:43:21

I think public safety and lockdown rules are of paramount importance. We are not out of the woods yet, are we? I do wonder how Sarah's family really feel about it. Was it appropriate - under the circumstances?

Impartialandeducated Mon 15-Mar-21 10:50:38

Hetty58 Just to remind you of the comparison in previous post. The revered George was resisting arrest after the commission of a crime, not by any means his first transgression.
Sarah was innocently walking home, attacked, disfigured so that identification was possible only through dental records, put in large bag and disposed of. Which incident should provoke the greater level of surprise and anger?

seamstress Mon 15-Mar-21 11:15:24

Hetty Im surprised you don't know anyone who doesn't feel "safe on the streets". Most women avoid deserted places at night when alone, or even non deserted places alone. They would take precautions if they had to walk alone, coming home from work late at night, for example.

Barmeyoldbat Mon 15-Mar-21 11:30:49

We had a vigil here in Bristol and it was peaceful, a police presence, no arrests and no trouble. So why was it just London that had trouble and arrests?

NellG Mon 15-Mar-21 11:42:56


Hetty58 Just to remind you of the comparison in previous post. The revered George was resisting arrest after the commission of a crime, not by any means his first transgression.
Sarah was innocently walking home, attacked, disfigured so that identification was possible only through dental records, put in large bag and disposed of. Which incident should provoke the greater level of surprise and anger?

Both. However response is invariably more powerful over time than reaction.

Having a criminal record does not in any way shape or form mean that your murder was less shocking, criminal or prejudiced.

Dig down and the issue is the same - black people and women's murders are treated as collateral damage and their deaths diminished. Mostly in the same way that you have just done in your post by asking people to choose which was worse.