Organisers of Sarah Everard’s vigil in Sheffield left “Heartbroken” After Cancellation

Despite the cancellation of Sarah Everard’s vigils, moving signs and flowers were left at Devonshire Green while around 200 people paid their respects and made a stand against the treatment of women on Saturday March 13th.

One reads: “For Sarah, She is all of us, Except we made it home, R.I.P.”

Other signs read: “Not all men but… too many men” and “Make our streets safe”

Branwyn Harris, one of the organisers of the Sheffield vigil for Ms Everard said: “Knowing that people no longer could express their emotions together due to policing was, and continues to be, heartbreaking.

“I have been going to marches and protests for our safety since I moved to Sheffield in 2016 and very little has changed since.”

The vigil in Sheffield was one of many planned across the country, however, they were all called off once police threatened that fines upon £10,000 would be handed out to those in attendance for breaking social distancing rules.

Temporary Chief Superintendent Shelley Hamsley, at Sheffield’s District Commander, said: “Police maintained a discreet presence at the event, which passed peacefully without incident.”

The busiest the event got was around 6pm but South Yorkshire Police and attendees to the event have confirmed that people were observing social distancing rules.

Abbie Bentley, 21, attendee at the Ms Everard’s vigil, said: “I understand they are doing their job and are trying to impose social distancing for the safety of everyone however, the event was social distanced and therefore, I feel like the cancellation and breaking up of the event was insensitive and wrong.”

Labour Cllr Ben Miskezll spoke about the police threatening fines at the vigil.

The death of Sarah Everard in London, and the subsequent arrest of serving met police officer Counzens on suspicion of her kidnap and murder, sparked debate nationwide over the safety of women against present day sexism on the streets.

Sarah Everard went missing after leaving a friend’s house in Clapham, South London, at around 9pm.

She is believed to have walked through Clapham Common on her way home to Brixton, a journey that should have taken around 50 minutes.

The vigil called “#ReclaimTheseStreets” have organised themselves across the UK as a way to remember women lost to gender violence.

You can donate to women’s charitable causes on behalf of #ReclaimTheseStreets on JustGiving here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/reclaimthesestreets

Written by Isla Swords

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