Reclaim These Streets urge Britons to join Saturday night doorstep vigil for Sarah Everard

The Reclaim These Streets campaign group has encouraged people across Britain to join a doorstep vigil at 9.30pm on Saturday in memory of Sarah Everard.

The 33-year-old marketing executive went missing while walking home from a friend’s flat in south London on March 3.

Her body was found hidden in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent, on Wednesday.

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In-person vigils planned for Saturday evening were cancelled and moved online following a decision by a High Court judge in London.

Events had been planned across the UK, including in Edinburgh and Glasgow, to pay tribute to Ms Everard.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the campaign group said it would now be joining people across the country and “shining a light – a candle, a torch, a phone – to remember Sarah Everard and all the women affected by and lost to violence”.

“We continue to strongly encourage people not to attend any gatherings on Clapham Common this evening. Safety, both from Covid-19 and legal consequences, has always been our top priority for the women of south London.”

It added: “We aren’t just lighting a candle for the women we’ve lost: we have been inspired by the women who have reached out and hope this is just the start of a movement that will light a fire for change.”

Organisers of the Reclaim These Streets group said the doorstep vigil had been set for 9.30pm as that was the time Sarah Everard was last seen.
Organisers of the Reclaim These Streets group said the doorstep vigil had been set for 9.30pm as that was the time Sarah Everard was last seen.

Chloe Whyte, who organised the now cancelled Edinburgh vigil, spoke to the BBC’s Radio 5 Live show on Saturday morning.

She said organisers did not want to be responsible for women who attended in-person vigils potentially being fined for breaking lockdown rules.

Ms Whyte said: “This is only getting bigger and bigger, regardless of what the police or the law have to say about our vigils, women will not be silenced.

“We will be taking to the streets as soon as it is legal and safe to do so.

“In the meantime, the campaigns online are only growing.”

On Saturday, the serving Metropolitan Police officer accused of murdering Ms Everard appeared in court for the first time.

Police constable Wayne Couzens, 48, is charged with kidnapping and killing Ms Everard.

Couzens appeared in person at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday morning for his first appearance following his arrest on Tuesday.

He was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on March 16.

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