A VIGIL for Sarah Everard has been cancelled after cops threatened to impose £10,000 fines on the organisers.
It is now hoped people will take part in a "virtual gathering" to mark the death of the 33-year-old who was kidnapped on March 3 with police finding her remains eight days later in a wooded area near Ashford, Kent.
Will Sarah Everard's vigil go ahead on Saturday, March 13?
Sarah Everard's vigil had been planned to take place at 6pm on Saturday, March 13 at Clapham Common.
But it will not go ahead after the High Court ruled in favour of the police's ban on the event due to coronavirus restrictions.
Organisers Reclaim These Streets still hope to honour the 33-year-old and raise awareness of the safety of women on the UK's streets by holding a "virtual gathering" online.
In a tweet on Saturday morning the group said: "We have been very disappointed that given the many opportunities to engage with organisers constructively, the Metropolitan Police have been unwilling to commit to anything.
"While we have had positive discussions with the Lambeth officers present, those from Scotland Yard would not engage with our suggestions to help ensure that a legal, Covid-secure vigil could take place."
They added that "in light of the lack of constructive engagement from the Metropolitan Police, we do not feel that we can in good faith allow tonight's event to go ahead".
Reclaim These Streets said they would "strongly encourage people not to gather this evening on Clapham Common".
They added: "We will be announcing the details of a virtual gathering later today and would encourage all those originally planning to join us on Clapham Common to take part."
While details of the event have not been finalised, it has been suggested some sort of online gathering could take place or a "doorstep vigil" perhaps involving people lighting a candle to pay their respects.
Sarah was last seen returning home to Brixton after visiting a friend in Clapham Common on Wednesday, March 3.
After a widespread search, remains were discovered on March 11 – with police confirming the following day that the body had been formally identified as the missing marketing manager.
Similar vigils have been organised across the country including in Southend-on-Sea, Walthamstow and Margate – but these are also expected to not go ahead.
How can I pay tribute to Sarah Everard?
Organisers of the vigil, Reclaim These Streets, have yet to announce the details of the alternative event but suggestions say it could take the form of a "virtual gathering".
A "doorstep vigil" has also been suggested.
Organisers had already encouraged anyone unable to attend in person to tweet with the hashtag #ReclaimTheseStreets and/or light a candle at 6pm on March 13.
After reaching the required amount for their crowdfund, Reclaim These Streets closed down the donation page – but asked anyone wishing to still donate to give to a women's charity of their choice.
Upon setting up the vigil, organisers said in a statement: "We believe that streets should be safe for women, regardless of what you wear, where you live or what time of day or night it is.
"We shouldn’t have to wear bright colours when we walk home and clutch our keys in our fists to feel safe.
"It’s wrong that the response to violence against women requires women to behave differently.
"In Clapham, police told women not to go out at night this week. Women are not the problem.
"We’ve all been following the tragic case of Sarah Everard over the last week. This is a vigil for Sarah, but also for all women who feel unsafe, who go missing from our streets and who face violence every day."
What time should I light a candle for Sarah?
Details of any alternative to the vigil which was planned to take place on Clapham Common have not been finalised.
One suggestion has been that people light a candle at 6pm to show their support in a "doorstep vigil".
Meanwhile organisers Reclaim These Streets have set up a Just Giving page.
In a statement they said: "We are fundraising £320,000 for women's causes: £10K for every proposed fine for the 32 vigils originally scheduled."
By March 13 it had already raised more than £87,000.
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