The organisers want to make the streets “safe for all women”.
UPDATE: Per organisers, Met Police now want them to cancel the event – the decision is currently being challenged, so keep an eye on the Facebook event for the latest updates.
A vigil in the wake of the #ReclaimTheseStreets movement is set to take place in Clapham this weekend. The movement comes just days after the tragic disappearance of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, who was last seen in Clapham Common walking home from her friend’s house last Wednesday at around 9.30pm. The case is currently under police investigation, with two people arrested this week on suspicion of being connected to her disappearance.
Sarah’s disappearance has sparked a huge conversation on social media this week, with many women coming forward to say that they do not feel safe walking the streets. Men have also joined in on the conversation, asking women what they could do to help make women feel safer when walking alone.
The vigil will take place at 6pm on Saturday, March 13, with women and allies standing in solidarity at the Clapham Common bandstand. Organisers have said of the movement: “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 [and] 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 [but] women are not the problem. We’ve all been following the tragic case of Sarah Everard over the last week [so] 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. This event is for and about those who identify as women and non-binary, but open to all”
The vigil has been given the go-ahead by local authorities, and organisers are following every Covid-19 safety guideline, with compulsory mask-wearing and social distancing. They’ve also encourage anyone joining the vigil to download the NHS contact tracing app and keep their Bluetooth on. You can register your interest and keep up to date with details on the Facebook event. Let’s all of us hope it’s the last time such an event will be necessary.