Thousands of demonstrators gathered at the Parliament Square in London on Sunday evening to protest the unjust abduction of 33-year-old Sarah Everard.
Everard is a marketing executive from South London who disappeared on March 3 while on her way home from the apartment of a friend. Her lifeless body was later on found in a hidden area outside the capital city of Britain.
The death of Everard sparked a national outcry in the European country over violence and intimidation against women. Police constable Wayne Couzens, 48, was arrested and accused of abducting and killing Everard.
The demonstrators expressed their strong dismay after footage revealed law enforcement officers detaining women at Saturday’s vigil.
Uncut, a British feminist organization that became prominent for taking direct actions for domestic and sexual violence services, said that the police had been intimidating and threatening the protesters – mostly comprised of women – who attended Everard’s vigil.
“This weekend, women came to grieve the death of a woman allegedly killed by a Met police officer – and his colleagues responded by brutalizing them,” the group said in a tweet. “Everyone can see that the police made the vigil violent. The police do not keep us safe.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a press release that he was “deeply concerned” with the violence that the women and gender non-conforming people had been suffering from at the hands of the British law enforcers.
He also said that the government would be “committed to reviewing” the issue and would chair a meeting of a crime and justice task force to devise a plan that would aim to protect women from violence and police brutality.
In response to Boris’ press release, Sisters Uncut said that if the premier is “serious about ending violence against women”, he should create a way to “halt the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.”
“As the actions of police at peaceful vigils this weekend show, police abuse the powers that they already have – and yet the government plans to give them more powers in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill,” the group said in its released statement.
“The death of Sarah Everard must be seen in context of the structures of violence against women in this country, which include the police who brutally manhandled grieving women on Saturday, and the routine failures of the police to investigate rape cases as well as their own record of domestic abuse against women.”
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