Tuesday March 16, 2021
After escalation at women’s demo
Londoners protest against police law
In an unauthorized vigil for the killed Sarah Everard, police officers take action against participants. Pictures of handcuffed women who were pushed to the ground cause outrage. Two days later, the House of Commons negotiated a new police law. On the other hand, there is strong resistance.
Hundreds of people demonstrated in London against a new police law and violence against women. At times, the protesters blocked Westminster Bridge near Parliament. The “Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill”, which went to the second reading in the lower house in the afternoon, is intended, among other things, to expand the powers of the police to limit protests.
The proposed law comes at a time when the police are heavily criticized for their hard work at a weekend vigil. Officials had intervened on Saturday evening at an unauthorized gathering in London to commemorate Sarah Everard, who was kidnapped and killed on her way home, citing the corona measures and arrested several people. The procedure led to fierce criticism and further heated up the mood.
The body of 33-year-old Everard was discovered in a wooded area in Kent in southeast England. She was last seen alive near Clapham Common Park on March 3rd. A 48-year-old police officer who is now in custody is suspected. The case had sparked a nationwide outcry against harassment and violence against women. Thousands of people reported on their fears on their way home in the evening on social networks.
Johnson: “Deeply affected by pictures”
On Saturday, thousands – including Duchess Kate – laid flowers in South London’s Clapham Common Park, where the 33-year-old was last seen. But in the evening the situation escalated: Because distance rules were disregarded, the police intervened, sometimes rude, pictures of women handcuffed to the ground made the rounds. “Like everyone who has seen them, I was deeply struck by the pictures of Clapham Common,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
He announced that a working group would meet this Monday. The aim is to discuss steps to protect women and girls and to ensure “that our roads are safe,” said the government. “Sarah Everard’s death must unite us in a determination to stamp out violence against women and girls and to use every part of the justice system to protect and defend them,” said Johnson.
Interior Minister Priti Patel defended the bill. “We have seen significant changes in protest tactics in recent years, with protesters exploiting loopholes in the law that have created disproportionate levels of disability,” said the conservative politician.