‘Reclaim These Streets’ vigils for Sarah Everard will take place across the UK this weekend

The events will echo the annual ‘Reclaim The Night’ march against male-based violence

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(Image credit: Tim Robberts/Getty)

‘Reclaim These Streets’ vigils are being held all over the UK this weekend, in light of the horrifying disappearance of Sarah Everard last week. 

Inspired by ‘Reclaim The Night’, an annual feminist march that started in 1977, the events aim to raise awareness of women’s safety in society and pay respects to the life of Sarah Everard

The 33-year-old marketing executive went missing on her walk home from a friend’s house in Clapham, London, on 3rd March. A Metropolitan Police officer was arrested six days later on suspicion of kidnap. On 10th March, he was further arrested on suspicion of murder and a separate allegation of indecent exposure. Human remains were discovered by police in a wooded area of Kent. 

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The original ‘Reclaim These Streets’ vigil will take place in Clapham Common, where Everard walked before she disappeared. Organizers of the event explained that the vigil is for Everard as well as all other women who feel unsafe in society. 

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‘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 colors when we walk home and clutch our keys in our fists to feel safe,’ they said on the event’s Facebook page. 

The organizers also criticized the Met Police’s initial response to the disappearance, which included advising women in Clapham to stay inside after dark. 

‘It’s wrong that the response to violence against women requires women to behave differently...Women are not the problem.’ 

The vigil, which will commence at 6pm at the bandstand of Clapham Common on Saturday, is open to all members of the public. Attendees are advised to observe social distancing, wear a mask and bring a light to remember all the women who have been harmed by gender-based violence. 

A number of other ‘Reclaim These Streets’ events have been organized across the country for people who are not based in London. Vigils for Everard will be held at various locations in the UK, including Glasgow, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Leeds, Southampton, Cambridge and Liverpool. 

Those who cannot attend any of the organized events are encouraged to observe a doorstep vigil by lighting a candle on their front porch or in their window.