Sarah Everard protesters march on Parliament Square chanting ‘f*** Priti Patel’

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A crowd of several thousand people have marched on Parliament Square in London in protest at last night's violent scenes at a vigil to murdered woman Sarah Everard.

Some of the protesters have been seen chanting: "F*** Priti Patel" in reference to the Home Secretary, with others chanting "we can't trust the police".

The march comes just hours after the police were slammed for trying to break up a peaceful vigil on Saturday night by hundreds of women on Clapham Common for Sarah, with officers saying it broke Coronavirus rules.

Scuffles then broke out with four women being arrested. Earlier in the day Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge even attended the scene to pay her respects.

At this afternoon's March, hundreds of people lay down in the gardens outside the Houses of Parliament in memory of Sarah "and all victims of state violence".

Many of those attending were not wearing masks, but onlookers said the police were keeping their distance.

Despite last night's police action being widely condemned, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has said she does not intend to resign.

She told reporters: "We're still in a pandemic, unlawful gatherings are unlawful gatherings, officers have to take action if people are putting themselves massively at risk.

"All the women and men of the Met are outraged at what has happened and they're working as hard as they can to get justice for Sarah.

"In that context, none of us would have wanted to see the scenes we saw at the end of yesterday's events.

"I fully understand the strength of feeling I think as a woman, hearing from people about their experiences in the past, and I understand why so many people wanted to come and pay their respects and make a statement about this.

"Indeed, if it had been lawful, I'd have been there, I'd have been at a vigil. And six hours of yesterday was really calm and peaceful, very few police officers around, respectful, people laying flowers, not gathering, and a vigil that did not breach the regulations.

"Unfortunately, later on, we had a really big crowd that gathered, lots of speeches and quite rightly, as far as I can see, my team felt this is now an unlawful gathering which poses a considerable risk to people's health according to the regulations."

Priti Patel has said she is seeking a "full report," on events, describing footage from last night as "upsetting", and London mayor Sadiq Khan has called for an independent investigation into the incident.

He said despite meeting with Met boss Cressida Dick and her deputy he was "not satisfied with the explanation they have provided".

  • Sarah Everard
  • MET Police
  • London

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