Hundreds of people took to the streets in London on Monday after the murder of Sarah Everard. The protesters blocked Westminster Bridge, among other places, near the British Parliament.
They disagree with last Saturday’s police crackdown and a new law that should give the police more powers to stem protests.
Last Saturday, women’s rights activists wanted to organize a vigil for the murdered Sarah Everard. An officer is currently the prime suspect in the case. However, the lookout was cancelled by the police because the corona rules did not allow it. Yet hundreds of people turned up, including Prince William Kate Middleton’s wife.
In the evening, there were incidents between the police and those present. Images on social media showed how the police acted harshly. Members of Parliament, activists and civilians have already strongly criticized the police action.
In addition, a bill is currently on the table that should give police officers more powers to stem protests. Interior Minister Priti Patel defended that proposal on Monday. “We have seen changes in protesters’ tactics in recent years, allowing them to slip through the net,” said the conservative politician.
The new provision gives the police the power to stop protests if the noise pollution “disrupts the activities of an organization” or has a relevant impact on people in the vicinity. The law is open to interpretation, leading many people to fear that any demonstration could be halted.
Outside of the protests, social media is also calling for a petition to be signed against the law and to email or tweet to the people’s representatives.