Sarah Everard: North London women's safety vigil calls for change

Organisers from the left: Mica McDonald, Zara Lindsay and Bex Dare.

Organisers from the left: Mica McDonald, Zara Lindsay and Bex Dare. - Credit: Polly Hancock

North London women paid their respects to Sarah Everard on Saturday with a vigil in Priory Park, calling for the streets to be made safe.  

Around 200 people attended the socially-distanced event in Hornsey as part of the Reclaim These Streets movement, following the death of Ms Everard which sparked nationwide mourning and anger.  

The 33-year-old disappeared from south London on March 3. Serving police officer Wayne Couzens, 48, has been charged with her kidnap and murder. 

Zara Lindsay, organiser of the Priory Park event, said: "We held our vigil despite others cancelling as we believe that women cannot make change without coming together to do so.   

“We read the names of 30 women whose lives were taken this year alone by male violence, recognising that this list will only grow without systematic reform and an end to the misogyny ingrained into society.   

People lighting candles in tribute to Sarah Everard

People lighting candles in tribute to Sarah Everard - Credit: Polly Hancock

“We cannot say we have equality until women can walk the streets without fear, and we were glad to see so many women step up and stand in support." 

A 10-minute silence was held before Zara made a speech urging the community to make their voices heard.  

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Police watched on in Priory Park as the vigil was marked safely and peacefully. 

In Clapham Common, on the same day, officers detained and removed women from a vigil, drawing widespread criticism.  

The prime minister Boris Johnson said he was “deeply concerned” by footage of the Met’s actions.  

London mayoral candidate and Belsize councillor Luisa Porritt (Lib Dem) joined calls for Scotland Yard commissioner Dame Cressida Dick to resign.  

The Priory Park vigil called for urgent action

The Priory Park vigil called for urgent action - Credit: Polly Hancock

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West described the Clapham scenes as “appalling” and said they “shocked us all”.   

“Our focus – and that of the police – must be on ensuring women are safe to walk our streets, not on cracking down on peaceful vigils and protests,” Ms West said.  

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq told the Ham&High: “This must be a moment of change where we take real action to make things safer for women in this country.  

“We of course need to strengthen the law to improve protections for women, but there has to be a reckoning with the misogynistic attitudes that fuel these crimes and that are still pervasive in society.” 

Both MPs backed an independent investigation into the Met’s handling of the Clapham Common vigil.  

Marketing executive Sarah Everard, 33

Marketing executive Sarah Everard, 33 - Credit: Met Police