One of the women who organised a 'Reclaim These Streets' vigil in Cardiff in memory of Sarah Everard has spoken of how heartbroken she is at events in Clapham last night.

The vigil in Clapham, London, saw police surround a bandstand covered in floral tributes to the 33-year-old.

Male officers could then be seen grabbing hold of several women before leading them away in handcuffs.

Ms Everard went missing while walking home from a friend’s flat in south London on March 3.

Police constable Wayne Couzens, 48, is charged with kidnapping and murdering Ms Everard, and is remanded in custody after his first court appearance where it emerged her body was found inside a large builder’s bag.

Events were held across the UK last night, including in Newport. One had also been planned in Cardiff, but was moved online after a swell in the number of people expected to attend. 

Henri Page, who planned the Cardiff event alongside National Union of Students President Becky Ricketts, told The National: "I'm utterly heartbroken.

"It was a really difficult decision for the event organisers all over the country who officially cancelled their vigils.

"We felt like we were giving in. We had received so much support, more than we ever expected, and to cancel felt like we were letting everyone down, but we really didn't have much of a choice.

"When I saw that hundreds of women had arrived at Clapham common, regardless of the cancellation, I was scared for them but I was so proud.

"The Metropolitan Police had the opportunity to work with vigil organisers to ensure women could gather to mourn safely.

"It was clear then that even if the official event was cancelled, supporters would still flood out in force to express their grief together.

"The fact that the police instead opted to take the approach they did is unforgivable.

"I understand the risks of a gathering, but how was their alleged kettling, manhandling and aggression an appropriate or proportional response to a peaceful vigil for victims of male violence."

In absence of the vigil, a crowdfunder as already raised £1,097 for Welsh Women's Aid.


There are calls across the UK for the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, to stand down. 

UK Home Office minister Victoria Atkins has confirmed that the commissioner is writing a report to UK home secretary, Priti Patel, to account for the police’s actions. 

Ahead of the nationwide events, First Minister Mark Drakeford tweeted: "Sarah Everard was walking home.

"Her murder – and the stories from other women this week about their experiences – tell us why we have so much more to do to end violence and abuse against women.

"As candles are lit tonight, let us ignite a fire for change.”

The Welsh Government’s advisor on violence against women, Yasmin Khan, told BBC’s Wales’ Sunday Politics changes must be made to the way legal and social boundaries are interpreted by men.

Nearly £500,000 has been raised in the last 24 hours for women's aid charities across the UK as part of the Reclaim These Streets movement.