Violence against women is on the agenda in the UK and Sarah Everard, who was murdered in London last week. A memorial service was held for Everard, who was found murdered the previous day, while the disproportionate use of force by police brought the country to its feet. Police detained protesters for social distancing and did not intervene with Kate Middleton, who arrived unmasked at the ceremonial site.
Sarah Everard, who was never heard from again after leaving her friend’s house in Clapham, London, last week, has become one of the most prominent topics on the country’s agenda.
A large-scale search for Everard, which has been unaccounted for for the past week, was completed yesterday, with the body of a woman found in the Kent forest. British police have identified this body as Everard’s. As the investigation into the incident deepens, a memorial service was held last night in Clapham Park, the area where Sarah was last seen.
Thousands of people have come to commemorate the murder of women, violence against women and Everard in Clapham Park. Police in the area issued a warning to participants. Scuffles broke out between those attending the memorial and security forces as police announced that gatherings were forbidden due to the coronavirus measures.
The memorial service, which began at around 6.30pm last night, lasted three hours, with six people detained last night. The harsh police response to those attending the peaceful commemoration brought the country to its feet.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel has requested a full and comprehensive report from British police. Meanwhile, Sir Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said London Police Commissioner Cressida Dick should resign following the incident.
Patsy Stevenson, a 28-year-old student who was detained, said: “I was standing there with the crowd and all of a sudden they came at me. They put me face down on the floor. I had 10 cops on me. They were supposed to protect us, but they never acted like this. They handcuffed me and made threats against me.”
On the other hand, one name attracted more attention than the others among those attending the memorial service. Kate Middleton, one of the main figures in the British royal family’s recent tension with Meghan Markle, also attended the ceremony.
Duchess Kate, who brought white daffodils from Kensington Palace to the memorial service, was suddenly in the spotlight. Images of Duchess Kate, who did not pay attention to social distancing rules and the mask rule, drew a backlash. Some social media users praised Kate Middleton’s attendance at the ceremony.