Friday, May 14, 2021
HomeEdinburgh vigils for Sarah Everard go online only amid Covid-19 restrictions

Edinburgh vigils for Sarah Everard go online only amid Covid-19 restrictions

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In-person vigils paying tribute to Sarah Everard which were due to be held in Edinburgh on Saturday, have been cancelled by organisers in favour of an online-only event.

Events have been planned across the UK, including in Edinburgh and Glasgow, to pay tribute to Ms Everard, who disappeared while walking home in London and whose remains were found this week.

However, Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman suggested women should find another way to pay tribute to the 33-year-old, warning any vigil in a public place would go against coronavirus restrictions.

The Metropolitan Police also faced a legal challenge from organisers of a London event, with the force accused of doing an “about-face” and declaring the vigil unlawful.

While this is incredibly frustrating, we deeply appreciate the platform that has been given to survivors of sexual harassment and violence this week

Late on Friday night, Chloe Whyte, one of the Edinburgh organisers, said on Facebook: “Following the decision of the High Court in London and comments from the Scottish Cabinet Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman MSP, the organisers of the #ReclaimTheseStreets Edinburgh vigils have decided to build upon events currently being hosted online and cancel all of our in-person gatherings.

“The tragic story of Sarah Everard and the national outpouring it has provoked has shone a light on how just how many women have been made to feel unsafe on our streets due to sexual harassment and violence. This is a moment of reflection, but also one of action.

“Please do NOT go to Holyrood or St Andrew’s Square tomorrow, as sadly any gatherings there will be dispersed by police.

“We are now building upon our ‘doorstep vigil’ activities, which shall include a stream of our speakers all sharing their stories from home & answering questions and comments live. More information to come on this.

“While this is incredibly frustrating, we deeply appreciate the platform that has been given to survivors of sexual harassment and violence this week.”

Sarah Everard missing / PA Wire

Ms Freeman said she herself would join commemorations if “we were in normal times”, but added: “We are not in normal times.

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