Reclaim These Streets urge Manchester residents to light a candle for Sarah Everard in vigil

  • Mancunians invited to light candles on doorsteps in remembrance of Sarah Everard today at 6pm
  • Sarah Everard's disappearance in London sparked a social media controversy about the safety of women in the streets
  • If you are participating, please send pictures of your candle to our reporter to [email protected]

Mancunians are invited to light candles on their doorsteps in a vigil for alleged murder victim Sarah Everard at 6pm today (Saturday, 13 March).

The event is organised by the #ReclaimTheseStreets movement and meant to be a symbol that streets should be safe to walk for women.

The movement is a reaction to the disappearance of 33-year-old Sarah Everard in London, whose remains have been found in the Kent woodlands. A police officer is due to appear in court this morning charged with kidnap and murder.

Following her disappearance women came forward on social media posting about their experiences of feeling unsafe when walking the streets after sundown. Men have joined the discussion asking for advice on how to help women feel safer.

The organisers of the event told the news website Secret Manchester:

“We’ve all been following the tragic case of Sarah Everard over the last week [so] this is a vigil for Sarah, but also for all women who feel unsafe, who go missing from our streets and who face violence every day. This event is for and about those who identify as women and non-binary, but open to all.

“The tragic events of Sarah Everard’s case have cruelly reminded us that we, as women, are not safe, nor have we ever been safe. We believe that streets should be safe for all women*. It shouldn’t matter what they wear, who they are with or where you live.  We shouldn’t have to clutch keys between our fingers or talk on the phone to stay safe.”

The vigil was originally meant to be held on St. Peter’s Square in Manchester. After Metropolitan Police withdrew its support stating that an in-person event would be against lockdown rules, the organisers suggested that participants should light candles on their own doorsteps instead.

More information about the event can be found on facebook.

Northern Quota is going to cover the vigil. If you are participating, feel free to send pictures of your candle alongside a statement about what the events means to you to [email protected]. We are planning to create a collage in co-operation with Manchester-based artist Clementine Lawrence. Her creations can be found on Instagram under the handle @clementinesphotos.