Clapham vigil 'the start of a movement' despite cancellation, claims organiser

13 March 2021, 11:41 | Updated: 13 March 2021, 11:52

By Seán Hickey

A Reclaim These Streets organiser explains that while protests are cancelled, it is the beginning of the movement highlighting violence against women.

Jamie Klingler is an organiser of the Reclaim These Streets vigil that was scheduled to go ahead this evening to raise awareness and demand greater action for crimes against women.

Ms Klingler explained to Andrew Castle that "the focus started to be on the fight with the police and not about violence against women," which motivated organisers to cancel the event.

"In order to make it Covid safe we needed to pivot online," she added, noting that the cancellation of the physical protest is only "the start of a movement and not the end of what's happened."

Andrew assured the activist that "it's not going anywhere from here because we're all talking about it," but wondered what the goals of Reclaim These Streets will be in the long term.

Read More: Sarah Everard: Police officer appears in court charged with kidnap and murder

Read More: Shelagh Fogarty calls out 'deviant sexual behaviour' in society

"It's grounded in education and grounded in respect," Ms Klingler claimed, noting that a main focus is to ensure that "dialogues result in a policy that changes things."

She noted that a central tenant of the movement is "getting people to make change" on the subject of violence against women.

Ms Klingler highlighted the flaws in current measures circulated to prevent violence against women.

"We're told to condition and change our behaviour," the activist began, before questioning such advice by asking "who am I putting myself in danger from? That's the problem, not me."

Read More: Peer who suggested 6pm curfew for men staggered by 'misogynistic hissy fit' reaction

Read More: Emotional Eddie Mair caller reveals how sexual assault has impacted her

Ms Klingler went on to explain further the reasoning behind cancelling demonstrations: "To risk £320,000 in fines up and down the country for organising" were simply not worth it, in her view.

She revealed that "there were no firm parameters" put forward by police to facilitate the demonstrations in a Covid-compliant manner.

"It just wasn't doable," she said, telling Andrew that "our hands were completely tied and we were backed into a corner."