Sarah Everard vigil: Hundreds of people gather in Bristol for vigil

14-03-21- People gather at Vigil at College Green- PA Images
Hundreds of people attended the vigil despite the official event being cancelled. Credit: PA Images

Hundreds of people in Bristol came together on Saturday evening in solidarity after the death of Sarah Everard.

People laid flowers and lighted candles at a vigil on College Green, despite organisers having announced that the official event had been postponed.

It followed the 'Reclaim These Streets' vigils around the country being cancelled after police said they could not go ahead due to the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, with people encouraged to take part at home instead.

However, the 33-year-old's tragic death has prompted women around the country to take a stand to promote safety, and many people felt compelled to still attend.

Credit: PA Images

One person estimated there to be "about 400 people" in attendance while another said it was as many as 700.

Police were at the gathering but unlike at the Clapham Common vigil, where police and mourners were seen clashing, there were no reports of officers attempting to intervene or disperse the crowd.

In a statement Avon and Somerset Police said: "We are grateful to the vigil organisers for encouraging people to pay their respects by other means. Officers reminded those who did attend of the current rules in relation to the ongoing pandemic. People complied with requests to pay their respects and move on, which meant there was no requirement for enforcement."

Aisling Sorcha Ni Nuallain, one of the organisers of the Bristol vigil, posted a heartfelt message on the event's Facebook page, thanking those who walked to College Green to lay flowers, candles and placards.

She wrote: "What we had this evening was beautiful.

"To those who read poems, spoke for everybody, and read the names of the women lost already this year by violence, thank you so much.

"We will come back bigger when restrictions allow, please keep active, present, and stand together in solidarity."

Several people who attended said police were not actively intervening or attempting to disperse the crowd. Credit: PA Images

Flowers were also laid in Cheltenham outside Pittville Pump Rooms as part of events taking place in memory of the 33-year-old. People were encouraged to lay flowers while on their daily walks.

Frankie Timlin, 2, and Raegan McDonald, 15, lay flowers for Sarah Everard Credit: Gloucestershire Live

Louise Messenger, who organised the tribute in Cheltenham, said: "The hope is the flowers will be a visual representation of all the people who would have attended and to serve as a memorial for Sarah."

The flowers have been laid on the grassy area near the bandstand, with some people also laying messages and signs.

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