LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: A member of public is arrested during a vigil for Sarah Everard on Clapham Common on March 13, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. Vigils are being held across the United Kingdom in memory of Sarah Everard. Yesterday, the Police confirmed that the remains of Ms Everard were found in a woodland area in Ashford, a week after she went missing as she walked home from visiting a friend in Clapham. Metropolitan Police Officer Wayne Couzens has been charged with her kidnap and murder. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

UK: Met’s action at Clapham a sharp reminder to MPs to resist temptation to give police more powers

Key vote in Parliament could see weekend’s scenes become common

Responding to this weekend’s excessive clampdown on peaceful protests and the passage of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Parliament over the next two days, Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said:

“No-one could fail to be shocked by the Met Police’s actions at this weekend’s vigil for Sarah Everard. Priti Patel has said that lessons must be learned, yet if MPs vote this week to extend policing powers of protests they will show that they have learnt nothing.  

“The apparent excessive use of force by Met police officers is a stark and timely warning about precisely why Parliament must not allow yet more police powers to quash peaceful protest.

“The proposals being rushed through put enormous and unprecedented powers in the hands of the state to effectively ban even peaceful protests. If that happens, scenes like those this weekend will become more common.

“The UK cherishes its self-image as a place of liberty which values our rights to expression and assembly.  We mustn’t let the Government take this away.”