Met police face legal action for preventing women's march in London
This comes after the police force was found by a court in March to have violated the rights of women who attempted to plan a vigil for the murder of Sarah Everard.
Campaigners pointed fingers at the Metropolitan police for “again trying to prevent women from organizing” a major protest by mothers against childcare expenses in London after the Met refused to police and watch over the protest weeks before it was due to take place on October 29.
The “March of the Mummies” protest is due to take place in cities across the UK with the aim of demanding relief from pressures on families who have young children through the supply of affordable childcare services that include adequately paid parental leave and flexible work hours.
The Met's refusal to close roads and police the event, which is due to see more than 6,000 protesters, MPs, and speakers, led the organizers to state that their move would pose a risk to the safety of children and pregnant women participating.
Joeli Brearley, the founder of the campaign group, said they already gave notice in May to finalize organizing the event with the Met but received its rejection only four weeks before the event's date. Other protests, including a TUC-organised event in June and a march in 2018 to protect wildlife organized by the conservationist Chris Packham already took place normally and without any obstacles.
“It makes no sense that they would issue road closures and ensure a police presence for the TUC march in June, to then deny the same when it is women who want their voices to be heard. This is sexism, there’s no doubt about it. We are furious.", she said.
This criticism comes six months after the Met police were found by a court in March to have violated the rights of women who attempted to plan a vigil for the murder of Sarah Everard. The high court ruled that the Met mishandled the event in a decision hailed as a “victory for women."
One woman was even charged after attending the vigil leading her to file civil proceedings against the police, which has also seen controversies over alleged misogyny first-hand in a series of mishandlings and failures.
The most recent comes as 24-year-old Chris Kaba was coldly shot dead by Metropolitan Police, which many believe was triggered by racial profiling.
Demanding the decision to be rescinded, the group's attorneys sent a letter to the head of the Met’s public order planning unit Inspector Emma Dickinson, claiming that it is not legally capable of instructing traffic management, since the Westminster city council couldn't issue a temporary traffic order for the event because that task was a responsibility of the police.
Brearley said, “Women are tired. They have had enough of being ignored by this government. It is the responsibility of the police to support peaceful protest, but instead, they are blocking it. This is no longer a democracy that works for women. We are being further oppressed and silenced".