‘Police are the perpetrators’: Sisters Uncut set to take action one year on from Clapham Common vigil
Monday, March 7, 2022
- Feminist action group that launched Kill the Bill movement mark one year since Clapham Common vigil, where women were brutalised by police officers
- Hundreds expected to gather at New Scotland Yard to withdraw consent from British policing
- Sisters Uncut say when policing bill passes, “more police powers will lead to more police violence”
- Sisters Uncut are infamous for visual, disruptive actions, including dying Trafalgar Square fountains red and jumping onto the red carpet at the BAFTAs
At 5pm on Saturday 12 March, feminist activist group Sisters Uncut will host a mass direct action at New Scotland Yard for the public to withdraw their consent from British policing. Details of the action will not be revealed until the day.
The date marks the one-year anniversary of the Clapham Common vigil for Sarah Everard, which saw police officers ordered to violently manhandle women. This event kickstarted the Kill the Bill movement.
The year since the vigil has seen an outpouring of abuse reports within the Metropolitan Police, most recently culminating in the resignation of Cressida Dick.
Sisters Uncut maintain that police violence against women is not new. At least 15 women have been killed by police officers since 2009. As reported in the Guardian, according to the Centre for Women’s Justice, one woman a week comes forward to report a serving police officer for domestic or sexual violence.
The action calls for the public to “withdraw consent from policing”, in reference to the tradition of ‘policing by consent’ in the UK.
Given the repeated reports of misogyny embedded in the institution, the group states that there is no way for women to consent to police power. Sisters Uncut maintain that more police powers will lead to more police violence and a society without police would be much safer.
Sisters Uncut advocate for police budgets to be cut, and funding for domestic and sexual abuse services reinstated.
Sisters Uncut member Gina Cane said: “The police are perpetrators of violence. We saw this in the way they beat women at Clapham Common last year, we saw it in the murder of Sarah Everard, and we’ve seen it in the countless reports of police sexual abuse. When the policing bill passes, we can expect to see more police powers lead to even more police violence. We reject the authority of the police, a racist misogynist institution built on coercion and control.”
Cassie Robinson, a 36 year old from London who plans to attend the action said “policing by consent means the power of the police is dependent on public approval. I am withdrawing my consent for violent men to have any authority in this society.”
Notes for Editors:
- Sisters Uncut are a direct action group protesting cuts to domestic and sexual violence services. The group was formed by domestic violence survivors and sector workers in 2014, and now has a network of groups across the country.
- The Guardian reported that, according to the Bureau for investigative Journalism, 700+ reports of domestic abuse were made against police officers between April 2015 and April 2018 (1)
- Between 2012-18, there were 1,500 accusations of sexual misconduct (including sexual harassment, exploitation of crime victims and child abuse) resulting in only 197 officers being sacked (2)
- Between 2015-17, 415 referrals were made for officers that had abused their position to sexually assault someone, with domestic and sexual violence victims, sex workers and drug users being most at risk of being abused by an on-duty police officer (3)