March in Market Drayton following Sarah Everard death

Women will march through Market Drayton this Friday to mark the death of Sarah Everard and build community solidarity.

Sarah Everard
Sarah Everard

The 'Market Drayton Women's Movement' was set up in the wake of the alleged high-profile murder of Sarah Everard in London, and the ensuing protests by women.

Organiser Tess Murphy, who has lived in the town since she was a teenager, said that she hoped victims of any kinds of abuse would feel empowered to report their attackers, even in a small community like Market Drayton.

"It's an opportunity where a group of communities will be gathering for a common interest, for the ideals of women's safety," she said.

"It's in light of the Sarah Everard situation recently.

"These protests have been happening since the 60s.

"We are focusing on women's safety but really it is for women, men, queer people, transgender people, or anyone that is vulnerable or feels that they are."

The march will start from the car park at Frogmore Road, leaving at 9.30pm and taking a circular route that should take about 45 minutes. The choice of 9.30pm was deliberate, as that is around the last time Sarah Everard was seen on footage on the night she disappeared.

Tess has been in discussions with police and local councillors on organising the event. She has calculated that about 100 people should be able to safely fit in the car park while following social distancing rules.

There will be stations offering hand sanitiser and track and trace numbers, and the route will use main roads to enable groups to stay distanced.

"If the atmosphere appears to change or become hostile all the individuals are to disperse," she added.

"It's not to do with how the police are getting it wrong. It's more to do with coming together in solace and building that sense of community and support, but in a peaceful way.

"It's not a protest, it's a peaceful gathering."

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