When Eve Klein placed her placard and bunch of flowers outside Scotland Yard on the morning of the 15th March 2021, the space was virtually empty, save for a few reporters. By the end of the day Parliament Square was filled by protesters, decrying the police’s handling of Sarah Everard’s vigil, and the new protest legislation which, if passed, would severely limit rights to protest.

‘RIP: Democracy, Mutual Respect, Sarah’, read her sign, accordingly shaped as a gravestone. Eve and her mother had felt compelled to make a statement.

‘It’s my Mother’s day. I want to do this’, her mother had said that morning. Like the ‘more than a thousand’ (according to the Guardian) who would take to the streets of Central London that day, they felt anger at Sarah Everard’s murder, and the anti-Protest sentiment which they fear is beginning to pervade society, and may soon be reflected in its law.

Sarah’s disappearance in Clapham had gained traction online, especially among young women in London, where it feels particularly close to home. With the volume of people posting about it online, Eve had felt optimistic that Sarah would be found. However, her body was found a week later.

The ‘Reclaim these Streets’ vigil was officially cancelled, but people, predominantly women, came to Clapham Common to lay flowers, and to show their grief. A tragedy in itself, Sarah’s murder was a horrific example of what almost all women fear when walking alone, especially at night. It became even more poignant as it came along with the news that, according to a UN women survey, 97% of young women have been sexually harassed. Most women are familiar with feeling unsafe while walking alone, and Sarah Everard’s abduction and murder became a brutal reminder of this injustice.

Eve hopes her message will make a small contribution to a change in society. She wants men to actively call themselves feminists, to do the little things like crossing a road to make a woman feel more at ease. She wants women to report harassment and the Violence Against Women and Girls act to come in. She wants women to feel safe while walking home.

This sentiment was shared by many of those who later came to make their own statement. The police response to the vigil, which Boris Johnson has called ‘deeply concerning’, also inflamed tensions, coming as the ‘police, crime and sentencing bill’ (seen by many as an anti-protest bill), will be debated by parliament on the 15th and 16th of March.

Eve’s placard and bunch of flowers has been joined by many others, and surrounded by cries, such as ‘Kill the Bill’. Eve’s is ‘one message in a world of messages,’ but, she says, ‘it’s important to contribute to it’.