Gary Lineker and Russell Brand have used their platforms to defend the public’s right to a peaceful protest after the Sarah Everard vigil descended into chaos over the weekend.
Thousands gathered at Clapham Common, south London on Saturday evening to peacefully pay tribute to Ms Everard, who went missing earlier this month before her body was discovered.
Police officer Wayne Couzens has been charged with her murder.
At the vigil, Metropolitan Police officers arrested four people after previously attempting to ban the event due to lockdown measures.
Their handling of the mourners has attracted widespread criticism of the Met Police force and sparked a debate about whether protesting should be permitted in a pandemic.
Match of the Day host Gary tweeted in support: ‘Shouldn’t matter whether your politics are on the right, the left or somewhere between the two, a genuinely democratic country should allow peaceful protests or demonstrations, noisy or otherwise.’
Comedian Russell shared a quote from Indira Gandhi which read: ‘Social change is brought about by those who dare and act, who can think unconventionally and who can court unpopularity.’
Over the weeknd, Celebrity Juice star Emily Atack shared a photo of the Clapham Common vigil with a heart emoji.
However, when one follower branded it a ‘super-spreader event’, Emily hit back: ‘Imagine if this was for your daughter.’
Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid sent a plea for the police to make women ‘feel safe’ during Monday’s episode.
She said: ‘It’s such a sensitive, difficult situation. The women were there because the life of a woman was taken in exactly that part of London and women wanted to pay respects to that individual woman.
‘They also wanted to say that they themselves feel unsafe. We rely on the police, I rely on the police. I live in South London, I need the police to protect me and they have in many untold ways and also in particular ways when I’ve been a victim of crime.’
The presenter added: ‘We do not want to attack our police force this morning, we need them but what happened on Saturday night, those pictures are shocking because of the nature of the protest.’