Brighton protesters gather outside John Street Police Station

PROTESTERS angry at the way the police handled a demonstration are staging a silent protest.

The group of about 30 went to John Street police station.

It follows anger over the way Sussex Police handled a vigil held in Valley Gardens in Brighton on Saturday night.

They were there to remember Sarah Everard, the 33-year-old whose body was found this week.

Wayne Couzens appeared in court on Saturday accused of her kidnap and murder in South London and Kent.

It sparked vigils under the banner of “reclaim these streets”, where those attending were concerned about men’s violence towards women.

In Brighton one arrest was made, and eight people were slapped with fines for breaking coronavirus lockdown rules.

Images show the vigil held in Valley Gardens, Brighton, where police made one arrest and issued eight fines for people breaking coronavirus public health emergency rules not to attend gathings

Those attending chanted “shame on you” to officers as a man was led away.

They also chanted “let us meet”.

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The rules state that people must not gather outside in groups of more than two people or one household.

But those attending Valley Gardens on Saturday say people observed social distancing and were peaceful, accusing Sussex Police of being heavy-handed.

On Sunday after 4pm protesters gathered outside Brighton Police Station in John Street to hold a silent protest.

Some held cardboard placards while others sat in the road.

SARAH EVERARD DEMO BRIGHTON POLICE STATION

SARAH EVERARD DEMO BRIGHTON POLICE STATION

The group later chanted slogans such “silence equals violence” and then in relation to Sarah Everard they chanted: “She was walking home.”

Earlier, signs were left at a focal point for the vigil in Valley Gardens, Brighton.

One message on cardboard read: “Walking home… frightening 40 years ago, still frightening for my daughter.”

Another read: “Men are afraid women will laugh at them, women are afraid men will kill them.”

Sussex Police said: “We recognise the desire to come together at this time, to mourn the death of Sarah Everard in London and to make a statement on the issue of women’s safety, and we absolutely understand the importance of this message. Everyone should feel safe to walk our streets and we hear that many of you do not.

“We acknowledge many women have experienced violence, abuse or harassment and this is not acceptable. Protecting our communities is a top priority for Sussex Police, and we will do what it takes to ensure you feel safe in the county where you live.

“However, we remain firmly in a public health emergency and the Covid-19 regulations continue to disallow large gatherings because of the continued, and very real, risks of the virus.

“A High Court judgement on Friday (March 12) ruled planned vigils would not be an exception to the government’s legislation around gatherings during the national lockdown.”

The Argus | Brighton and Hove news