Posts Tagged ‘Police’

Our next public meeting will be in central Brixton next Thursday. We will be discussing the riots, the cuts, and the impact on young people in the borough and we want to hear you views.

Please come and bring your friends, family and colleagues. You can also find the event on Facebook – please circulate widely and invite your friends!

Download the leaflet: After the riots: the future for young people leaflet Aug 2011

One Love One Aim: A March in Unity and for Justice for All Called by the Campaign for Justice for Smiley Culture

Saturday 16th April 2011 – Assemble at 12 noon
Southbank Club 124 -130 Wandsworth Road SW8 2DL
proceeding to New Scotland Yard Its time to bring an end to all deaths in custody

The first ever recorded death in police custody was David Oluwale born in Lagos, Nigeria, on 8th September 1930. David was homeless and was brutally terrorised by Police Officers Ellerker and Kitching. They found him asleep in the doorway of a local Bridal House shop in Leeds at about 3 a.m. Ellerker and Kitching beat and attacked him and later urinated on him. Later, David Oluwale was found dead badly beaten and floating in the River Aire.

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The Metropolitan Police Authority met this morning at City Hall, and the Justice for Smiley Culture campaign was there in force to hear just what they had say.

The meeting started, however, with an official letter of apology to the family of Daniel Morgan, admitting to 5 failed police investigations and 24 years of lies and inaction due to police corruption. All of it ended in the acquittal of his murderers. In the family’s words, they have been “lied to, fobbed off, bullied, degraded…” in a process that was “nothing short of torture”. They requested a judicial inquiry, and the MPA voted to recommend that they get one.

24 years. For an apology, and a promise of a recommendation for a full inquiry.

So we sat there, and you know anger was rising high as we were told that we could be given no information on an ongoing investigation. The Acting Met Police Commissioner Tim Goodwin acknowledged that he still had to look into whether or not those investigating Smiley Culture’s death were linking up properly with the community or the family. He denied knowledge of the earlier briefings about Smiley Culture stabbing himself through the heart while making a cup of tea.

And that couple of minutes, including some questions from other members of the authority, was all we got. Not even the respect of an official letter of condolence. The insensitivity was unbelievable.

You better believe we were all angry, and it showed. My heart broke to see the pain of his family and friends, trying to cope both with the earth-shattering immensity of grief in losing a loved one, and the impossibility of getting any answers, much less justice, out of the police. Tim Goodwin had already tried to move the agenda on to the next investigation when we broke it up, calling out no justice no peace and leaving the hall.

There have been far too many deaths following police contact, I’ve copied the official table with the numbers from the MPA below:

Year Black & Asian Other Total
1998-99 6 11 17
1999-00 4 12 16
2000-01 2 5 7
2001-02 4 5 9
2002-03 10 7 17
2003-04 6 9 15
2004-05 3 11 14
2005-06 7 10 17
2006-07 8 7 15
2007-08 7 9 16
2008-09 13 15 28
2009-10 13 11 24
to end of February 2011 10 15 25

 

What is most disgusting is the inordinately high percentage of Black and Asian deaths. This is clearly an issue that hits the Black community the hardest, which makes it even more important that others stand with them now. All of us bear the burden of making it right. Racism continues to be everywhere, it is institutional, and it is deadly; everyone who cannot know what it is to suffer it directly needs to remember that. It will take all of us to stop it, and it needs to stop.

For more information about what is happening, join the facebook group or follow the campaign on twitter:

 

Most importantly, there is a march on April 16th, assembling at Southbank Club (124 – 130 Wandsworth Road SW8 2DL) at 12:00, and support is needed leafletting to get the word out. Lambeth SOS will be working on this, but get in touch directly with the campaign by emailing justice4smiley@hotmail.co.uk or calling 07984 935 769.

[originally posted on Lee Jasper’s official blog, take a look!]

Campaign For Justice For Smiley Culture

The MPA Commissioner will be speaking about the death of Smiley Culture tomorrow, the 31st March at 10am at City Hall, The Queen’s Walk,London,SE1 2AA.

We need to be there in numbers. Please promote. Lee Jasper and Merlin Emanuel will be attending. We ask you to come along and to encourage others to do so. We need to let them know we mean business.

Please tweet this, email the information to friends, post it on your FaceBook pages and do whatever you can to spread the word. We know it’s short notice so we really need your help on this.

Thank you for your support.

No Justice No Peace!

I hope everyone is getting ready for tonight’s lobby of Lambeth Council, when every single councillor will make the last vote on April’s Budget.

A few useful last-minute notes:

  • Remember to come in warm clothes and thick shoes – the weather forecast is not great and whilst we want a peaceful protest thick clothes and shoes are advisable against aggressive policing as seen at last weeks Islington Council protest.
  • Whilst it is important to demand that Councillors should refuse to carry out all cuts in service that are a result of a government funding cut they are against, it is also worth arguing that their current budget & policies are wasteful. Lambeth SOS & UNISON have identified many areas where vast amounts of money could be saved without a single service cut. See this earlier post for more info.
  • The only councillor to speak out against the cuts budget, Kingsley Abrams, was thrown out of the Labour Group of councillors this week for “bringing the party into disrepute” – in reality fighting the cuts. We should support all councillors who are willing to fight against the Steve Reed led cuts budget. Background to this labour party fight.
  • There are only 20 seats in the gallery reserved for the delegations tonight because the councillors have packed the second gallery with their supporters and not the community groups affected by the budget. That’s ‘local democracy’ Lambeth style. We will just have to have a huge protest outside.
  • Police will be managing outside, but will not be managing inside unless there is a ‘health and safety issue’. The head of Democratic Services has made clear that the police have no jurisdiction in the meetings and were wrong to enter last time.
  • Bring instruments, whistles, banners and placards, costumes  and all your friends. The bigger the better and the more press coverage we are likely to get.
  • This fight is only just getting started – the cuts will have to be fought at every single service cut over the next year. Come to our next planning meeting on Thursday 3 March and get involved!

Please email your councillors asking them to vote against the cuts on Weds. It’s also worth mentioning that after violent Police intervention against anti cuts groups in Islington and Lewisham Council meetings recently councillors should be called on to refuse to allow police to interrupt otherwise peaceful council meetings. At the last Lambeth Council meeting a large number of Police were sent in – you can read more about it at http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/matthew-hall/police-invasion-of-lambeth-council-meeting-part-of-worrying-trend. Tell your councillor – the police have no place in peaceful local democracy!

You can get your local councillors email address using the councils lookup tool – http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/PCLookup/Lookup.aspx

Done forget to come on Wednesday to the protest!

There were only 90 tickets to get into city hall last night, thus limiting democracy to 90 people only. Police hovered along our entry, as we waited in line to get into Room 8:

And that’s the last illustration I’m afraid, as I was told politely that no filming or pictures were allowed inside.

Steve Reed kicked it all off by telling us all that the evening was NOT a forum, but instead a cabinet meeting, which is held in public. They had allocated an hour of comments for all the issues up for discussion, and each speaker was requested to limit their comments to 3 minutes each. Like the cuts, the more time the council gave you, the more time they took from someone else, forgetting that the time limit, like the budget, is completely arbitrary. They tried to keep it business as usual, but that’s not quite what happened; these aren’t the times for business as usual.

First we sat and listened to the councillors report back on how the cuts would affect their various areas. They thought the national government was wrong to impose these cuts, they claimed the cuts were heavier in inner city areas, and it was particularly egregious that they should be frontloaded as they were.

They emphasized that there would be even more cuts, and a lot more pain, in the years to come.

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