Statement on Cecil Gutzmore: LCAPSV Opposes Violence Against Women

London Campaign Against Police Violence (LCAPSV) call upon Cecil Gutzmore to acknowledge and apologise for the violence and harm done towards a member of our organisation, S. Until he does so, we call on other groups and individuals with emancipatory politics to take the following actions:

(i)  Withdraw or withhold invitations for Cecil Gutzmore to speak at public/private events
(ii) Decline sharing public/private platforms with Cecil Gutzmore

Background

Cecil is a former member of LCAPSV and resigned from our group while he was undergoing an accountability process. On 20 July 2017, Cecil Gutzmore lost an appeal against conviction for the use of violence to secure entry to premises.

The case involved threatened violence against a woman as Cecil, using a crowbar, tried to force entry into his former partner’s home, S. This incident occurred on 19 December 2016, after a relationship breakdown between them, he demanded entry into S’ home and knocked on her door every hour from 9pm until 7am on the 20th.

Around 7am on the 20th, Cecil left the area and then returned within the hour to S’ home with a crowbar. S woke up to find Cecil attempting to break in by destroying her front door. S refused to allow Cecil in and asked him to leave and told him that she was behind the front door so he should not continue to damage it as he could injure her in the process. Despite Cecil’s full understanding of the situation, he continued with full force to use a crowbar to tear S’ front door down with her behind it. In fear for her life, S called fellow members for help, and as Cecil started to break through the door, the police arrived at 8am. Cecil was taken away then later charged and prosecuted.

Cecil was found guilty in March 2017 and afterwards he chose to appeal, causing further emotional harm to S who was forced to relive this traumatic incident in court for a second time.

Cecil Gutzmore is a public figure and veteran emancipation campaigner in the pan-African community. We believe he has failed to live up to expected standards that are essential for anyone fighting for liberation and reparations for institutional harm.

Cecil Gutzmore’s continued refusal to atone and take responsibility for his violent behaviour continues to cause personal harm and trauma to his former partner S, as well as undermine the anti-oppression and anti-violence struggles he has been involved in.

LCAPSV abhors this violence and gendered intimidation or violence in any form.

Until Cecil Gutzmore makes a full, unequivocal and unreserved apology in writing to his former partner LCAPSV calls upon individuals, groups and organisations to:

(i)  Withdraw or withhold invitations for Cecil Gutzmore to speak at public/private events
(ii) Decline sharing public/private platforms with Cecil Gutzmore

Once a sincere apology has been made and accepted, we believe this act should make it clear that those dedicated to emancipation, liberty and fighting oppression should behave with integrity and be accountable to our community for any abuse they perpetrate.

ENDS

 

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