From Bedford to Baltimore – #BlackLivesMatter Solidarity Vigil – Tuesday 5th May

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Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/816469358430934/

http://donnaerickson.com/?tag=music Location: US Embassy, 24 Grosvenor Square, London W1A 2LQ
Date: Tuesday 5th May at 6pm

London Campaign Against Police and State Violence are calling for a solidarity vigil to stand with the family and friends of victims of police violence in Baltimore: Freddie Gray, Mya Hall and also victims of police brutality in the UK. We support the Fer

SUPPORTED BY: United Families & Friends Campaign (UFFC), Defend the Right to Protest, nus black students’ campaign and Cole Family Truth Campaign

FREDDIE GRAY:

In Baltimore, the death of Freddie Gray has been at the centre of recent protests against police brutality. The 25-year-old African-American was taken into police custody after allegedly making eye contact with a police officer and then running away. He was dragged into a police van and left with a crushed voice box, and with 80% of his spine severed at the neck. The police are yet to give any explanation for his death. In response, the black community of Baltimore has risen up to demand justice and have closed down their city with almost a week of protests. Read more at Baltimore United

MYA HALL:

Mya Hall, an African-American trans woman and sex worker also from Baltimore, was shot and killed by National Security Agency officers after the car she was in was involved in a collision. Transgender people face even worse treatment by the authorities once it is discovered that they are transgender. The police and many sections of the press refused to acknowledge her gender identity and misgendered her in their reporting of her death. While there have been frequent marches and demonstrations for Black men killed in police custody, little is done for women, especially trans women, who are victims of police brutality. We cannot forget the plight of Mya and other Black transgender women and sex workers. All Black lives matter.

JULIAN COLE:

As we gather to mourn their deaths and show solidarity with those demanding accountability, we also remember and show solidarity with UK victims of police brutality. Julian Cole, a 21 year old British African-Caribbean man, was arrested by six police officers outside a nightclub in Bedford, England on 6th May 2013. While he was in police custody, his neck was broken, his spinal cord was severed and he became permanently brain damaged. It is now almost exactly two years since the original incident and yet the police officers responsible are still in active service and no charges have been brought against any of them. We stand with the Cole family to demand justice.

MUMIA ABU JAMAL:

We also organise against the structural violence of the prison system. Mumia Abu-Jamal is an internationally recognised Black writer and radio journalist, and former member of the Black Panther Party who has spent the last 30 years in prison, almost all of it in solitary confinement on Pennsylvania’s Death Row. We believe that he is wrongly convicted and now he is hospitalised and the authorities are preventing his loved ones from contacting him. We stand with all who say FREE MUMIA ABU JAMAL.

Across countries, police and state violence is racialised, disproportionate and destructive towards Black communities. Time and again we see Black people suffer at the hands of a racist state. On a daily basis, innocent people are stopped and searched. Neighbourhoods have been left to waste away in destitution and then “regenerated” to price and push poor Black families out. The police are able to terrorise and kill with impunity. The only way that we’ll stop this cycle of violence is to organise as a community and fight back. This has happened in Ferguson and it’s happening right now in Baltimore. Baltimore Uprising is a community-led initiative which is organising the community in light of the recent killing of Freddie Gray to demand justice. Along with daily demonstrations, they are providing artistic outlets for children, organising safe havens in religious spaces and providing lunch for school children on days that schools are closed. Similar initiatives are also taking place here in the UK, with groups like R Movement and Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth organising food distribution for the homeless and community supper clubs. LCAPSV will work with these groups and others to organise against pervasive state violence.

Martin Luther King once said that “riots are the language of the unheard”. While police officers break necks with impunity, we will not be overly concerned with broken windows. When we say “No Justice, No Peace”, this channels lesser known Martin Luther King quote: “True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.”

From Bedford to Baltimore, UK to US – BLACK LIVES MATTER – NO JUSTICE NO PEACE

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Screening of Migrant Media’s new film ‘Burn’ this Friday 17 October

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Description:

‘Burn’
(30minutes/UK/2014/Migrant Media)

Collective memory is a fire that never dies.

In August 2011 Britain was on fire – what was the spark that led to the crisis? When Mark Duggan was shot by the police the scene was set for a confrontation but it was not the first time. In this grass-roots documentary we hear why Tottenham burned, show how the flames spread and look at the deep-rooted reasons that have set fires blazing in the last four decades. Four people in this small community, all black and working class, have died at the hands of the police and this film retraces their story. Powerful witness testimonies are balanced against police reaction to the violence that exploded and the film offers a fresh political analysis of the cause of the uprising. Exploring ideas of collective memory ‘Burn’ is poetry for the people.

This event will feature a screening of the new documentary film by Migrant Media, followed by a Q&A with Marcia Rigg (Sister of Sean Rigg), Minkah Adofo (United Families & Friends Campaign) and Director Ken Fero.

 

Event information:

Organised by London Campaign Against Police and State Violence & United Families & Friends Campaign (UFFC)

Lecture Theatre B04, Birkbeck, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

Starts 6pm.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/728179040588509/

Annual march against deaths in custody Saturday 25 October

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March with us in solidarity for an end to deaths in custody.

There have been over 3000 deaths in state custody since 1969. There has not been a single successful homicide prosecution, despite evidence of unreasonable force and several unlawful killing inquest verdicts.

Join United Families and Friends Campaign on Saturday 25 October 2014 for their annual rally, protest march and petition submission to 10 Downing Street. Assemble for the rally at 12pm in Trafalgar Square. Please wear black. London Campaign Against Police & State Violence will be there with banners.

‘The Right to Life Under Threat by the State’: join us for our annual conference 12 October

***UPDATE 10/10/2014***

Marcia Rigg of the Sean Rigg Justice Campaign will now be speaking at our conference. This means we will no longer be screening Burn but instead a section of Who Polices the Police which is about her family’s story. People who want to see Burn can come on Friday 17th October to our film screening of Burn with United Families and Friends Campaign at Birkbeck University. More details on Facebook.

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London Campaign Against Police and State Violence will be holding our annual conference on the theme of ‘The Right to Life Under Threat by the State’. Everyone is welcome, and admission is free (but donations are welcome).

The full programme will be published shortly. The conference will feature:

Richard Hoggart Building Cinema, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths (University of London), Lewisham Way, New Cross, London SE14 6NW

Registration 1pm.

Facebook event is here.

Please RSVP by emailing lcapsv (a) gmail . com

Supporting a victim of police brutality – update on D’s case

D, a black man assaulted by police in Brixton in June this year, appeared in court for a case management hearing on Tuesday 2 September. His supporters and members of LCAPSV maintained a presence in the public gallery and outside the court throughout the proceedings. D’s case has been scheduled for 5 January, and we will be there to stand in solidarity with him as he faces charges of obstruction of a police officer.

Please join this Facebook event, and share.

Support a Black Man whose ribs were cracked by Territorial Support Group

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Tuesday 2nd September 2014, 09.30am

Venue:
Inner London Crown Court
Newington Causeway
SE1 6AZ
nearest stations: Elephant & Castle, Borough

FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/941431605882452/

On Monday 23rd June 2014, D, a black man from Brixton, was assaulted by police officers from the Territorial Support Group. The officers had seen D stop his car moments earlier to speak to his Uncle, and chose to interpret this chance family encounter as something sinister. In the course of a “search” they attacked D and his cousin, a passenger in the car, kicking D multiple times when he had already voluntarily gone to the floor and put his hands out to be cuffed. D was arrested, strip searched, and held in Brixton police station for almost 24 hours. The police attack left him with bruises and a cracked rib. (More details here)

When the police were unable to find anything illegal on D that could possibly justify the search, let alone their violent attack, they charged him with assault on a police officer. This has now been reduced to “obstructing a constable during a drug search,” a lesser charge but one which still carries a possible unlimited fine and 2 years of imprisonment.

D would greatly appreciate your support at his next case management hearing, at Inner London Crown Court on 2nd September at 9.30am. We will meet outside the court with banners, and will be present in the public gallery during the hearing. We must let the police and Crown Prosecution Service know that we are watching them in D’s case, and in every other instance of police brutality in London!

A’s case adjourned again – a brutal form of punishment in itself

On the 14 August, LCAPSV attended City of London Magistrates court to support A, a member of the campaign, at her latest court hearing for the charge of ‘willful obstruction of the highway’. This charge dates from January of this year, when A was arrested while peacefully protesting outside Downing Street and imprisoned for four days.

A was expecting to be formally tried at this hearing, the previous hearing on the 31 July having been adjourned due to the Crown Prosecution Service’s failure to disclose the necessary evidence to A’s legal team. However, once again, the CPS had failed to comply with the court’s directions and disclosed crucial evidence only once the trial had begun, leaving A and her legal team no time to examine the evidence before the proceedings began. Furthermore, when the CPS eventually handed over the relevant CCTV evidence – some 35 minutes into the hearing – it emerged that an important twenty minutes of footage were missing, for which the responsible police officer had no adequate explanation. As such, the case was adjourned until the 9th December. This means that A’s case will drag on for 11 months. This stretching out of the legal proceedings constitutes a brutal form of punishment in and of itself, as the mental and physical strain such a process puts on people is immense.

In spite of all of this, A is resolute and remains determined to fight against her racist criminalisation. LCAPSV will continue to support A in every way we can and will be in court supporting her on the 9th December. More details will follow closer to the time.

Crown Prosecution Service – charge the killers now!

On 6 August, we stood in solidarity with the family members of Sean Rigg, Habib Ullah, Leon Patterson and many others as they called on the Crown Prosecution Service to deliver justice.  The United Families and Friends campaign is a coalition of those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody. UFFC said:

The Crown Prosecution Service is charged with inaction. Last week charges were brought against the officer who shot dead Azelle Rodney in 2005. Why did his mother, Susan Alexander, have to wait nine years for that officer to be charged?

Many other families whose loved ones died in custody, are still waiting for the CPS to make a decision. The standard response in recent years has been ‘ not enough evidence to prosecute’ – but this is not good enough.

Crown Prosecution Service – charge the killers now!

You can see pictures from the picket by clicking the Storify link below:

A Victim of Brixton Police Brutality Needs Support

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Tuesday 22nd July, 9:30

Inner London Crown Court
Sessions House
Newington Causeway
London
SE1 6AZ

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/314530462043850/

This Tuesday, D once again needs your support and help.

D, a victim of police brutality has had his charges dropped from assaulting a police officer to “obstructing a constable during a drug search”.

He has opted to take it a Crown Court which means he faces a possible unlimited fine and 2 years of imprisonment but he also will have a jury to decide if he is innocent or not.

Far from obstructing a police officer, D maintains that he willingly went to the floor and the Territorial Support Group officers proceed to attack and kick him leaving him with a cracked rib and then locking him up for 23 hours.

No drugs were found as he maintains that he had none on him.

The Police often put victims of their violence on trial to delay or reduce the possibility of any complaints or civil charges being brought against them.

Background: http://londonagainstpoliceviolence.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/brixton-brutality-d/

Report from the last hearing: http://www.peoplesrepublicofsouthwark.co.uk/hold-news/news/3507-what-did-that-man-do-to-you

“Police Obstruction” Case Against Jason is Dropped!

Camberwell Green Magistrates Court - London Campaign Against Police & State Violence Banner

The London Campaign Against Police & State Violence (LCAPSV) celebrates with Jason as the spurious case against him of “obstructing the police” was dropped after just half a day in court. The case against him was heard at Camberwell Green Magistrate’s Court, where Jason’s supporters and members of LCAPSV maintained a presence both inside and outside the court throughout the proceedings.

After hearing the testimonies of the two police officers who began the assault on Jason on 9 June, the judge concluded that the evidence given was “conflicting and lacking in coherence”, and that clearly there had been no reasonable grounds for the search in the first place. The officers were unable to provide any evidence that there was anything specific to Jason or his behaviour that could have justified him being targeted for a drugs search – obviously the mere fact of being a black man in a phone box in Camberwell was enough to criminalise him in the eyes of these officers.

Although the case against Jason has been dismissed, the police have yet to answer for their violent assault against him. One of the officers has already admitted in court today to punching Jason in the head, deploying CS spray, and said he would have used his taser if he’d been able to reach it – and completely failed to give any credible justification for this level of force. Jason will be pursuing a civil claim against the police, and thanks everyone who has supported him so far. LCAPSV continues to stand with him, and to oppose police brutality and other forms of state violence.