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.

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:

Call out to support A, a victim of brutal and racist policing

lcapsv_bannerWHERE: City of London Magistrates court, 1 Queen Victoria St, London EC4N 4XY

DATE: 14 August 2014

TIME: 9AM

A, a black woman, was arrested in January as she held a peaceful protest outside Downing Street against state racism. She was imprisoned for four days, and also denied her basic rights including access to legal representation and contact with family and friends. A feels strongly that the treatment she experienced was because she is black. When she was eventually released A was charged with ‘willful obstruction of the highway’. Details about her ordeal have been provided by A, below.

A attended court on 31 July – but due to the incompetence of the CPS and the police, the trial did not go ahead on that date. The CPS had not provided the necessary evidence, the cops were late and when they did eventually show up, one of them contradicted his own witness statement. This means that A has been subjected to a further two weeks’ wait.

We are calling on our supporters to stand with A as she attends court.

I was protesting peacefully outside Downing Street for a month in the cold during winter 2013 with an Art placard about racism and Institutional racism and the impact of this on Black women and families.

I was arrested there on 6th January 2014.

I was refused a solicitor. I was refused any call to family or friends to my embassy . I was locked up and hidden from the world for four complete days. I was brutalised and attacked and falsely imprisoned by Police officers. I went on hunger and water strike and refused their water or food for the four days. They denied me the right to contact the Consular/ Embassy for support. I believe that any English person arrested abroad or any other white citizen is never treated in this appalling and inhumane way, and I believe they would be able to contact their Embassy right away. I am an Afrikan woman, a mother, a qualified teacher and I am determined to fight for my rights.

The Metropolitan police officers accused me of refusing to leave Downing Street; of being inside a car and of trying to break some doors outside Downing Street corridor. So the racist police sent me to jail and molested and assaulted me. And standing up for my rights and fighting for justice to them meant that I was mad and they wanted to commit me to a psychiatric institution. It is pertinent to say that I do not own any car and I have never in my life driven inside any car in Downing Street. My experience has shown me that what matters to racist Police Officer is that you are black and they are unleashing their bestial brutalities against Africans when they are on duty. Sex, Age, nationality, education, religion etc doesn’t matter when you are African and there is nothing in place to protect you.

I am inviting you to our Campaign outside the tribunal and to explore with others how we can organize ourselves pacifically and rally together to fight against Institutional Racism practices. I will always refuse to surrender to injustice and to State lies, violence and to let others design a future based on sustained discrimination and racism against Africans.