WHERE: City of London Magistrates court, 1 Queen Victoria St, London EC4N 4XY
DATE: 14 August 2014
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.