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Monthly Archives: December 2014

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JOIN US AGAINST THE RACIST PRISON SYSTEM

Date: 31st December 2014

Time: 6pm to 8pm

Place: Brixton Prison, Jebb Avenue, London SW2 5XF

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/621568717969283/

Tube station: Brixton

Bus routes are: 45, 109, 118, 133, 159, and 250

// Bring banners and something you can make some noise with. Drums, pots, pans, sirens, speakers, megaphones, horns. //

Join LCAPSV and others as we protest the racist prison system in the UK, demand change, and let people on the inside know we haven’t forgotten them. We will assemble on the corner of Jebb Avenue and Brixton Hill at 6pm. Then make our way to Brixton Prison, making as much noise as we can. There will be a speak out against detention and prison, and music and poetry.

Black people are killed by the state on the streets, but they are also killed under incarceration. In the UK, one person a week dies in police custody, or following police contact. Jimmy Mubenga was suffocated by racist G4S security guards on an aeroplane. Sean Rigg was asphyxiated in Brixton police station. Ricky Bishop was also killed in police custody at Brixton police station. Sarah Campbell died within hours of arriving at Styal Prison. 15 year old Garthe Myatt was killed by security guards at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre. Between 1969-2011 3,180 individuals have died in custody, whilst in the care of police or prison officials, those running secure psychiatric units, immigration detention centres or whilst they were being deported.

Where they don’t kill you outright, prison and detention takes time from you, isolates you from your community and your family and does the same to your loved ones on the outside. This is not done at random, but is systematically racist in its intent and practice. It is another side of state racism that is elsewhere seen in the racist application of stop and search, immigration law, and extra-judicial killings.

The proportion of people of African-Caribbean and African descent incarcerated here is almost seven times greater to their share of the population. In the United States, the proportion of black prisoners to population is about four times greater.

Incarceration is not only destructive of the lives of black men and women, but also the men, women and children who make up their families, their friends, their lovers and their lives. Every life destroyed inside prison includes many other lives destroyed outside of it.

Noise demos outside of prisons are a continuing tradition across the world. A way of expressing solidarity for people imprisoned during the New Year, remembering those held captive by the state. A noise demo breaks the isolation and alienation of the cells our enemies create, but it does not have to stop at that.

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Jimmy Mubenga who died in G4S deportation custody aged 46

 

Today is the international day of migrants, while some rightly celebrate the contributions that migrants bring to these shores. For many of us, today is a day of mourning and remembrance.

There is a demonstration today at 6:30pm outside the Home Office Building (2 Marsham Street, SW1P 4DF) in solidarity with Jimmy Mubenga’s family. It has been organised by Movement for Justice which we and Black Revs support. The details are here

We mourn the individuals, the parents, the children and the babies who have drowned or were killed by traffickers in attempting migrate across the Mediterranean sea to safety in Europe.

Our tears carry a promise to end this suffering.

We mourn the deaths of Joy Gardner, Jimmy Mubenga, Prince OfosuChristine Case, Rubel Ahmed and the many others who died in state custody due to migrating to Britain without regular documents, we will organise with their loved ones towards justice.

Our tears carry a promise to end this suffering.

We mourn those whose names are not known, those who died in humble circumstances not deemed horrific enough to capture media interest.

Our tears carry a promise to end this suffering.

We remember those like Isa Muazu who have been demonised, disgraced and deported by successive governments.

We remember the hundreds of thousands who migrate to Europe, the tens of thousands stranded at tent strewn refugee camps and the many thousands locked up in immigration detention centres.

We remember the Harmondsworth hunger strikers, the uprisings at four detention centres and the resistance and solidarity that is being built in defence of migrants.

Their actions sustain a growing movement. It transforms our promise from a hope to a reality. May it continue until the victory.

—-

London Campaign against Police & State Violence as a group currently focusses our efforts on police brutality but we work with other organisations where state sponsored violence overlap with this and other issues.

We recommend the following organisations that work on specifically on defending the rights of migrants:

Anti-Raids Network
Migrants Rights Network
Movement for Justice
RAMFEL Charity
Right to Remain

 

Today, Wednesday 17th December is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

The London Campaign against Police and State Violence stands in solidarity with sex workers who face violence often in their work. Last year on the 4th December, the Metropolitan Police using 250 police officers, invited Sky News, BBC and the London Evening standard to watch and photograph the intimidation and violence that accompanied the mass arrest in Soho.

We acknowledge that these raids did very little to help or “rescue” these workers but instead publicly shamed these women, legitimised evictions and put them into greater risk and vulnerability. As we have seen in Brixton earlier this year, this gentrification, by which we mean the displacement of settled working class communities, is performed through orchestrated violence and the combined efforts of selective capital disinvestment and investment. The motive was neither a moral crusade for “values” nor a protective effort to “save” trafficked women, this was about capitalist revanchism. The eviction of marginalised women, the seizure of property and land was in order to increase profitability of rents. For this reason, the spectacle of violence was meted out by the State. The attacks that these sex workers endured and continue to endure, imperilled not only their safety and physical bodies but also their ability to survive.

We support the statement and pledge to end violence against sex workers written by the Safety First Initiative and the candle-lit march today called by the Prostitutes Collective which starts at Soho Square at 6:45pm, more details here.

If you were arrested at Westfield on Wednesday, there is an essential defendants meeting that you should attend. You will need to bring your bail sheet with you and if you are under 18, you may also bring a parent or guardian to accompany you. This meeting is strictly for arrestees only.

Date: Saturday 13th December, 2pm
Venue: LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel, London E1 1ES

If you cannot make this meeting or have any questions please email Green & Black Cross Legal Support on gbclegal (a) riseup (dot) net

Otherwise if you are free tomorrow, you are welcome to join us at our Christmas Social, have a chat with current members and celebrate the end of year!

Date: Saturday 13th December, 5pm
Venue: Hootananny Pub, 95 Effra Road, Brixton, SW2 1DF
Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1499196233680744/

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We the organisers: London Black Revs, NUS Black Students’ Campaign and London Campaign against Police & State Violence thank the hundreds of participants of our protest and a special thank you to those who travelled from West London, to Central London, Leyton, Sutton and Wandsworth to assist and greet arrestees as they were imprisoned overnight.

We are appalled that the Metropolitan Police chose to arrest 76 people, some of whom were non-participants, during the Eric Garner Solidarity Die-in protest in Shepherd’s Bush on Wednesday. This demonstration was called in solidarity to with Eric Garner’s family and protesters in New York and across the USA demonstrating against the failure to indict NYPD officers who were responsible for his death. This has happened in the context of the recent deaths of Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, Michael Brown to mention a few Black lives ended by police officers.

Our protest was non-violent and was shut down because it was effective. The protesters have made it clear that the issue of police impunity to kill people of African descent is strongly felt and relevant here in the UK. Placards stating “Black Lives Matter” were held in London as we have suffered the pain and shame of no police officers held to account for the deaths of Joy Gardner, Sean Rigg and most recently Mark Duggan. “I can’t breathe” was also one of the last things that Jimmy Mubenga said and we also note his violent death under State supervision.

We condemn the Metropolitan Police’s indiscriminate practice of kettling, attacking protesters with metal batons and mass arrests. This dubious practice has resulted in several children, and visibly identified legal observers, one NUJ registered journalist and an unknown number of unfortunate bystanders, as well as dozens of innocent protesters, being held overnight across London for “violent disorder”.

This has become a terrible trend in public order policing. Mass arrests were used against over 145 UK Uncut protesters in 2011, 182 cyclists at the Olympic Critical Mass ride in 2012 and on 286 people during the Tower Hamlets anti-fascist demonstration last year. These huge arrests produced almost zero convictions. What is different in our case is that the charge has a maximum penalty of five years. This is far more serious than the offences alleged used in previous cases. It is wrong to use the charge of “violent disorder” on people who have been endured threats and physical assaults by Met Police officers and security guards. This disproportionate response appears to cast hundreds of people protesting against racialised police violence as a threat to public safety. We note the strange inconsistency in the seriousness of the accusation, and the fact that the vast majority of arrestees have not been given any bail conditions.

The probable motive for these mass arrests are, as the Metropolitan Police has admitted on record, for intelligence gathering on people who care about injustice and dare to speak up in public. We believe this is a despicable policy that threatens the civil liberties and fundamental human rights of us all. A Police force that routinely criminalises black people through stop & search, spied on the Lawrence family, recently called “institutionally racist” by its own Black officers association and is publicly shamed into paying out £400,000 to compensate a woman who had the misfortune to have a child under false pretences with an undercover officer is morally bankrupt.

To the arrestees, we stand with you in solidarity. We will announce our next action soon. If you were arrested or witnessed anything before or during the arrests, please get in touch with Green & Black Cross Legal Support at gbclegal@riseup.net

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***UPDATE – ONLY TRAINED LEGAL OBSERVERS REQUIRED ***

This is an urgent request made by London Campaign against Police & State Violence on behalf of London Black Revolutionaries.

Tonight there will be a solidarity die-in in the Shepherd’s Bush area, LBR has been notified that there will be a police presence and in anticipation of that, we are asking for people to volunteer as Legal Observers for the “die-in” demonstration.

This will mean that you will not participate in the “die-in” but instead be there to observe the actions of the police and document them for future use. If you have had no experience doing this but have received training then you will be paired up with an experienced observer. We are working with Green & Black Cross Legal to coordinate the legal observing for this event.

All those who are interested and are trained legal observers (via GBC Legal or Legal Defence & Monitoring Group) must email GBCLEGAL (at) RISEUP (dot) NET using “die-in LO” in the subject header and give a contact name (this does not have to be your real name) and a phone number in the email.

Thank you for your support and see you on the streets

Next week is a busy week, lots of actions and events coming up. Please have a look and see if you can join us at all or some of them.

Support “A” – a victim of racist and brutal policing

Date: Tuesday 9th December, 9am
Venue: City of London Magistrates Court, 1 Queen Victoria Street, London EC4N 4XY
Link: https://londonagainstpoliceviolence.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/support-afrikan-a/

Written by A:

Please join me and other campaigners on the picket line at the court house which is at the corner of Queen Victoria Street and Walbrook Street Outside exit 8 of Bank underground station.

My case could not be concluded on 31st July 2014 because the police did not produce the specific material they were asked to. So they were ordered again to produce this material so that the case can be heard on Thursday, 14th August 2014. Yet again on 14th August the case was not heard as only part of the ‘ordered’ information was produced; and so I am back in court on Tuesday, 9th December and I really, really would like you to come out and support me. As you can imagine (and the many who turned up to support me will know) this is a very stressful matter for me. Knowing that others care and seeing you there on the day helps to keep me strong.

WE CANT BREATHE – Solidarity Die-In for Eric Garner

Date: Wednesday 10th December, 6pm
Venue: To be announced
Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/294598964082684/

In the UK, one person a week dies in police custody, or following police contact. Mark Duggan, Jimmy Mubenga, Stephen Lawrence and Smiley Culture are just some of those failed by our so-called “justice” system; it’s time for it to stop.

Join London Black Revolutionaries, NUS Black Students Campaign and others, as we protest in solidarity with our black brothers and sisters, and tell the world that enough is enough.

We will assemble outside a large public building (TBA). In solidarity with Eric Garner, we will DIE-IN – that’s fall to the floor and occupy the ground in solidarity, as protesters having been doing in New York (link). This action will make the presence of black death felt by those watching, policing and monitoring our actions, as we all shout, in unity, #blacklivesmatter

Support “G”‘s case

Date: Thursday 11th December, 1pm
Venue: Stratford Magistrates’ Court, 389-397 High St, Stratford, London E15 4SB
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1507409446192782/

G’s trial follows a day in court on 28 November, where:
– the CPS instructed counsel at the last minute who dropped the two charges of obstruction of a police officer in the execution of their duty,
– prosecution witnesses gave their evidence and were cross-examined by G’s solicitor,
– one defence witness gave evidence ‘out of turn’ and was cross-examined by prosecution counsel and;
– G’s solicitors argued that there was ‘no case to answer’ on all charges.

As ever, he is appreciative of support, so please attend if you can.
As before, G has requested that supporters dress smartly- please respect this.

LCAPSV Christmas Social

Date: Saturday 13th December, 5pm
Venue: Hootananny Pub, 95 Effra Road, Brixton, SW2 1DF
Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1499196233680744/

All are welcome to come, meet our members and supporters and find out more about our group and how you can get involved. Share in our celebration of our efforts over the past year. The venue offers both food and drinks so come along to eat and drink with us!

lcapsv