Archive

Uncategorized

DO YOU HAVE A COMPLAINT TO MAKE ABOUT THE POLICE?

RUDE? VIOLENT? RACIST?

Lots of people in London have had bad experiences with the police. Last year nearly seven thousand complaints were made. Many more don’t complain because they don’t know how to go about it, or feel that it won’t amount to anything. That’s not good enough. That’s why we’ve set up the police complaints clinic, a service to guide local people through the police complaints process, and make sure that their voice is heard, leading to real change. Making a complaint can be frustrating and difficult, but it gets a lot easier with the support of our expert volunteers.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO FACE IT ALONE!

The police complaints clinic has been set up by the London Campaign Against Police and State Violence, and Stop-Watch. We think the police should be held to account when they mistreat and abuse people. Making a complaint about their behaviour when they step out of line is part of this. We can’t take care of your complaint for you, but between us our volunteers have lots of experience of handling police complaints, so we can guide you through making a complaint step by step. We’ll be with you all the way.

The service is completely free!

email: slondon.surgery@gmail.com

Last Thursday of

every month 6-8pm

30th March

27th April

25th May

29th June

27th July

 

The PACCA TMO

81 Lothian Road

(corner of

Patmos Road

near Myatt’s Fields)

SW9 6TS

imgres.jpg

London Campaign Against Police and State Violence would like to announce a Stop and Search / Information Sharing to be held on Sunday 31st July at 2pm at The Field, New Cross (the hour before our monthly Fruitvale Film Club).

The role of this workshop is to provide practical training on your rights and how most effectively to deal with police Stop and Search tactics. Alongside this we will also be hearing from groups such as HASL, East End Sisters Uncut and passing on information about our upcoming Legal Surgeries.

If you are planning on coming to our screening of “The Story of Lovers Rock” at 3pm, please do consider turning up an hour earlier at 2pm for what will be an informative and practical session.

1607200742-Police-Vehicles-Pelted-as-Hyde-Park-Water-Fight.jpg

On Tuesday 19th July 2016 the news cycle came to be dominated by the latest case of fevered panic over the social life of young black people in London. Front page headlines declared “the worst outbreak of youth violence since 2011 riots”. Online news feeds purported to show the moment when “mobs of youths” turned Hyde Park into a “warzone”. Since last Tuesday’s events, police officers across boroughs in London have been issuing hysterical warnings about “organised water fights in parks”.

In spite of the scant detail available about the events on the evening of Tuesday 19th, the consistent line to be pulled from the hyperbole of media reporting on the incident is that this was a peaceful gathering of young people who had organised a free event in an easily accessible public place. Again, these reports state that it was only when the police arrived in order to disperse the group that the disturbances began. We believe there is a direct causal link here. On one side the peaceful gathering of young people in order to enjoy a public park on the hottest day of the year at the start of their school holidays. On the other side the arrival of riot police to forcefully disperse this group, using their full array of weaponry.

Such actions on the part of the Metropolitan Police (MPS) are not without precedent, and in fact we would argue they are a structural feature of London policing. Historically the MPS have shown at best distrust – at worst open hostility – towards the convergence of young black people trying to take part in self-organised leisure activities. One example of this structural distrust from the past decade is Form 696, a piece of bar and nightclub licensing legislation which has been used to effectively remove the performance of Grime music from London’s nightlife. Whilst little to no evidence or accountability is given on the part of the MPS when putting Form 696 into action, it works on the lazy assumption that the music of young black working-class people presents an inherent threat to public order. Looking back even further, we can point to the case of the Mangrove Nine. The Mangrove was a Caribbean restaurant, bar and club designed to serve the needs of the local black community in Notting Hill during the 1960s. Consistently raided by the police for little reason other than its role as a social centre, a march by its patrons to protest against police harassment led to the arrest and charging of nine people.

We believe the incident at Hyde Park on Monday evening can be considered the latest in this pattern of institutionally racist behaviour when it comes to the policing of young black people in London. By extension, we fear that this police induced disturbance represents the latest manifestation of a renewed period of intensified brutality. London’s new mayor Sadiq Khan has signed off on 400 new armed police to patrol the streets, but the idea that this is intended to secure the ‘safety’ of Londoners is ludicrous. An increase of police guns on the streets clearly endangers the lives of working-class black, brown and immigrant communities who have to deal with abuse and harassment by the MPS and Immigration Enforcement officers on a daily basis.

According to the most recently available figures, black people are stopped and searched at just over three times the rate of white people across London and are three times more likely to be tasered by police officers. More black people are imprisoned in England and Wales as a proportion of the general population than in the U.S. However, the MPS time and again proves itself entirely incapable of providing avenues for black people to seek justice or accountability for this systemic violence: an investigation conducted by LCAPSV found that none of the 240 complaints of racial discrimination made against the MPS over a year were upheld. This is not the case of a few rotten apples, the MPS is institutionally racist and a danger to young black people in London.

Finally, we also note that during the disturbances sparked by the arrival of police in Hyde Park that people began chanting “Black Lives Matter”. This is no coincidence: recent weeks have seen the emergence of a BLM UK solidarity movement and demonstrations across the UK. This movement not only seeks to highlight police violence and murder in the U.S. but also speak to the 1561 people who have died in custody in the UK, or following other contact with police, since 1990, for which no police officer has ever been convicted. The dire consequences of this situation was made even more apparent following the recent death in police custody of Mzee Mohammed in Liverpool. As is often the case with the deaths of black and brown people at the hands of the police in this country, little to no information has been released on Mohammed’s death and no action has been taken against officers. For us the chants of “Black Lives Matter” during the altercations with police on Monday evening shows us that young black people are conscious, active and politicised in the U.K. They do not deserve the hysterical demonisation they have received in the media. Instead they deserve our solidarity, respect and support.

imgres.jpg

The London Campaign Against Police and State Violence is a friends- and family-led campaign group opposing all forms of police and state brutality against communities in London and beyond. We put on a monthly free film screening at “The Field” in New Cross, to provide a space where it is possible to enjoy an interesting movie but also to share and discuss experiences of violence, objectification, oppression and harassment.

For our July screening we will be showing The Story of Lover’s Rock by Menelik Shabazz. This documentary deals with the Lover’s Rock genre of UK reggae that emerged in South London during the late 1970s and 1980s. Notable for its romantic ballads and the prominence given to a number of young Black British women artists in the scene, the genre is one of the gems of bass culture.

For more details about the film and the scene, see this from the reggae historian David Katz:

“Lover’s rock emerged in the mid-1970s, when the owners of London’s soundsystems began cutting romantic ballads with young women singing: Count Shelly issued Ginger Williams’s Tenderness in 1974, only to be surpassed the following year by 14-year-old Louisa Mark’s Caught You in a Lie, a peculiar rendition of an obscure soul song, put together by Bovell for Lloydie Coxsone’s soundsystem. The emerging genre solidified after a Jamaican immigrant, Dennis Harris, opened a recording studio in south-east London, with Dennis Bovell and guitarist John Kpiaye as the in-house players. They crafted reggae cover versions of Motown and Philadelphia soul ballads with vocals from TT Ross, Cassandra and the harmony trio Brown Sugar, featuring future Soul II Soul vocalist Caron Wheeler. Once Harris formed a label called Lover’s Rock, borrowing the name from an Augustus Pablo dub B-side, the new music had its name.

“The name came from the record label, in the same way that early ska in this country was named after the Blue Beat label,” says Linton Kwesi Johnson, the reggae poet whose regular backing band has featured Bovell and Kpiaye since the late 1970s. “It was a way to give women a voice in reggae music in Britain, and an alternative to the social commentary of the male-dominated productions. Like British reggae in general, lover’s rock provided cultural continuity for the second generation [of black Britons], albeit with a distinctive British sound.”

All are welcome on Sunday 31st July at 3pm for the screening at The Field which will be followed by discussion and refreshments.

bpp-1500x632-1Racism is rising on our streets and the Police are unreliable at best to stop the attacks. Street and State racism is growing and communities under attack need to organise to protect themselves and stop racist violence.

London Campaign Against Police & State Violence has come together with Stop Watch, the stop-and-search campaign, to hold a meeting on Community Defence, taking inspiration from the 50th anniversary of the Black Panthers.

We will also be launching our South London Legal Surgeries as part of our campaign to resist state racism and violence. We haven’t got all the ideas and  are interested in working with more people on stopping racist violence in all its forms.

Sunday 10th July 2016 – 2:30 to 6:30pm

Karibu Education Centre
7 Gresham Road
Brixton
SW9 7PH(opposite the police station, 5 mins from Brixton Tube)

Entrance free – donations welcome

RSVP via EventBrite or Facebook

GAC_Babylon.jpg

The London Campaign Against Police and State Violence is a friends- and family-led campaign group opposing all forms of police and state brutality against communities in London and beyond. We put on a monthly free film screening at “The Field” in New Cross, to provide a space where it is possible to enjoy an interesting movie but also to share and discuss experiences of violence, objectification, oppression and harassment. This could include intrusions such as constant stop and search, or physical violence, or the everyday stress of being made to feel you somehow have to account for yourself and your experiences of racism. We’re now back from our Easter break and we’ve planned a great line-up of Black British films for the spring and summer months.

For our June event, we will be screening ‘Babylon’, a 1980 British film co-written by Martin Stellman (writer of Quadrophenia) and Franco Rosso, who also directed it.
Produced by Gavrik Losey and the National Film Finance Corporation, the film is regarded as a classic. It depicts the struggles of a Black British working-class musician and stars Brinsley Forde of the reggae band Aswad. Babylon also starred Karl Howman and Trevor Laird. Music was scored by Dennis Bovell. Included are songs by Aswad, Johnny Clarke, and Jeff Wayne (who wrote the musical version of The War of the Worlds), among others.
Babylon was filmed on the streets of Deptford and Brixton, London. The story centres on sound system culture and themes of police racism, violence against blacks, poverty and disillusion with lack of opportunities.

ysrebelsrev.jpg

The London Campaign Against Police and State Violence put on a monthly free film screening at “The Field” in New Cross, to provide a space where it is possible to enjoy an interesting movie but also to share and discuss experiences of violence, objectification, oppression and harassment. This could include intrusions such as constant stop and search, or physical violence, or the everyday stress of being made to feel you somehow have to account for yourself and your experiences of racism. We’re now back from our Easter break and we’ve planned a great line-up of Black British films for the spring and summer months.

For our May screening we will be showing Isaac Julien’s 1991 feature film Young Soul Rebels on Sunday 29th May . For background on the film, see the following quote from Julien: ‘The real starting point for Young Soul Rebels was the desire to make a film about 1977. That year was so important because on the one hand you had the incredible chauvinism of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and on the other there were powerful counter narratives that outlined new kinds of national possibilities. Now everybody knows about the one called “punk”, which was at its height in 1977 and which was a very obvious opposition. But there was another counter narrative, much disdained by the Left, which was the growth of a black popular culture particularly in terms of disco music – soul music.’

Fruitvale Film Club takes place at “The Field” in New Cross on the last Sunday of every month at 3pm and will last a few hours. We’ve shown a diverse range of films so far (Fruitvale Station, Pressure, Candyman, Poetic Justice and the anti-psychiatric abuse documentary Whose Mind is it Anyway – John’s Story). Anyone is welcome at our events and anyone is welcome to suggest future films for us to show and discuss.

url.jpg

South London Legal Surgery

This Summer the London Campaign Against Police Violence and StopWatch are launching a monthly legal surgery in South London to support the local community in making complaints and taking legal action against the police. To do this, we need people to get involved who can volunteer a small amount of their time to support victims of police violence in their demand for justice. Volunteering your time will be vital to the success of this project, and will be a rewarding way of fighting injustice where you live.

What’s the context?

Violence, harrassment, intimidation, discrimination and racism are all serious issues that the police in Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham have continuously failed to address for the last hundred years. It has long been acknowledged that the Metropolitan Police are institutionally racist, and have done little to change this state of affairs since the murder of Stephen Lawrence over twenty years ago.

In the last few years, LCAPSV has dealt with everything from racial profiling, to the misuse of stop and search powers, to the use of the controversial ‘hard stop’ tactic and the application of a punitive anti-gang initiative in Lambeth named ‘Operation Shield’. Each of these is an instance of racist and abusive policing oppressing BME communities in South London. We believe it is important to build the capacity and institutions that help to resist this history of oppression. To do this effectively it is vital to provide support for people who are the victim of injustice and want to seek redress.

What are our aims?

One way to combat this problem is to increase the volume of complaints being made, and increase the support complainants are given when they want to demand justice from the police. We can do this by providing a legal surgery that addresses police abuse as a political issue, giving free assistance and support so that complaints are harder to dismiss.It is also important to make complaints of abuse against the police a bigger deal through increased protest and publicity. We can also encourage people with more serious complaints to find professional, committed lawyers who are particularly good at holding the police to account through the legal system.

The more complaints that we support, the more we will also be able to build up a picture of the state of policing across South London, and particular areas or activities of concern to the local community.
To do this, LCAPSV and StopWatch are setting up a legal surgery where a mixture of professional lawyers and trained ‘buddies’ can support people making a complaint, and help them find the best course of action for getting justice.
What is a buddy?
Buddies can be anybody, with any or no level of previous experience. The most important thing is to be committed to opposing the racist and abusive policing of South London’s communities, and willingness to share a small amount of your time to make this happen.

Buddies will be given training by lawyers whose expertise is in actions against the police. They will also be supported and advised at thesurgeries by these lawyers.

Buddies will be expected to give up some of their time to attend at least two or three surgeries a year, and to provide support to individuals who are making complaints (such as drafting statements, attending meetings with lawyers, helping with correspondence).

How you can help?

Sign up to be a buddy! Once you’ve done that, we’ll be in contact about providing training and support so that you know what you’re doing, and how to help the people coming to the surgery for support.

Being a buddy doesn’t mean attending every surgery every month, and at the lowest estimate shouldn’t take up more than a couple of hours a month.

Where cases are more serious, more time a month (up to 10 hours) may be needed, but we can share these out together so nobody feels overwhelmed or isolated.

Everything will be monitored and supported by the legal team, and the LCAPSV casework support officers.

Next steps

Contact lcapsv@gmail.com to register your interest or to ask any further questions.

imgres

The London Campaign Against Police and State Violence put on a monthly free film screening at “The Field” in New Cross, to provide a space where it is possible to enjoy an interesting movie but also to share and discuss experiences of violence, objectification, oppression and harassment. This could include intrusions such as constant stop and search, or physical violence, or the everyday stress of being made to feel you somehow have to account for yourself and your experiences of racism. We’re now back from our Easter break and we’ve planned a great line-up of Black British films for the spring and summer months.

We kick off this new run with Menelik Shabazz’s classic 1981 film Burning an Illusion. Burning an Illusion is about a young British-born Black woman’s love life, mostly shot in London’s Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove communities. It was only the second British feature to have been made by a black director, following Horace Ové’s 1975 Pressure, and is described by Stephen Bourne as “the first British film to give a black woman a voice of any kind.” Burning an Illusion is notable for breaking the tradition of placing white males at the centre of the story. It is also unique in prioritizing the personal drama of a black woman over the socio-economic and political conflicts traditionally associated with such films. As Ade Solanke writes: “Like all drama, the film is about characters facing conflicts. But unlike most dramas about black people up till then, for most of the story it dramatises personal conflicts, not socio-economic or political ones.” (from Wikipedia) We’ll follow Burning an Illusion with Shabazz’s short film ‘Blood Ah Goh Run’, which documents the impact of the New Cross massacre in 1981.

Fruitvale Film Club takes place at “The Field” in New Cross on the last Sunday of every month at 3pm and will last a few hours. We’ve shown a diverse range of films so far (Fruitvale Station, Pressure, Candyman, Poetic Justice and the anti-psychiatric abuse documentary Whose Mind is it Anyway – John’s Story). Anyone is welcome at our events and anyone is welcome to suggest future films for us to show and discuss.

You can find the Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1580467362266597/

Content Note: Video footage of an aggressive arrest on a man of South Asian heritage

On Sunday 19th December, a young man of South Asian heritage is accosted by Thames Valley Police in the Buckinghamshire area.

The Police asked for his details, he was under no legal obligation to provide it unless he was driving a car. Apparently the Police forcefully and perhaps unnecessarily put him on the ground to arrest him and claimed that his refusal to identify himself was the reason for the arrest, on these facts alone, we believe this arrest is unlawful. We post the video, purely for the audio as the footage is poor and will support any further action the man decided to take against Thames Valley Police.

Watch for yourself and share this video.