All posts by staff

Survey: Examining cannabis use, experience and cessation by people who are of black and mixed race.

Hello, my name is Ella and I am a third year psychology student in the School of Psychology at the University of Leeds and am currently undertaking my third year research project. The purpose of this research is to study black and mixed race individuals in order to advance our knowledge and understanding of their cannabis use and experience. This group is being studied as they are not currently well represented in research. To do this research, we want to make sure that we are looking at the right issues and asking the right questions – and we hope you might be willing to help us with that. The ideas suggested by people will be used in a further online survey which you are also welcome to take part at a later stage if you wish.

Participation is voluntary, and if you decide you are interested in taking part in this research, you will go on to answer a few questions. This will take about 10 minutes and you are not asked to tell us your name, address, email or any other identifying information. We just need to know your views.

Who can take part?

Due to my level of qualification, the study can only recruit people who do not currently use cannabis or any other illegal drugs and who are not currently receiving treatment for drug use. You must not have used cannabis in the last 6 months. All participants must also be aged 18 and over and not be suffering any mental health difficulties. You need to be able to understand and respond to a survey in English.

Primary researcher: Ella Beaumont
Contact: [email protected]
Supervisor: Dr Siobhan Hugh-Jones
Contact: [email protected]

To take part in the survey go to

Marchers demand justice over deaths in police custody


Four hundred people marched on Saturday  29th October to remember those who have died at the hands of the police and to fight for justice.

The march, which went down Whitehall from Trafalgar Square to Downing Street, was organised by the United Families and Friends Campaign.


Many of the families fighting for their loved ones were in attendance, growing in number from last year. According to Inquest, the number of deaths in police custody currently stands at 1,578 since 1990.

Marcia Rigg, sister of Sean Rigg who died in police custody spoke at the rally as did Margaret Smith whose son Jermaine Baker was shot dead by police while he sat in a car in Wood Green. Becky Shah from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign told the crowd: “Never give up fighting… if we can do it, then so can you.”

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was slated by speakers for its total inability to hold murderous police to account.



London protest demands release of Charlotte video, justice for Sean Rigg


img_305950 BLM protesters gathered last night outside the US embassy in solidarity with Charlotte and the fight for justice by all the victims of police racist violence in the US. The release of the video from the Scott family is in sharp contrast to the continuing refusal of the police to let the public see video from officers involved in the killing at the scene.

A hugely disproportionate 194 out of the 793 people killed by police in the US this year this year are black. source


Justice for Sean Rigg

The news from the US follows last week’s decision by the the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service not to bring charges against any of the police involved in the death of Sean Rigg at Brixton police station in 2008.

Marcia Rigg, Sean Rigg’s sister, told the Voice newspaper she “had hoped for an opportunity to get justice”.

The family’s legal team is “urgently consider reviewing” the decision under the Victims’ Right of Review scheme.

We need to step up our support for all the families fighting for justice. Join the annual United Friends and Families Campaign march taking place on October 29th, 12 noon Trafalgar Square.

No justice, no peace.


Charlotte: Protesters Demand Police Release Video of Keith Scott’s Killing



From Democracy Now

Meanwhile, in Charlotte, North Carolina, protests continue for a third day to demand police release video of the shooting of African-American father Keith Lamont Scott. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has declared a state of emergency and mobilized the National Guard. The Charlotte mayor has also imposed a midnight curfew, amid the ongoing protests. While the police initially claimed they tased and then shot Scott because he was armed, Scott’s family says he was not armed—except with a book in hand. They say he had been sitting in his car, waiting to pick up his son after school. On Thursday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney walked back the claims that Scott had a gun. more

Black Lives Matter coming to Carnival

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Seventy BLM activists met last night and have agreed initial steps to take the movement forward. Central to our work will be building for a lively intervention around Notting Hill Carnival this year, where we have now been allocated space by Carnival organisers.

Activists discussed issues ranging from economics to trade unions and have now elected a steering committee to meet between the general meetings.

Keeping the core focus firmly on combatting racist policing, the legal team is now working with leading criminal defence lawyers to put together a legal handbook for the movement.

The three key legal demands we will be highlighting are all achievable and are areas in which the establishment is on the defensive:

More powers to discipline police officers;

Those who have suffered at the hands of the police should be treated by the law as victims and given free legal aid and other resources in addition to the opportunity to seek redress from police forces;

Thirdly, the Independent Police Complaints Commission is currently 80 per cent staffed by ex-police officers. Just as juries are composed of ordinary people so too can the IPCC be, with serving individuals given the required resource, tools and training where necessary to conduct and/or supervise investigations.

A model motion was also adopted for use in trade unions to enlist their active support and to raise funds.

Funding has been secured to produce an initial run of BLM t-shirts. We are taking per-orders now so we can get an idea of how many to order for Carnival. If you would like to pre-order, send your contact (not bank) details here.

Black Lives Matter UK was set up by activists in the UK and is not connected to BLMUS or BLMUK. Our members called or built many of the protests in the wake of the police killings ofAlton Sterling and Philando Castile and the group has grown organically since then. Black Lives Matter UK is an inclusive but Black-led organisation.

The meeting agreed to continue to liaise with BLMUK and build on links with other groups around the country.

Slavery reparations sought in first Black Lives Matter agenda


Policemen walk on the sidelines as protesters hold a sign which states "Black Lives Matter," during a march against police brutality in Manhattan, New York, U.S., July 9, 2016. REUTERS/Bria Webb
Policemen walk on the sidelines as protesters hold a sign which states “Black Lives Matter,” during a march against police brutality in Manhattan, New York, U.S., July 9, 2016. REUTERS/Bria Webb

Reuters – A coalition affiliated with the anti-racism Black Lives Matter movement called for criminal justice reforms and reparations for slavery in the United States among other demands in its first policy platform released on Monday.

The six demands and roughly 40 policy recommendations touch on topics ranging from reducing U.S. military spending to safe drinking water. The groups aim to halt the “increasingly visible violence against Black communities,” the Movement for Black Lives said in a statement.

The agenda was released days before the second anniversary of the slaying of unarmed black teen Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown’s death, along with other fatal police shootings of unarmed black men over the past two years, fueled a national debate about racial discrimination in the U.S. criminal justice system.

Issues related to race and violence took center stage at the Democratic National Convention last week, though the coalition did not endorse the party’s platform or White House candidate, Hillary Clinton.

“We seek radical transformation, not reactionary reform,” Michaela Brown, a spokeswoman for Baltimore Bloc, one of the organizations that worked on the platform, said in a statement. more

Biggest turnout in years for reparations March

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From The Voice
Thousands March To Parliament Demanding Reparations
‘We will honour our ancestors whether Britain likes it or not’
Written by Elizabeth Pears
04/08/2015 05:14 PM

THOUSANDS OF people marched peacefully from Brixton to Parliament on Saturday (Aug 1) to mark Emancipation Day and reiterate calls for reparations.

The procession, which united people of African heritage across all ages, religions and cultures, followed a hugely successful event last year that left those in attendance feeling empowered.

The crowds, which included many Pan-Africans, Rastafarians, member of the Nation of Islam, Christians and Black Hebrew Israelites, set off from Windrush Square and made the three-mile journey to the House of Commons.

Emancipation Day – a national holiday in many former British colonies in the Caribbean – is the anniversary of the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act, which made slavery illegal from August 28, 1834. more