Category Archives: UK

13 police being investigated for sharing photos of murdered sisters

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has referred the Met police to the Crown Prosecution Service over their officers’ sharing of photos of murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman that we reported on in early summer.

The sisters were killed in June and the police, despite requests from the family, refused to lift a finger to search for them when they failed to return from an outing to Fryent Park, Wembley, west London.

It was left to one of the boyfriends of the sister to go looking for them and to find the body.

Not only did the police not bother to search for the sisters, presumably because it was only two Black women, but when the bodies were found and they were forced to start a murder investigation they thought it would be amusing to pass around in a WhatsApp group the photos of the bodies of the deceased sisters.

Sharing photos of murdered sisters shows racist depravity of police

The appalling level of depravity and dehumanisation that this sort of behaviour requires is a shocking indictment of the institutional racism that blights the Met police in London.

Two police officer have since been arrested and altogether 13 police officers are under investigation.

The arrests took place on 11 June with the officers charged on suspicion of misconduct in a public office. They have been suspended from duties but are still on full pay.

When this case gets to court, we expect there to be prison sentences handed out. If there are not, there will be hell to pay, to put it mildly.

The IOPC has also made two recommendations to the Met:

  1. To ensure officers “within a single police station in the North East Command” conform to the expectations of their behaviour under the Code of Ethics both on and off duty.
  2. The Met must review whether supervisors and senior management at that police station “are taking personal responsibility to identify and eliminate patterns of inappropriate behaviour”.

As with so many recommendations concerning matters regarding London’s racist police force, nothing much will come of the IOPC’s strictures unless there are militant protests on the streets, as seen during the upsurge of around BLM in the summer.

We will need to be ready to hit the streets again to demand justice for Nicole and Bibaa.

Jamaica deportation flights resume next Wednesday despite Windrush

The Tories are planning a mass deportation of people to Jamaica on the day the lockdown in England ends on Wednesday 2 December.

On eo fthose faced with deportation is John, not his real name.

“My life would be in danger. If I go back there, I know what would happen to me,” he said, in a report from left-wing newspaper Socialist Worker.

After reporting to the Home Office’s Eaton House last week, he was sent into detention at the notorious Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre.

Speaking to Socialist Worker, John explained: “No visitors are allowed to come inside this place. My partner and my 12 year old daughter were sat outside for five and a half hours, waiting for the decision about me. 

“When I was detained on that day, I couldn’t say anything to them.” 

John says the family “did everything by the book”.

“My solicitor sent off the paperwork, with recorded delivery, to the Home Office a few weeks ago,” continued John.

“The Home Office said they’d tried to take £65 from my partner’s account and couldn’t, and that’s why my application was refused.

“But that’s not true, my partner went to the bank and no one tried to take no money out and there is money in there.” 

Jamaican deportation flights being used to criminalise the victims

Zita Holbourne from anti-racist campaign group BARAC UK said: “Those targeted for deportation are branded by government as hardened criminals. But the reality is that some are criminalised by virtue of their immigration status and for others, they have committed lesser offences, [are the] victims of county lines, or have been convicted under the now defunct joint enterprise law.”

There are at least eight people that campaigners know about who the Tories want to deport next week.

The government refuses to allow detainees to receive visits at the detention centres, where violence and filth are common place according to accounts. The government makes it hard to get exact numbers on deportations and is willing to go to great expense to make its racist point.

Two brothers born in the UK – Darrell and Darren Roberts – whose campaign BLMM has been supporting, have also been threatened with deportation to Jamaica even though they have never been to the country.

The Home Office also wants to deport Osime Brown, a 21-year-old autistic man, to Jamaica, a country he left when he was 4 years old and where he has no family connections.

The threatened deportations come after the Equalities and Human Rights Commission said in a report on Windrush that the government broke the law by not doing an equality impact assessment when they introduce their racist “hostile environment policies”.

Between 2004 and 2015John had indefinite leave to remain in the country but was arrested on a minor drugs charge, and that’s when his troubles began.

The government is pushing ahead with deportations to send a signal to its racist supporters and wider society that it is migrants and Black people that should be blamed for the inequality and poverty that is crashing like a tsunami across the country.

It is no accident that the flights are restarting now, as the Tory racists seeks to divert attention from their own criminal Covid failures and the coming pay and benefit cuts they want to impose on ordinary people to pay for the mess they created.

Black woman violently assaulted by police in Lewisham

A video of a Black woman violently assaulted by police in Lewisham has emerged months after the incident.

The graphic video shows as many as eight police officers forcefully restraining the woman, with one officer punching her while she is on the ground.

The woman – who provided her first name to the BBC’s Newsnight – reports how she was lifted off the ground by the handcuffs placed on her and by her braids, leading to hair being pulled out of her scalp.

The video was taken by concerned bystander Umer Khan in May this year.

Black woman violently assaulted: “if you can talk you can breathe” says racist cop

When she complained that an officer who was pinning her to the ground was killing her, the officer said, with a smirk on her face, “if you can talk you can breathe”.

The officer said they were arresting Janet for obstructing a drug search.

The violent assault, which took place in Lewisham, south-east London, didn’t end on the street.

Back at the police station there was more violence from the police thugs.

Janet was repeated punched by an officer and was illegally strip-searched in the presence of male officers.

It has been well documented that the police use disproportionate amounts of force when interacting with Black people.

BBC’s Newsnight discovered that ‘Use of Force’ – a legal level of violence that the police are allowed to use as part of their duties – has increased markedly:

From BBC News:

BBC Newsnight has obtained Use of Force data from 37 out of the 44 police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

During the lockdown months of April and May, 27 out of the 37 police forces saw a rise in Use of Force, compared with the same months in 2019.

The Metropolitan Police – the UK’s biggest force – saw a rise of 26% from 25,993 Use of Force incidents recorded in April and May 2019, to 32,705 in the same months in 2020.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/embed/p08zbyl4/55019778

Slaves sold on a Friday racist graffiti shocker at Tesco

Updated 27 November 2020 15:00 GMT

Slaves sold on a Friday – that was the shocking racist graffiti that appeared in a Tesco store in Tottenham on 8 November.

BLMM can reveal it follows a complaint made two months ago to top management of the UK’s largest supermarket in response to alleged routine racist abuse of workers at its South Tottenham store by the white manager.

That is the claim of a worker at the store, a copy of whose statement to Tesco bosses is in the hands of Black Lives Matter Movement.

BLMM has reached out to Tesco for a response, but as yet have not heard back.

One of the store managers (there are several store managers at large Tesco outlets) – Diane Smith – stands accused of using the N word repeatedly in her interactions with Black members of staff.

One of the victims of her vile racist abuse initially delayed making a formal complaint to Tesco in the hope that action would be taken without him needing to do so, given the the serious nature of the allegations, but to date there has been no progress, with Smith still working at the store.

Suffice to say, the atmosphere in the workplace “has significantly changed”, says the worker whose written statement we have seen.

There is an investigation ongoing, but two months on from lodging the complaint no action has yet been taken, not even a suspension of the manager.

The complainant – who wishes to remain anonymous at this stage – sent BLMM a copy of the written statement outlining the unacceptable and shocking racism that exists at the store:

“I personally feel very uncomfortable working with Diane, having had her say the racial slur to my face on the day in question (10th November 2020).

Racist manager refuses to apologise or show any remorse

“She has offered no apology or shown any remorse for her language and has displayed in her behaviour that she does not understand or acknowledge the deep offence, pain and revisited trauma that word causes many of us.

“As someone who grew up in Britain during a time of racial tension when the N word was used to intimidate, insult, ridicule and belittle in a demeaning manner, with the intent of causing pain and distress, I was triggered back to very painful and upsetting times when the use of the word and its intentions were deemed acceptable in society.”

The statement continues: “It appears that Tesco is in support of Diane and her deplorable behaviour and that is totally unacceptable. I no longer feel that Tesco is a safe working environment free from abuse, both verbal and physical, be it from customers or staff and colleagues.

“I do not trust that should any future incidences of any nature occur between colleagues and customers that Tesco management team will be fair and impartial in its handling and processing of such matters.”

For 10 years the Tesco worker has been complaining about racism at the store and says the latest incident is part of a catalogue of discrimination issues.

The Tesco group that the store comes under has seen at least 20 complaints made about racism at stores in north London, with Lee Valley, Chesthunt and Ponders End stores all said to have seen racist incidents involving Tesco managers or other employees.

Black Friday promo at South Tottenham branch of Tesco: “Slaves sold on a Friday”

The latest such occurrence was on Sunday 8 November when the words “Slaves sold on a Friday” was scrawled across a Black Friday promotional display.

update: The display was positioned in the staff canteen, which narrows down the number of possible culprits. After being contacted by the Daily Mirror, Tesco management finally called in the police.

The manager failed to take action until workers at the store demanded its removal.

slaves sold on a friday graffiti at tesco store
This racist comment appeared at the South Tottenham branch of Tesco on 8 November 2020. The manager failed to take action until workers at the store demanded its removal

The alleged racism at the Tesco store follows a furor over the company removing two Black actors from its Christmas TV advert.

Perhaps in response to Black Lives Matter, UK supermarkets – notably Sainsbury’s which has received a racist backlash for featuring a Black family in its Xmas advert – have been trying to pay more than just lip service to anti-racism and diversity.

But many might be forgiven for concluding that it is really just window dressing in Tesco’s case, given the blatant racism that has been making the working lives of its employees at the South Tottenham store a living nightmare.

Racists have become much bolder in the wake of the racist agenda of the government in recent years, and a prime minister who is yet to apologise for the many racist comments he has made. And of course the likes of Trump across the pond giving legitimacy to white supremacists and fascists hasn’t helped matters.

There has been an increase in racist abuse and attacks across the country, with Muslims (and by inference Asian people generally, as the racists don’t differentiate) and Black people bearing the brunt.

David Burke of the Daily Mirror has now followed up on our story:

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/anger-black-friday-sign-defaced-23079568

Windrush scandal rolls on as head of policy resigns over racism

Alexandra Ankrah, the head of policy at the Windrush compensation scheme, has resigned, reports Amelia Gentleman at the Guardian.

Ankrah complains that the scheme, run by a department of the Home Office, is institutionally racist and says the team members she worked with “showed a complete lack of humanity”.

By the end of October, the compensation scheme had been running for 18 months and only £1.6m had been paid out to 196 people. Officials had originally expected thousands to apply and estimated that the government might eventually have to pay out between £200m and £570m. At least nine people have died before receiving compensation they applied for.

Amelia Gentleman in the Guardian

This is a restatement of what is already known, thanks to the outstanding work of Gentleman, but the fact that nothing has changed since the government claimed it was going to put right this travesty of justice is still shocking.

The Windrush scandal saw people from the African Caribbean, who were invited to the UK in the 50s and 60s, declared to be ‘non-British’ despite being colonial subjects of the Crown, and barred from public services, denied access to health services, kicked out of their homes , losing their jobs and – most shamefully – deported from the country or refused entry after visiting the Caribbean to see relatives or go on holiday.

Politicians in parliament have got no where trying to get answers as to why so few have been compensated.

Same discriminatory procedures that created Windrush ‘hostile environment’ scandal being used to limit compensation claims

It turns out that the same procedures that demanded unreasonable documentary evidence from people when they tried to access services, such as payslips from the 1970s, are being used now to effectively bar victims from being compensated.

Of the tiny number (196) who have managed to wring money out of this government, the sums have been an insult, averaging just £8,163 per applicant.

That contrasts with the lavish sums the government is paying out to its well-connected friends to supply the NHS with personal protective equipment (PPE).

One middleman received £21 million for basically doing next to nothing.

Meanwhile, the government resisted funding free school meals for hungry children in this country, is going ahead with a cut to welfare benefits next year and thinks £8k is all that black people victimised by government policy is perfectly adequate.

Windrush scandal – radical action needed to win justice for victims

We are going to have to take radical action to correct these ongoing wrongs – that means action on the streets, our communities and through our unions and campaign groups to fight for justice now.

There are three different bodies that have been set up in response to the scandal: the compensation scheme itself; the Windrush taskforce, whose job it has been to contact those affected and inform them of how to get compensation and thirdly, the independent Windrush Lessons Learned review by Wendy Williams.

The institutional racism of those running the ‘Lessons Learned’ body that 20 team members have been hauled before the civil service “equality, diversity and inclusion”.

The Windrush scandal crimes were a direct result of a government policy known as the “hostile environment”, which sought to scapegoat migrants for the problems of inequality and poverty that afflict the UK.

It all went down under Theresa May’s Tory government as she tried to prove that she and her government were more racist Nigel Farage, who they feared was outflanking them from the right.

They claimed it was all a big mistake and not intentional, but it was part of a deliberate and consciously crafted policy war against all migrants to the UK.

It is a continuing outrage. Enough!

Latest victims

Support the campaign of the Roberts brothers to stay in the UK.

Amelia Gentleman has written the definitive investigation of this continuing scandal and you can order your copy here:

Buy the award-winning book on the Windrush scandal:

The Windrush Betrayal by Amelia Gentleman

Watch her recent talk at the Bookmarks bookshop:

Video: Hundreds of Manchester Uni students protest against racial profiling

Hundreds of students at the University of Manchester are protesting against racial profiling by security guards at the university.

The protest follows an outrageous incident on Friday last week when a black student – Zac Adan (pictured) was violently thrown against a wall and held by security guards who suspected him of being a drug dealer.

See the video and our report of Friday’s incident here.

The evidence that the student was a dealer was based on nothing except his skin colour.

A security has since been suspended but students are demanding the university does a lot more.

The company must lose the contract to provide security and those involved sacked.

Marcus Rashford attacked by Daily Mail for caring and investing

Marcus Rahsford is under attack from Daily Mail racists.

Manchester United footballer is a national hero in the UK, but you wouldn’t know it if you read the Daily Mail.

The right-wing ‘newspaper’ has made a career out of sniping at and hating on successful Black sporting professionals who don’t know their place.

So it is perhaps with no surprise that we have to report on the disgusting attacks on Rashford for having the audacity to earn a lot of money and to invest it for the future of himeslef and his family.

Racist Daily Mail doesn’t like Marcus Rashford sticking up for hungry kids

According to the Mail the Man U star and leader of the campaign to force the government to provide free school meals to the poorest children in the country during school holidays, there is something incongruous about his wealth.

The Daily Mail supports the Conservative government that has turned corruption into an art form as it hands billions in taxpayer money to its business friends – but you would be hard pressed any exposes of tihs in the Mail. Instead they prefer to pick on working-class footballers who they think have too much money, especially if they are black.

They can’t stand the idea of someone who would campaign to help poor people because he hasn’t forgotten where he came from.

The Daily hate Mail cannot understand altruism and caring about others. It finds it even more annoying that there are some black people who have lots of money.

On the one hand they blame black people for lack of ambition and then when you make it, they take you down for having the audacity to earn so much money!

Marcus Rashford is investing his money in property, as many of the more sensible pro footballers do. Footballers have a playing career that ends in their mid 30s at best, so they have to invest while the sun is shinning.

And being a generous guy, he isn’t doing it all for himself, but for his extended family. That should be something to be applauded not derided as the obnoxious Mail does.

Daily Mail supported Hitler and Mosley in the 1930s

The Daily Mail has a history of supporting fascism so, to repeat, we can’t be too surprised by the bile that it spews. Afterall, this is the so-called newspaper that brought us headlines in the 1930s proclaiming ‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts’, when they backed the Fascists and virulently anti-Semitic Oswald Moseley Fascists.

Daily Mail supported Fascism in the 1930s… and is still doing its bit to bolster violent racism today

But the Mail isn’t just picking on Rashford. They – and others in the British media – had it in for boxer Amir Khan in the past for being “arrogant”, continually poke at Formula One champion driver Lewis Hamilton for his ‘woke’ support of BLM and other causes.

Anthony Joshua has also been attacked for daring to stand up for racial equality.

They even attacked BLM for supporting the justice camapaign launched by the family of Edson da Costa, killed by police officers in 2017 in east London.

Star Wars actor John Boyega has also been sneered at by the same newspaper for speaking out in support of BLM at Hyde Park at the beginning of the summer at the protest in which our group helped to organise on the day.

Manchester City and England footballer Raheem Sterling has also got the racist treatment from the Mail and large sections of the British press, who insinuate that he just doesn’t try hard enough when he plays for England and that that might be to do with him being black – the subtext is he’s not realy English.

Papers like the Mail have rightly been singled out by Sterling and BBC football commentator and pundit Gary Lineker as the ones who help to fuel and boost the racists online that hound black sports stars and anti-racists such as Linkeker who dare to speak out in favour of refugees.

The Mail is a stain on society and along with the rest of the billionaire press should be consigned to the dustbin of history.

Outrage as Manchester uni security guards racially profile black student

There was outrage at the end of last week after Manchester Uni security guards racially profile one of the institution’s black students as he tries to enter his hall of residence.

The incident took place on Friday 13th November on the university’s Fallowfield campus.

The racist security guards who violently slammed the student against the wall associate black skin with not “looking right” on a university campus.

Apparently there has been a lot of drugs being dealt and used by students (yeah, that stuff happens at universites) and if you are black you must be the drug dealer!

What is the name of this security firm? They need to lose the contract with the university.

All of the security guards involved need to be fired forthwith.

Manchester uni racial profilingof its black students is intolerable.

The University told the Guardian newspaper, “On Saturday 14 November we were made aware of an alleged serious incident on our campus and began investigating it immediately. We have been in regular contact with the affected party and keeping them fully informed of our progress.”

But as yet no action has been taken against the company that provides the security service, although the guards have now been suspended.

No respect for students as Univesity of Manchester tries to fence in students

This outrage follows the university erecting fencing around student halls as they sought to cage them in on campus as supposed Covid safety measure.

A student rebellion led to the tearing down of the fencing, forcing the university to apologise.

Universities across the UK duoed students into returning to campuses in order to pocket their fees and rent monet , while providing no Covid safety measures.

On the contrary, cramming students into halls and busy campuses turned universities into major Covid hotspots in their communities.

Manchester uni racially profile black students – rush complaints to:

Media Relations contacts

Jordan Kenny (News and Media Relations Manager) 
tel +44 (0)161 275 8257
mob +44 (0)7748 747079
email jordan.kenny@manchester.ac.uk

The University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester
M13 9PL

Tel +44 (0) 161 306 6000

Twitter: @UoMNews

The National Union of Students needs to get on this sharp!

Met police BAME recruitment will fail because of racism

The institutionally racist London Met police introduces its so-called “race action plan” today, and a key recommendation will be that 40% of new recruits must come from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

Unfortunately, however, the head of the London police, Commissioner Cressida Dick, remains in denial about racism in the force.

At a recent select committee parliamentary hearing on the police’s outrageous racial profiling seen in its rampant and ineffective (from the point of view fighting or preventing the commission of crimes) stop and search policies, Dick claimed the disproportionate number of black people being stopped was “because they committed more crime”, despite evidence to the contrary.

Netpol highlights over-policing of BLM protests

In addition, a report this week from from Netpol, a network of police monitoring groups, has discovered what we already knew – the BLM protests were over policed by Uk police.

Violent incidents were almost not existents around the country and when some scuffles with police happened in London it was in response to police actions, such as when they charged horses into peaceful protesters on Whitehall.

Police more violent towards black people

Not only are black people disproportionately stopped and search, the police also use more violence when doing so than the average for society as a whole.

Recruitment of officers from minority backgrounds has increased markedly in recent years, but that has made no difference to the institutional racism with the ranks of the Met. This is no surprise – it is the institution that is the problem.

Individual police officers can no doubt be “non-racist” or even “anti-racist” but the culture and operational practice of the police is the problem and that stems from the nature of the work they do. Policing is about maintaining the rule of those at the top of society and racism is a useful divide and rule stratagem.

Police are more racist than rest of society

Add to that the fact that we live in a racist society, it is not surprising that the police are racist. But the key point here is that the police do not just reflect society – they are the worst of society. The oppressive nature of their job leads them to operate in a fashion that presupposes that working-class people commit more crimes and that black people as part of that, are the worst offenders.

So when shocking crimes such as the ignoring of fire regulations that led to the installation of flammable cladding to blocks of flats, such as at Grenfell in west London, leading directly to the deaths of at least 81 people, not a single person has gone to prison or even been prosecuted.

So what are the chances of the police hitting their 40% target for black and minority ethnic new recruits? Zilch. The police are uniformly hated in the black community for good reason.

BLM movement puts Met police on the back foot

But the fact that the Met police are talking about a “race action plan” is because of the power of the mass movement on the streets that took hold in the BAME mobilisations – supported by hundreds of thousand of white allies – behind Black Lives Matter summer.

The police have been forced to do some window dressing, but behind the scenes nothing much will change.

Instead, we need to strengthen the movement on the streets and in our communities and social organisations as our best defence against police racism.

We need to get to a situation where every time they stop and search a black youth in London, they are met by a surrounding throng of concerned citizenry challenging their behaviour.

Met police BAME effort set to fail

Having more black faces in the police will make no difference. Just as in the US where there are plenty of black officers in police forces, it hasn’t stopped the continuing reign of terror by the police there. Indeed, whole police departments in the inner cities are supposedly run by black politicians – from police chiefs to attorney generals – but the racist murders by police still take place daily.

Dr Adam Elliott-Cooper on the Netpol report into over-policing of Black Lives Matter protests in the UK

Read more on the case for scrapping Section 60 – the powers that allow police to apply draconian laws to whole borough so they don’t even have to provide a reason for stopping people. The number of such stops are on the rise in the big cities, especially London and the Birmingham.

BAME and frontliners not on Covid vaccine priority list

Despite the well-documented fact that those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are twice as likely to die from Covid, that’s not enough to warrant inclusion on the priority list for the rollout of Covid vaccinations.

Just two weeks ago the inquiry into the disproportionate deaths among BAME communities led by Baroness Doreen Lawrence, mother of Stephen who was murdered in a notorious racist attack, found that “systematic racism” was at the root of the problem.

Working-class people in general, and those from BAME backgrounds in particular, are dying in larger proportions because of the jobs they do, not the genes they have.

This is because working-class people are much more likely to be in jobs where they can’t work from home, and this applies doubly so to those from Black and Asian backgrounds.

Health inequalities key to understanding higher death rates among those from BAME and working-class backgrounds

Professor Wei Shen Lim, chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, said yesterday that it was “really, really important” to take into account disparities between ethnic groups and the related health inequalities.

It should be added that the disparities between social groups, namely those doing the frontline jobs from all ethnic backgrounds, should be at the front of the queue for a Covid vaccine.

“We know that there has been a disproportionate representation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups for severe Covid disease, and the underlying factors behind that association are complex, and they are multiple,” said Lim.

But the government is ignoring the scientists, as usual.

The first doctors to die from Covid in the UK were all from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds

Researchers at the universities of Leicester and Nottingham have found that Asian people are the most likely to have the worst outcomes (a euphemism for being most likely to die) from Covid and this was because of social conditions not genetics. 

Dr Shirley Sze from the University of Leicester who led the study said: “The clear evidence of increased risk of infection amongst ethnic minority groups is of urgent public health importance.

“We must work to minimise exposure to the virus in these at-risk groups by facilitating their timely access to healthcare resources and target the social and structural disparities that contribute to health inequalities.”

– Dr Shirley Sze

And even where a middle-class demographic is concerned, such as doctors from BAME backgrounds in the NHS (see picture above), the impact of institutional racism rears its head: non-white doctors are far more likely to be working on the Covid wards (as our BAME nurses) and much less likely to be the senior consultants who are most distanced from the frontline.

But despite all of this evidence, and the mounting death toll which is now the highest in Europe, the government has so far refused to make those from Black and Asian communities – or the poorest in the northern cities for that matter where the incidence of poverty and other markers such as overcrowding and poor diet are more prevalent – a priority for the rollout of the Pfizer vaccine.

Since this video was made, Hesketh Benoit can count 37 people he personally knows who have died from Covid, as reported in the Huffington Post