Bristol police are the thugs, solidarity with protesters who fought back

The police went on the rampage in Bristol yesterday in a display of wanton violence that has been covered up by the media and politicians.

The thuggery on display last night was from the police who attacked peaceful protesters.

Now they are launching a hunt for as many as 500 people as they look to intimidate the youth of an entire city to stop future protests against the Tories’ proposed law to give police even more powers to curtail democratic rights.

Peaceful protesters were injured in their hundreds by police swinging batons indiscriminately, using dogs, pepper spray and cavalry.

People who marched to the police station sat down in the road – and then the police attacked.

Bristol police attack peaceful protesters

Chants rang out “Shame on you” as the police hit out.

One student who does not want to be named says she was punched in the face by a police officer.

The same student said she saw people being cornered and beaten by riot police and women abused with sexist language.

Yet all the media can think to do is parrot the lies of the police press releases.

Disgracefully, Bristol’s Labour mayor Marvin Rees joined in the lies and witch hunt, claiming that the protesters were showing their “privilege” and that the demo had nothing to do with political protest. He even tried to claim that it was all white people protesting and that they were making things worse for Black people!

But the protest was in fact called by Bristol BLM and Extinction Rebellion and other groups.

A warning for the Tories and their Orwellian media

Far from being unpolitical, it was a release of the pent up anger over the alleged murder of a Sarah Everard at the hands of a police officer, the attacked on a vigil of mourning women, the outrageous provisions of the police bill that puts more value on a statue than it does on a woman, the prosecution of movement heroes the Colston Four, who played a part in the righteous toppling of the statue to a slaveholder in the city, and of course it was ultimately a protest against a government whose deliberate and callous negligence has led to the death of 125,000 people, while at the same time enriching its friends in business with £37 billion wasted on an ineffective test and trace system.

Meanwhile young people have no jobs, pay exorbitant rents, hand over money for fees for a university education that is second rate and live on a planet that is dying.

The truth is we live in a corrupt country where the police are out of control.

We also live in a country of hypocrites that is quick to attack undemocratic practices abroad but has a blind spot when it comes to their own actions here at home.

It will take many more protests to reclaim our streets from the thugs in blue and the government that encourages them in their wanton violence.

The tories received a warning last night but they show no sign of heeding it – this is how states lose legitimacy. All power to the people!

Solidarity with Sarah Everard and the women’s movement – kill the bill

Sarah Everard was allegedly kidnapped and murdered by a serving policeman from an elite unit, and now a vigil of solidarity and respect for her has been violently attacked by the same police.

Calls for Met police commissioner Cressida Dick to resign have been met by obfuscation and denial by the Met and politicians as usual have failed to rise to the occasion, preferring to let thuggish police off the hook.

Unfortunately Anna Birley, on of the organisers at Reclaim These Streets, is not calling for Dick’s resignation either in the mistaken belief that because she’s a woman she will be sympathetic to this rebirth of a miltant womens movement.

“We are a movement of women seeking to support and empower other women, and as one of the most senior women in British policing history, we do not want to add to the pile-on,” said Birley.

“We do want her to meet with us. We were hugely disappointed that she put out a statement yesterday without talking to any of the people who were organising the vigil and had such a difficult experience with the Metropolitan police force.”

But the police are our of control. If anyone doubts that, then the scenes at Clapham Common should have removed any such doubts.

Thankfully Sisters Uncut has a much better approach than Birley:

But things are about to get a whole lot worse with new legislation currently before parliament to give the police even more powers, specifically to further encroach on the right to protest.

Sarah Everard must not have died in vain

Put bluntly, the proposed new laws would put greater sanction on defacing statues than on violence against women.

The bill will allow the police to decide which protests will be allowed and which will not, on the spurious basis of whether the protest might be disruptive. But of course the ourpose of many protests is to be disruptive to some degree.

Essentially the Tory government hated the Black Lives Matter protests and those by Extinction Rebellion and now they want revenge by outlawing peaceful protests.

The Tories are playing with fire. Police credibility was already rock-bottom among wide swathes of society, not least among Black people.

Recent events have extended that dismay to many millions of women (and men) who watched on TV screens in disgust as women were manhandled, kicked and punched by male police officers.

The Tories want the police to have more powers to harass and jail black people and Muslims, target Gypsies and Travellers and to silence protesters.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill – just like the Covid legislation – is being rammed through parliament with hardly any debate to stop protests like those for Sarah Everard.

Attack on right to protest

All vestige of democratic control over the police is being removed to be replaced with carte blanche for police to decide which protests are allowed and which are not.

There will be a new trespass law to target Gypsy, Roma and Traveller groups, with clauses citing “unauthorised encampments”for closure without providing alternatives.

Homeless people will also be swept up in the legislation if they are sleeping rough in what could also be defined as unauthorised encampments’

As we reported several weeks ago, the legislation also includes more draconian stop and search provisions that mean anyone previously guilty of knife crime offences can be stopped and searched without reason, but how are the police meant to work out who these people are – unless of course they are going to assume that all Black kids are knife carriers.

This is a recipe for even more racial profiling and oppressive policing of Black youth and others. All this is in addition to the clampdown on protests.

And its not as if the police don’t already have huge powers to restrict protests.

The 1986 Public Order Act already allows the likes of home secretary Priti Patel to curb protests that may involve “serious disruption”. But the new bill goes much further, allowing the home secretary to “make provision about the meaning” of the phrase.

Tories and Met police are sexist and racist

The Tories want to stop protests that they don’t like, while claiming to be in favour of democracy. They are liars and hypocrites.

We have to make sure that Sarah Everard’s murder leads to real change in this country.

Far from the police being a reflection of society, they represent the worst of society in their outsized sexism and racism.

There are protests taking place today to defend the right to protest and to demand an end to violence against women and action from the government. The proposed legislation contains no mention of violence against women.

The issue of who polices the police and who can you turn to for protection as a women or Black person when the police are sexist and racist throws big questions about the type of society we live in and the limits of our so called democracy.

The government’s words of condolence to Sarah Everard’s family mean nothing unless they are forced to make a change. For that to happen we need to stay on the streets – and the fight for women’s rights requires the support of all of us, as does the fight for racial justice.

Leon Briggs police walk free after inquest

The killing of Leon Briggs at the hands of Luton police on 4 November 2013 was brutal and carried out with shocking impunity.

The inquest into his death after interaction with police while experiencing a mental health episode has found that the police restraint “more than minimally” contributed to his death.

Leon was pinned faced down in the street for at least three minutes in scenes reminiscent of the murder of George Floyd in the US.

Although police deny it, witnesses say that Leon was pinned face down in the street. The only video of the incident shows the police taking Leon to a partly concealed position on the pavement, in front of a shop.

Leon Briggs’s mother Margaret Briggs

Police then forcibly transferred Leon to a police station and not to a hospital where he should have been taken.

Laughing as they pinned him down in a cell with the same techniques, the officers involved killed Leon – his heart stopped.

But even after he was dead they left him lifeless in the cell, only later realising that they had killed him.

Outragegously as part of their cover up, the police claimed that Leon had been involved in a “dirty protest”, when he had in fact urinated himself as he was dying, again in echoes of the murder of George Floyd.

It has take the family seven years to get the case to an inquest, but even now all the police officers that were a party to his death are still employed with Luton police. Not a single officer has been disciplined in any way whatsoever.

Video: the killing of Leon Briggs – warning the video below is disturbing:

Courtesy Channel 4 News

Met Police media team disproportionately highlights ‘Black crime’

Everyone – except Cressida Dick – knows that the Metropolitan Police is institutionally racist. But it is still arresting when its full extent is revealed.

The latest such evidence comes from tan exclusive report by Huffington Post, in conjunction with data crunchers and researcher company Statista.

Their research into Met police PR department has discovered that they disproportionately post pictures of Black people who have been involved in violent crime than they do when white people are involved.

Just as with the discredited ‘gang matrix’ (which is nevertheless still in use as a blatant racial-profiling tool), the police betray the fact that they have a view of Black people which sees them as violent and criminal, so the staffers in the Met police PR department think they are just doing their job, when in fact they reveal their own prejudice attitudes and no doubt discriminatory behaviour that informs it.

Met police racism: here’s the most damning part of the findings:

According to data we obtained from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), 13,897 people were sentenced in London between July and December of 2019 – the most recent MoJ data of this type available. Some 3,540 were white and 2,298 Black. 

Ethnicity data was unavailable for almost 6,000 people, and for the purposes of this investigation, HuffPost UK has removed them from the total.

In the same period, the Met Police published news releases on its public website and directly to journalists about 324 people who had been sentenced. Of these, 107 were white, while 141 were Black.

The report also discovered that the 37-page media policy includes no guidance on racial profiling, with not a single mention of ‘race’ or ‘ethnicity’ anywhere within the document.

For more on this, go to the Huffington Post UK.

Courtesy Huffington Post/Statista

Meghan shows monarchy is rotten and racist, like entire UK establishment

The racist witch hunt against Meghan Markle is gathering a head of steam on the back of that Oprah interview.

It is not often that we write about archaic backward-looking institutions lie the monarchy, but we make an exception today given how the British House of Windsor has moved to the centre of the debate about racism in the UK.

The fallout from the revelations of two rich people associated with the British Royal family – until recently – apparently threatens the British royals with their biggest crisis since the abdication of the Nazi-loving Edward VIII in 1936.

There are some parallels there it should be noted, what with Harry in his less enlightened period dressing up in Nazi uniforms and more lately marrying an American. But to be fair to Harry and his wife, the similarities end there.

The racist treatment of Meghan Markle by the royal family and the British media is of course at the heart of this latest crisis for the monarchy.

Naturally, the media that labelled Meghan as coming ‘straight out of Compton’ and as the ‘gansta’ princess, deny they are racist.

The unfree racist billionaire-owned press hate the truth

This is the same media that prattles on about free speech, but when we speak the truth about Winston Churchill’s racism they want to shut down debate, or when anti-racists demand the rejection of the whitewashing and myths surrounding slavery in the form of the statues and street names found all over this country that continue to distort the real history, they prefer to continue to peddle lies to make themselves feel better.

So it is with the monarchy too.

With their precious monarchy they fein ignorance and surprise that there is racism at the court. They deny when the racism is blatant and documented that it is really racism, and reply that these Black people always want something to complain about, as if racism is something that most white people go along with or think is OK.

Meghan shows racism at the top is the main problem

The truth is however, that the racism that exists in the UK comes mostly from the top and is encouraged from there and promoted from there.

Every institution reflects the heritage of the British ruling class and its bloody history of slavery and colonialism. This is a story of oppression in which a certain class of persons in this country were the architects and beneficiaries – the elite.

That elite may have changed its colours – so to speak, becoming less aristo and more naked capitalist but is is the same bunch of people and their descendants that rue Britain today.

For them racism continues to be a valuable implement in their ideological toolbox for maintaining their power at home, if not no longer projecting and maintaining it abroad.

It is long gone time when the monarchy should have been consigned to history.

We can only hope that the current crisis brings forard the day when the whole sorry charade ends.

More importantly , we need an end to these people living off our backs. They do no real work but are dripping with riches. They are the walking embodiment of unearned privilege.

Right’s culture wars’ tries to deny racism exists

With 120,000 people dead because of the criminal negligence of a Tory government that is the other face of the establishment in this country, it is on one level laughable that we even have to talk about the feudal hangover of the monarchy.

But the truth of the matter is that the ruling class are using the racist pillorying of Meghan Markle to double-down on their attempted racist offensive to try and put back in the box the BLM mass movement and the debates and demands it has engendered, following the murder of George Floyd in the US shone a light on racism in Britain.

It’s not so much the ordinary people of the UK that are steeped in racism but rather the undemocratic institutions that still govern this country, from the boardrooms to the media empires owned and directed by billionaires.

British monarchy is rotten to the core and racist

Harry and Meghan are of course both very rich people and they are yet to throw away their titles, so. our sympathy has to be circumspect to some degree.

But leaving that aside, the taking down on Meghan Markle and the discriminatory treatment of their son, sans title, and the comments about his skin colour, tell us all we need to know about the institution of the British monarchy – it is rotten to the core and thoroughly racist to boot.

Prince Andrew the alleged sexual abuser evades justice with the palace’s help

Finally we can not but mention the contrast between the treatment of Meghan Markle and the queen’s son Andrew, who is allegedly to have sexually abused teenage girls.

His alleged pedophilia has been covered up and in practice defended by the same monarchy that has opened up an investigation on supposed bullying by Meghan Markle. The world is watching and the world is revolted.

Racist police handcuff and pepper-spray 9-year-old Black girl

A 9-year-old girl was handcuffed and pepper-sprayed by racist cops but still none of them have been disciplined, as the racist impunity of law enforcement in the US continues.

Sadly this is apart and parcel of the everyday racist violence from police that Black people continue to suffer in the US.

On Friday, January 29, several officers from the Rochester police department responded to a family disagreement. Instead of resolving the dispute, the responding officers quickly escalated the situation and it ended with police hand-cuffing and pepper-spraying a nine-year-old girl. 

Here’s what we know: 

Three RPD officers pepper-sprayed a child. The child’s mother, Elba Pope, called the police for a domestic dispute. When the police arrived, Pope’s daughter was experiencing a mental health emergency. Bodycam footage shows officers tackling the nine-year-old to the ground before placing her in handcuffs and later pepper-spraying her in the back of the squad car. 

The situation called for trauma-informed care, not state-sanctioned violence. The bodycam footage reveals a pattern of historically anti-Black racism within the Rochester Police Department.  Last year, Daniel Prude, a Black man experiencing a mental health emergency was murdered by RPD, which we only discovered months later because his family demanded the footage be released. RPD has a long history of violent racism, police brutality, and attempted cover-ups. In a very similar situation — a family member calling for help — officers responded with excessive force instead of community care. 

The implication that a Black child should have the capacity to respond calmly while being handcuffed, pepper-sprayed, and berated by a gang of police officers is unacceptable. It’s infuriating that multiple police officers (grown men and women) would brutally attack a child. 

We stand in solidarity with the families traumatized by the Rochester police department, and the Black community in Rochester as they demand justice after the violent assault of a 9-year-old child experiencing a mental health crisis. Every officer involved is guilty of prioritizing violence before community care. 

We demand justice.

Release the names of the officers involved 

Terminate all officers who responded to the scene 

Ban the practice of handcuffing children 

Ban the use of chemical weapons by RPD: prohibit the use of CS gas (tear gas), PepperBalls, and any chemical weapon that threatens the health and safety of community members  

Add your name to the petition demand justice now! 

Below is the letter we will send to the Mayor of Rochester, Lovely Warren& Police Chief Cynthia Harriot-Sullivan.

Sign the Petition against racist police:

Dear Mayor Lovely Warren & Police Chief Cynthia Harriot-Sullivan: 

I’m standing in solidarity with the families traumatized by Rochester police officers, the Black community in Rochester, and Color of Change to demand justice for the 9-year-old girl who was handcuffed and pepper-sprayed by officers on Friday, January 29th. The criminalization of Black children and the irresponsible use of state-sanctioned violence on our communities will not be tolerated. 

We demand justice, 

Release the names of the officers involved 

Terminate all officers who responded to the scene 

Ban the use of chemical weapons by RPD: prohibit the use of CS gas (tear gas), PepperBalls, and any chemical weapon that threatens the health and safety of community members 

If police officers are protected by anonymity, internal investigations, and paid administrative leave they will continue to harm Black people with impunity.  

We demand that the Rochester Police Department is held accountable publicly. Your community demands immediate changes and we won’t stop fighting until you move towards our collective vision of safety and dignity. 

Sincerely 

[Your Name]

Thanks to the Color of Change (sign the petition):

https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/care_not_cops/?t=3&ak_proof=1&akid=49080%2E8946524%2EVBRuzG#

Covid racism: Being poor or Black means no vaccine

Covid racism by the authorities means there is a huge disparity in getting the vaccine if you are from a poor, Black or Asian background.

On 20 February the Financial Times published an article entitled Racial Inequality Plagues US Vaccine Rollout.

Change US to UK and the headline would fit for the UK too.

The FT article contains some striking graphic representations of that disparity, with contrasting maps of the major cities showing the incidence of deaths and infections (blue) and the incidence of vaccine administration (green).

Being poor or black means no vaccine for you

The shocking truth that it is black and poor people doing most of the dying but rich white people getting the best vaccine coverage. BAME and frontliners are in the Covid firing line but seemingly at the back of the queue for the vaccine.

To repeat, what is true for the US is also true for the UK, but try as we might we cannot find similar maps of the UK, presumably because our millionaire owned press does not think it worthy of investigation.

And vaccine hesitancy among African Americans does not explain the gross disparity. Although that metric is higher among the demographic because of the history and current practice of racism in the delivery of US healthcare, it is the weakest factor explaining the low take up.

Instead, the way in which the vaccine rollout has been executed is the problem. Although the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended ‘priority groups’ get the vaccine first, this has been ignored by the individual states administering the rollout.

Vaccine hesitancy doesn’t explain rollout disparity

Most states have opted for an online first-come-first-served approach, which skews heavily in favour of the rich and well-heeled populations that have the time to sit in front of a computer refreshing the appointments site all day (or can hire someone to do that for them), or who don’t work all-hours and therefore don’t have the time to allocate for the necessary screen time.

And then there are the people who don’t have good internet access, which will tend to be the poorest communities. Then there is the already existing biases in healthcare delivery that skew to the richest in society.

Also, governments on both sides of the Atlantic are doing little if anything to counter vaccine hesitancy, with targeted outreach campaigns delivered by institutions and individuals trusted by the communities affected.

Short-sighted ruling class policy means a Covid pandemic without end

What is going on inside the rich countries is a reflection of what is going on at a global level, where the rich countries look after themselves but leave the middle income and poorest countries to fend for themselves. If it wasn’t for the Chinese and the Russians there would be no vaccine delivery in Latin America and Africa, for example.

But the short-sightedness of the rich white ruling-class elite means that the pandemic will never end because it will continue to circulate and mutate.

All graphics courtesy Financial Times.

Video: the everyday horror of America’s racist police violence – enough!

More racist American police violence. It never stops so we must keep up the fight until it does.

Justice 4 Mohamud and Moyied – Protest Cardiff 20th Feb 1pm

Mohamud Hassan died after contact with 52 police officers in Cardiff. No officers have been disciplined or charged.

South Wales police are refusing to suspend an officer under investigation for their involvement in the death of an innocent young Black man – Mohamud Hassan.

They would prefer to protect one of their own instead of even pretending to try and give justice to a grieving, traumatised family.

Let’s show them true accountability.

Make your voice heard! (while wearing a mask and being socially distanced)

*We are not organisers of this event. South Wales police organised it when they refused to suspend the officer, or the other 51 that were in contact with Mohamud before he died.

Daonate to Mohamud Justice campaign here.

Justice 4 Moyied Bashir

Now South Wales police stand accused of a hand in the death of Moyied Bashir. He died after 24 police smashed into his home. Moyied had mental health issues and his parent had called the police thinking they would help get him to hospital, but instead they are alleged to have killed him. Donate to the campaign here

Moyied Bashir is second death at hands of racist South Wales police

Moyied Bashir died after 24 police officers turned up at his home following a request for help get him to hospital. Instead, South Wales police in Newport are alleged to have killed him.

It comes after Moyied’s parents called police for help getting him to hospital Moyied has mental health issues and had been stabbed three weeks ago.

Gwent Police forced their way into Moyied’s home on Wednesday and “tied him up by his leg”, according to his brother Mohammed. The 29 year old was taken to Grange Hospital, Cwmbran, where he was pronounced dead.

A large protest took place at Gwent police station in Newport on Thursday.

First Mohamud Hassan and now Moyied Bashir dead after police contact

This is the second alleged killing by South Wales police in little over a month.

Mohamud Hassan was killed by police in Cardiff after contact with52 police officers. He was held over night by police , and left covered in cuts and bruises and died later at home.

Moyied’s brother says he was on medication for his mental health:

“He’s been battling mental health for a long period of time. The combination of the medication and his mental health got a bit stressful,” said Mohammed.

Sadly, Moyied’s parents rang the police to get help but instead the police tied him up. Moyied’s stab wound was on his main artery and after the restraints were applied Moyied started getting weaker, says his brother.

The family only wanted help from Moyied but now he’s dead at the hands of the police.

Protest against police killers – Cardiff Bay police station 1pm – jail killer cops!

Today there is a protest at Cardiff Bay police station to demand justice both for Moyied and Mohamud.

Mohamud Hassan died after allegedly being beaten by police

Enough is enough. Jail killer cops!

He explained that their parents “rung the police with the intention to escort him to hospital with, say, two to three officers”.

But, Mohamed said, 24 cops arrived and “forced” their way into Moyied’s room and “tied him up by his leg”. “His stab wound is on his main artery, so while he is tied up, handcuffed, he started getting weaker,” he said.

“My dad is in shock saying, ‘What are you doing?’ In hospital, my brother was given CPR, oxygen, they tried everything.

“It was too late. We only wanted help.”

GoFundme page for Moyied is here