Tag Archives: Stop and search

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.

Priti Patel plans to introduce racist SVRO stop and search laws

Home secretary Priti Patel has announced the government’s intention to push ahead with yet more racist stop and search powers for the police, despite no evidence that they help to stop violent crime.

The government plans to introduce legislation to enable the introduction of Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVRO), which would allow the police to stop and search any individual who has been convicted of a prior criminal offence.

Patel announced the new measures in comments to the Mail on Sunday.

But there is no evidence that stop and search fights crime. In 2018/19 nothing was found in 72% of searches. Black people are already 10 times more likely to be stopped than who’re people and the serious violence reduction orders will increase this racial disproportionality. 

Add to this the fact that the draconian Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act means the police already have wide discretion to stop and search without the need to show “reasonable grounds”, the real purpose of Patel’s new power grab is to be seen to be acting tough and, sadly, to stir up more racism.

Only 5% of stops under Section 60 lead to an arrest.

SVROs will give the police power to search anyone with a previous conviction without having to provide grounds for doing so. How are such persons going to be identified? By the colour of their their skin? 

The rollout of SVROs comes on the back of the increase in stop and search targeting Black kids, under the guise of the Covid legislation. Stops in May 2020 in London shows that 1 in 8 of all Black males aged 15 to 25 were stopped in London.

Stops by the London Metropolitan police in May 2020 were double the figure for 2019, according to the Home Affairs select committee.

Patel told The Mail on Sunday: “A minority will say these measures are disproportionate and will affect minority communities or claim that this is racism. That is simply not true.

“People will say these measures are controversial. But to me, when people are dying, that doesn’t matter. The government’s number one job is to keep our people safe.”

The Tories don’t care how many more lives their policies ruin and care even less about the addressing the real causes of violent crime.

Much of inner city violent crime on the streets is driven by turf wars over drugs, so why not legalise all drugs.

Many stops in London and elsewhere are initiated because a police officer says they could small cannabis, so why not legalise cannabis as they have in Canada and more than a dozen US states?

Meanwhile, Black men continue to die after contact with a police officer, such Mohamud Hassan who dies in Cardiff last week after allegedly been beaten by police office at the Butetown police station.

 

Black lives matter rally and march against stop and search – Brixton Sat 25 July

Brixton scrap section 60, end stop and search demo 25 July 2020

As the stop and search outrages mount, Black Lives Matter activists in Brixton have called a demonstration in the heart of Brixton this Saturday 25th July at 12 noon.

The latest videoed violent stop and search took place in Mitcham two days a go – this time of 464 year old man on his way home from work. Enough!

Scrap section 60

Ban stop and search

Saturday 25th July, 12 noon

Windrush Square, Brixton

Called by Stand Up To Racism

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlackLivesMatterLDN/permalink/2682475081852602/

Video exclusive: violent stop and search arrest of Michael Wilson, 64, in Mitcham on 22 July

Michael Wilson was walking home from work in Mitcham yesterday (Wednesday 22 July) when he and a colleague, Lloyd, were stopped by police.

An altercation ensued when they tried to handcuff Michael, who was then forced to the ground by police officers and his head repeatedly forced into the ground.

Michael was splitting blood from the injuries caused by the police. At one stage eight officers were involved in the incident.

Mr Wilson is 64-years-old.

The pair had been clearing a garden and were on their home. Michael had a bag with his tools in with may have been why the police picked on him.

A witness to the police assualt send this video to BLMM.

Michael was taken to Wimbledon police station.

Thanks to onlooker Janet Oliver for arranging for this video to be sent to BLMM and for her action in witnessing and holding to account the officers involved.

The officer at the centre of the violent arrest claims that Michael bit him, which the man denies.

Witnesses to the incident say that there was no sign of Michael biting and that he had no time to do so, between the initial conversation with the officer and being taken to the ground.

Janet Oliver commented: “The officer lied, the man never bit him.”

Lloyd concurs. “I didn’t see no biting,” he insists. “I told him not to resist and to give his name but the police just jumped on him and tried to handcuff him.”

violent arrest of Michael Wilson

This latest incident of police brutality follows the emergence of a video a few days ago of a teenager in Hertfordshire being stopped and assaulted by police.

Photos: Tottenham BLM says end Section 60 stop and search and ban tasers now!

A hundred BLM protesters assembled outside the Tottenham police station for the third time in the past three weeks as they stepped up their campaign against stop and search and for the banning of the Taser.

Support was notably vocal from passing motorists, as the constant stream of police abuses caught on video adds to rising anger across London.

Thanks to Stand Up To Racism for organising.

A similar protest was held down the road at Hackney’s Stoke Newington police station later in the day

  • BLM protest at Tottenham police station 11 July 2020 - called by Stand Up To Racism
  • BLM protest at Tottenham police station 11 July 2020 - called by Stand Up To Racism
  • BLM protest at Tottenham police station 11 July 2020 - called by Stand Up To Racism
  • BLM protest at Tottenham police station 11 July 2020 - called by Stand Up To Racism
  • BLM protest at Tottenham police station 11 July 2020 - called by Stand Up To Racism
  • BLM protest at Tottenham police station 11 July 2020 - called by Stand Up To Racism
  • BLM protest at Tottenham police station 11 July 2020 - called by Stand Up To Racism
  • BLM protest at Tottenham police station 11 July 2020 - called by Stand Up To Racism

End racist stop and search, scrap Section 60 – protest at Tottenham police station

There’s a protest at Tottenham police station on Saturday against stop and search

Called by Haringey Stand Up To Racism

End Stop & Search
Scrap Section 60
Ban the Taser

Peaceful Protest Saturday 11 July 12 noon – 1.30pm

outside Tottenham police station, High Road N17 9JA

Thanks to all who made last Saturday’s protest in Duckett’s Common a success. This week we take the campaign back to Tottenham Police Station on the High Road. Bring banners and placards – let’s keep up the momentum!

Black Lives Matter
This is a static, socially distanced protest. Wear a mask.

Please share and circulate to your networks.

Facebook event

Instagram here

Twitter here

Emergency protest against Cressida Dick visit on Friday 10 July,

There’s also an emergency protest tomorrow, Friday 10th against Met commissioner Cressida Dick’s visit to Tottenham.

4pm at Tottenham Hotspur Football aground, Tottenham High Road

Quarter of young black people in London stopped by cops during lockdown

Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee has got hold of damning evidence of the extent of the oppressive nature of the policing of black (and white) youth in the big cities of the UK, especially London.

Lots of anecdotal evidence has been cited about the increase in stops of young people and now we have the proof.

For black youth the level of harassment has gone way off the scale, with a quarter of all the young black people having been stopped during the lockdown.

This comes after the overpolicing of block parties on working class housing estates.

From the Guardian:

Young black men were stopped and searched by police more than 20,000 times in London during the coronavirus lockdown – the equivalent more than a quarter of all black 15- to 24-year-olds in the capital.

More than 80% of the 21,950 searches between March and May resulted in no further action, according to analysis by the office of the home affairs select committee chair, Yvette Cooper.

The figures equate to 30% of all young black males in London, though some individuals may have been searched more than once.

The Met increased its use of stop and search during the lockdown, compared with a year ago. The force carried out 43,000 stops in May, compared to 21,000 a year earlier, and 30,608 in April, up from 20,981.

Katrina Ffrench, chief executive of Stopwatch, a charity that campaigns against the disproportionate use of stop and search, said: “The number is shocking and saddening. How do those young people feel when this is their city, they’re going about their daily business, could be caring for parents, all sorts of reasons as to why they’re out?” more

Parliament Home Affairs Select Committee hears evidence on stop and search. Hearing evidence this week.

https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/cd010bb3-558c-4575-9a23-ec4a5070a3cb

North London says no to Tasers, scrap Section 60 stop and search

Three hundred people came to Turnpike Lane today to protest against the use of Tasers by police and draconian Section 60 stop and search laws.

The protest was organised by Haringey Stand Up To Racism and supported by local Black Lives Matter groups.

Speakers included deputy leader of Haringey Council Seema Chandwani, and Andrew Boateng who’s case was recently reported by the national media after he was stopped with his son and handcuffed while on a charity ride for a community-police relations charity.

The cases of two black men (Millard Scott and Jordan Walker-Brown) tasered by police in Tottenham have come to light in recent weeks.

This follows incidents in the North, particularly in Manchester where Desmond Ziggy Mombeyarara was tasered while holding his 5-year-old child.

A rising number of cases are being recorded as police use Tasers as an offensive weapon, and not for defence as originally intended.

Section 60 is increasingly being used by police to stop and search black youth without having to give a reason. Although most stops are still under PACE (Police and Criminal Evidence Act), the number is falling because of campaigning against it.

In response however, police are routinely turning to the more severe public order legislation that provides police with more draconian powers.

At the request of senior officers, entire boroughs – often several at the same time – can be put under section 60 and any individual stopped and searched.

These laws are being abused to widen the oppressive overpolicing of black communities – seen most recently in the ongoing unnecessary use of force to shut down block and street parties in London and elsewhere, while allowing sunbathers to congregate in huge numbers unmolested by the authorities.

Andrew Boateng speaks out about the brutal racial profiling of himself and his 13-year-old son Hugo, who was handcuffed and left bruised and traumatised after the encounter with police

Are you suffering racial discrimination in your workplace? Get help today

We get lots of enquiries about how to access help and advice on racial harassment and discrimination issues at work from people who are not in a trade union.

Thrive Law is an excellent law firm for equality and discrimination problems and you can contact them at: blmsupport@thrivelaw.co.uk