Statements from family campaigners

Marcia Rigg, Sean Rigg Justice & Change Campaign:

Marcia Rigg“The fight for truth and justice for the family of Michael Brown and the community in Ferguson is not just their struggle. It is a collective struggle with families and communities around the world over deaths in custody and at the hands of the police. No family should ever have to face our fight: an injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. Keep on fighting on in peace and solidarity: Ferguson, you are not alone.”

Carole Duggan, Justice for Mark Duggan:

Carole Duggan“Michael Brown’s death mirrors that of Mark: Mark had his hands up when he was murdered by police. The media waged a systematic smear campaign against Mark in the wake of his death. Mark no longer has a voice so it is up to his family, community and friends to tell the world who he really was and what really happened to him. We are now challenging the practice of police conferring with each other and challenging the perverse inquest verdict into Mark’s death. Justice is not given freely to our people – we have to fight for everything we get.”

Stephanie Lightfoot-Bennett, chair of UFFC:

Stephanie Lightfoot-Bennett“The United Families & Friends Campaign (UFFC) is a coalition of families in Britain whose loved ones have died at the hands of state officials. We have been fighting for justice, change and accountability for over 15 years. No state official has ever been convicted in Britain.  We sincerely welcome Rev Sekou to join us in unity here in Britain. We join in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, New York and across the United States to protest together peacefully.”

Reverend Osagyefo Sekou:

Rev Osagyefo Sekou“From Tottenham to Ferguson it seems that black lives do not matter. Nevertheless we are in a historic moment where young people of colour refuse to bow down. Ferguson, like the London rebellions of 2011, is part of a global uprising against all forms of tyranny – and global democracy is better for it. I am returning to Britain having spent time with the indomitable people of Broadwater Farm, writing their story and sharing their pain. It was my time in Tottenham that affirmed my commitment to ending police brutality.”

Jo Orchard, sister of Thomas Orchard 

JoOrchard_thumb“I look at the uprising in Ferguson and see a community standing in great numbers against the injustice of police brutality and the deaths that are its tragic consequence. People are being killed by the police here in the UK too: my younger brother Thomas being one of them. The officers responsible for these deaths are not being held to account. But I feel hope and pride that people are standing up for what is right, even if they are not directly affected. A corrupt system can only change when those who are not affected become as outraged as those who are.”

 Janet Alder, Justice for Christopher Alder campaign:

JanetAlder_thumb“The Justice for Christopher Alder campaign stands shoulder to shoulder with the families of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and all those killed by the police in the US. Christopher Alder died an Inhumane and agonising death at the feet of five police officers. In both Britain and the US, black men die at the hands of the police in disproportionate numbers. This is a concern for both black and white — cases of white deaths are treated in the same way. We must stand in unity and stop the acceptance of police brutality.”

Kadisha Brown-Burrell, sister of Kingsley Burrell:

kadisha_thumb“I am the sister of Kingsley Burrell who died in police custody in March 2011. We are miles from the truth some three and a half years later. Since Kingsley died I have been campaigning to highlight the injustice of investigations into deaths at the hands of the police. Kingsley’s inquest begins in April this year after numerous delays and issues with legal aid. All we want is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth: no justice, no peace.”

Liberty Louise, Justice for Leon Briggs

justice4Leon_thumb“For those that know the injustice that continues to prevail: We cannot turn away from our brothers and sisters. We know how corrupt and inhumane the system is in its treatment of our people and its disregard to families seeking. We stand with those in Ferguson and will continue to fight for justice for all, until our demands are heard and acted upon. We stand – and forward we move together.”

4WardEver UK and the Mikey Powell Campaign

MikeyPowell_thumb“The decision of the grand jury in the Michael Brown case comes as no surprise to us. It came on the anniversary of Sean Bell’s death in 2006 when New York police fired 50 bullets into the car he was travelling in on his stag night. There were calls for and promises of reform then, yet we are still seeing this pattern of killings, largely of African-American men, across the US. President Barack Obama has admitted that “there are still issues of race and inequality” in the US and promised to address them. Campaigners in the US and worldwide should hold him to that promise.”

[thanks to Peter Marshall and Steve Eason for pictures]