3-10th October https://www.facebook.com/events/950750004971268/
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Following on from the Ferguson Solidarity tour earlier this year, family members and campaigners are travelling to join #BlackLivesMatter activists in California for a #CaravanForJustice tour of the state in early October. Together they will meet with families whose loved ones have died as a result of police contact in the US in a bid to spark a “global conversation on deaths in custody”.
Those making the journey include Stephanie Lightfoot-Bennett whose twin brother Leon Patterson died after six days in custody in 1992, Marcia Rigg sister of Sean Rigg who died on the floor of Brixton police station 2008, Shaun Hall, Mark Duggan’s brother who was shot dead in 2011 and Kadisha Burrell Brown whose brother died the same year after being restrained for a prolonged period of time by police -a jury inquest earlier this year found police force and neglect contributed to Kingsley’s death. Campaigners from NUS Black Students and Defend the Right to Protest will also be joining the solidarity tour.
By participating in this justice tour, families from the UK hope to draw links between racial injustice in the US and their own personal losses of loved ones in custody. Not only are their many similarities between killings on both sides of the Atlantic but campaigners feel the importance of remedying this epidemic at an international level.
1518 people have died in custody in England and Wales since 1990, yet not a single officer involved has been convicted. The Black and Minority Ethnic community account for 152 of these deaths and represent a disproportionate number of cases considered controversial or involving the use of force.
An IPCC report earlier this year showed a big increase in police custody deaths from 11 in 2013/14 to 17 2014/15.
Patrisse Cullors a co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter and Campaign Director at the Ella Baker centre which is organising the tour said: “Britain has done a great job painting itself as the humanitarian, with the U.S. being the torturer. But that is not true. We have Mike Brown, no justice. We have Eric Garner, no justice. Here we see the same: Mark Duggan, Sean Rigg. The list is vast.”
Patrisse will also be travelling to the UK for the United Families and Friends annual memorial procession on 31st October. We encourage everyone to join the march this year to join families in their demand for truth, justice and accountability.
Full details on the facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/767259753384723/
“On the 04th August 2011 in Ferry Lane Estate Tottenham, my brother Mark Duggan was horrifically shot dead by the police, they later set out to smear and explain their actions by claiming with no proof whatsoever that Mark was indeed one of the most dangerous gangsters in Europe! We move forward determined to find justice and aim to let the authorities know that there will be no peace without justice. We aim to share our experiences as well as learn the experience of others both sides of the Atlantic.” Shaun Hall, brother of Mark Wayne Duggan
Deaths and violence in state custody is a public outcry both in the US and in the UK. As Dr Martin Luther King Jr said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” It is therefore vital for families like mine to join in solidarity with others, to share experiences and discuss strategies that can bring about change on both sides of the Atlantic.” Marcia Rigg, sister of Sean Rigg
“United families and friends was set up to fight for justice, change and accountability. Of 4800 deaths in custody since 1968, no state official has ever been convicted. From the UK to the US we are joining together to ensure that families voices will be heard.” Stephanie Lightfoot-Bennett, sister of Leon Patterson
“I am travelling to the US to join the justice tour against police brutality to start to build an international alliance to address this horrific issue. My brother Kingsley Burrell died at the hands of the police after calling for their help. The alarming use of lethal and indiscriminate force by police dealing with black ethnic minorities is something that seems to be emulated by state officials here in the UK as well as the US and I want to unite with others to stop this injustice.” Kadisha Brown-Burrell, sister of Kingsley Burrell