Jan 112015
 

http://www.luton-dunstable.co.uk/pictures/GALLERY-8203-100-march-Luton-justice-protest/pictures-25838488-detail/pictures.html

OVER 100 people marched through Luton today (Sunday) in protest against Bedfordshire Police.

Representatives from Justice 4 Leon, Justice 4 Faruk Ali and Justice 4 Mayah, who have united as the group Luton 4 Justice, were joined by campaigners for Slough man Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah, who died in police custody in 2008.

The group marched from Nadeem Plaza to Luton Police Station at 1pm, which was closed during the protest, where speeches were given by campaigners.

The group had dispersed by 3pm.

Dhobir Ali, brother of Faruk Ali, said: “Today is a start of a long journey, with a lot of struggles ahead.

“We have a lot of questions left unanswered, such as the progress of the misconduct hearing and whether they will release the footage.

“We want to work with the police, but we also want there to be transparency.”

When asked what the next step for Luton 4 Justice was, Livery Louise of the Justice 4 Leon campaign said: “The next step after this is the Ferguson USA to UK tour where a Reverend central to the protests of the Michael Brown case is coming down to speak on a panel, which we hope will raise awareness even further and increase community cohesion.”

Read more: http://www.luton-dunstable.co.uk/pictures/GALLERY-8203-100-march-Luton-justice-protest/pictures-25838488-detail/pictures.html#ixzz3OXakZK61

Report back from Mandy a DPAC supporter who attended the event together with Andy Greene who spoke on behalf of DPAC

Strange that I should be in respite care, when the march was due to take place. My life is full of these anomalies. I consider being part of the protest as party of my therapy. It is import for people to feel valued and involved in important things. It doesn’t get much more important than the right to justice and that means justice for all.

I wasn’t aware that the march would be taking place until last Wednesday. However, there was enough time to liaise with Linda and Andy and to have some clue of where the march was to start.

After a few minor blips, I met Andy and Jim at Luton train station and we took a slow pootle to Nazeem Plaza

It was nice to have people to go along with especially all I really knew was that some people had died, either in police custody or due to negligence of other people (and a system that seems to serve itself…make that does serve itself).

When we got to the rendezvous point, I became aware that 2 adults and a child had died and  Faruk Ali a man with autism had been assaulted twice by police outside his home. The families had got no justice for their loved one. I am sure many people are aware of the ‘corruption’ that makes for our justice system but I was horrified, particularly, by the plight of Mayah. A young girl and the abuse her family members received, not just when Mayah was in hospital but since they have been trying to get those accountable to be made accountable. Having said that, all life is precious and the lives of the 3 people, taken too soon, unnecessarily, and the way public servants have lied, covered up the truth and put the families through hell upset and angered me. Gave me more resolve, when I was marching because it felt the only right thing for me to do.
During the march, I became detached from Andy and Jim. These things happen when I get caught up in what is going on. I felt a strong sense of solidarity and pride in being part of the march and having a booming voice came in really handy as we (as a collective) chanted the names of those who had died and yelled “Our Streets” in response to the question “Whose Streets?”.

The names of those we were marching for: Leon Briggs, Papa Mullah, Farouk Ali and Baby Mayah. It is important to remember these people and also to remember that if this is what has happened in Luton, similar miscarriages of justice (deaths in police custody and assaults of disabled people) must be happening all over this country.

The march ended at Luton Police Station, where family members (of the victims), community leaders and DPAC’s Andy gave speeches. Was well impressed by Andy. Blimey, he can give it some and fair play to him. He did DPAC and all disabled people proud.

I was very much touched by Mayah’s uncle. I nearly cried, hearing how Mayah died and how brutally her family members, including Mayah’s mother, were treated by the police. I know this sounds a bit biased but as a mother I can only imagine (and how awful that imagery is) what it would be like if that had been my daughter and I was being manhandled by policemen.

Before some of us, who had marched, went off for free soup at Ruby’s. {The owner, very kindly, made soup for all who took part} somebody (from some news channel or other) thrust a microphone at me, asking me why I attended the march. Bottom line, because the justice system should serve everyone and serve everyone properly.

 

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 Posted by at 19:06

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