FEEDBACK OF THE DAY
REGARDING THE PROCESSION ON SATURDAY 29TH OCTOBER 2011
WE MET 12.30PM TRAFALGAR SQUARE
FOR A MARCH TO DOWNING STREET
The march went very well - had the right sort of vibe from the very beginning - very charged and emotional, united and strong, yet peaceful and dignified. There had to have been around 500 people there…we were hoping for more.
There were lots of press and photographers, but I have not yet seen any coverage by the national press - I've been told it was on the BBC news however, but cannot find it on iplayer.
The format was pretty much the same as all years, it was good to have the Menezes family there along with the Duggan family, Smiley Culture, Demetre Fraser, the Kingsley Burrell family and many many more - however, it was also a very sad aspect, that more people had died and families had to join us.
The police facilitated us and sectioned off the road so we could march peacefully - that was good, as always. We stopped at the Women of War Memorial and took some pictures with our banners and families, stating that we were also at war in the battle of justice with the British government...
During the family speeches outside Downing St, they had tried to relegate us to the edge of Whitehall on a grassed area out of the way - said we were causing mayhem - and backed up traffic, I engaged in a dialogue with the police chiefs and told them some of us had waited more than 20 years for justice for our murdered relatives to stand outside Downing street and have an impact - we would have no impact relegated to the side where no one would notice us...they seemed courteous, understanding and eventually backed off.
We finished by reading the open letter to the PM and pushed it through the gate at Downing St...then as we were dispersing for the day, I saw that some families decided to sit on the floor in the middle of the road in protest - they felt they needed to stay a bit longer. The police suddenly came out in a huge swarm...probably around 300 officers or more and began to kettle them!!! I had no idea where they all came from, must have been waiting in the wings...I was on the side on the pavement dancing to some drums which were being played and noticed the commotion. I went in to find out what was happening…We found out they arrested one black guy for obstruction...for exact reasons I am not clear - why pick on him out of everyone?? They also dragged Doreen Bishop - (mother of the late Ricky Bishop, killed at Brixton P/S) across the road as she was sitting down with her walking stick…It was despicable behaviour. Fellow protesters were around her and eventually managed to get her out of there - she told them she was prepared to die after they have already killed her son... Some of us tried to get to her, but police would not let us, I told police around that they had better release her or there would be a backlash, as her son had already been killed at the hands of Brixton police. Around 15 of us later went to Marylebone Police station where the legal observers for the march found out they had taken this guy - the police said they were making a decision whether to charge him or not. We told them we were his family - all black, white, pink and green of us! Shortly after we arrived they allowed him to go with a caution and he was surprised to find us outside waiting for him with a big cheer. That was a perfect end to the day really...
However, we are compelled to make an official complaint about the heavy policing and needless arrest and the dragging of D.B amongst other things - We demand an apology from the Met police, all charges to be dropped and an audience with the Prime Minister himself to address the very serious and ongoing issue of suspicious deaths in custody and the lack of investigation into them.
Samantha Rigg-David – Sean Rigg Justice and Change Campaign
Monday 31st Oct 2011