This week we have been reflecting on milestones in our collective struggle. Wednesday marked ten years since Mark Duggan was shot and killed by police in Tottenham, and the days of unrest that ensued in cities across the country. We know that Mark’s family continue to call for justice, and that many tactics devised after the 2011 uprisings, such as the Gangs Matrix, bear down heavily on our communities. The 7th August also marks one year since the Colindale Uprising - a day where local police injured and arrested a number of our own staff and members. Much of our community protested outside Colindale Police Station in a day that still weighs heavy in our minds. As the years pass by, we are asking ourselves how we can continue to seek justice after loss and pain, how the structural issues that caused these incidents persist, and, as always, how we can build peace.
Peace and strength to all in these struggles, and all affected by state violence,
The 4Front Project Team.
4FRONT delivers Youth Activists for Justice, Peace and Freedom workshop
Last Thursday, we delivered an important workshop on Youth Activists for Justice, Peace and Freedom at the Act for Change Festival. Our Youth Activism Coordinators and team shared experiences, including those of police violence and the wider criminal justice system. They discussed our Youth Activist Fellowship programme and how 4Front has encouraged their awareness and activism. We heard, too, what young people hope for and dream of: what they want to see more of in our communities, and how they can reimagine justice and what it means to them. We received some really positive feedback from the session, some of which you can see above.
NEW BLOG: ‘Beating Crime Plan’: Empty Rhetoric Set To Deepen Injustice.
Last week we read the Government’s ‘Beating Crime’ plan with frustration and sorrow. It is beyond disheartening to see the Government roll out yet another ‘plan’ that outright ignores the things we are fighting for. Another plan that rehashes dangerous stereotypes and refuses to ask about the causes of violence. A plan that, despite being empty of substance, recycles phrases about crackdowns, repeats dangerous ‘us vs them’ narratives and, ultimately, threatens to worsen our lives. Indeed, reading the Plan made clear just how empty much of the Government’s fanfare about crime crackdowns really are. Kusai, Emmanuel and Becka from our team have penned some of their thoughts on what this Plan means with regards to the Government’s plans on law and order more generally which you can read here.
I saw what sparked the Tottenham Riots - 10 years on, it could happen again
By Stafford Scott:
I can still recall the phone call on 4 August 2011, informing me that police officers had been involved in the killing of an “armed gangster” who had allegedly shot at them. I was getting the call, from the chair of a policing advisory group, as this incident had taken place in Tottenham, north London, where for decades I have been an active campaigner for police accountability. The whole case felt even more bizarre, and deeply personal, when I learned that the victim was Mark Duggan - the son of my friends, Pam Duggan and Bruno Hall. Read more... [via the Guardian]
JENGbA take legal action on miscarriages of justice
By Jon Robbins:
In a letter before action shared with the Justice Gap, Joint Enterprise Not Guilty By Association (JENGBA) are challenging the ‘continuing failure’ of Robert Buckland to respond to recommendations from the all-party parliamentary group on miscarriages of justice (APPG) that the government’s law reform body, the Law Commission, should urgently remove the ‘substantial injustice’ test imposed by the Court of Appeal. In 2016 the Supreme Court ruled in the Jogee case that the law on joint enterprise had ‘taken a wrong turn’; however, that seemingly landmark judgment did not prompt the predicted wave of successful appeals as the court also asserted that new appeals needed demonstrate a ‘substantial injustice’ prior to any leave for appeal being granted. That new hurdle has effectively closed off the possibility of successful appeals in joint enterprise cases. Read more... [via The Justice Gap]
Tottenham Rights: 2011 to today - Event This Saturday
We're spotlighting Tottenham Rights, an organisation fighting for justice and equality, from the Broadwater Farm Defence Campaign in the 1980s to the Gangs Matrix today. This Saturday, Tottenham Rights will speak with Forensic Architecture as part of the War Inna Babylon exhibition’s public programme, in an event marking 10 years since Mark Duggan was shot and killed by police. The event will include a panel discussion and Virtual Reality demonstrations looking at Mark’s killing, the ensuing civil unrest and the state’s response to this unrest. It begins at 2pm and you can book tickets here.
Switchback LDN: #ReshapeRelease Campaign
We're spotlighting a new campaign from Switchback LDN which is calling for urgent change to the shocking conditions under which people are released from prison. Switchback LDN supports men leaving prison through training and mentorship.Their recently launched #ReshapeRelease campaign is calling attention to the fact that 50,000 people are released from prison each year, often with just a plastic bag of belongings and nowhere to go. Without the basic means to survive, people can't move forward. You can learn more about the campaign and support it here.