Updated: Aug 6, 2021
This week, we share our support and stand in solidarity with Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who were all subject to racist abuse following the England Euro 2020 defeat. The abuse and violence, both online and in person, that we have collectively witnessed and suffered in the aftermath of the tournament, serves as a reminder of just how deeply racism is embedded within Britain. That for many young Black people in this country, a sense of belonging is always tempered with the threat of racial violence. We have been reflecting on how we protect the physical and mental well-being of our 4Front community.
Sending you comfort, love and strength,
The 4Front Project Team
4FRONT join JENGbA to Protest Against Joint Enterprise
This week, 4Front joined the campaign group JENGbA (Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association) in Parliament Square to support their demonstration against joint enterprise. Under this law, people have been imprisoned for decades, based solely on insinuations about their associations or friendships. Gloria, a JENGbA coordinator, said “This was about bringing in a law to lock up young Black kids, to lock up young Brown kids, to lock up working class kids... and it was deliberate”. At the demonstration, we spoke about our work to fight the unjust and racist imprisonment of young people. Temi Mwale, our Director said “Joint enterprise is about holding people collectively responsible for the actions of one. Why is it ok for our communities but it doesn't apply to anyone else? Why doesn't it apply to the police? Why doesn't it apply to our politicians?”. The struggle to abolish joint enterprise and repair the harm it has already caused to individuals, families and whole communities, continues. Support JENGbA’s fight here.
Black People in the UK Are Going to Jail for Crimes They Didn’t Commit. Here’s Why
By Oumou Longley:
Joint enterprise prosecutions happen all the time in the UK – and more often than not, they happen to working-class, Black youth. In a 2016 survey of prisoners, the Centre for Crime and Justice studies reported that over half of those convicted under joint enterprise identified as Black or mixed race. For context, Black people make up just 3 percent of the British population. Linda’s* son is in prison for 17 years after being convicted under joint enterprise. “The evidential bar is set so low,” she says. “Not one of 40 witnesses could identify my son as the killer, yet he’s serving a life sentence in prison. There wasn’t even any forensic evidence. Well actually, there was tonnes of forensic evidence, but none of it connected to my son.” Read more…[via Vice News]
Solidarity with N11 Allotments
We’re spotlighting N11 Allotments - a group made of young practitioners and community champions who want to make a difference through proactive social action. They use the Community Café and Restaurant to empower, engage, educate and enterprise. N11 Allotments focus on aspiration, empowerment, and positive choice through locally grown food to build a socially just world. This week, following the racially motivated attacks and abuse Black people have endured in the aftermath of the Euro 2020 final, the N11 Allotments Community Café and Restaurant was vandalised with racist abuse. We ask that you stand in solidarity with them at this time and show them love and support. You can donate to their crowdfund here, follow them on instagram and make a reservation.
Making Black lives matter in the criminal justice system Report
We’re spotlighting a new report by the Howard League and Black Protest Legal Support which serves as a guide for anti-racist lawyers. Making Black lives matter in the criminal justice system is a comprehensive and detailed piece of work which highlights how legal tools must and can be used to build power for individuals and movements. It responds both to the enduring racist discrimination in the criminal justice system, and the absence of legal training that equips lawyers to be anti-racist. Ife Thompson, Lawyer and founder of Black Protest Legal Support, said "As an organisation committed to movement lawyering, Black Protest Legal Support understands that the law is not neutral and lawyers have a role in mitigating against this by bringing the fight for racial justice to the centre of their practice. This can be difficult for lawyers as legal training teaches us to do the opposite". The guide is essential reading for any legal professional that wishes to contribute to the movement for Black lives. Read the full report here.