By Mark Harrison
Yesterday I attended an important action in support of the friends and families of those killed at the hands of the police, as part of the #justice4grainger campaign. Around 60 people gathered in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens and similar events were held around the country. A passionate speech was made by Anthony’s mother (see above) and she was presented with a portrait of her son by a local artist. Other important speeches were then made by Janet Alder (sister of Christopher Alder, killed by the police whilst half naked and after being racially abused) and campaigners who seek to reform Joint Enterprise law. These include Mohammed Riaz, served 20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
We leafleted members of the public and explained the tragic case to those who stopped to talk. The microphone was opened up to all that wanted to speak and was taken up by representatives of the Socialist Equality Party, Revolutionary Communist Group and the Communist League.
Greater Manchester Police had wisely decided to make themselves scarce, so as some people got tired and began to head home, about 40 of us decided to march on Bootle Street Police Station and held a short demonstration there. We were loud and lively, obviously intimidating the police as they stayed hidden in doors.
Someone dies in police custody on average every month, often without consequence. Working class people understand what it is to be bullied and intimidated by the police, this fuels their hatred of them and was a factor in the riots last year.
The struggle continues.