Mark’s family to launch justice campaign at public meeting

press release for immediate release, 7pm, 29 January 2014

7pm, Thursday 30 January 2014
North London Community Centre, London N17 6PY

Speakers include: Carole Duggan, Becky Shah, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Marcia Rigg,
Zita Holbourne

The Justice for Mark Duggan campaign holds its public launch meeting in Tottenham this Thursday evening. Trade unionists, justice campaigners and Tottenham residents are will join members of Mark’s family to demand answers about the circumstances of Mark’s death at police hands on 4 August 2011.

Around 1,000 people came to a recent vigil for Mark organised by the campaign outside Tottenham police station. The public meeting is the next step in an uphill struggle to find out how Mark died and to hold any police officers responsible to account.

Speakers at the launch meeting include Zita Holbourne from the TUC race relations committee, which is supporting the campaign. She says: “It is of great concern that the jury in the Inquest reached a verdict of lawful killing despite also concluding that Mark Duggan was not in possession of a gun when shot dead. Challenging injustice and racism is a responsibility for us all, including the trade union movement.”

The meeting will challenge some of the myths and slurs peddled against Mark, including claims by a police officer at the inquest that Mark was among “48 of Europe’s most violent criminals”. Becky Shah, whose mother died at Hillsborough, says: “Police used the same processes to cover up the Hillsborough disaster and Mark Duggan’s death: distorting facts, lies, collusion, stigmatisation and demonisation of victims. We want justice for all those who have died through contact with the police.” Becky will be speaking at the Justice for Mark meeting.

The family campaign has already won support from staff at the College of North East London in Tottenham. They recently passed a UCU union motion expressing concern “that the decision to find it lawful for the police to shoot an unarmed person has put all young black people in our college and beyond at risk”. They have pledged to raise these concerns with Tottenham MP David Lammy.

Other supporters of the campaign include families fighting for justice and accountability themselves. Marcia Rigg, whose brother Sean died in police custody, said: “When a family’s loved one is killed at the hands of the state, one would expect honest answers and transparency, followed by justice and accountability where there is wrongdoing or corruption found. Unfortunately it’s not that clear cut. A strong campaign of mass public support is vital for any family in our position, since the system is designed to fail us. We must stand firm and fight on for the truth: that is what ‘no justice, no peace’ means.”

Acclaimed poet Linton Kwesi Johnson will also be making an appearance at the launch of Justice for Mark Duggan. Linton’s poems include Licence Fi Kill, about deaths in police custody.

for information contact justiceformarkduggan@gmail.com

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