justice4mark

Mark Duggan solidarity motion passed at CONEL UCU

This motion was passed unanimously at a UCU branch meeting at CONEL College in Tottenham, 15 January 2014. You can download it as a PDF or as a Microsoft Word document.

Branch notes

  • That the jury at the inquest into the killing of Mark Duggan concluded that he had not been holding a gun when he was shot dead by armed police
  • That despite this the killing was found ‘lawful’
  • That even though Mark’s criminal record was minor, with two fines on his record, the media continually referred to Mark as a violent gangster and ‘one of the 48 most dangerous criminals in Europe’
  • That the police and the IPCC actively collaborated with the media to spread lies and disinformation in the days after Mark’s killing – e.g. that there was a ‘shoot-out’ in which an officer had been ‘saved’ when a bullet lodged in his radio (the bullet was actually from a police gun)
  • That Mark Duggan is the latest in a series of black men and women from Tottenham who have died at the hands of the police since 1985 – Cynthia Jarrett, Joy Gardner, Roger Sylvester, now Mark – and for whose deaths no police officer has faced criminal charges
  • That in stark contrast, many young people in our community faced draconian prison sentences for minor crimes committed in the heat of the riots following Mark’s death

Branch believes

  • That the verdict was influenced by the racist way in which Mark’s character was tarnished by the police and media
  • 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
  • That everyone in our community, irrespective of race, age and background, should be entitled to walk the streets without fear

Branch agrees

  • To send our condolences and solidarity to the family of Mark Duggan at this very difficult time
  • To support the family in their continuing fight for justice for Mark
  • To inform David Lammy MP and the local press about the branch’s concern

Carried unanimously

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Public campaign meeting in Tottenham, 30 January

flyer for #j4m public meeting on 30 Jan7pm, Thursday 30 January

North London Community House
22 Moorefield Rd, London N17 6PY
(round the corner from Bruce Grove station)

speakers include Carole Duggan and others to be announced

Mark Duggan’s family, friends and supporters believe that the inquest jury’s verdict that Mark was “lawfully killed” is terribly wrong. As the family solicitor said: “The jury found that he had no gun in his hand – and yet he was gunned down. For us that is an unlawful killing.”

The inquest has raised many troubling questions about the true circumstances of Mark’s death. We want answers to those questions. We will fight on to find out who was responsible for Mark’s death and hold them to account. We are calling on everyone to support us in this struggle.

Since 1990 some 1,476 people have died in police custody or following police contact (figures from inquest.org.uk). Yet not one police officer has been convicted. In Tottenham the family and friends of Cynthia Jarrett, Joy Gardner and Roger Sylvester still have no justice.

On Saturday 11 January around 1,000 people attended a vigil for Mark outside Tottenham police station. This meeting is our next step: a place to discuss discuss the facts of the case, the person Mark really was – and how you can help the Justice for Mark Duggan campaign.

That vigil is just the beginning of the mountain that we have to climb to get justice for Mark – in unity and solidarity alongside his family and loved ones.

A message from Carole Duggan to all who came to Mark’s vigil

Thank you to everyone who came to the vigil called at short notice yesterday, Saturday 11 January 2014, to the vigil called by Justice for Mark Duggan outside Tottenham police station. We appealed to you to come in peace and unity, and you did that. We face an long uphill battle to win justice for Mark and your support is greatly appreciated.

The press are estimating several hundred attended the vigil. We believe it was around 1,000, far more than what we were expecting and in the face of relentless negative briefings from the authorities claiming that there would be trouble. In the event the vigil was dignified and respectful, though not without anger at how Mark has been treated. As I said at the vigil, we were there to remember Mark as he was, not as he has been falsely portrayed in the media.

The crowd at the vigil in Tottenham

We started the vigil by holding a minute’s silence for Mark. Stafford explained why the family and campaigners believe the jury inquest verdict of lawful killing was “perverse”. He ran through the inconsistencies in the police evidence, and asked: “Are they telling us that a dead man threw that gun?”

The date of the vigil was 15 years to the day since the death of Roger Sylvester at the hands of Tottenham police. Roger’s father Rupert Sylvester joined the vigil, as did representatives of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, friends of Leon Briggs who recently died in custody of Bedfordshire police, and Marcia Rigg who announced a new investigation into the 2008 death of her brother Sean at Brixton police station.

Stephanie Lightfoot-Bennett, whose twin brother Leon Patterson died in police custody in 1992, spoke on behalf of United Family & Friends Campaign. She held up the names of all those who have died in custody since 1969, quoting Martin Luther King.

Reverend Nims Obunge and Diane Abbott MP speaking at the vigil

Mark’s family are currently considering the next steps in their pursuit of answers and justice for Mark. Jennifer Kelleher from the Justice for Mark Campaign announced a public meeting to present Mark’s case to be held on Thursday 30 January, 7pm, at the Bruce Grove community house in Tottenham. “This vigil is by no means the end,” she said. “It is just the beginning of the mountain that we have to climb to get justice for Mark, in unity alongside his family and loved ones.”

The vigil ended around 3:30pm with words from local pastor Reverend Nims Obunge and Hackney MP Diane Abbott. The vigil closed with us releasing doves to remember Mark and promise to do right by him. Pamela, Mark’s mother, thanked everyone for coming. “We want justice for my son,” she said.

Leaflet handed out at Mark’s vigil

Justice for Mark Duggan

We are holding this peaceful vigil as a mark of love and respect Mark Duggan, the Tottenham dad of six who was shot and killed on 4 August 2011. We also want to show that the fight for justice for Mark will carry on.

Mark’s family, friends and supporters believe that the jury got its verdict of “lawful killing” terribly wrong. As Marcia Willis Stewart, solicitor for the family, said: “This is a perverse judgement. The jury found that he had no gun in his hand – and yet he was gunned down. For us that is an unlawful killing.”

The inquest also raised many troubling questions about the true circumstances of Mark’s death. We want answers to those questions. We will fight on to find out who was responsible for Mark’s death and hold them to account. We are calling on everyone to support us in this struggle.

Since 1990, some 1,476 people have died in police custody or following police contact, yet not one police officer has been convicted. In Tottenham the family and friends of Cynthia Jarrett, Joy Gardner and Roger Sylvester still have no justice.

get involved in the Justice for Mark Duggan campaign