Tottenham remembers Mark Duggan

Shops including this one were built at ground level after the riots and demolition of the decks

People met at Broadwater Farm for the march and rally to remember Mark Duggan and others, nearly all young Black men, killed by police in London. There was a slightly uneasy atmosphere, not because we were at Broadwater Farm, but because the media haven’t generally given Black communities fair treatment over contentious issues – such as the killing of Mark Duggan, though the bias that there clearly is often comes from those who sit in offices and studios rather than people who actually report in person.  It’s something I probably feel less than most, as there were quite a few people there that know me from other places and protests, such as the annual march by the United Families and Friends Campaign calling for justice for  deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.

Mark Duggan’s daughter speaks at the police station, wearing a t-shirt ‘REST IN PARADISE “DAD”‘

Mark Duggan grew up on ‘The Farm’ and was known by many there, and many regard his shooting by police in 2011 as an extra-judicial killing, a state-condoned execution, a belief that was for them confirmed by the inquest  verdict that he was lawfully killed. The only civilian witness stated he was unarmed and surrendering when killed.

Jermaine Baker’s mother – he was shot, allegedly sleeping in a car, in Wood Green in 2015

But Duggan was only one of those who have died at the hands of the police in Tottenham, which includes  Cynthia Jarrett, Joy Gardner, Roger Sylvester and Jermaine Baker as well as many more in London and across the country and the recent murders of Rashan Charles, Darren Cumberbatch and Edson Da Costa.  There have been literally thousands of deaths in custody since the last even partly successful prosecution of police officers over a black death in custody in 1971 when two were acquitted on charges of manslaughter and perjury but convicted of assault after David Oluwale was found drowned in the River Aire in Leeds.

The march sets off from Broadwater Farm on its way to Tottenham Police Station

The march left rather later than expected, and there were perhaps rather fewer than last year taking part, but more joined them at Tottenham Police Station, which had been locked up for the day. Family members of those killed gathered on the steps and around, with a crowd in front spilling onto the pavement. And on the other side of the wide road another crowd assembled, mostly of young black men.

Mark Duggan’s mother Pamela Duggan (centre) with family and friends

There was poetry and a silence and speeches by some relatives of those killed and local activists as well as a few invited visitors including Becky Shah from the Hillsborough campaign and a speaker from the Justice for Grenfell campaign. Leading the rally was the prominent anti-racist campaigner Stafford Scott, who had been co-founder of the Broadwater Farm Defence Campaign in 1985, and had known Mark Duggan well.

More pictures: Tottenham remembers Mark Duggan


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