Posts Tagged ‘Marcia Rigg’

Democracy, Mansion Tax & Justice – 2014

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2023

Democracy, Mansion Tax & Justice – on Saturday 22nd November 2014 I photographed protests about democracy and justice in the UK, the brutal persecution of Christians in Pakistan and Class War protesting outside the homes of millionaire objectors to a proposed mansion tax. My day’s work ended in Brixton with an annual march remembering young men killed in Brixton Police Station.


Occupy Democracy at Supreme Court – Parliament Square

Democracy, Mansion Tax & Justice - 2014

Activists from Occupy Democracy had spent the night on the wide pavement in front of the Supreme Court on the west side of Parliament Square and were getting ready to hold two days of workshops there.

Democracy, Mansion Tax & Justice - 2014

The Supreme Court is housed in the ornamented former Middlesex Guildhall facing the Houses of Parliament across the square and does not sit at weekends, perhaps why the police had not tried hard to remove the protesters.

Democracy, Mansion Tax & Justice - 2014

Parliament Square itself was still fenced off and guarded, with police fearing that Occupy protesters might come and set up up a tented camp there. One of the banners the protesters had brought read ‘WE ARE THE GHOST OF BRIAN HAW’, the peace protester who had defied legal and illegal attempts to remove him from his camp facing Parliament for many years.

Democracy, Mansion Tax & Justice - 2014

A small group of protesters was sheltering from the rain in the doorway of the Supreme Court and I went to say ‘Hello’ and take a few pictures.

Others were holding posters and banners and waiting for others to come an join them for the workshops. I couldn’t stay but hoped to come back later, but ran out of time to do so.

Occupy Democracy at Supreme Court


Justice for Shahzad & Shama – Downing St

Shahzad Masih and Shama Bibi were Pakistani Christians who had been trapped into bond labour at a brick kiln in a Muslim village 35 miles south-west of Lahore. Shahad was involved in a dispute with the kiln owner and landlord as he wanted to pay off his debts and leave and the landlord’s accountant is alleged to have raped Shama.

Shama had cleared out and burnt some items belonging to her father after his death on 30th October 2014. These included some black magic amulets and written charms. The ashes were seen by a Muslim worker and he accused her of burning the Koran.

A large mob came from surrounding villages and attacked the couple, stripped them and tied them to a tractor, beating them as they were taken to the kiln, where petrol was poured over their bodies; accounts differ as to whether both were still alive when they were then thrown into the furnace while there six year old child watched. Armed police stood by but refused to interfere in their murders.

The police and authorities appear to have tried to cover up the case and buried the remains of the bodies in secret to avoid their families arranging a funeral. But the news leaked out and the federal government had appointed a minister to co-ordinate the case. At Downing Street there were prayers and speeches calling for justice including from an Elim Pentecostal minister and singer Si Genaro.

Justice for Shahzad & Shama


Class War Griff Rhys Jones Mansion Tax – Fitzroy Square

Earlier in the month, Class War had announced they would stand a number of candidates in the forthcoming 2015 General Election and had put together a manifesto largely as they walked the short distance from the pub to a Poor Doors protest.

Marina Pepper rang the bell at Griff Rhys Jones’ house

Class War did not expect to win any seats – or even save their deposits, but “to launch a furious and coordinated political offensive against the ruling class with the opportunity an election gives us to talk politics to our class.” And they intended to “make ourselves central to the campaign in a funny, rumbustious combative and imaginative way.”

One of the key pledges in their manifesto was for a 50% mansion tax, and it was also a policy on a rather less punitive scale for the then Labour party (no longer in existence.) And several well-known and filthy rich people had voiced their objections including Griff Rhys Jones who said he would leave the country if Labour levied a mansion tax.

On Saturday 22nd November a small group from Class War, including two of their election candidates Marina Pepper went to protest at the £7 million home of Griff Rhys Jones in Fitzroy Square, telling him to “f**k off now“, offering to pay the fare.

Class War rang on the bell though nobody came to answer it, although there were signs of movement inside. They put hazard tape around the area outside the house before going for a walk around the square, pausing for another brief protest outside the home of Guy Ritchie, another millionaire objector to a mansion tax.

Continuing around the square, next to the house where both George Bernard Shaw and later Virginia Woolf both lived, they came across the Magistrates Association – who got another sticker, as did the locked gates into the private garden in the centre of the square.

Having gone around the square they arrived back outside Griff Rhys Jones’s house where they stopped for a group photograph and a few more minutes of protest before leaving for a nearby pub. I would have liked to join them but had to rush to another event.

Class War Griff Rhys Jones Mansion Tax


Still No Justice for Ricky Bishop – Brixton

Ricky Bishop, a fit young black man, died from unexplained injuries hours after being taken to Brixton Police Station on 22 Nov 2001. Family and supporters call it a modern day lynching and march annually to remember him and call for justice.

Ricky Bishop was a fit young black man when taken into Brixton Police Station on 22 Nov 2001, but hours later he died from unexplained injuries. His family and supporters call his death a modern day lynching and march annually to remember him and call for justice.

People met in Windrush Square and marched slowly to the police station, calling out the names of the officers they accuse of murdering him, to hold a memorial event around the tree outside which has been adopted as a remembrance tree for Ricky Bishop and the others killed there by police.

Among the speakers was Marcia Rigg who spoke forcefully of the long battle to get any proper investigation into the death in he police station of her brother Sean Rigg in August 2008. While she was speaking there were shouts from officers inside the police station accusing her and the family of lying about the police.

I felt shocked and disgusted that police still feel the killing people as they did Sean Rigg is defensible and go to great lengths to prevent proper investigation, giving police almost total immunity from the consequences of their actions.

Although many of the over 3,000 custody deaths between 1969 and 2011 may not have been the result of deliberate actions or failures, there has not been a single officer successfully prosecuted, despite considerable evidence of wrongdoing. Instead we have seen repeated instances of failures to properly investigate and interview officers, collusion to give false statements, unnecessary holding up of cases, disallowing of evidence, misleading of juries and other means, including failures of both the Crown Prosecution Service and the so-called Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Many more pictures of the march and memorial on My London Diary at Still No Justice for Ricky Bishop.


No More Police Killings, Time For Justice

Friday, October 27th, 2023

No More Police Killings, Time For Justice: On Saturday 27th October 2012 I photographed the 14th annual march by the United Families & Friends Campaign (UFFC), a coalition of people whose family members and friends have died while in the care of police, prisons and in psychiatric detention.

No More Police Killings, Time For Justice
Marcia Rigg holds the list of 3,180 known custody deaths since 1969

Tomorrow, 28th October 2023 the UFFC will again be marching from Trafalgar Square at noon, though the event will be rather overshadowed by a massive march taking place at the same time a short distance away supporting Palestine. I hope to spend some time covering both events.

No More Police Killings, Time For Justice

Back in 2012 I wrote a long post, No More Police Killings, Time For Justice, on My London Diary about the event and little has changed since then, except that the list of those who have died has grown longer. So today I’ll quote some large parts of that article, along with some of the many pictures I took then.

No More Police Killings, Time For Justice

A slow silent march in memory of over 3000 people who have died in suspicious circumstances in custody since 1969 made its way slowly down Whitehall to Downing St, where a rally called for an end to police violence and immunity from prosecution.

No More Police Killings, Time For Justice

Among the families involved in the campaign, many of whom were represented at the protest, were those of Roger Sylvester, Leon Patterson, Rocky Bennett, Alton Manning, Christopher Alder, Brian Douglas, Joy Gardner, Aseta Simms, Ricky Bishop, Paul Jemmott, Harry Stanley, Glenn Howard, Mikey Powell, Jason McPherson, Lloyd Butler, Azelle Rodney, Sean Rigg, Habib Ullah, Olaseni Lewis, David Emmanuel (aka Smiley Culture), Kingsley Burrell, Demetre Fraser, Mark Nunes and Mark Duggan. Every year the list of names of those who have died in custody grows by several hundred – and among the new names this year were Billy Spiller, killed on 5 Nov 2011 and Philmore Mills, killed in Slough on Dec 27, 2011 and Anthony Grainger, killed by police on 3 March 2012. A total of 3.180 whose names are known since 1969, and there are others about which no details are available. Many have died in situations where foul play seems obvious, but not one single police or prison officer has been convicted.

People carry a coffin on which families wrote the names of those killed

There they came to a halt on the southbound roadway and held a rally at which many representatives of the families who are campaigning for justice spoke. Their stories were a horrific indictment of the UK police and justice system, with case after case of mainly fit and healthy men (and their have been some notable women) being detained by police and after a remarkably short time in the hands of the police being dead. Most but not all were black, but there was considerable agreement when one of the speakers said it was not a matter of race but of class; some police felt they could treat working-class people they detained how they liked, and that they could literally get away with murder.

Carole Duggan described the officer who shot her nephew Mark Duggan last year as “a serial killer in a uniform”

Instead the police issue lies to the press – as in the case of Mark Duggan whose shooting which appears to have been an extra-judicial exection – sparked the recent riots, saying that the victims were pointing guns at police or false stories about drugs or gang connections or other stories which give lurid headlines. Often evidence later emerges which means they have to retract these stories – as in the case of the entirely innocent Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes.

Jan Butler, mother of Lloyd Butler who died in a police cel

These and other cases often too see police officers colluding with each other over stories – which again often unravel as more evidence emerges. We’ve seen too the deliberate use of discredited forensic investigators, as after the killing of Ian Tomlinson, as well as in that case and many others the deliberate use of delaying tactics in the investigation. CCTV evidence seems sometimes to mysteriously disappear, police fail to question officers who are the key suspects, and more. The Independent Police Complaints Commission has clearly too often has failed to be independent, often seeming to deliberately avoid or hide the the truth and to aid the police in getting away literally with murder.

No More Police Killings, Time For Justice
Stephanie Lightfoot-Bennet, twin sister of Leon Patterson

In the article I went on to give some details of the cases that family members spoke about, including the cases of Mark Duggan, shot by police in London, Anthony Grainger shot in Warrington, Lloyd Butler who died in a police cell, Kingsley Burrell who died in hospital after police had sectioned him when he called for help, Leon Patterson, battered to death in a police cell in Manchester in 1992, Demetre Fraser, Jason McPherson, Christopher Alder and others. I had to leave while some family members were still waiting to speak.

As I left the rally a small group of EDL members came and began to shout abuse. Police did rapidly respond and lead them away, and stewards from the rally tried hard to stop people chasing them. I reported “I photographed one man abusing a photographer, forcing her to run rapidly backwards as he ran at her, and another with a camera trying to hide his face behind his coat as he was being photographed running away.” I think he had been photographing for the EDL and had assaulted a woman who had photographed him.

Janet Alder – her brother Christopher was killed by police in Hull in 1992

In the article I list the 10 demands contained in a letter the UFFC were to deliver to Downing St at the end of the rally. I don’t think any of them have been met. Although the IPCC – the so-called Independent Police Complaints Commission – was replaced in 2018 by a new Independent Office for Police Conduct, IOPC, which seems equally flawed. It still uses the police to investigate the police and of over 23,000 complaints made about poor policing between 2020-2021, only 18 resulted in a police officer facing a misconduct meeting or hearing.

More text and pictures at No More Police Killings, Time For Justice.


Jobs, Services & Education, Police Violence & More

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

Jobs, Services & Education, Police Violence & More: My work on Saturday May 23rd 2009 began with a march in North London before coming down to a couple of protests at Downing Street and then a march from Trafalgar Square to New Scotland Yard against police violence.


March to Defend Jobs, Services and Education – Highbury Fields to Archway

Jobs, Services & Education, Police Violence & More

Around 1500 jobs had been lost recently in North London, including around 550 mainly support workers from London Metropolitan University, 500 civil servants from Archway tower and more at City University, where adult education is under threat.

Jobs, Services & Education, Police Violence & More

Trade unionists from the Islington National Union of Teachers, the Public & Commercial Services Union, London Metropolitan University Unison and the University and College Union and other local groups including GiK-DER Refugee Workers Cultural Association were marching from Highbury Fields to a rally at Archway in protest against these job cuts.

Jobs, Services & Education, Police Violence & More

The cuts in education threaten courses and also the provisions including nurseries that enable many mature students who missed out on education to study and get qualifications later in life.

Jobs, Services & Education, Police Violence & More

Speakers at the rally after the march included those from the UCU, CWU, London Metropolitan University, PCS, Islington Trades Council and local Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn.

More at March to Defend Jobs, Services & Education.


Southern Yemenis Demonstrate For a Separate State – Downing St


The state of Yemen has a long and complex history dating back to ancient times which is dealt with at some length on Wikipedia.

In the 19th century Britain attacked and occupied Aden and the surrounding region with the rest of the country being under the Ottoman Empire. In the 1960s a civil war in the north and a revolt against British rule in the south led to the foundation of two independent states, the Yemen Arab Republic in the north and the People’s Democractic Republic of Yemen in the south, who went to war with each other in 1972. After a ceasefire brokered by the Arab League and a further civil war the two countries were merged in 1990.

This London protest followed protests in Aden a week earlier on the 15th anniversary of an unsuccessful attempt by the southern Yemen leader Ali Salem al-Beidh to end the union with the north, which led to the 1994 civil war, lost by the South.

The protest was organised by Southern Yemenis from the Southern Democratic Assembly (TAJ), based in London who want an end to the union and accuse the Yemeni government of grabbing land and property and human rights abuses. They called for an end to the union with the north.

More at Southern Yemenis Demonstrate.


Rev Billy Performs at Downing St – Downing St

The Reverend Billy and his ‘Life After Shopping’ Gospel choir from New York were in London on their 2009 UK Shopocalypse Tour and gave a brief performance in front of the gates of Downing St.

Police were not impressed and obviously had no idea of who the Reverend was as in response to his questions the officer concerned was diagnosed by Billy as having a “shopping problem.”

The Church of Life After Shopping believes that we need to “back away from the product” and resist the way that advertising and the media persuade us to live only thorough consuming corporate products, and get down to experiencing life directly.

Excessive consumption is clearly at the root of climate change and the demand for incessant economic growth is clearly a long term impossibility in a finite planet. We need to be planning for a fairer sharing of resources between rich and majority worlds and an economy based on sustainability rather than growth – which will clearly mean lower levels of wasteful consumption and a concentration on necessities rather than luxuries.

As Billy made clear, following the G20 summit and the pathetic waste and greed shown in the continuing parliamentary allowances scandal, our government and MPs are clearly in need of the Life After Shopping Gospel.

Rev Billy Performs at Downing St


National Demonstration against Police Violence – Trafalgar Square to New Scotland Yard.

The United Campaign Against Police Violence was set up following the G20 demonstration in London when Ian Tomlinson, a man not taking part in the demonstration, was assaulted by police and died. Many protesters and some press were also attacked by police during the protest.

It brought together trade unionists and activists involved in organising the G20 Meltdown demonstration as well as campaigners against deaths in police custody particularly those in the United Families & Friends Campaign, UFFC, including the families of two men who died in Brixton Police Station, Ricky Bishop and Sean Rigg.

The protest was led by a coffin with a brass plate “FOR ALL OUR LOVED ONES WHO DIED IN POLICE CUSTODY”, and included a giant red figure representing one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – who led the four marches that converged on the Bank of England in the G20 demonstration. Prominent in the march and rally were Professor Chris Knight and Sean Rigg’s two sisters, Marcia and Samantha and the Rev Billy added his voice through a giant megaphone.

At the rally outside New Scotland Yard on Victoria Street there were speeches and a minute of silence for those who had died before the release of black balloons to represent the dead.

The police had until almost the end of the event acted on their best behaviour, arranging for the safe movement of the protest and joking with press and talking calmly with the protesters. The protesters were clearly angry about police violence but the protest was restrained and orderly

But as the rally was about to draw to a close in front of the police headquarters a police van drove up and a woman officer interrupted proceedings to read a statement telling everyone their presence was illegal. It seemed inexplicable other than as a deliberate attempt to try to provoke a violent reaction from the peaceful crowd, but the organisers managed to quieten things down and the rally continued.

More at Demonstration against Police Violence.

Marine A, Mandela, CPS Fail & Cops Off Campus

Tuesday, December 6th, 2022

Four unrelated events kept me busy on Friday 6th December 2013.


EDL Protest Supports Marine A – Downing St, Friday 6th December 2013

Marine A, Mandela, CPS Fail & Cops Off Campus

In November 2014, a court martial found Marine A, Sergeant Alexander Blackman guilty of murder for his killing of a wounded Taliban insurgent in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. On the day his sentence was due to be announced the extreme right-wing EDL called a protest opposite Downing St, calling for a minimal sentence, arguing that he acted under extreme pressure and that his victim was a terrorist.

Marine A, Mandela, CPS Fail & Cops Off Campus

Although the EDL had predicted 500 would come, only fewer than 50 were there when I came to take photographs, and there were no placards and little to tell people why they were there, just the usual EDL flags, some with the message ‘No Surrender’, though quite a few of those taking part were wearing ‘I support Marine S’ t-shirts. Among the flags was one for the ‘Taliban Hunting Club’, with a skull with red eyes inside a gunsight and crossed guns, which seemed in particularly poor taste for this event.

Marine A, Mandela, CPS Fail & Cops Off Campus

The Geneva convention which Blackman said at the time of the killing he had just broken is an important protection for serving soldiers and many of them had strongly condemned the cold-blooded killing of a prisoner by Marine A and called for an appropriate sentence.

Later in the day Blackman was given a life sentence with a minimum of 10 years. Later this was reduced to 8 years, and after an appeal in 2017 the murder verdict was reduced to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility with a prison sentence of 7 years, though his dismissal with disgrace from the Marines remained in place. There had been a large public campaign calling for his release or a more lenient sentence and a general feeling that his initial trial had been unfair, with his commanding officer not being allowed to give evidence and a generally poor performance by his defence team. He was released from prison the following month having served sufficient time.

EDL Protest Supports Marine A


Tributes to Mandela – London, Friday 6th December 2013

Nelson Mandela died in Johannesburg on the previous day, Thursday 5th December, and people brought flowers to the Nelson Mandela statue in Parliament Square.

There were more flowers at South Africa House in Trafalgar Square, where a long queue waited patiently for several hours to sign a book of remembrance in the High Commission.

Tributes to Mandela


Bereaved protest at CPS Failure – Southwark Bridge, Friday 6th December 2013

Families whose loved ones have died in custody held a protest outside the offices of the Crown Prosecution Service in Rose Court at their failure to successfully prosecute police officers and others over these deaths. Since 1990 there have been 1433 deaths and not a single conviction.

The last successful prosecution brought against a police officer was for involvement in a black death in custody was in 1972, after the death of David Oluwale in 1969. Police officers have been prosecuted for several other black deaths in custody – Joy Gardner, Christopher Alder and Mikey Powell – but none of these cases was successful.

The standard response given by the CPS for not bringing prosecutions is that there is ‘not enough evidence to prosecute’. The reason is often that police hide or destroy evidence and fail to carry out any proper investigation of these cases from the start, failing to treat them as a crime but more as something to be covered up. Often the officers responsible for the deaths are are simply not questioned, and in some cases they refuse to answer questions. CCTV evidence is often not available with equipment problems being cited, and officers have often falsified their evidence to protect themselves or their colleagues.

Among those who spoke was Marcia Rigg, whose brother Sean Rigg was murdered in Brixton Police Station in 2008. She began her speech with a tribute to Mandela. An inquest the previous year had concluded that the police had used “unsuitable and unnecessary force” on Rigg, that officers failed to uphold his basic rights and that the failings of the police “more than minimally” contributed to his death.

In March 2013 three police officers were arrested who had clearly committed perjury at the inquest but the CPS decided not to charge them. Later after a review forced by the family one was charged but despite the evidence was unanimously acquitted by the jury in 2016.

More at Bereaved protest at CPS Failures.


‘Cops Off Campus’ Protest Police Brutality – Bloomsbury, Friday 6th December 2013

London University management was trying to ban all protests on the campus and had called in police the previous day when students had occupied part of the Senate House. Police appear to have used excessive force in removing the students and on Friday 6th a large group of students had come out to protest against them and the University calling police onto the campus.

The previous day’s protest had been over the privatisation of student fees, but there were other issues, including the university’s intention to close down the student union, seen as a part of their aim to end all protests. Students have also been taking the side of low paid staff who work in the universityy, particularly the cleaners, security and catering staff and supporting their campaigns for a living wage, proper sick pay, holidays and pensions which they are denied as their work is outsourced. It was largely protests over this that had led the university management to try and ban all protests.

Today’s student protest was intended to be an entirely peaceful and orderly march around some of the various sites of the university in the area to the west and north of Russell Square, but the police had come apparently determined to stop them, with police vans down every side street.

There were a few short speeches outside the University of London Union and then the students marched to the locked gates of Senate House and shouted slogans. When they attempted to move off to march around the block their path was blocked by police, with a few students who tried to go past being thrown roughly backwards. The students wanted to keep the protest peaceful – there were many more than enough of them to have pushed their way through had they wished to.

Behind them at the other end of Malet Street was another line of police, with more blocking the only side-turning away from the campus. The only route free was onto the campus and the walked past SIAS and out onto Thornhaugh St, where they turned left to Woburn Square and on to Torrington Place. Here they found the gate to UCL was locked and guarded by security. They turned into Gower Street, saw more police coming up behind them and rushed into UCL. After a short time there they decided to make their way by the back streets to Torrington Square and the student union. I’d had enough walking and took a more direct route, meeting them as they arrived back. It was getting rather dark and I’d done enough walking and I then left to catch a bus on my way home.

I could see no reason for the way that the police had reacted to a peaceful march around the University; it seemed to be simply trying to show the students who was boss by preventing what appeared to be a peaceful protest, and a reaction which created considerably more disruption in the area than the protest itself as well as representing a terrible waste of public funds. But I’m sure some of the police were grateful for some extra overtime with Christmas coming up.

More at ‘Cops Off Campus’ Protest Police Brutality.


Custody Deaths, Acid Attacks & Democracy

Tuesday, October 25th, 2022

United Families & Friends March & Rally – Trafalgar Square to Downing St, Sat 25 Oct 2014

Marcis Rigg holds a list of those known to have died in custody between 1969 and 2011

Every year on the last Saturday of October since 1999 families and friends of people killed by police or in prisons made their annual march at a funereal pace from Trafalgar Square to Downing St where they hold a rally where members of the family of those killed speak.

Mrs Doreen Bishop, mother of Ricky Bishop, killed in Brixton Police Station in 2001

This year’s march is on 29th October 2022 and people gather in Trafalgar Square from noon for the march which is timed to start at 1.30pm. The march usually begins quietly, sometimes in silence but gets very noisy at Downing St. Everyone is invited come and support the families.

Some families carry banners with images of their loved ones who have died, and some wear t-shirts with images of them. The great majority of those who die in suspicious circumstances are young black men, and the United Family & Friends Campaign was started as a network of black families but has widened to support families of all races that die in custody.

Ajibola Lewis, the mother of Olaseni Lewis, 

The UFFC web site has a long list of families who the network supports: “Leon Patterson, Roger Sylvester, Rocky Bennett, Harry Stanley, Sean Rigg, Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah, Azelle Rodney, Christopher Alder, Brian Douglas, Joy Gardner, Paul Jemmott, Ricky Bishop, Mikey Powell, Jason McPherson, Sarah Campbell, Jimmy Mubenga, Paul Coker, Mark Duggan, Sheku Bayoh, Olaseni Lewis, James Herbert, Kingsley Burrell, Thomas Orchard, Amy El-Keria, Darren Neville, Jason McDonald, Philmore Mills, Mzee Mohammed, Adrian McDonald, Rashan Charles, Edson da Costa, Mark Cole” ending with “and many others.”

On My London Diary I mention a few of the speakers at the 2014 event: “Myrna Simpson, the mother of Joy Gardner, killed by police restraining her with a body belt around her head at her home in 1987… Marcia Rigg, whose brother Sean Rigg was killed by Brixton police in 2008, Doreen Bishop, whose son Ricky Bishop was also killed in Brixton Police Station in 2001, Ajibola Lewis, the mother of Olaseni Lewis who died when restrained by police called to a Croydon hospital, Jo Orchard, whose brother Thomas Orchard was killed by police illegally restraining him in Exeter, Stephanie Lightfoot-Bennet, whose twin brother Leon Paterson was killed by police in Manchester in 1992, and Carole Duggan whose nephew Mark Duggan was shot by police in Tottenham in 2011.”

I think all of these speakers are shown in the pages of my post where you can read more about this extremely moving annual protest at United Friends & Families March.


Acid Attacks on Women in Iran – Downing St, Sat 25 Oct 2014

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) called for the UK to condemn the attacks by regime-organised acid attacks on women who are not veiled in Iran. This followed similar protests in Isfahan and Tehran.

They also condemned Iran’s hanging at dawn of Rayhaneh Jabbari. She had stabbed a former Iranian intelligence official who tried to rape her; she was the 967th person to be executed since Hassan Rouhani became Iran’s president.

More at Acid Attacks on Women in Iran.


Democracy Camp Saturday – Parliament Square, Sat 25 Oct 2014

Despite continued harassment by GLA private security ‘Heritage Wardens’, Occupy Democracy has continued its presence in Parliament Square for over a week.

Michael Meacher MP speaking – and two extra hands

It was the final Saturday of their intended camp in the square and as well as a visit from the EDL – who were stopped by police and never quite made it – there were a number of workshops, including by energy boss Jeremy Leggett, Donnachadh McCarthy and MP Michael Meacher.

Democracy Camp Saturday


EDL Visit Democracy Camp – Parliament Square, London. Sat 25 Oct 2014

A small group of extreme-right EDL supporters came to shout insults and make gestures towards the Democracy Camp, but police stopped them going into the camp area.

George Barda came out from the camp to try to talk sensibly with the EDL members but was met by racist abuse.

One man objected to being photographed by a press photographer and was told firmly by a police officer that photographers are free to photograph him if they wish on the public street – as I had been doing. Shortly after this police surrounded the group and led them away towards Victoria station.

More at EDL Visit Democracy Camp.


Sean Rigg Memorial 2012 – Brixton

Sunday, August 21st, 2022

Sean Rigg Memorial 2012 - Brixton
Mona Donle and Sean Rigg’s mother and sisters lead the march to Brixton Police Station

Sean Rigg Memorial 2012 – Brixton

Sean Rigg, a 40-year-old black musician and music producer was assaulted and arrested by police on August 21st 2008 and taken to Brixton Police Station where he died as a result of police violence.

Sean Rigg Memorial 2012 - Brixton

Wikipedia fills in some details about what happened. Police had been called to Rigg, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and had become “uncooperative and aggressive” in his hostel earlier in the day but they turned down five 999 phone requests from hostel staff asking for urgent assistance. They only eventually turned up after a number of calls from members of the public about his “strange behaviour” on the street outside.

Sean Rigg Memorial 2012 - Brixton

Four officers arrived, chased and handcuffed him, then restrained him face down, leaning on him for 8 minutes, before placing him “face-down with his legs bent behind him in the caged rear section of a police van” and driving to Brixton Police Station, where he was kept locked in the van unmonitored for a further 10 minutes before, by then “extremely unwell and not fully conscious” he was taken into the police station.

It took 25 minutes for police to call their medical examiner to examine him, and the custody sergeant told the doctor he was “feigning unconsciousness.” Ten minutes later the doctor found his heart had stopped and he was not breathing. CPR failed to revive him but he was only officially pronounced dead after being taken to a nearby hospital.

This was the start of an immediate and sustained effort of lies and obfuscation by the police officers involved, the Metropolitan Police, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the Crown Prosecution Service and even courts to cover up what had actually happened and protect the police officers who killed Sean Rigg.

And the story would have ended there, but for the incredibly determined efforts of his family to uncover the truth. The Sean Rigg Justice & Change Campaign was set up, led by his sisters Marcia Rigg-Samuel and Samantha Rigg-David and supported by the rest of the family. One of many family-led campaigns which togther make up the United Families and Friends Campaign, it also got support from other organisations including Inquest and Black Mental Health UK and has slowly managed to bring the many of the facts out into the open.

Four years later, on August 21st 2012 I was in a full Assembly Hall inside Lambeth Town Hall for the Sean Rigg Memorial where a number of speakers including Sean Rigg’s sisters gave details they had managed to uncover of his death, the misleading press releases from the police and their attempts to cover up and the total failure of the IPCC to carry out a proper investigation. At the end of the meeting the 50 minute film ‘Who Polices the Police’ directed by Ken Fero of Migrant Media was shown.

Speakers also talked about other cases of suspicious deaths in police custody where again there has been no proper investigation – and no police officer has ever been found responsible.

Mona Donle

Mona Donle spoke about an incident she had witnessed two days earlier across the road in Windrush Square, where police arrested another man who was clearly disturbed and acting unpredictably. One officer choked the man by holding his forearm across his throat, then another officer stamped on him. The foot was on his face when he passed out and people kept telling the police to call an ambulance. Another witness to the event told me it was around twenty minutes before the man came round – and he still had the clear impression of the boot across his face. The police record of the incident made no mention of any violence and suggested the ambulance came ‘approximately’ five minutes after the arrest.

Brixton Police Station

The inquest into Sean Rigg’s death had brought out some more of the details, and its verdict 3 weeks earlier had ‘concluded that the police had used “unsuitable and unnecessary force” on Rigg, that officers failed to uphold his basic rights and that the failings of the police “more than minimally” contributed to his death‘.

Three police officers had clearly committed perjury in their evidence to the inquest and were arrested in 2013. One was cleared by the IPCC and in 2014 the Crown Prosecution Service announced it would not bring criminal charges despite what appeared to most people compelling evidence. Later the Rigg family campaign forced the CPS to review that decision and one officer was charged, and the case was brought. Inexplicably the jury decided to acquit him.

The inquest verdict also led to the setting up of an external review of the IPCC investigation, which gave an extremely damning verdict on there total failure to properly investigate the events. It and other investigations into the IPCC led to this being replaced in 2018 by the Independent Office for Police Conduct. It will surprise no-one if that is also replaced in a few years time.

After the memorial meeting around 200 of those present marched behind the Sean Rigg Campaign banner from the town hall to Brixton Police Station, where flowers were laid at the memorial tree outside, candles lit and a minute’s silence held for Sean Rigg and other victims of police violence.

Samantha Rigg and Mona Donle then took a formal complaint into the police station about the police assault two days earlier and were followed in by a crowd, packing out the small lobby. Police made a copy of the complaint and gave them a signed and dated copy. They asked to see the officer in charge, and after a few minutes he came to a side door and answered what questions he could about the arrest.

There still, 14 years on from his death, despite the huge fight by his family, has been no justice over the death of Sean RIgg. Nor for the families of others who have died in police custody, prisons etc.

No Justice, No Peace.

Sean Rigg Memorial – 4 Years


Reclaim Brixton – Arches, Markets & More

Monday, April 25th, 2022

Reclaim Brixton – Arches, Markets & More – 25th April 2015

A day of events in central Brixton on Saturday 25th April 2015 celebrated its social & cultural diversity, increasingly under threat as increasing rents and property development are forcing out local businesses and residents.

Brixton boomed after the railways arrived here in the 1860s, the new transport links making it both a popular middle-class suburb and the major shopping centre of South London; it had the first purpose built department store in the UK, Bon Marché, opened in 1877 and continuing in business until 1975 and probably the first street market in the world to be lit by electricity in Electric Avenue. While the wealthier moved out in the first half of the twentieth century to leafier areas, the increasingly working-class population grew, as did the markets, cinemas, pubs and other facilities.

After the war Brixton became increasingly multiracial. Arrivals on the Windrush were given temporary housing in the Clapham South deep shelter, and found jobs from the nearby Brixton Labour Exchange and housing in rooms and flats in the area. Though many had intended to go back to the Caribbean, most remained here, bringing over family to joint them and over the years Brixton became a centre of the British African-Caribbean community. In 1981 locals rose up against heavy handed policing but the conclusions of the Scarman report were largely ignored and it was only after the death of Stephen Lawrence that the police were declared “institutionally racist.”

There was further unrest after the death of Wayne Douglas in police custody in 1995, and there was an increasing attempt by Lambeth Council to change the nature of the area seen by them as regeneration but by many in the area as gentrification.


Brixton Arches tenants protest eviction

The railways run on viaducts through central Brixton, and the arches below them, particularly along Atlantic Road and Brixton Station Road have long provided low cost spaces for local businesses.

But Network Rail decided to increase the income from these spaces and the existing tenants were threatened with eviction and then a tripling of rent for the refurbished space. One of the businesses, fishmongers L S Mash & Sons, had been trading here since 1932 and others since shortly after the war.

The businesses closed for two hours on Saturday lunchtime, many hanging white sheets with messages across the frontage and others inviting graffiti artists to decorate the shutters. These businesses, the arcades and the market really are the heart of Brixton.

Brixton Arches tenants protest eviction


Take Back Brixton against gentrification

Brixton Black Revs (revolutionaries rather than reverends) had wanted to march peacefully through the gentrified ‘Brixton Village’, but police and security guards blocked their way into the arcade, and instead it became a very short march to take housing and other activists directly to the Reclaim Brixton gathering in Wind rush Square

Granville Arcade which links Coldharbour Lane, Atlantic Road and Popes Road was built in 1937 with over 100 shops in its covered avenues, and was named after its developer, P Granville-Grossman. The site had previously been the Lambeth Carlton Club, a large Georgian-style mansion buit in the 1870s and home to the Brixton Conservative Association.

It was renamed Brixton Village around 2005 and was saved from demolition by a powerful local campaign which resulted in it and Reliance Arcade, Market Row being given Grade II listing. The listing text makes much of the importance of the Afro-Caribbean nature of the markets, but although listing saved them from demolition it has not protected them from gentrification and the replacement of much of this character by trendy restaurants and boutiques.

Take Back Brixton against gentrification


Reclaim Brixton celebrates Brixton

The area in front of the Tate Library and Brixton Ritzy was renamed Windrush Square in 1998. It had long been a popular meeting place for locals and local events, but Lambeth Council with offices in the town hall opposite clearly saw that as something of a threat, and spent a large amount on turning it into a desolate, bleak and unwelcoming windswept area to discourage the informal gatherings that took place there.

Although today the area was reasonably crowded, there seemed to be nothing very organised happening. Unite Community had a microphone at one side and there were a speeches, but few seemed to be taking any notice of them. When I walked around there was a group playing classical music, another of African drummers, and the Revolutionary Communist Group had its own megaphone and speakers, while people were having a light-hearted limbo competition to a musical accompaniment from the Unite ‘stage’. And some of my friends had disappeared to a nearby pub.

Reclaim Brixton celebrates Brixton


London Black Revs ‘Reclaim Brixton’ march

After an hour or two hanging around in Windrush Square, activists again took to the street for a lively march around Brixton.

Rather to my surprise, the march simply returned to Windrush Square. I hung around for a bit but everything seemed very peaceful and I mistakenly thought that perhaps nothing more would happen and decided to take a bus to begin my journey home.

Shortly after I left some people stormed and briefly occupied Lambeth Town Hall and a large window at Foxton’s estate agents was broken, and a few activists went into Brixton Village with banners.

Marcia Rigg whose brother Sean Rigg was killed in Brixton Police Station in 2008

London Black Revs ‘Reclaim Brixton ‘march


Things in Brixton have got worse since 2015. In 2018 Hondo Enterprises owned by Texan property developer and part-time DJ Taylor McWilliams bought Brixton Market which includes the arcades and the following year announced plans for a 20 storey office block, which were approved by Lambeth Council in November 2020. Hondo now brand the whole market area as Brixton Village.

More from the protests:
London Black Revs ‘Reclaim Brixton ‘march
Reclaim Brixton celebrates Brixton
Take Back Brixton against gentrification
Brixton Arches tenants protest eviction


UN Anti-Racism Day – London

Saturday, March 19th, 2022

March 21st was established by the United Nations as a World Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on the sixth anniversary of police opening fire and killing 69 peaceful protesters at Sharpeville, South Africa on March 21, 1960. Protests in the UK for UN Anti Racism Day take place close to the date and there will be large national marches today, 19th March in London and Glasgow and tomorrow in Cardiff. Today’s post is about events in London on March 19th 2016.

UN Anti Racism Day - London

Stand Up to Racism – Refugees Welcome march

UN Anti Racism Day - London

Thousands met at the BBC to march through London to a rally in Trafalgar Square in an event organised by Stand Up to Racism against racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and fascism and to make it clear that refugees are welcome here.

UN Anti Racism Day - London
Lee Jasper and Zita Holbourne at the front of the Black Lives Matter bloc on the march

Prominent on the march were Black Lives Matter protesters, wearing red in support of the ‘Justice for Sarah Reed’ campaign, chanting loudly “Say Her Name, Sarah Reed” and “Black Lives Matter”. She had died aged 31 in Holloway prison where she was held waiting for psychiatric reports following an attack on her, possibly an attempted rape, by fellow patient in a psychiatric hospital for which she was arrested and charged with grievious bodily harm with intent.

An inquest decided she had killed herself when her mind was unsound, and that unacceptable delays in medical care contributed to her death. Clearly too the prison staff had failed in their duty of care. Four years earlier she had been falsely arrested for shoplifting and seriously assaulted by the arresting officer who was later convicted and dismissed from the Metropolitan police for the offence.

There were also a number of groups on the march working with refugees trapped in the camps in Calais and Dunkirk, and some of those had lines drawn across their lips to remember some of the refugees on hunger strike there who have sewn up their lips.

Although the deaths of many refugees drowned in crossing the Mediterranean have led to widespread sympathy among the British people, there has been no compassion shown by our government, who have increasingly been driven by racists and bigots who oppose Britain taking in any refugees and want to abandon the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the UK helped to draw up in 1947-8.

There were a small number of these bigots, members of the far-right group ‘Britain First’ in their para-military uniforms, who came to shout insults and make offensive gestures at the marchers as they went through Piccadilly Circus. A large ring of police kept them away from the marchers and protected them from any attack by anti-fascists.

Stand Up to Racism – Refugees Welcome march


Refugees Welcome Rally

Marcia Rigg, whose brother Sean was killed by police in Brixton in 2008

At the end of the march there was a rally in Trafalgar Square, with a long list of speakers. They included Vanessa Redgrave and Jeremy Hardy, MP Diane Abbott, MEPs Claude Moraes and Jean Lambert, journalist Journalist, writer Michael Rosen, leading trade unionists Dave Ward CWU, Christine Blower NUT, and Sally Hunt UCU, Marilyn Reed the mother of Sarah Reed, Stephanie Lightfoot-Bennett and Marcia Rigg, Maz Saleem daughter of the Mohammed Saleem who was killed in a racist attack, Talha Ahmad of the Muslim Council of Britain and a young refugee from Iraq.

Refugees Welcome Rally


Australians protest on UN Anti-Racism day

Australian human rights protesters were holding protests at embassies around the world, including the Australian High Commission in London to condemn the Australian government’s racist immigration policy and treatment of refugees.

Refugees who try to claim asylum in Australia are locked up and detained indefinitely in contradiction to international law on remote Pacific Islands including Manus and Nauru in detention camps run by Serco and will never be allowed to resettle in Australia. The Australian protesters were joined by some of those from Movement for Justice which has led protests against the UK immigration detention centres, including that at Yarl’s Wood, run like the Australian camps by Serco, where detainees, also held indefinitely, have been sexually abused and denied proper health treatment. At least one prisoner in the Australian camps has been beaten to death by the prison guards.

Australians protest on UN Anti-Racism day


DPAC’s ‘IDS Resignation Party’

Finally on 19th March I went to Parliament Square for another human rights related event, where Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) were celebrating the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith, one of the chief architects of the brutal Tory welfare policy that has caused them so much suffering, harm and deaths to disabled people.

Though they were pleased that IDS has gone, his policies remained, and his successor, Stephen Crabb, proved top be equally be bigoted and lacking compassion and any understanding of the needs of the poor and disabled.

DPAC’s ‘IDS Resignation Party’


More on all these events on My London Diary:
DPAC’s ‘IDS Resignation Party’
Australians protest on UN Anti-Racism day
Refugees Welcome Rally
Stand Up to Racism – Refugees Welcome march

7 Years Ago in London

Monday, November 22nd, 2021

Seven years ago on Saturday 22 November 2014 I photographed four very different events.

Occupy Democracy at Supreme Court

Occupy Democracy activists had camped out overnight in front of the Supreme Court, watched by police who had fenced in almost all of the grassed areas in Parliament Square to prevent them being occupied. The activists were hoping to hold two days of workshops there, but things had not started when I left after taking pictures.

Justice for Shahzad & Shama

Pakistani Christians and others were protesting opposite Downing St calling for justice for the brutal murder in Pakistan of Shahzad Masih and Shahzad Masih , bonded labourers at a brick kiln, who were falsely accused of burning pages of the Quran, attacked by a Muslim mob, tortured and burnt alive.

There are around 4 million Christians in Pakistan, a little under 2% of the population and they face extreme persecution, with those who have converted from Islam at greatest danger. Christians are treated as second-class citizens, discriminated against in employment, where they largely do the lowest status jobs, and girls are at risk of abduction and rape, sometimes being forced to convert to Islam and marry their attackers. Christians are often accused of blasphemy, as in this case to settle civil disputes, with those accused being attacked or killed by Islamic extremist groups, whose criminal acts are largely ignored by the authorities.

Class War Griff Rhys Jones Mansion Tax

Class War went to the £7m Fitzroy Square home of Griff Rhys Jones who said he would leave the country if Labour levied a mansion tax, telling him to “f**k off now”, offering to pay the fare. Class War’s manifesto for the 2015 general election includes a 50% mansion tax.

No one came to answer the door when they put their leaflet through and after a few minutes making their presence felt outside, the walked around to the south side of the square to protest outside the outside the home of Guy Ritchie, another millionaire objector to a mansion tax. They put a few stickers on other places around the square, including the Magistrates Association and the gates to the private garden in the centre of the square, returned for another short protest outside Griff Rhys Jones’s house before retiring to the pub. Unfortunately I couldn’t join them as I had another event to photograph in Brixton.

Still No Justice for Ricky Bishop

Ricky Bishop, a fit young black man, died from unexplained injuries hours after being taken to Brixton Police Station on 22 Nov 2001. Family and supporters call it a modern day lynching and march annually to remember him and call for justice.

The marchers met up at Windrush Square and then marched slowly through the centre of Brixton to the police station, where a tree outside has been adopted as a remembrance tree for Ricky Bishop and the others killed there by police.

At the tree there were speeches, including a detailed and forceful presentation by Marcia Rigg of the battle she and others faced to get any proper investigation into the death there of her brother Sean Rigg in August 2008.

These two are not the only young black men to have died at the hands of Brixton police, but so far there has been no police officer bought to justice from the crimes they committed. The only real action by the police has been to remove all of the photographs and momentos placed by some of the families from the tree in front of the police station.


More on all of these on My London Diary:

Still No Justice for Ricky Bishop
Class War Griff Rhys Jones Mansion Tax
Justice for Shahzad & Shama
Occupy Democracy at Supreme Court


United Friends & Families March

Saturday, October 30th, 2021

Today at noon in London, the the United Families & Friends Campaign (UFFC), a coalition of those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody, is holding its annual march from Trafalgar Square along Whitehall to a rally opposite Downing St as it has on the last Saturday in October since 1999. In 2010 the march was also on 30th October and I published a lengthy post about it with many photographs on My London Diary. Here is the text in full (with some minor corrections) and a few of the pictures.


United Friends & Families March

Trafalgar Square to Downing St, London. Saturday 30 Oct 2010

Marcia Rigg-Samuel, sister of Sean Rigg, killed by police in Brixton, tries to deliver a letter at Downing St
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The United Friends and Families of those who have died in suspicious circumstances in police custody, prisons and secure mental institutions marched slowly in silence down Whitehall to Downing St, where police refused to allow them to deliver a letter to the Prime Minister, David Cameron.

It’s impossible to be sure how many of the suspicious deaths in police custody, prisons and secure mental institutions (and there are around 200 a year) have been as a result of lack of care, the use of excessive force and brutality, but certainly the answer is far too many.


Since 1999, the ‘United Friends and Families’ of some of those who have died have held an annual slow silent funeral march from Trafalgar Square down Whitehall to Downing St. It attracted particular attention in 2008 when the mother and other family members of Jean Charles de Menezes were among those taking part. This year’s event was rather smaller, and received little attention from the mainstream media.

A number of family members spoke with great feeling opposite Downing St, and then the group, by now around a hundred strong, moved across the road to fix flowers to the gates and attempt to deliver a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron. It seemed an unnecessary and pointless snub that the police refused to take the letter and that nobody from No 10 was apparently prepared to come and receive it.

Earlier there had been an argument with the police who had objected to the rally occupying one of the two southbound lanes of Whitehall, but was allowed to go ahead by the officer in charge after those present had refused to move. In previous years the police have usually seemed anxious to avoid confrontation, although in 2008 they insisted on searching all the bouquets before allowing them to be laid on the gates of Downing St.

Jason McPherson’s grandmother speaking opposite Downing St

Speakers at the rally opposite Downing St included Stephanie, the twin sister of Leon Patterson, Rupert Sylvester, the father of Roger Sylvester, Ricky Bishop’s sister Rhonda and mother Doreen, Samantha, sister of Jason McPherson and his grandmother, Susan Alexander, the mother of Azelle Rodney, and finally the two sisters of Sean Rigg.

What the families want is simple. Justice. And to know the truth about what happened. What emerged again and again was a shameful history of delay, evasion and covering up by the police, with the collusion of the IPCC, the Crown Prosecution Service and even at times judges, working together to ensure that justice fails to be done. The press have been fed lies – as in the de Menezes case, security cameras have suddenly been found not to have been working, CCTV tapes have been lost or doctored, officers involved have not been questioned until many months after the events, witness statements have been dismissed as ‘unreliable’. Deliberate delays are used as a tactic to prevent the truth coming out, and these also have allowed officers involved to collude in their cover-ups.

Overwhelmingly the victims in these cases are black, but one of the banners on the march reminded us that it affects the whole of our community, with a banner asking why 18 year old Sarah Campbell died in Styal Prison in 2003. Many of us present remembered and sadly miss her mother, Pauline Campbell; after her daughter’s tragic death she devoted herself single-mindedly to campaigning for justice, not just for Sarah but for other victims and to improve the system. Eventually she forced an admission from the authorities that their lack of care had caused Sarah’s death, but she became another victim of injustice when she committed suicide on her daughters grave.

Stephanie LightfootBennett, speaks about the police murder of her twin Leon Patterson

Leon Patterson was arrested in Stockport in 1992 and kept in a police cell for some days despite being in need of hospital treatment. He was found dead in his cell with a fractured skull and severe injuries, his blood covering the walls of the cell and his genitals mutilated, and in such a bad state that she failed to recognise him. The family challenged the initial inquest verdict which found his injuries to be self-inflicted, but there was no legal aid available for them. Fortunately the charity INQUEST supported them and a second inquest in April 1993 returned a verdict of unlawful killing, although this was quashed on appeal by the police on the grounds that the coroner had misdirected the jury on the law.

Roger Sylvester died in 1999 after being arrested by the Met. An inquest jury in October 2003 returned a verdict of unlawful killing, but the verdict was later quashed in the High Court, because the judge claimed the coroner’s summing up had confused the jury. The judge refused to order another inquest and said that no jury in a criminal case would be likely to convict any of the officers concerned of manslaughter.

Ricky Bishop was stopped, arrested and taken to Brixton police station on 22 Nov 2001, where he was assaulted and brutalised by police officers, leading to a heart attack. After that the police called a paramedic and he was taken to hospital and died. The family say that the police withheld vital evidence from the inquest and that the jury were not given a proper choice of verdicts at the inquest.

Samantha, sister of Jason McPherson

Jason McPherson died in hospital after being taken there from Notting Hill Police station after having been arrested on suspicion of drug offences on 18 Jan 2007. Police believed he had a wrap of cocaine in his mouth and had used considerable and arguably excessive force on his head and chest to try to get him to open his mouth. A jury at the inquest in January 2010 came to a unanimous ‘narrative verdict’, saying that the procedures were not properly implemented and that “it did not appear Jason was given the opportunity to remove the drugs voluntarily through talking down (tactical communication).”

Azelle Rodney was killed by police in April 2005 after a car in which he was travelling was rammed and stopped by the Met in Barnet. Rodney was not armed, although the officer who fired the shots at close range was sure he was. Various misleading statements from police sources were widely published by the press. An inquiry into the case opened formally earlier this month and there is to be a hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice starting next week.

Marcia Rigg-Samuel, sister of Sean Rigg, who went into Brixton Police station in August 2008 a physically healthy man but was dead a short time later, killed by the actions of a small group of officers, led the procession down Whitehall from Trafalgar Square. She stood beside her sister, Samantha Rigg-David, the last of the families to speak, and then read the letter from the families to Prime Minister David Cameron. The inquest on Sean Rigg, adjourned in 2008, is not now expected until 2012.

The families then moved across the road to the gates to Downing Street, demanding that police open them so they could deliver their letter. Police refused, and a small group of armed police joined the armed officers already present. After considerable amount of angry shouting as the police continued to refuse to allow access or even to take in the letter – a few of the group were allowed to sellotape the flowers, a photo of Sean Rigg and the letter to the gates. The noisy demonstration at the gates was still continuing when I left.
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