Posts Tagged ‘police station’

Justice for Rashan Charles & The Met

Saturday, July 29th, 2023

Justice for Rashan Charles: On Saturday 29th July 2017 I photographed a protest outside Stoke Newington Police Station over the death of Rashan Charles, who had died after being handcuffed by two police and held on the floor of a shop on Kingsland Road in Dalston in the early morning of Saturday 22nd July.

Justice for Rashan Charles
Rashan Charles’ father (left) stands beside Edson da Costa’s father as he speaks

The pictures on this post come from that protest, which was attended by members of his his family as well of those of Edson da Costa who died after being arrested in Beckton the previous month.

Justice for Rashan Charles
Weyman Bennett of Stand Up to Racism

An inquest into the death of Charles returned a verdict of that a package he had swallowed when being chased into the shop by an officer had blocked his airway causing the death. But it also found that the officers had failed to call for an ambulance when they should, but more controversially argued that this would not have saved his life.

Justice for Rashan Charles

The inquest into Da Costa’s death revealed a number of errors by police but the jury was told by the coroner that “there is no legal or factual basis for reaching a factual conclusion which is critical of the police” and reached a verdict of death by misadventure primarily due to his swallowing a plastic bag of illegal drugs.

Justice for Rashan Charles

In March 2023, Baroness Louise Casey who had been charged with investigating the Metropolitan Police following the murder of Sarah Everard in 2021, issued her official report with the conclusions that they were guilty of institutional racism, misogyny and homophobia.

Stafford Scott

It came as no surprise to those of us who had read the many under-reported stories over the years of people – black and white, men and women – who had been picked on and brutally treated and some killed by police over the years on social media and in minority publications. Nor those of us who had attended protests against their behaviour or watched them in action at times against protesters.

Dianne Abbott MP

Our mass media have always ignored many of these cases and underplayed others, almost always taking the side of the police and acting more as a PR agency for them, always keen to spread the rumours, lies and misleading press statements the police rush out to excuse their mistakes and misbehaviour.

Friends of Rashan Charles

We saw this at its most blatant over Hillsborough, again with the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes and the killing of Ian Tomlinson while trying to walk back to his hostel through a protest at the Bank of England.

We’ve also seen the deliberate actions by the police to pervert the course of justice in high profile cases including the racist killing of Stephen Lawrence, where they investigated his family and friends while treating one of his killers as a witness. Daniel Morgan’s family have just received an apology and compensation over their failure to properly investigate his axing to death in a Sydenham pub car park in 1987 – a panel concluded that the Met’s “first objective was to protect itself” against the allegations of corruption against some of its officers.

Many other campaigners have exposed deliberate obstruction by police to inquiries into deaths, particularly those in police custody, such as Sean Rigg, which I’ve written about here before.

In the last few days, 25 years after his racist murder in Kingston, Lakhvinder Ricky Reel was awarded an honorary degree by Brunel University, part of a long campaign to get justice by his mother Sukhdev Reel.

Sukhdev Reel at Downing Street in 2000

Ricky and his friends had been victims of a racial attack in the town centre and six days later his body was recovered from the Thames. His family had been urging the police to search the river since he disappeared – and his body was found after only 7 minutes of searching. The Met refused to treat his death as a racist attack and made many failures in their investigation, devoting more resources to spying on his family by the undercover Special Demonstration Squad for their campaigning.

Bermondsey St, the Green Dragon & Crucifix Lane

Sunday, July 31st, 2022

The previous post on this walk on Sunday 30th October 1988 was Dockhead, Sarsons, Tanner St and Bermondsey Square.

Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-63-Edit_2400
Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-63

I walked back up Bermondsey Street. There was slanting light across many of the frontages on the east side of the street and I stopped to take pictures of several of the more interesting buildings. Turner Whitehead were in these tall warehouses at 65-71, now renamed Bramah House. As I noted in an earlier, Turner Whitehead described themselves as ‘polythene converters’ meaning they made and sold a wide range of polythene products including bags etc.and these fine late Victorian buildings were said to have been tea warehouses.

Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-51-Edit_2400
Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-51

I’d photographed 65-71 Bermondsey St before together with this building next door at No63 and was pleased to have better lighting to take another picture. This site was occupied by the Green Dragon pub from at least 1822, probably much earlier. The building probably dates from around the end of the nineteenth century and the pub appears to have closed and been converted to commercial use in the 1920s. Now the ground floor is an estate agents.

The Green Dragon was an emblem of the Earls of Pembroke, one of whom, Japer Tudor, born around 1431 was the son of Catherine of Valois, the widow of King Henry V (and mother of Henry VI) and her Welsh clerk of the Wardrobe Owen Tudor. The couple were said to have married secretly in 1429 and managed to have at least five children before their marriage was discovered; then Owen Tudor was imprisoned and Catherine de Valois sent to live in Bermondsey Abbey. She died in disgrace in 1437 but was still buried in Westminster Abbey.

Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-66-Edit_2400
Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-66

Next going up Bermondsey street on the other side of what is now Vintage Yard is this fine Grade II listed 3 storey building at No 59, built as a new police station for the Metropolitan Police in 1851. When a new Tower Bridge Police Station opened in 1904 it briefly became a police section house and in 1906 was converted to commercial use. At least until the 1960s it was occupied by Read & Partners Ltd. Since I took this picture in 1988 it has been internally refurbished as offices.

Hairdresser, Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-62-Edit_2400
Hairdresser, Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-62

I walked back up Bermondsey Street, pausing to photograph this image in the window of a barber’s shop. That long-haired figure seemed strangely familiar.

Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-53-Edit_2400
Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-53

The light now made for a much better picture of Thomson Bros Ltd Knightrider Mills, the gateway shared by Tempo Leather Co Ltd, not to mention Rilling Hills Ltd and Marchant Hills Ltd.

As the notice states, these had been ‘ACQUIRED BY THE ELEPHANT HOUSE CO PLC AND DUNLOW HOUSE PLC – PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT – ALL ENQUIRIES’. Fortunately the development has retained the frontage more or less intact, almost certainly because it is Grade II listed, with gates now leading to ‘Shiva Building – Studio/Offices and ‘The Tanneries –’, which address tells you a little about what goes on inside. It was built in 1873 to the designs of George Legg.

Crucifix Lane, Barnham St,Railway, Guys Hospital, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-45-Edit_2400
Crucifix Lane, Barnham St, Railway, Guys Hospital, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-45

This street apparently gets its name from a pub which had the sign of St Christopher who was the bearer of the cross on which Christ was crucified. The pub, named ‘The Cross of Bermondsey’ was apparently demolished in 1559.

More demolition came with the railway, which runs in a wide swathe across Bermondsey, built for the London and Greenwich Railway Company with construction beginning in 1834.

Guys Hospital was founded in 1721 by Thomas Guy who had made a fortune printing Bibles and a killing by speculating on the South Sea Bubble. An early private-public partnership it had been granted a monopoly by the to supply African slaves to South America and the South Sea Islands. Because Spain and Portugal controlled most of South America it did very little business with slaves, but in 1720 pushed up its share price by rumours of support from King and Parliament, rising from £128 to £550 in five months, before rapidly collapsing back. Guy apparently sold his shares before the collapse.

Guy’s Tower was built in 1974 and was then the tallest hospital building in the world, with 34 floors and almost 150 metres tall. According to Wikipedia it is now the world’s fifth-tallest hospital building.

Enid St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-35-Edit_2400
Enid St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-35

You can see the railway viaduct in the background of this picture on Enid St, which appears to be both the name of the street beside the viaduct and some side-streets on the Neckinger Estate. I can no longer find either the buildings and chimney but I think this may have been taken from around Enid St Playground.

This walk will continue in a later post.

Focus E15 Occupy Police Station for Newham Show

Sunday, July 10th, 2022

Jasmin Stone speaks at rally outside Newham Police station

Focus E15 Occupy Police Station for Newham Show – Sunday 10th July 2016

At the street stall outside Newham Town Hall

It says something about Newham’s elected Mayor from 2012 to 2018 that the major public event in the borough was called The Mayor’s Newham Show. It should of course have been the People’s Newham Show or even just the Newham Show. But Newham was a monolithic Labour fiefdom, ruled by Sir Robin Wales, and the event, paid for by the people, was very much a PR exercise for the Mayor.

A worker for street homeless in Newham speaks

Housing action group Focus E15 were ejected from the Mayor’s Newham Show in 2014 when they approached the Mayor with protesting the borough’s housing policies – and Robin Wales was found guilty of a breach of the code of conduct by Newham Standards Committee.

The following year the council ordered private security to stop campaigners handing out leaflets at the show and members of the Focus E15 campaign were very forcibly thrown to the ground and evicted from the park in East Ham where the show is held.

They march the few yards to the police station

So in 2016, instead of trying to leaflet inside the Newham Show, the Focus E15 Campaign set up a stall outside Newham Town Hall on Barking Road close to the park and spoke and handed out leaflets to people walking to the show in Central Park. Their campaign began when they faced eviction from the Focus 15 hostel in central Stratford when Newham Council axed the grant and the council attempted to disperse them to private rented properties in cities including Liverpool and Manchester and to Wales.

Outside the former police station

They refused, demanding to be rehoused within reach of families, friends and facilities they were familiar with, protesting the council’s policy of social cleansing, though various marches, high profile protests and occupations of empty council properties. Their campaign, which included a weekly street stall on Stratford Broadway widened from being a personal campaign into a ‘Housing for All’ campaign against Newham and other councils who are failing in their duty to provide housing for ordinary people across London.

A woman on her way to Newham Show says everyone should kick the Mayor

Focus E15 continue to speak out and defend tenants from evictions and get suitable rehousing for those made homeless in Newham, while continuing to attack the council’s failure to provide adequate housing in Newham for long-term residents while hundreds of council homes have been empty for over ten years and the council encourages the building of huge areas of luxury flats for overseas investors and rich newcomers.

‘Room for Everyone – No Room for Racism’

Among the many empty properties in Newham was the former police station on the corner of Barking Road opposite the Town Hall on High Street South leading to Central Park. After an hour or so of campaigning from the street stall they moved the short distance to this and four people climbed onto the two balconies with banners while the others held a rally in front of the building.

‘NEWHAM – Hundreds of Empty Homes’

Police came to look at the protest, and tried to persuade the four on the balconies to come down, telling them they were worried that these were unsafe. There was nothing to suggest there was any risk at all as the building was still in good condition despite being unused. Police who want photographers to move also always lie to us and tell us that it is for our safety – and it almost never is, and sometimes actually results us moving into greater danger.

Almost certainly the people on the balconies were safe for the next twenty years or more – or until the building was demolished, and after they told police they would come down in a short time when the rally ended, the police gave up the pretence and simply watched from the opposite side of the road.

a woman from East End Sisters Uncut

Support for the Focus E15 protest came from the Revolutionary Communist Group, Feminist Library, Boleyn Dev 100, Tower Hamlets Renters and Newham Green Party. Among the speakers at the rally was a woman from East End Sisters Uncut who talked about their occupation of an empty property in Hackney as a community resource in protest against Hackney Council’s housing failures.

In 2015 Newham sent 244 families families out of London, claiming it had no space or money to house them here. The borough then had the largest number of empty properties of any London borough – around 1,318 with a total value of around £470 million. Although Sir Robin Wales has now been replaced as Mayor, Newham’s housing policies are still failing the people, and the police station, last in use around 8 years ago, is still empty and firmly sealed against occupation. The Focus E15 campaign continues.

More at Focus E15 Occupy Police Station.

Thames, Rotherhithe & Wapping 1988

Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

From Southwark Park Schools which ended the previous post on this walk, Rotherhithe New Road & Southwark Park Schools, I walked a few yards up Southwark Park Road to the corner with Banyard Road, where I photographed the taxi office (still there but changed from A-Z Star Cars to 5 Star Cars) with the pub on the opposite corner, the Southwark Park Tavern, now closed and converted to residential around 2003.

There was a pub around here, the Green Man, possibly on this site before Southwark Park opened in 1869 but I think this building probably came shortly after the park was opened, and is opposite the Carriage Drive leading into the park.

Unfortunately I haven’t yet digitised this picture, nor one of rather plain two-storey terrace on Banyard Rd or an image showing a play area in the park. I hurried through the park to the Jamaica Road gate at its north, crossing to make my way to Kings Stairs Gardens and the River Thames.

River Thames, Downstream, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10l-63-Edit_2400
River Thames, Downstream, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10l-63

The two jetties visible here I think have now gone and there is certainly no line of lighters as in this picture, and there is one striking new building on the riverfront.

River Thames, Downstream, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10l-65-Edit_2400
River Thames, Downstream, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10l-65

A second picture taken with a short telephoto lens from almost exactly the same place shows the central area more clearly, with new flats being built on Rotherhithe St.

Wapping, River Thames, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 198888-10l-51-Edit_2400
Wapping, River Thames, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 198888-10l-51

Looking across the Thames downstream, with Free Trade Wharf at the extreme right and just to the left the cylinder ventilation shaft of the Rotherhithe tunnel in the King Edward Memorial Park. Both Metropolitan Wharf and New Crane Wharf are covered iwth scaffolding.

Wapping, River Thames, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10l-52-Edit_2400
Wapping, River Thames, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10l-52

Part of St John’s Wharf and King Henry’s Wharves seen across the River Thames.

Wapping, River Thames, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 198888-10l-53-Edit_2400
Wapping, River Thames, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10l-53

More of St John’s Wharf, including one of the earlier warehouse conversions and the Grade II listed Wapping Police Station, built 1907-10, Metropolitan Police architect John Dixon Butler. At extreme left is a part of Aberdeen Wharf built in 1843–4 by the Aberdeen Steam Navigation Company.

Wapping, River Thames, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10l-54-Edit_2400
Wapping, River Thames, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10l-54

The end of Aberdeen Wharf is at the right edge of this picture, and at its left the Wapping Police Boatyard, an unnecessarily ugly building opened in 1973. The new building in the centre of the picture also seems something of an eyesore, at least at its ends.

Wapping, River Thames, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10l-55-Edit_2400
Wapping, River Thames, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10l-55

Continuing up-river from the Police Boatyard are St Thomas Wharf, Pierhead Wharf, Oliver’s Wharf – the first warehouse in Wapping to be converted into luxury flats in 1972 – and Wapping Pierhead, with houses designed by Daniel Alexander in 1811 and the main entrance to London Docks.

Bermondsey, River Thames, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10l-41-Edit_2400
Bermondsey, River Thames, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10l-41

Looking upriver on the south bank with Tower Bridge at the extreme right and Guy’s Hospital tower just left of centre. Cherry Garden Pier is at left.

Silver Jubilee, marker, EIIR, River Thames, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10l-43-Edit_2400
Silver Jubilee, marker, EIIR, River Thames, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10l-43

There is still a marker for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee here but it looks far less impressive than this rugged stonework I photographed in 1988. London has also gained quite a few tall buildings, but the view along the river remains clear and you can still see the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Braithwaite & Dean, Rotherhithe St, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10l-44-Edit_2400
Braithwaite & Dean, Rotherhithe St, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10l-44

41 Rotherhithe St, now apparently 1 Fulford St at least according to Google Maps, was the offices of lighterage company Braitwaite & Dean, where their lightermen would come to collect their weekly wage. Apparently it was known locally as the Leaning Tower of Rotherhithe, though the building’s lean is more apparent from across the river than in my picture.

It was left more or less alone on this stretch of the river with just the Angel pub equally isolated a few yards upriver after Bermondsey council bought many of the buildings in 1939 to create a park, with wartime bombing continuing the demolition job. There was some temporary housing by the river when I first walked along here in the early 1980s, but that soon disappeared.

My walk in Bermondsey continued – more about it in a later post.