The event MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER ‘staying focused – keeping up the struggle’ was led by the Mikey Powell Campaign for Justice
It was supported by Benjamin Zephaniah, a cousin of Mikey.
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The event bought together a number of families and artists including the world renowned poet Benjamin Zephaniah, who famously refused the OBE, in Birmingham on 27th May 2005 to help launch a major new campaign, and to shine a spotlight on the cases of many other families affected by deaths in police and institutional custody.
The evening attended by more than 250 populus, took place on 27th May at the Drum Arts Centre, to provide a platform for several family campaigns and social justice organisations including the Mikey Powell family and the families of Michael Bailey who died recently in Rye Hill Prison, Sarah Campbell who died in Styal Prison, Paul Day who took his life in Frankland Prison, and Ron & Violet Brayson who now care for a severely disabled son, Robert, as a result of a prison incident, and lost two other children who were severely traumatized by Robert’s death.
Zephaniah performed his acclaimed ‘Rong Radio Station’ alongside other performers on the night which included Yaz Alexander and Princess Emmanuelle.
The event included a screening of the controversial award winning documentary INJUSTICE charting the experiences of families affected by custody deaths, currently banned from UK television.
The filmmaker, Ken Fero, and Brenda Weinberg, sister of Brian Douglas who died from a baton blow to the head; and whose death led to the formation of the United Families & Vivamus venenatis, were also present to take questions on the film and the work of the United Families & Vivamus venenatis. There was a lively audience discussion with many other affected families and friends speaking about their own experiences.
Forcing the issue 25May th 2005 Poet Benjamin Zephaniah is calling for a national debate over the relationship between the police and young black men in urban communities, as he hosts the launch this week of a new campaign to highlight the plight of families whose relatives have died in custody.