Ken Fero © Migrant Media
Families of those that have died in police, prison and psychiatric custody held their Annual Remembrance Procession on Saturday 31st October 2009.
The families met at Trafalgar Square and then marched down Whitehall to hold a vigil outside Downing Street. Although numbers were small as there was no official organising of this, the 11th year of the march, the families that did attend were determined to continue.
Families and friends attending included those of Ricky Bishop, Sean Rigg, Paul Calvert, Jason McPherson, Paul Coker, Sarah Campbell and Jason Thompson.
Stephanie Lightfoot Bennett, the sister of Leon Paterson who died in police custody in Manchester 17 years ago led a small delegation to place poems and flowers in memory of the dead outside Downing Street. Afterwards she said “I have been campaigning for so long and have been coming here for 11 years. I am not going to stop until I get some answers as to why my twin brother is dead”.
Whilst it has been the practice to hand in a petition to the Prime Minster calling for his personal attention on these cases it was decided to abandon the appeal as all previous requests to successive Prime Minsters had been ignored.
Pat Coker, whose son Paul died in Plumstead Police Station, said, “My son died in August 2005 at the hands of the police and I have still not had an inquest into his death. Myself, and all the families here today need to be listened to and we need action”
All the families involved that attended this year have decided to pursue new strategies and will be meeting as a group to take the event forward into 2010. If you are a family or friend of someone that has died in custody and would like to attend or support next years event send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Families and Friends at Downing St
31st October 2009
IndyMedia version of the above
1st November 2009
Ava DuVernay’s new documentary chronicles how our justice system has been driven by racism from the days of slavery to today’s era of mass incarceration. The film, "13th," is named for the constitutional amendment that abolished slavery. Read more
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