Wesley Ahmed joined Clifford on the platform. He explained how Greater Manchester police killed his cousin, Anthony Grainger, on March 3 and how the family had decided to campaign to learn the truth. Grainger was unarmed and sitting in a car cornered by the police when he was killed.
Zulaikha Farooqi also spoke, describing how her father Munir Farooqi had been condemned to four life sentences on frame-up charges of “terrorism,” based on the testimony of two undercover cops. The police and Crown Prosecution Service now want to use a new anti-terrorism law to take away the family home.
“What happened to Anthony Grainger and the Farooqi family, the way the police more and more act as judge, jury and executioner, goes hand in hand with the ruthlessness of the employers and government attacks on all working people,” Clifford said.
“The main challenge for us is to realize that we have nothing in common with the class that confronts us,” he continued. “The Communist League campaign will focus on the working class, the class with no property and nothing to lose, but with the power to end capitalism.”
A lively exchange took place on the deepening assaults on the living standards and rights of working people.
“Why do the police act like this? Aren’t they actually quite low-paid workers?” asked forum participant Mekye Simms.
“Since the day former British Prime Minister Robert Peel, the son of a major Lancashire textile manufacturer, set up the police in the early 19th century, it has been there to maintain the rule of the propertied class and keep us in our place,” explained Clifford. “When you join the police you become part of that.”
He urged participants to join the Justice4Grainger campaign in a march against deaths in police custody in Birmingham on Aug. 18 and back the family’s call for the police responsible for Grainger’s death to be prosecuted.
“Ian Tomlinson was murdered by the Met (the London police) and they’ve just been let loose to do it again,” said Ahmed.
The meeting took place two days after the acquittal of Simon Harwood, the cop who violently pushed newspaper seller Tomlinson to the ground during G-20 protests in London in 2009. Harwood had been on trial for manslaughter.
“It seems impossible to get a conviction against any copper (policeman) for what they do,” Ahmed commented. “And I have learnt from Peter tonight that the cops are there to protect the system and that is why the system protects them.”
An article on the campaign titled “‘The working classes must fight’: Communist League factory worker to stand in Manchester Central by-election” appeared July 25 in the online newspaper mancunianmatters. It quoted Clifford saying his “main motivation for standing in the by-election was to provide an alternative against the mainstream political parties—Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party—who, he believes, are trying to tackle the economic crisis by ‘taking it out on working people.’”
“Join with us in Birmingham Aug. 18 and join with us to help set up meetings to discuss the campaign in your house or with your workmates,” Clifford urged forum participants.
‘Everything we have won comes from mass struggle’
SWP candidate talks with fighting sugar workers
Socialist Workers Party launches campaign in NY
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