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Vol. 77/No. 11      March 25, 2013

UK families organize to
keep fighting cop killings
(feature article)
MANCHESTER, England, March 3—“We are not giving up our fight for justice for Anthony Grainger,” said Wesley Ahmed, his cousin, to a crowd of 70 people at Piccadilly Gardens park here today. The vigil was called to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Grainger’s killing by police.

Grainger was sitting unarmed in a parked car in Culcheth, Warrington, when he was shot and killed by a specialist armed officer. Sixteen armed cops and other officers were at the scene.

“When the police told Marina, Anthony’s mother, about the killing of her son they laughed at her grief,” Ahmed said. Two others who were with Grainger in the car were arrested, as well as another the following day, all accused of planning a robbery.

“The Justice for Grainger campaign held a protest outside every day of the trial at Manchester Crown Court. That is why the court had to acquit them of charges of conspiracy to commit robbery,” Ahmed said.

Among other speakers were Carole Duggan, aunt of Mark Duggan, who was shot by London police in Tottenham in August 2011. The killing sparked protests and riots throughout the country.

Instead of investigating the killing of Mark Duggan and prosecuting the officer responsible, Carole Duggan said, authorities staged a trial to convict another man, Kevin Hutchinson-Foster, of providing her nephew with a gun prior to the police shooting.

“There is a pattern in all these cases—your loved one is seen as aggressive, your loved one is seen as a drug taker, an armed robber—anything to demonize their character,” Janet Alder told rally participants. Her brother, Christopher Alder, was left to choke to death while lying on the floor in handcuffs in a police station in 1998.

Ann Michael spoke about how cops stormed into the bedroom of her son, Jacob Michael, 25, on Aug. 22, 2011. They pepper sprayed him, dragged him out, beat him mercilessly with batons, and left him to die on the floor of the police station. She had never publicly talked about this before, she told the crowd, but decided to join the protest after hearing Ahmed speak up about Grainger’s killing at the coroner’s inquest of Jacob Michael’s death.

More than 1,430 people have died either in police custody or following contact with the police in England and Wales between 1990 and 2011, according to the Guardian.

“What the police are carrying out is class ‘justice’ for the propertied rulers. Their cops act as judge, jury and executioner,” said Pete Clifford of the Communist League. “This goes hand in hand with attacks against workers’ living standards and rights by the employers and their government. That’s why these fights against police brutality are getting a broader hearing among working people today.”

At the end of the event, Ahmed announced further activities in the Justice for Grainger campaign.  
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