Justice 4 Grainger Campaign Fathers' Day Protest – 17 June 2012

On Sunday 17 June Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (FRFI) joined a protest in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, to demand justice for victims of police murder in Britain. The Justice 4 Grainger campaign organised the demonstration as part of a national day of action supported by friends and families of some of the people who have lost their lives at the hands of the state. Since 2000 at least 33 people have been shot dead by British police and about 419 have died in police custody, yet not one police officer has been convicted for these deaths. The murder of Anthony Grainger on 3rd March 2012 by armed police thugs (see www.revolutionarycommunist.org/index.php/reports/manchester-reports/2521-justice-for-anthony-grainger) has sparked a militant campaign led by those closest to Anthony, leading to this first public demonstration on 17th June. The campaign demands justice for all victims of police murder and calls for those responsible for Anthony's death to be brought to trial.

Up to 150 people gathered in Piccadilly Gardens for a lively vigil with music and speeches demanding justice. Justice 4 Grainger's Wes Ahmed and other members of Anthony Grainger's family spoke passionately of his still recent death, asking why police officers are literally allowed to get away with murder on the streets of working class neighbourhoods in Britain. Janet Alder, the sister of Christopher, who died in police custody in Hull in 1998, spoke of her long struggle for justice (index.php/fight-racism/1240-stop-deaths-in-custody—frfi-162-august—september-2001), talking about the unwritten law which allows the police to escape prosecution for their crimes: 'This is the kind of law that can only be changed by the people!'

FRFI's Charles Chinweizu gave the political context for the continued police attacks, speaking of the state's quick-fire judicial response to the uprisings across Britain in August 2011, with a witch-hunt which gave scores of working class people long sentences for minimal 'crimes', compared with British governments' non-existent responses to attacks by the police:

'Have the police killers of Mark Duggan or Azelle Rodney or Anthony Grainger been brought before a court in the middle of the night nor remanded in custody? Of course not.'

On the demonstration FRFI drew links with the brutal wave of cutbacks facing working class people, and the constant arming of the state by successive Labour and ConDem governments. A lot of working class people stopped to support the protest and share their own experiences in police injustice. Following the protest in Piccadilly, around 80 people marched to Bootle Street police station.

The Justice 4 Grainger campaign has made a good start in mobilising ordinary people against the violence of the British imperialist police. Anthony's friends and family and other people involved know that this is just the beginning. FRFI is committed to supporting the struggle ahead to bring these killer cops to justice.

Justice for Grainger!

No justice – no peace!

Justice for Anthony Grainger shot and killed by Greater Manchester Police

On 3 March at 7.20pm 16 armed police officers from GMP surrounded a parked car in Culcheth, near Warrington, one of them proceeded to fire a shot through the windscreen killing Anthony Grainger who was sat behind the wheel. Anthony was one of three men in the car, they were all unarmed, no weapons were found in the car, they had been under police surveillance for some time so the police knew they were unarmed. The police had already shot out the tyres of the vehicle and fired a tear gas cannister into the car. This was an execution carried out by GMP.

Since 2000 at least 33 people have been shot dead by the police in Britain and at least 419 have died in police custody, http://inquest.gn.apc.org/website/statistics/deaths-in-police-custody not one police officer has been sentenced for any of these crimes.

The Justice4Grainger Campaign, https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/anthony.grainger/ has been formed by his family and friends to campaign for the police involved in the killing of Anthony to be brought to trial to face justice. On Fathers Day, 17 June, they have called for a vigil in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester to show the support for this demand.

Manchester: Farooqi family faces collective punishment / FRFI 224 December 2011/January 2012

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism 224 December 2011/January 2012

At the beginning of September in Manchester, Munir Farooqi, Israr Malik and Matthew Newton were convicted under the Terrorism Act of attempting to recruit people to go to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban against British and US occupation forces. Now, not only has Munir been given a life sentence, but his family is facing eviction from their home by the courts in an act of vindictive collective punishment.

Munir and his brothers ran Islamic information stalls in Manchester which distributed religious literature. The police operation that led to Munir and the two other men being convicted lasted for over a year and involved two undercover police officers joining the stalls and pretending to convert to Islam. At the end of the trial Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Porter of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit (NWCTU) admitted, ‘this was an extremely challenging case, both to investigate and successfully prosecute at court, because we did not recover any blueprint, attack plan or endgame for these men’. In other words it was the evidence of these two undercover cops that was crucial to the conviction of Munir and his brothers. Harris Farooqi, Munir’s son, was also on trial but was found not guilty; Harris has stated that the undercover cops had been engaged in a systematic attempt to entrap him.

After the guilty verdict for Munir was announced, the NWCTU and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) informed the Farooqi family that they were going to apply to the court to seize their family home in Longsight, Manchester. This is the first time that the state has attempted to seize property belonging to people convicted under the Terrorism Act. The announcement came just weeks after the Labour council declared it would evict families of people convicted of offences during the uprisings/riots in August.

This act of collective punishment against the family will affect seven people who live in the house including two children, one a baby. The police say that the home was the base for Munir’s ‘terrorist activity’ and is therefore liable for seizure. As Munir’s alleged crimes only involve discussing religious and ideological issues with members of the public, anybody who has a different political or ideological view from the state had better beware. According to the police the house was a store of terrorist-related propaganda but the report of the trial in The Guardian said that ‘Officers found three books and three DVDs that were considered terrorist publications at Farooqi's home among more than 50,000 books and leaflets and more than 5,000 recordings.’

A campaign to ‘Save the family home’ www.savethefamilyhome.com has been set up and within four weeks 13,000 petition signatures supporting the family had been collected. These petitions were handed in to the CPS on 8 November. The next day in a show of contempt for the family and their supporters the CPS went ahead with their application to the court for the seizure of the family home. The case will probably come to court in March 2012. We cannot let the state get away with this act of collective punishment, and FRFI supporters in Manchester will be actively supporting the campaign.

Bob Shepherd

Save South Manchester Law Centre!

smlcManchester FRFI is supporting the campaign to Save South Manchester Law Centre (SMLC).  On 25 October 120 people, mainly migrant workers, attended a packed campaign meeting at the Pakistani Community Centre in Longsight, Manchester. This was the third public meeting since the decision of the Legal Services Commission (LSC) to reduce funding to the Law Centre to deliver special legal services in asylum, immigration and human rights to vulnerable members of an impoverished community.

SMLC has been providing free legal advice for 35 years and is now under serious threat of closure.  On top of the cuts in immigration law funding, Manchester City Council is cutting funding to the Law Centre for housing, welfare, employment, and domestic violence and women's rights advice services. SMLC has already lost five of its 15 staff and has only weeks of funding left.

Read more ...

North West Events coming up..

Every Saturday unless otherwise specified - Information/campaign stalls, Manchester City Centre and environs

For details call 07519 427 093 or e-mail: frfi.manchester@gmail.com

 

Regular actions in Liverpool, for details contact FRFI.Liverpool@gmail.com

Contact North West FRFI

075 1942 7093
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FRFI Statement on Justice for Grainger protest

Who shot and killed Anthony Grainger?