Tuesday 27-10-2015 - 11:54
As we round up Black History Month, we invite you to join us on the national #WeDemandJustice weekend where we will mark the long battle against injustice inflicted on Black communities and also celebrate the spirit that has tied together Black people in Britain.
As we approach the end of Black History Month and reflect on the depth and diversity of events, campaigns and topics covered in the programmes organised up and down the country, it is the struggle that Black people have faced here in the UK and of the unrelenting resistance against that struggle, that has inspired us.
The United Families and Friends Campaign (UFFC) are among the organisations that have come to symbolise the energy and conviction of resistance and campaigns against British police and state brutality.
The families have battled against state’s apparent right to use violence with impunity, alongside the undying trauma of losing their loved ones to violence. The British state and its agencies have long worked in concert to brutalise its Black citizens, in particular, across sectors, from Black people being over-detained and overmedicated in the mental health services, to the more naked violence we face from the police and immigration enforcement.
Since 1990 there have been 1518 deaths in police custody in England and Wales alone – with 0 convictions – and since records began in 1968 over 4000 have died in state custody. But while there has been no formal accountability, Black communities have never accepted this brutality passively, as the series of uprisings sparked in the wake of police violence are testament to: Tottenham 2011 following Mark Duggan’s murder, or Brixton 1985 following the shooting of Cherry Groce, to name but a few.
UFFC has been at both the forefront of campaigning against state violence, and in the background with the crucial role of supporting families who have lost their loved ones.
The Campaign has over the years brought together family justice campaigns, and with the Ferguson Solidarity UK and the US-UK Justice tours which took place this year alongside the Black Students’ Campaign, UFFC have drawn together international links and bridged solidarity with families in the US campaigning against brutality and oppression.
Building upon the relationships the Black Students’ Campaign have been able to develop, we are proud to invite you to our national #WeDemandJustice weekend of events where we will mark the long battle against injustices inflicted on Black communities, but also to celebrate that same spirit that has tied together Black people for generations in Britain.
Joining us from the US as special guests will be Cephus ‘Uncle Bobby’ Johnson, uncle of Oscar Grant who was murdered by police in Oakland, California at Fruitvale train station (Fruitvale Station Film Trailer) in 2009.
The line up for this weekend includes:
FRIDAY 30 October
Screening of the film ‘Fruitvale Station’ on Oscar Grant’s killing, alongside a Q&A with Uncle Bobby and campaigners from the UK-US Justice Tour, at the Karibu Centre in Brixton.
SATURDAY 31 October
Daytime: UFFC annual procession against deaths in custody marching from Trafalgar Square to Downing Street as we are joined by members of the #BlackLivesMatter movement
Evening: We Demand Justice-evening of celebrating struggle through music and spoken word featuring Akala at SOAS Students Union in Bloomsbury.