Stephen Lawrence: 21 years on

By Arwa Almari, Coordinator of West Yorkshire Racial Justice Network

Today marks 21 years since the brutal murder of Stephen Lawrence. Within hours of Stephen’s murder, police had the names of five suspects from 26 different sources, yet there were no arrests for two weeks. The horrific circumstance of the murder and the subsequent incompetent inquiry pushed the nation, with its public institutions, to engage in discussions about racism. 

Too many deaths, too many lies...Is the judicial system really fair?

By Saqib Deshmkh, Development Officer for V4CE

On the 5th October 1985 Cynthia Jarrett died during a police search of her home in Tottenham. A week earlier Cherry Groce had been shot dead by the police in Brixton so the situation on the ground in our communities was tense. I was a young eighteen year old young writer and had just left school and remember this time distinctly and the impact of the subsequent deaths in custody that followed in African, African Caribbean and Asian communities  (link). The shooting of Colin Roach in 1983 in Stoke Newington and the subsequent deaths of Muhammad Parkit, Tunay Hasan and Clinton McCurbin in 1987 led me to write my first full length play on deaths in custody ‘Black & Blue’ in that year.

Where's the justice?

By Imran Choudhury, Eastern Eye

JUSTICE minister Damian Green has vowed to fix the criminal justice system after an official government study revealed it was “institutionally racist”.
The damning report found white offenders received more lenient sentences when compared to black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) criminals. Almost 20 per cent of black and Asian defendants were more likely to be sent to jail than those who were white and committed similar offences.

A review of the public meeting supporting Immigrants in London and what local groups can do

By Yasmin Begum, Project Development Intern of Voice4Change England (V4CE)

Yesterday the Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London (RAMFEL) and Migrant Rights Network joined forces to run a workshop in New Cross around the ‘Go Home’ van campaign and wider immigration-related issues. In addition, the Newham Monitoring Project (NMP) delivered a workshop on the legality of spot-checks, which has now become more highly profiled in light of the ‘Go Home’ van.

Is the government serious about reviewing stop and search?

By Dan Silver, director of the Social Action & Research Foundation

The government is undertaking a six-week public consultation in England and Wales on the use of controversial "stop and search" powers, as the Home Secretary Theresa May has said it was "time to get stop and search right".

Can the BME/Muslim VCS sector afford to stay silent in the face of racialisation of grooming & child sexual exploitation?

By Saqib Deshmukh, V4CE Development Officer

Over the last year the dominating narrative to do with child sexual exploitation has centred on Pakistani/Muslim communities. The cases in Rochdale, Oxford and other areas have caught the public eye and despite there being clear differences in these cases have created a set of racially driven stereotypes that have not been helpful to our communities and in many cases have been downright dangerous.
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