Benjamin Zephaniah on how Colin Roach’s death sparked a movement 35 years ago

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Colin Roach

Colin Roach

source: Hackney Gazette
published: 23 January 2018

The death of Rashan Charles, and its aftermath, has tragic echoes of the case of Colin Roach. The 21-year-old was shot inside Stoke Newington police station 35 years ago, with the community convinced cops had a hand. Poet Benjamin Zephaniah was at the first protest after his death, he tells the Gazette.

Events surrounding the death of Colin Roach 35 years ago remain a mystery to this day.

He died inside the foyer of Stoke Newington police station on January 12, 1983, from a single gunshot wound through the mouth.

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The Sean Rigg Surgery Project launched

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Bereaved families protestsource: London Campaign Against Police and State Violence
published: 3 January 2018

The Sean Rigg Project is a monthly police complaint surgery in South London, set up by the London Campaign Against Police and State Violence and StopWatch. Each month, the project provides the local community with assistance and support in making complaints against the police.

It is named after Sean Rigg, a black man who died in custody at Brixton Police Station in 2008 and whose family have fought for justice for the last eight years.

The project aims to combat racist and abusive policing tactics by supporting the local community to make complaints and potentially take legal action. But we need help! The project is run by qualified lawyers and volunteer “buddies”. Continue reading

Tackling Mental Health: Birmingham conference made its mark

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Tippa Naphtali of Catalyst 4 Change

Tippa Naphtali of Catalyst 4 Change – Image Credit Veron Graham

source: The Voice Online
published: 14 December 2017

A rallying cry for black communities to play a greater part in their own wellbeing and push for improvement was made at a mental health conference in Birmingham on 25 November 2017.

Self-reliance and self-determination were themes that echoed throughout Stepping Out for Our Community, in which the harsh realities of fifty-plus years of failed policies and overlooked recommendations were brought into sharp focus by eminent speakers with tragic personal accounts alongside professional experience of mental illness.

Joanna Bennett, a professor of mental health with a 30- year history of campaigning for change in the UK and the Caribbean, talked to delegates at The H Suite conference in the Edgbaston area of the city through reports, enquiries and legislation dating back to the 1960s, en route to a damning conclusion: Continue reading