Justice for Kevan Thakrar! - protest report

On Sunday 3 November around 20 people demonstrated in support of Kevan Thakrar outside Manchester prison (Strangeways).The action was in protest at the continued ill-treatment of Kevan by the Prison Service and calling for an end to his years of solitary confinement. The protest was organised by Manchester FRFI/RCG and Kevan's parents Jean and Al. Supporters included JENGbA (Joint Enterprise – Guilty by Association) and the Justice4Grainger Campaign. At the end of the demonstration the protesters moved to the side of the prison to shout their support over the wall to Kevan, and later on got news that he had heard their calls of support!

In June this year, Kevan was moved from the Close Supervision Centre at Woodhill prison where he had been held since being acquitted, in November 2011, of wounding three prison officers. Kevan's defence was that he acted in self-defence, following years of abuse by prison staff. His case was supported by a psychologist, originally retained by the prosecution, but who ‘switched sides’ after examining Kevan and determining that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his treatment in prison.

More than 20 prison staff gave evidence for the prosecution. Kevan's witnesses were all prisoners, all of proven bad character. The jury clearly chose to believe them.

Kevan was told his transfer from Woodhill was a ‘progressive move’ and that he would be receiving psychological treatment at Manchester. In fact, he has received no psychological help and has been subjected to a daily regime of intimidation and abuse by staff. His visits have been curtailed, some held in closed conditions, despite neither Kevan or his visitors ever being suspected of smuggling contraband - the usual stated reason for closed visits. His mail has been stopped and he is subjected to numerous daily strip searches. For weeks now, he has been held in a special isolation cell, with no contact with other prisoners.

The Prison Service is a key arm of the criminal justice system. Its staff do not question the convictions of those the courts send to prison. So, though Kevan's acquittal must still rankle with his keepers, they should respect the decision of the court which cleared him. They are there to serve the law, not to break, or be above, it.

Eric Allison


Please support Kevan’s struggle by sending messages of solidarity to Kevan Thakrar A4907AE, HMP MANCHESTER (SIU), Southall Street, Strangeways, MANCHESTER M60 9AH

And letters of complaint about his treatment to the head of the Close Supervision Centres Claire Hodson at : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For background to Kevan’s case, imprisonment and transfer to Manchester see:

 

index.php/prisoners-fightback/3133-si250813

Report of Manchester protest: UEFA out of Israel! Israel out of Palestine!

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Around 50 people took part in a day of protest in Manchester on 18 May organised by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and against UEFA's decision to hold the 2013 Under-21 Euro football tournament in Israel. Members and supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Group (RCG) were joined by Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign, CPGB-ML and members of the public for a rolling picket of shops that are sponsoring the Euros and therefore giving a green light to Israeli apartheid, occupation and colonisation. The protests were provocative and received the support of hundreds of passers by.

Read more ...

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 Events

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?