Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

20 January 2021

Facebook   Twitter

Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Police use Covid-19 laws to intimidate Black Lives Matter protesters

Black Lives Matter protester, June 2020, photo Judy Beishon

Black Lives Matter protester, June 2020, photo Judy Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

Berkay Kartav, South west London Socialist Party

On Saturday 16 January, around 15 Black Lives Matter activists gathered by Parliament Square, in London, to protest the tragic death of Mohamud Mohammed Hassan after being released from police custody in Cardiff. Socialist Party members were also present at the protest, wearing masks and social distancing, to demand an end to racist policing and for democratic working-class control of the police.

Soon after the protest had started, an army of police officers stormed towards the crowd to tell protestors to leave immediately. Without giving the protesters any chance to discuss and decide what to do, the police threatened to make arrests.

Police used Covid-19 regulations as an excuse for intimidation. But the truth is that anti-racists protesting in the open air are far less likely to spread the virus than a bunch of police officers stuck in police vans.

Police want to use force and intimidation to put young people off protesting again in the future. It also forms part of an ongoing attempt by the government to blame young people for the spread of the virus.

The police were more careful, however, when NHS workers organised a protest outside Downing Street just two days before. Public opinion in support of NHS workers means that police could face a backlash if they chose to use Covid-19 regulations against frontline workers fighting for safety.

If the Black Lives Matter protest had been more widely publicised, it is possible that many more working-class youth would have attended. This would have made it more difficult for the police to disperse the crowd so easily.

Moreover, the heavy-handed response of the police shows the importance of democratically controlled stewarding by trade unions; to ensure all protests are properly organised, and to keep everyone safe.

Many people are understandably worried about catching Covid-19, and this is one of the reasons this protest was smaller compared to other Black Lives Matter protests.

Despite the issues around how the protests could have been organised, the police were heavy handed in protecting their fellow police officers involved in the murder of Mohamud.

We need police to be democratically accountable to the trade unions, youth and communities. This includes being able to determine policing policies and priorities, access to scrutinise bodycam footage and other data, and the ability to appoint and dismiss chief or senior constables.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation £

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 20 January 2021:


News

Make the super-rich pay, not the poorest

Bosses profit out of 'starvation' food parcels

Teachers: On the front line, in their own words

Peace and Justice Project - no way forward for socialism

Millionaire tendency regains control of Scottish Labour

News in Brief


Covid-19

The Tory blame game: scapegoating the working class - 100% pay for all now

Covid: Bosses chase profit and put workers in danger

Vaccine confidence - a worker's response

Life in lockdown - being home from school when you're poor is hard


NHS

On the NHS front line


Black Lives Matter

Justice for Mohamud Hassan!

Police use Covid laws to intimidate BLM protesters

New Cross Gate fire 40 years ago


International News

USA in crisis - the need for a socialist alternative

Trump Twitter ban: only independent workers' voice can defeat right


Workplace

PCS Broad Left Network conference

Rolls-Royce Barnoldswick factory future secured following strike action

Morrisons - £10/hr headline hides divisive pay offer

A day in the life of an agency worker

British Gas strike continues


Students

Refund student rent and fees

Plymouth rent strike continues

Scrap fees, refund rents and pay a living grant


Campaigns

London's May elections: Tories and Labour's Khan both vying to slash public services

Socialist Party national women's meeting

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Christmas Crossword Competition


Readers' Opinion

Books that inspired me: The Road to Wigan Pier


Obituary

Obituary - Jeff Edwards


 

Home   |   The Socialist 20 January 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Black Lives Matter:

triangleSwansea BLM protest against racist police brutality

triangleRemembering Mohamud Hassan - continuing the fight against police brutality

triangleSocialist Party Black and Asian caucus

triangleSham inquiry into 'progressive extremism'

triangleBiden, Labour, and the need for a new mass workers' party

Police:

triangle1981: New Cross Massacre

triangleJustice for Moyied Bashir

triangleNigeria: Abbey Trotsky on trial for assisting workers' struggle

triangleNew anti-protest law: State forces want more power to crush the protests that are coming

Covid:

triangleGarment workers and Covid: Dying for less than minimum wage

triangleWhere's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?

triangleDerby Toyota plant Covid crisis

Protest:

triangleTories target universities in free speech shakedown

triangleTurkey: Bogaziçi university students protest appointment of government loyalist as rector

London:

triangleUnder attack and fighting back

Article dated 20 January 2021

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

MEMBER RESOURCES

Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales

Leaflets

Bulk book orders

New member submission

WHAT'S ON

triangle3 Mar Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: Financing the Socialist Party

triangle4 Mar West London Socialist Party: Dialectical materialism - a theory of change

triangle4 Mar East London Socialist Party: A fighting programme for women's rights and socialism

More...


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1123 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files


International Women

International Women's Day rally, Sunday 7th March, 3pm. Click here for Facebook and Zoom links.

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version