An event to discuss the death of Smiley Culture attracted over 100 people in south London last Saturday.
Youth for Smiley Culture was held at the Fridge Bar in Brixton, and attracted a largely young, black audience.
Speakers included Merlin Emmanuel, Smiley’s nephew, and campaigner Lee Jasper. Several young people spoke from the floor about their own experiences of police harassment.
One 15 year old from Tooting, south London, explained how he had been stopped and searched for possession of drugs the day before the meeting.
He said this was because he waved to a group of people he recognised from school as they were being stopped and searched.
“In working class areas they target minority groups,” he said. “The police are public servants. They should treat us with respect.”
Speakers urged people to attend the march for justice for Kingsley Burrell Brown in Birmingham on 2 July.
Kingsley died in hospital after being sectioned under the Mental Health Act by police. He had called them for help after feeling unsafe on the street with his young son.
A coach has been booked from Brixton for the demo.
“This campaign can confront and highlight injustice by the criminal justice system,” said Lee Jasper. “Our whole existence in this country is punctuated by our struggles.”