Socialist Worker

What next in Tottenham?

Issue No. 2265

The meeting in Tottenham, north London (Pic: Smallman )

The meeting in Tottenham, north London (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Up to 200 people gathered for a meeting on Monday night about the riots in Tottenham.

Trade unionists and activists talked about what people can do to support the people now facing prison and the government’s crackdown.

Merlin Emmanuel addressed the meeting. He is the nephew of rapper Smiley Culture who died under suspicious circumstances when police raided his house.

Merlin said, “Our youth are not aliens as some MPs would have you believe.

“They are our children. They did not fall from spaceships all of a sudden and become menaces to society.”

Author Paul Gilroy asked the meeting, “Did you see the photographs from that party in the Cotswolds? They were all there—the Milibands, the Labour people, the TV people. And when they congregate they’re trying to tell you something—they’re a class.

“If we want to act in concert we have to learn something from them, even as we challenge what they do.”

A representative from the Turkish and Kurdish youth organisation Daymer added, “We like to work with many groups—we were part of the student demonstrations and we got kettled too.

Weyman Bennett and Gary McFarlane also spoke.

The meeting agreed to support any defence campaign—and to demand the government reverses the cuts to youth centres in the area.

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