Campaigners challenged Metropolitan Police commissioner Bernard Hogan‑Howe last Thursday over “aggressive and degrading treatment” at a recent demonstration against deaths in custody.
The activists from the United Families and Friends Campaign (UFFC) demanded answers at a meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority.
The UFFC’s annual march for justice took place last month. The 500-strong demonstration ended with a noisy, but peaceful protest on the road outside Downing Street.
This has happened annually for 13 years. But this year around 100 police forced campaigners off the road, including many family members of those who have died. Protesters were carried and dragged from the protest. One arrest was made, but no charges were made.
Hogan-Howe has committed himself to meet the families before Christmas to discuss their concerns. A majority of the police authority members supported the families’ statement.
Samantha Rigg-David was one of those putting forward the families’ concerns. Her brother Sean Rigg died in Brixton police station in 2008.
“We’re sending them the message that we won’t let this happen again,” she told Socialist Worker. “They can’t police demonstrations like this. We’re here to stay until we see proper changes.”