Around 1,000 people gathered outside Tottenham police station, north London, to remember the life of Mark Duggan yesterday, Saturday. The road outside the station was filled with people who came to stand in solidarity with Mark’s family as they held a vigil to respect his life.
The peaceful gathering began with a minute’s silence to remember Mark who was shot and killed by police in August 2011. On Wednesday of last week there was anger and disbelief as a jury in the inquest into his death returned a conclusion that Mark had been lawfully killed.
Mark’s family stood together on the steps of the police station. His aunt Carole said, “The more we people come together and support each other maybe we can make a better life for our children, for Mark’s children.
“And also for all of those children who have to live in these communities that are over-policed, where they are not free. We’re here to respect Mark. We didn’t get justice, we know, but the fight goes on.
“We have to go back to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for another investigation - a thorough one. That’s what we’re going to do, and for as long as it takes we are going to keep coming out here and doing what we have to do.”
Mark is one of 1,486 people to have died in police custody or after coming into contact with police since 1990.
The families and friends of Joy Gardner, Leon Patterson, Sean Rigg and Leon Briggs were just some of the supporters who turned out in solidarity with the Duggan family.
And Mark’s family held placards bearing the names of Cynthia Jarrett and Roger Sylvester – two other Tottenham residents killed by police in the last 30 years.
The vigil also marked the 15-year anniversary of the death of Roger in police custody in 1999. After his death his family went to Tottenham police station to get answers, and have been fighting to get justice ever since.
His father Rupert Sylvester told Socialist Worker, “It’s like reliving it all over again being outside this station again. But it’s amazing to see how people have come together here today.”
Banners on the vigil included Haringey, Islington and Ealing associations of the teachers’ NUT trade union, City and Islington lecturers’ UCU union and Paddington RMT rail workers’ union.
Tottenham MP David Lammy did not attend the vigil despite being invited by Mark’s family. However Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP, Diane Abbott, was present. She said there would be a meeting in parliament to discuss questions around Mark’s death.
Mark’s family then released doves of peace into Tottenham. The vigil ended with a short speech from Mark’s mother Pamela, who said, “Thank you everybody for being here today for Mark.
“Mark wasn’t a gangster - gangsters have everything, Mark had nothing. Mark’s children were his life.”