Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2425

It’s important that we make the link between injustice cases 

The decision of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) not to prosecute police officers involved in the death of Sean Rigg is shocking.

In case after case after case it has been shown that the CPS side with the police and refuse to hold them to account.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission report into my brother Christopher’s death in police custody showed the failures of the police disciplinary system.

The report said that the police service has a discipline system based on the court martial model dating back to the Indian Mutiny. 

I think people would be shocked if they knew how outdated it is.

A lot of the time different cases of deaths in custody are kept apart in the media and stories are dealt with one at a time. 

This gives people the impression that they are isolated occurrences or happen only every so often.

We have to challenge that and make the links between the cases. There is a pattern, and the pattern is the state refusing to accept responsibility for deaths in custody. 

The current climate of attacks on the Human Rights Act is also worrying. 

It is going to mean that people who die at the hands of police will not even have a right to life.

We need to pull together all of the cases. That is why it is important that as many people as possible make it to the United Families and Friends march next Saturday in London.

Deaths in custody are an issue for everybody, not just for individual families affected.

If you are angry about police brutality, racism and the state then join the march.

Janet  AlderJustice for Christopher Alder campaign

United Families and Friends Campaign Procession 2014, Saturday 25 October, 12 noon, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

Yorkshire has a history of welcoming migrants

In 1914, at the start of the First World War, 250,000 Belgian refugees came to Britain.

Some 10,500 came to Yorkshire, with some coming to where I’m from in the Spen Valley.

Public meetings were held to consider how to alleviate the distress.

And committees raised money to alleviate their poverty.

Concerts and dances were organised to raise money for the refugees’ distress fund.

Residents adopted families, provided furniture, beds and homes, some rent free.

Gomersal colliery provided free coal and the refugees received free medical care.

There was of course the usual outcry from the press about what to do with the migrants.

But the local people’s answer was as the same as it should be today, “They are welcome here”.

John AppleyardLiversedge, West Yorkshire

Celebrate Tressell’s useful tale

Children’s author Alan Gibbons recently spoke at a great 100th anniversary celebration for the publication of Robert Tressell’s book The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists. 

Local youth theatre Can’t Blame Da Youth also gave a fantastic performance. 

Leicester Socialist Workers Party put on the event with the Everybody’s Reading Festival.

More than 100 people came and we collected over £100 for the striking Doncaster Care UK workers. 

The book is as relevant and useful today as it was 100 years ago. 

Andy CovaLoughborough

Get more from black history

Black history month is a great opportunity to raise issues of oppression and resistance.

I teach at a sixth form college. A number of students have helped me organise a range of activities and talks over the last couple of years.

These range from the history of the Muslim working class to Kwame Nkrumah and Ghanian independence.  

We generally get audiences of between 15 and 30. This year we also plan to visit the renovated Black Cultural Archives in Brixton.

Name and address supplied

Save our People's History Museum from Tory funding cuts

Manchester’s People’s History Museum is once again under threat of losing its funding.

The museum charts struggles of working people.

They include the Luddites and the Chartists to more recent campaigns such as the Anti Nazi League and Stop the War Coalition.

It is a museum that all socialists and trade unionists should celebrate and enjoy.

Currently the museum is hosting an exhibition on the impact of the First World War on the lives of ordinary people.

It is not the story David Cameron would want to hear, but it is an important alternative to the mainstream story.

Working people have always had to struggle to have their history known, and the People’s History Museum plays an important role.

It is therefore not surprising that the museum faces £200,000 losses in funding from the government.

I hope every reader of Socialist Worker will get behind the museum.

You can sign the petition online, campaigners are hoping to get 7,000 signatures

Martin EmpsonManchester

Brains have no gender

TV programme Horizon, recently had an episode on, “Is your brain male or female?”.

I think there are still a few more weeks when this can be watched on BBC iPlayer. 

It’s not to be missed. Differences between male and female? None. None at birth. All culturally created. 

This programme is worth seeing.

Colin Frost-HerbertLewes

Ian Paisley was a bigot

So I see that David Cameron has suggested that something should be done about radical clerics promoting terrorism in Britain. 

I suppose it’s lucky that Ian Paisley is dead or he would be the first to be arrested.

Paul O’BrienDublin

Benefit cuts do target the poor

Of course limiting child benefit affects everyone, rich or poor (Letters, 11 October).

But attacks on benefits harm poorer people most because they rely on them so much more.

Diane WrightSheffield

Tories make kids go hungry

A recent report into 58 families in Lambeth, south London, has shown that many children are arriving to school hungry.

One girl even said the pangs of hunger hurt so much she just wanted to sleep all of the time to forget them.

This is the reality of Tory Britain. We have to kick them out.

Lisa BartonLambeth, south London

Kick bigots off of campuses 

It’s great that the LSE students’ union in London disbanded the men’s rugby club, which had a history of sexism and racism.

More student union’s should follow their lead. Too often is bigotry brushed aside as “banter” on campuses.

Kate LongfordEast London

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Article information

Tue 14 Oct 2014, 17:19 BST
Issue No. 2425
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