Socialist Worker

Protesters block Oxford Street in solidarity with Ferguson demonstrations

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2431

Marcia Rigg addressing the protest outside the US embassy in London

Marcia Rigg addressing the protest outside the US embassy in London (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Around 1,000 people demonstrated in London in solidarity with Ferguson protesters yesterday, Wednesday.

The protest follows the announcement on Monday night that Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot dead unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in August, will not be prosecuted. Protests and riots immediately spread across the US.

Hundreds of angry demonstrators gathered to protest outside the US embassy in central London, on Wednesday evening.

One protester, Sofia, said, “Black lives are being lost. I’m here in solidarity with the people in Ferguson, and to say that this system is fucked up.”

Protesters then marched around the city centre. Passers by joined the march as it blocked traffic on Oxford Street.

Protesters chanted “Hands up – don’t shoot!” and “Police killed Mark Duggan,” making a link between the death of Michael Brown and Mark, who was killed by police in 2011.

Protesters then marched on to Charing Cross Police Station.

The demonstration continued to Parliament Square, where people pulled down security barriers erected to keep Occupy protesters out, before finishing outside Scotland Yard.

Carole Duggan, Mark’s aunt, spoke at the rally outside the US embassy. She said, “Mark Duggan was murdered by the police. The inquest found he was unarmed. But because the state is so racist and corrupt they came back with a verdict of lawful killing.”

She added “If they can murder Mark, they can murder anybody.

“That’s why we have to stand up in solidarity with the people of Ferguson.”

Marcia Rigg, sister of Sean Rigg who was killed in police custody in 2008, spoke about the number of black people who have died at the hands of the police. She said, “Not one police officer has been made accountable for any of these deaths. Shame on them.”

The protest followed call outs from a number of organisations, including Stand up to Racism, London Black Revolutionaries, NUS Black Students and Black Activists Rising Against Cuts.

Brian Richardson, of Love Music Hate Racism and the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, said, “Every day we see disproportionate numbers of young black and Asian, and young white working class people dragged through the courts.

“But the bankers responsible for causing the crisis and the politicians who robbed the public purse to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds – why weren’t they taken to court?”

He added, “There’s justice for the rich, but there’s no justice for the poor, and the black, and the working class.”

The protest marches through central London

The protest marches through central London (Pic: Ahmed Soliman)

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