Socialist Worker

United Families and Friends march in London builds links with US activists

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2477

The Sheku Bayoh campaign was among those on the march

The Sheku Bayoh campaign was among those on the march (Pic: Guy Smallman )

Some 200 people joined the United Family and Friends Campaign procession in central London today, Saturday.

The annual march and vigil remembers those who have died at the hands of the state – and brings together the different justice campaigns. 

This year US campaigner Cephus “Uncle Bobby” Johnson joined the procession.

Uncle Bobby is the uncle of Oscar Grant, who police shot in Fruitvale, Oakland, in 2009. He said, “I’ve been asked this question, ‘why come and stand with United Families and Friends?’ A black life murdered in Oakland is no different from a black life murdered in London. Black lives mater everywhere.”

He added, “It’s going to take a mass movement to make change across the world – in London and in the United States.”

Some of the families of those who have died in police custody in Britain visited the US earlier this month.

Marcia Rigg, whose brother Sean Rigg died in police custody in Brixton, south London, in 2008, was one of them. She told Socialist Worker, “We were invited over by the Black Lives Matter campaign. It’s about making links."

Members of the Sheku Bayoh campaign were also on the march. Sheku died of suspected asphyxia in Kirkcaldy earlier this year after as up to nine police officers restrained him.

Sheku’s brother-in-law Adeyemi Johnson called for people to build the fight against police violence and deaths in custody.

He said, “We have to form a mass movement both here and abroad and put a stop to this.”

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