Socialist Worker

Fury and barricades in Hackney after death of Rashan Charles

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2565

Anger on the streets

Anger on the streets (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Anger against the police and racism bursts on to the streets of Hackney, east London, tonight, Friday. 

Protesters came out demanding justice for Rashan Charles who died last week after being chased by the cops. 

Around 150 people, largely young, set up make-shift barricades from bins and mattresses on Kingsland Road. Cars and mopeds that tried to get through were being peacefully turned back with people demanding that the drivers show respect. 

Earlier in the day, in a sign of who is seen as the problem, people marched to Stoke Newington police station.

Anne Marie, one of the protesters, told Socialist Worker, “I knew Rash like a son—I was in disbelief. Nobody is saying anything. What’s the officer who did it doing? What’s going to happen with him? 

“The police knew of Rash, the police have hounded him since he was a kid.” 

“I want justice—I want someone to be accountable.” 

Alija, another protester, told Socialist Worker, “The main reason we’re here is because we want to make a change. Do not be scared if you see a black person. Don’t be scared if you see a black person in a hood like we’re told.”

The sense of anger is about more than just Rashan’s death. 

Angry

People are angry with the police and the way that they treat working class and black people locally. 

On the pavements and street corners different groups of people are talking about what happened to Edson Da Costa. He also died after being arrested by the police in Beckton, east London, in June. 

As one protester, who didn’t want to be named, told Socialist Worker, “I went to the shop to get a some matches, went to light my cigarette and five CID officers came up to me. 

“I didn’t know who they were because they didn’t have uniform—before I knew it, I was down on the floor. 

“I was in front of my own house—it was so humiliating.”

He added, “That’s not the only time it happened to me.” 

Police helicopters circled the local council estates of the area this evening. 

People were set to join a protest outside Stoke Newington police station tomorrow at 2pm. 

Another protester told Socialist Worker, “What’s happening in the US is coming over here—they want cops to be armed. 

“We want a full inquest, we want to know what happened. 

At about 10.30pm police in riot gear moved in to disperse the crowd. They can target individuals. They can't dissipate the growing anger against them.

Justice for Rashan, Saturday 29 July, 2pm, Stoke Newington police station, 33 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 8DS. Called by Stand Up To Racism. Go to www.facebook.com/events/831420883672372

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