Socialist Worker

LETTERS - the state will try the same old tricks in Rashan Charles inquest

Issue No. 2590


Esa Charles (centre), father of Rashan Charles, at a protest over Rashans death in Hackney last July

Esa (centre), father of Rashan Charles, at a protest over Rashan's death in Hackney last July (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Rashan Charles, who died in east London last year, was the latest in a long line of young black men killed after contact with the police.

I can only imagine the pain, sorrow and hurt his family and friends have had to suffer.

There will now be an inquest into his death. We hope that justice will prevail and those responsible will be brought to task.

Sadly it has proved almost impossible to get a conviction against a police officer after a death in custody.

Yet one shade of hope is the Hillsborough inquiry, which firmly blamed the deaths of 96 fans on the police’s actions.

And it has left two senior ex police officers facing charges, including manslaughter.

Yet the police’s barrister John Beggs still managed to cause a great deal of upset and stress to the families of the 96 who died as a result of result of the disaster.

He repeated the police and media’s lies about fans. Some families were so upset and angry that they walked out.

And this same man has been chosen by the state to represent the cops in the Rashan Charles case.

The police, the media and the state will conspire together to put their version of the truth out. They will say that the police were in a hard situation trying their best.

It is a well-polished manoeuvre, from Hillsborough to the death of Mark Duggan to Rashan Charles.

They said that fans turning up late caused the Hillsborough disaster, that fans with no tickets pushed in and drunk fans caused trouble and abused police.

But the Hillsborough victory must now act as a beacon for other justice campaigns. I sincerely hope that we get justice for Rashan.

After the revolution, I hope I see John Beggs also served with justice in a socialist court.

Phil Rowan, South London

Yanis Varoufakis - no more heroes anymore

I was disappointed to see former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis endorse the Labour right’s campaign to stay in the Single Market.

He should know what the European Union (EU) actually means. He was part of the Syriza government’s attempt to negotiate with it.

Syriza refused to even contemplate leaving the EU. This meant its anti-austerity agenda was easily crushed by the “Troika”—the European Central Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund.

Those of us with better memories than Yanis know that his strategy of preserving the EU to reform it was a complete disaster in Greece.

Richard Donnelly, South London

No win in fight for NHS if we don't beat racism

While campaigning for the NHS, I spoke to a woman who stopped and signed our petition.

She loved the NHS and thought the winter crisis was awful.

But she blamed migrants for the problems, not the Tories, and consequently she didn’t like Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

Racism deflects anger away from those at the top and onto scapegoats.

If we lose the arguments about racism with working class people, then we will lose the fight to get Corbyn in and stop austerity.

We won’t win the battles over housing, jobs, pay or the NHS.

But there is a sizeable chunk of people in every workplace, college and community who understand the threat of racism.

We can work with them to stand up to racism.

Tim Knight-Hughes, Norwich

Fight for equal pay

Spare a thought for BBC Radio 4 presenter John Humphries. He’s set to have his pay slashed from a £600,000 to £300,000 salary in order to be paid the same as an equivalent female presenter.

Women and men should be paid the same at the BBC. But this is a world away from the experience of millions of low paid women workers.

Fifty years after the strike by women at the Ford Dagenham led to the Equal Pay Act of 1970, the pay gap is growing.

A study by the Fawcett Society warns that at the current rate of progress for some women it could take 100 years to close.

We can’t wait for a change in government or another 100 years.

Women workers need to fight for decent pay just like the Birmingham homecare workers are.

Sharon Campion, Birmingham

LGBT+ must be inclusive

As a lesbian and fighter for women’s rights I absolutely abhor the way that trans women and men are being sidelined by some lesbian and gay people.

These are typical divide and rule tactics. We must stick together with all our working class brothers and sisters.

We do not need to have members of our community following the media and trying to cause division.

Remember—united we are strong, divided we fall.

Helen Hallam, West Yorkshire

Unions were crap on care

I hope the Unison union backs home care workers in their fight in Birmingham. They didn’t back private home care workers last year.

They recommended we took what was on offer. It was the minimum wage increase we were getting anyway.

Martin Towle, On Facebook

Celebrate the benefit U-turn

Tory concessions on the Personal Independence Payment shows they realise it’s time to act to quell rising dissent (Socialist Worker, 31 January). The Tories need to get out now.

Frankie Frankgate, On Facebook

Cowardly cuts councillors

Too many Labour councils are doing the Tories’ dirty work.

They need to stick their heads above the parapet and fight alongside the people against Tory cuts and social cleansing.

Melanie Powell, On Twitter

What should Kurds do?

There was no point in arguing against the Kurdish PKK/YPG making alliances with Russian and US imperialism if you don’t present an alternative (Socialist Worker, 31 January).

After all, defending the city of Afrin from Turkey’s might won’t be easy without any help.

Jason Pike, On Facebook

Good news of German strike

I was delighted to read about the mass strikes by manufacturing workers in Germany (Socialist Worker, 31 January).

Such mobilisations by workers could offer an alternative to the wretched scapegoating from the AfD party and its racist imitators.

But there need to be more and bigger strikes, plus socialist politics to point the way forward in unity.

Ann Jenkins, West London

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