Socialist Worker

March demands justice for Christopher Alder

by Eleanor Woyen
Issue No. 2598

Part of the demonstration

Part of the demonstration (Pic: Eleanor Woyen)


Around 250 people joined a protest last Saturday to mark 20 years since the unlawful killing of Christopher Alder at Queen’s Gardens Police Station in Hull.

The protest was organised by Christopher’s sister, Janet Alder, and the Justice for Christopher Alder Campaign.

Supporters gathered in Hull city centre to display banners and listen to messages of support, including from FCC refuse strikers and the Hull AfroCaribbean Association.

Janet and the justice campaign delegation marched into the square behind their banner in an emotional moment to applause and cheers.

Janet addressed the crowd before the silent march made its way around the city centre and up to what was Queen’s Gardens police station.

Russ Litten, a local writer, read out his powerful and moving poem about the night Christopher died called A Good Night Out.

Marchers then gathered for a public meeting at the Unison union offices where Janet received a standing ovation.

The packed-out meeting of over 170 supporters sent a powerful message.

Attempted

That message included what a huge inspiration Janet was for fighting for justice in the face of personal attacks, police surveillance, lies and cover ups.

Film maker Ken Fero, and Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) supporters and barristers Brian Richardson and Yunus Bakhsh were alongside Janet on the platform.

The meeting was chaired by former Hull trades council secretary Phil Sanderson.

Speakers from the floor echoed the need for justice campaigns to keep fighting.

They pointed to the experience of other families of those who have died in police custody and the Rotherham 12 and Hillsborough justice campaigns.

Another strong message was about the police’s institutional racism that was highlighted in the Macpherson report following the death of Stephen Lawrence.

Speakers also talked about other deaths in police custody and the lies surrounding Mark Duggan’s death in north London in 2011.

There were banners from the Justice for Christopher Alder Campaign and SUTR groups from across the north of England.

Union banners included Hull UCU, Sheffield, York and district and Rotherham trades councils, GMB North West and Irish region, Hull and East Riding Unite and Napo South Yorkshire.

There was a determination to keep up the fight for justice.

As one supporter said, “This is a silent march out of respect for Christopher’s memory, but we shall never be silent until we get justice for Christopher”.

 


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