Supporters of a campaign fighting for justice for victims of police murder and violence met across from Millgarth police station for a vigil and leafleting last Sunday. The rally was organised on Fathers’ Day to coincide with nationwide protests by victims’ friends’ and families campaigns.
Many of the people who passed were receptive to our message and a lot of interesting conversations were had with people who agreed that the police had no right to kill people. The main argument we faced was opposition to disarming the police, however this is an important argument to make. The police never use to be armed and in their position of power, in an institutionally racist organisation, we have seen too many examples of police killing innocent people and facing no punishment.
The group leafleted besides Revolution’s banner, whose message of the 3180 deaths just in police custody with no convictions, really showed to people the police’s freedom to do as they please. This figure does not even include the deaths of people such as Anthony Grainger and Mark Duggan who were both killed before they were arrested.
We were confronted with one police officer trying to gain the details of someone on the vigil in the usual police fashion, however he left empty-handed.
Later on, National Express security attempted to confront us on where we were leafleting, which was apparently on pavement “owned” by National Express. On confronting the manager and after a chance meeting with a member of the council planning department, our group moved forward 6 feet meaning that National Express could do nothing.
All in all the vigil was peaceful and successful. We engaged with a lot of people who were opposed to police brutality and the murder of innocent people. The police force has blood on its hands and it is important that as many people as possible know about what the police are doing. It is a shame that more people didn’t turn out but for the size of the vigil, it reached out to a lot of people.