Doreen Lawrence demands new inquiry at ‘Resistance -the Best Olympic Spirit’ Rally

All three main speakers received a standing ovation
All three main speakers received a standing ovation

THE MOTHER of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence has revealed that she has asked Home Secretary Theresa May for a new inquiry into her son’s death and the events leading up to it.

Doreen Lawrence was addressing a packed public meeting ‘Resistance – the Best Olympic Spirit’ at Friends House, Euston on Monday evening.

She told the audience: ‘Nineteen years ago my son was murdered. This year we received partial justice for Stephen. Finally we saw two out of five in the dock.

‘Sitting there with the press on one side, the defence on the other, and myself in the middle, was like going back nineteen years.’

She said that Gary Dobson, at the McPherson Inquiry was able to walk free. But since the double jeopardy law was amended, the case was able to be reopened.

She said: ‘There was forensic proof he was there.’ She added: ‘Only a few of the McPherson recommendations have been implemented. Our young people are still being stopped in the street.’

She went on to say: ‘The Stephen Lawrence Trust is a legacy so we can support our young people. Every step of the way our young people are being knocked back.’

She went on to say: ‘It’s taken me so long to have a voice. From 1993 to now there’s a catalogue of things we have to address. Now it’s the corruption. Here we are again talking about police corruption. When will it make a difference?’

She said that at the time of her son’s murder, police liaison officers came to her house, ‘but all we had there was an innocent family’.

She told the meeting that recently ‘we wrote to Theresa May asking for an inquiry into what happened around Stephen’s death. I saw her last week and we are waiting for her reply. We need to understand what happened since 1993.

‘We had to wait nineteen years for some limited justice. We shouldn’t have to do the work of the police.

‘In 1993 the Tory government did not want to know. Now we have a coalition who are not being that helpful.’

She appealed to the audience: ‘Tell the Home Secretary we need to have an inquiry.’

The next speaker was Janet Alder, the sister of Christopher Alder, who died in a Hull police station in 1998.

She said: ‘I would like to think that after the McPherson Inquiry things in this country had changed – that is not true.

‘When my brother died in a police station I thought it was going to be clear cut. The Crown Prosecution cancelled out any evidence that undermined the five policemen who (she alleged) murdered my brother.’

She added that nevertheless ‘the jury found for unlawful killing’.

She declared: ‘There’s over 3,000 people been killed by police since 1969 – shot or beaten.’

She alleged: ‘When we got to the trial of the five police the Crown Prosecution Service acted as the defence, eradicating evidence that showed wrongdoing by the police.

‘The people that are supposed to be investigating the police are ex-police officers. I had to take the Crown Prosecution to court. I couldn’t find a solicitor or barrister that would prosecute the CPS, so I did it myself.

‘We had to find out what happened to my brother, who entered a police van compus mentus and ended up on a police station floor unconscious with his trousers down.

‘I asked them where is my brother’s tooth.’ She said that ‘we couldn’t get medical evidence. I was told it was private and confidential.’

She went on to say: ‘We’ve been fighting all these organisations for years. We fought and we fought as we weren’t getting justice in this country, so we decided to go to the European Court.

‘Then the government conceded, because they didn’t want to get embarrassed and issued a “universal declaration”.’

She went on to say: ‘I was told on 5th November 2011, when I thought we’d given my brother the best funeral, we found out we had buried a 77-year-old woman.

‘By brother was in the morgue for years. Christopher wasn’t just murdered. The police officers are still walking the streets. Once again we are lied to. They are telling me we can’t find evidence of when my brother was moved from the hospital morgue.’

She declared: ‘Three thousand deaths at the hands of the state. This is state murder. They are using your money. There needs to be 20 per cent police cuts. And stop paying top barristers hundreds of thousands of pounds to defend them.’

1968 Mexican Olympic Games Bronze Medalist John Carlos, who gave the gloved Black Panther salute along with his comrade Tommy Smith, declared to the Friends House audience: ‘My life is not about winning medals, my life is about being a freedom fighter.

‘You think about the war we had 44 years ago, we are still fighting that war. It’s not just in the UK, it’s in the US and around the world.

‘We see death and destruction in every police station. It’s not about what they try to tag on black and white, it’s about what’s right and what’s wrong.

‘Nelson Mandela fought, not just for black people, but because it was wrong for human beings. He fought for everyone.

‘Martin Luther King fought for all individuals. Malcolm X said, “by all means necessary”.

‘We as a unity must realise we must roll like a steamrolller. We have to recruit. Once I was a young man, now I am an old man. Who am I going to pass the baton to?

‘Racism, prejudice, is weaved into our society.’

Going back to the Mexico Olympics, he said: ‘I asked my fellow athletes, shall we boycott the Olympics. They said no. Our family want us to have our fifteen minutes in the sun.

‘I told them fifteen days after you get your fifteen minutes they won’t remember your name. I said we want to give everybody equal opportunity. We had this discussion about an Olympic campaign for human rights.’

He went on to say: ‘We put a banner on the Olympic train for a potential 1968 boycott.’

He declared: ‘Either you fight the state, or you’re not committed enough. Many people have faith.’

He got the audience to repeat after him: ‘I am not afraid to offend my oppressor.’

He said: ‘People may be afraid for their jobs or whatever, but the fight goes on.

‘They shot and killed Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and John Kennedy. They tried to kill others by destroying their will, like Paul Robeson. But they did not succeed.’

Carlos stressed again: ‘It’s not about race, it’s about right and wrong.’

Referring to Stephen Lawrence and Christopher Alder, he said: ‘The police that took those people’s kid’s lives were wrong.’

Referring to America, he said: ‘Twenty-five police kicked and beat Rodney King while others stood and watched – they are all wrong. We are going to change this.’

In his concluding remarks, he said: ‘When you stand up and fight for what is right, that commands respect.

‘In the game of life, the object is to win. To do that you have to get up and bat.’