Tuesday 1 December 2009

Brief Report on Tonight's Candlelit Vigil

I helped to organise tonight's vigil for Ian Tomlinson and it was a powerful reminder both of the capacity of bereaved families to endure in the worst of circumstances and that, with a long battle in front of them, the promises of support in the immediate aftermath of a death in police custody are often hard to sustain.

The Tomlinson family spoke well and faced the wall of flashing cameras with confidence, listened to by about 70 people. Some were from other families, including Sam Rigg-David and Vivian Menezes Figueiredo who both spoke, whilst others were long-time campaigners for justice. John McDonnell MP reminded people that there are still good, decent individuals within the cesspool of Parliament.

But the lack of wider solidarity was reflected in the relatively modest numbers, although this was not a surprise to me after more than a decade campaigning on the issue of custody deaths. Seeking justice from the police is a long, hard battle that can often takes years and there are never enough people who are prepared to stick with it, even after eight months. The only ones who have no choice are the Tomlinson family themselves. That's why it is good they have a dedicated legal team and solid campaigning advice from Newham Monitoring Project (well done to Estelle from NMP who did most of the work and compered this evening).

I didn't have a camera with me tonight, so I'm hoping to borrow from HarpyMarx when her pictures are posted online.

Photos from HarpyMarx:

1 Comment:

HarpyMarx said...

Good report btw.

Pix up on my blog, welcome to use them comrade :)

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