Protesting in Cardiff  following the death of Mohamud Mohammed Hassan, photo by Cardiff SP

Protesting in Cardiff following the death of Mohamud Mohammed Hassan, photo by Cardiff SP   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Louise Smith, Cardiff East Socialist Party

On a freezing-cold Tuesday evening in February, over 100 people gathered outside Cardiff Bay police station. They were there to show solidarity with the friends and family of Mohamud Mohamed Hassan, who are demanding a thorough investigation into his death after being released from police custody last month.

Mohamud was released without charge, his family report that “he had lots of wounds and bruises on his body”. He said to friends after leaving custody that “the police beat the shit out of me.” South Wales police have recently admitted that he came into contact with 52 individual police officers during his arrest and custody. Already, the Independent Office for Police Conduct has been forced to serve a misconduct notice against one police officer who ignored Mohamud Hassan’s pleas for help while in custody. How can the arrest and overnight custody of one person warrant such excessive attention?

Standing up to injustice

Stood in front of the officers stationed to guard the entrance to the station, Bianca Ali, coordinator of Black Lives Matter Cardiff and Vale, said: “We’ve got to make sure Mohamud isn’t forgotten. He was a father-to-be, a loved son, a man, a person. And these people behind me took him from us.”

Her words reminded us in the crowd that it is essential that ordinary people stand up for each other in the face of injustice at the hands of the capitalist establishment and their right hand, the police.

Socialist Party member Ross Saunders reported to the gathering that Cardiff Trades Council, to which thousands of workers are affiliated through their union branches, voted to back the campaign – demanding the suspension of the officers involved and the release of the footage. The trades council also agreed, in order to drastically change the system that allowed this to happen in the first place, to demand the establishment of democratic community control of the police. This motion will now go to the Wales Trades Union Congress to which hundreds of thousands of workers are affiliated.

It is clear that this campaign is not going away and the fight goes on until there is justice; justice for Mohamud and justice for all ordinary people who have had their lives taken from them by this exploitative and predatory capitalist system.