No more police cover-ups

Jean Charles de Menezes

No more police cover-ups

THE RECENT leaked report on the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes
clearly shows what many local activists already suspected, that this was
the murder of an innocent Brazilian man. The campaign for justice has
called for Metropolitan Police chief Ian Blair to resign, no more
cover-ups and a public inquiry now.

Rob MacDonald, Lambeth Socialist Party

It was clear from the outset that the police intended to muddy the
water to cover their blunder. They have been helped by the jingoism of
the tabloid press, with one paper using the headline "got
one," after the shooting.

Stop the War Coalition Demonstration

24 September 2005

Assemble 1pm Central London

But of course Jean Charles wasn’t "one" and did nothing
suspicious to be seen as "one". Contrary to earlier reports,
he wasn’t wearing a heavy jacket which may have hidden a bomb. He
travelled on two buses, was being tracked all this time and could have
been stopped if surveillance police thought he was dangerous.

The story that he jumped a barrier is untrue. He picked up a
newspaper and calmly walked to his train, only running when rushing to
catch his train, something all Londoners do. It then seems he sat down.

All he did to arouse suspicion was to leave a block of flats that
police suspected a bomber might be in and to have similar eyes to a bomb
suspect! This shows the reality of the repressive anti-terror laws that
Charles Clarke was so pleased to defend just hours before the latest

Lambeth Socialist Party has produced thousands of local bulletins in
English and Portuguese and campaigned on the issues amongst Portuguese,
South American and other local working-class communities. This led to a
high turnout at our public meeting on the shooting and the political
situation in Latin America.

Tony Saunois from the Committee for a Workers’ International reported
on the protest in Brazil against the shooting and explained that Jean
Charles was one of many who left his homeland in search of a better
living due to the neo-liberal attacks taking place in South America.

The meeting reaffirmed our branch’s commitment to justice for Jean
Charles de Menezes and for fighting for working-class unity across south
London’s many communities. As there is a clear link between the killing
of Jean Charles and the war in Iraq, we are pushing for a strong feeder
march to pass Stockwell station, go through Lambeth estates and then
join the national Stop the War Coalition demonstration on 24 September.

For more information on the family campaign go to
or contact the campaign direct at [email protected]


A 600-strong protest was held on 22 August near 10 Downing Street
demanding justice for the family of Brazilian worker Jean Charles de
Menezes who was mercilessly gunned down by police in Stockwell tube

Natasha Burke, Lambeth Socialist Party

The cousin of Jean Charles, handed in a letter to the Prime Minister
calling for a public enquiry into the shooting.

The protest was attended by other families of victims who were killed
in police custody, such as the family of Paul Coker who dies in
Plumstead police station only hours after being arrested on 6 August.

The protestv turned into a lively impromptu demo from Downing Street
to Scotland Yard, despite police attempts to stop it. (The police said
that to march without their prior permission was illegal.)

The marchers passed through the Westminister zone where a law passed
on 1 August made spontaneous protests in the Westminster zone illegal.

The demonstration finished 50 metres short of Scotland Yard where
further passionate speeches were made, calling for Ian Blair to resign
and that there would not be peace without justice.

De Menezes shooting

Working-class victims of repressive powers

THE POLICE shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in Stockwell tube
station tragically showed why the ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy must go.

Rob MacDonald, Lambeth

Many Brazilians in Britain have been shocked that the killing of Jean
Charles could be committed by the British police who they had seen in a
good light compared to the Brazilian state forces.

And this is not the first suspicious death at the hands of the police
in Lambeth; there have been at least 16 in recent years. The cases of
Derek Bennett, Wayne Douglas, Ricky Bishop and Brain Douglas are still

Hours after Jean Charles was shot, police raided the flat of Girma
Belay, an Ethiopian refugee, who was then beaten, stripped naked and
held under arrest for six days. He may have been targeted for being a
protester against Tony Blair’s relationship with Ethiopian Prime
Minister Meles Zenawi. Actions like these have increased the tense
atmosphere on some estates in Lambeth, which endure police shootings,
raids, harassment and regular bomb alerts.

It is almost 20 years to the day that rioting erupted on the streets
of Brixton following the police shooting of Cherry Groce and killing of
Cynthia Jarrett. These cases and that of Jean Charles raise questions
not only about the role of the police but also on who controls them.

The IPCC, set up after worries about the police investigating
themselves, should have started their investigation into the Stockwell
tube shooting immediately, but were prevented from doing so by police
chief Ian Blair’s delaying tactics. Many important days were lost,
leading to further speculation of a cover-up.

The police have clearly lied from the start and continue to hamper
the investigation. Lambeth Socialist Party has been calling for a
genuine public inquiry so all information can be scrutinised. We believe
this should be led and controlled by the local community, involving
trade unions and community groups.

There should be democratic accountability of the police. Leading
police should be elected by the public and decisions such as
‘shoot-to-kill’ should not be a secret.

There is fear amongst Londoners following the bomb attacks but
increased repressive powers will not prevent further terrorist attacks
and can eventually be targeted at anyone opposing the British state.

It is essential that an alternative is posed to both the British
state’s increasingly repressive powers and to terrorism.

The mess that US imperialism has created in Iraq, the fear and anger
Londoners have after the bombs and the social conditions of low pay and
cuts, including attacks on emergency services, need to be linked up.

Lambeth Socialist party has vigorously campaigned for a local
demonstration to unite the working class in our area on this basis, to
build the pressure for justice for Jean Charles, but also to fight for
social rights and a genuine future for all on the basis of socialism.
The local and national trade union movement needs to act to build unity
and a vigorous fight-back for the whole working class.