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Jean Charles de Menezes


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From: The Socialist issue 451, 10 August 2006: Israel out of Lebanon now!

Search site for keywords: Police - anti-terrorist - Jean Charles de Menezes

Police given licence to terrorise

NO POLICE officer will face charges for the shooting of Mohammed Abdul Kahar in an 'anti-terrorist' dawn raid at Kahar's home in Forest Gate, east London, on 2 June. The wounded Kahar was arrested but released without charge after a week in police custody.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) ruled that "no criminal or disciplinary offence" had been committed by any police officer. Astonishingly, according to Kahar's solicitor, Gareth Peirce, "the IPCC accepted statements that the officers prepared".

This IPCC whitewash of the police action came only weeks after the decision not to prosecute any police involved in the fatal shooting of Brazilian migrant worker Jean Charles de Menezes in Stockwell tube station, south London, in July 2005. To add insult to injury the firearms officers involved in this botched anti-terrorist operation have been allowed to resume full duties.

These decisions underline what the socialist has consistently warned: the police can act with impunity under the New Labour government's draconian anti-terrorist laws.

But while only a handful of the 1,000+ 'terrorist suspects' arrested under these laws have been charged with 'terrorist related' offences, the climate of fear generated by Blair's 'anti-terror' campaign and reinforced by the right-wing media, has led to increased racism and Islamaphobia against Asian, Middle Eastern and Muslim people.

Even the Met Police assistant commissioner, Tarique Ghaffur, has admitted that there is "a real risk of criminalising minority communities," and that Islamaphobia had created an angry generation of young Muslims "vulnerable to extremism".

Like the elephant in the living room that nobody talks about, Blair refuses to recognise the causal link between his disastrous foreign policies in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the Middle East, and the increased support for Islamist terrorist organisations.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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