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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Community protest as Police lose CCTV evidence of unprovoked racist attack in Willesden

Community protest as Police lose CCTV evidence of unprovoked racist attack in Willesden

At 5.20am on Sunday 9th June, 5 white men pulled up in a black luxury car near Willesden Bus Garage on the High Road and attacked two young men of African descent, who had just got off a bus from central London.

One managed to avoid being punched in the face and was separated from the other, who was punched to the ground and kicked repeatedly.

Three witnesses across the road shouted out and ran across to his defence; the men got into their car and drove off shouting. The victim was taken by the police to hospital with bruises under his eyes and later had a broken tooth removed. One of the witnesses, Robin Sivapalan, a local trade unionist met him later at Northwick Park hospital and brought him to his house to recover.

On chasing up the incident later that day with police at Wembley, Robin was informed that the case had not yet been allocated to an investigating officer, nor had it been logged as a racist attack. He stressed to the police officer that the assault could well have been far more damaging had there not been an intervention from the public, that the attackers posed a threat to all Black people - not just the particular victim in this case - and that this was possible backlash to the Woolwich incident.

Robin and the victim went to a local business where they were shown the CCTV footage which caught the entire attack, with the car, from two cameras and they informed the police that the evidence was available.

It took till Thursday for the police to call the victim, and the investigating officer failed to reply to any of the messages left by Robin. By the following Thursday the CCTV footage had been lost. The police had been told that they were welcome to collect the recording equipment themselves while the footage was still retrievable.

The police attended the business on Wednesday 19th and discovered one set of footage had been deleted. They only collected the recording equipment and called in witnesses after DS Williams had been informed by Robin that the second set of footage had also been lost and that he would take the matter further. On Tuesday 25th June the police issued an appeal for witnesses via the Kilburn Times providing the wrong time and location of the assault, with no mention that it was a racist attack.

The case has been brought to the attention of Aslam Choudry, Brent Council’s Lead member for Crime Prevention and Public Safety, also a councillor for Dudden Hill where the incident took place. He has raised it with the police Borough Commander Matthew Gardner and the Council Leader, Muhammad Butt.

Local residents in Brent are holding a picket at Wembley Police Station, 6pm, Thursday 27th June, calling for meeting with the Borough Commander that will provide accountability for this failure to act. A spokesperson for the residents says: “We don’t believe this is an isolated incident of hate crime in the area. At Brent Council’s commemoration of Lee Rigby, the Borough Commander proudly informed us that there had been no recorded incidents following Woolwich, yet we can see here how the police fail to treat these attacks as hate crimes and are happy to lose the evidence when it handed to them on a plate. With a spike in Islamophobic and racist attacks around the country, it is shocking that in a Borough where the majority of us could face such an attack, the police can display such complacency and disregard for our concerns. This is exactly the form of institutional racism that is in the media again this week, with the discovery of the police’s attempts to smear Stephen Lawrence’s family”.

A brief presentation of the Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group

A brief presentation of the Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group

12 June 2013

The Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group (KUWG) is mentored by the Brent Trades Union Council. It was formed on the 28 July 2009 at the initiative of Sertuc (the South East Region of the Trade Union Congress) in London. In that sense, the KUWG is an integral part of the British working class.

The KUWG recognises that the struggle of the employed and the unemployed is one and the same, but it also affirms that smear stories and marginalisation add to the isolation experienced by the unwaged. Thus in facilitating the coming together of benefit claimants at weekly meetings, we serve as a springboard for vulnerable claimants to confidently challenge the DWP’s draconian rules at the JobCentre, and mercenary Atos Healthcare and Work Programme companies, achieving victories and alleviating the suffering of the unwaged.

The KUWG accepts the solidarity of any helpful political organisation, but as the KUWG itself, it is not sharing its platform with any political group.

The KUWG operates mostly in the Brent and Camden areas, but individuals from beyond are welcome. Retired persons ready to give their time are welcome and can be very useful.

KUWG Web page: http://kilburnunemployed.blogspot.com

Contact: kilburnunemployed@gmail.com

Facebook: Kilburn Unemployed Workers

The Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group (KUWG) meets every Thursday 3-5pm at the Kingsgate Community Centre, 107 Kingsgate Road, London NW6 2JH.

The KUWG works consistently to help resolve the problems of persons unfairly treated by the DWP and jobcentres, as well as by their devolved private companies like Atos, Maximus, Ingeus, A4E, Serco, Working Links, etc. The purpose of the KUWG is to defend our denied human dignity. Together, we build our mutual confidence to demand our rights. We denounce the demonization of the unemployed as if the availability of jobs depended on our individual disposition to work. We reject with indignation the DWP ‘Community Action Programme’ (CAP) that could force more than one million long-term Job Seekers (3 years) to work unpaid for six months if this particular Work Programme scheme is extended across the country. The £9bn spent on the Olympics demonstrate that those in power can only find money, which they do, by keeping millions of human beings in poverty and dependency — like the women for instance — who organise, produce and reproduce the human race and civilisation without pay. This opens the door to every kind of abuse against the poor, the immigrant, the sick, the disabled and those forced to be dependent. Society is about more than making profits for the rich. The national taxation fund belongs to society, not to the rich. When we say we want JSA at £110 and the scrapping of the Work Programme, we are not asking for the rich to give us anything. We are telling them that they don’t have the right to say no.

We demand that those on ESA ‘support’ should not be forced into the ESA ‘Work Related’ category because these persons need to work at getting well instead of looking for work.

Whenever possible and necessary, the KUWG accompany our friends to DWP or Atos interviews and meetings. The KUWG condemns the mean and cruel Welfare Reform Bill that was already being implemented well before it became law. This Bill gives to the State the right to abandon its social duty of care, and to illegally overrule the expert advice of the medical profession. We condemn the Labour leaderships, past and present, for having connived with this barbarism — fearing us (ordinary people), and consistently negating our power to help it (Labour) defeat this capitalist onslaught. We reject the Universal Credit and PIP as cost saving exercises at the expense of the dispossessed and the sick.

When the PCS union went on strike, the PCS, KUWG, BrentFightback, the Crossroads Women and Left political organisations formed a solidarity picket-line in front of the Kilburn JobCentrePlus, Cambridge Avenue, London NW6. The KUWG works in solidarity with Brent Fightback, Brent Trades Council, the Counihan-Sanchez Family campaign, Brent Housing Action, Hands Off Our Homes, Camden United For Benefit Justice and the London Coalition Against Poverty (LCAP) and Social Work Action Network against evictions, the bedroom tax, the end of DLA, the draconian benefit cuts and the general driving of people to despair and even suicide. The above organisations have formed united fronts against privatisations and closures in the NHS.

During May 2013, we held a leafleting session to attract friends, as at the Marylebone Job Centre, Lisson Grove, NW1 which is in the City of Westminster but includes LB Camden in its catchment area. We demonstrated in front of the Job Centre in Cambridge Avenue against the DWP’s degrading treatment of the unemployed – using for that purpose home-made Banners, Placards and Props, Red Tape, a Brush with Authority, a Spanner in the Works, Problems Swept under the Carpet, Waste Paper Bins for Customers’ complaints & Completed Forms, etc. One banner was for Stephanie Botrill who committed suicide over the Bedroom Tax.

The KUWG works in a democratic manner so that everybody has a voice, and the experiences of everyone can be used constructively. We believe that the conditions exist for the creation of a London-wide, national and international organisation of the unemployed, as part of the working class. Please help distribute our leaflets, attend our regular weekly meetings and help us organise our collective power to build life, our lives, ourselves.

The KUWG is part of the London Coalition against Poverty. LCAP links together similar groups opposed to unemployment and homelessness in London. We give our support to the Counihan-Sanchez family for everyone’s right to be housed affordably, securely and decently.

Our last public workshop was on ‘Work’. Our members and guest speaker (Selma James of Global Women Strike) pointed out that WE DO WANT TO WORK. But that it is hard work to find any work, and impossible to find the work worthy of the creative ability of the human being in capitalism.

KUWG asks sympathetic organisations and benefactors to link up with us and to make donations. The KUWG thank the Brent TUC and the Trade Unions that have helped us so far.

Alan Wheatley, Secretary

Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group – 12 June 2013

We urge Trade Unions and Community Funding groups to help us fight the battles that will complement their own in their workplaces and communities.

Cheques welcome, made to ‘KUWG’ and sent to: The KUWG Officers, 85 Webheath, Netherwood Street, London NW6 2JS

Tel: 020 7485 3868 - Mob: 07579 965 704

KUWG Bank Details:

Name of Bank: Barclays

Address of Bank: Portman Square Group (2), 9 Portman Square, London W1A 3AL

Name of Account: Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group

Sort Code: 20-69-15

Bank Account number: 83700135