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Friday, August 19, 2005

Mo Mowlam, Jean Charles de Menezes

R.I.P. Mo.






From Schnews and Active Catalogue:
"We demand a full and speedy public inquiry into Jean's murder. We
believe that the web of deceit that was spun by the Metropolitan
Police means that Sir Iain Blair's position is now untenable and
he should resign immediately. Furthermore we believe that it is
inconceivable that the Home Office and government were not aware
of these circumstances. They failed not only to counter the lies
in the public domain but actively counselled against Jean by press
releasing details of his visa status on the day of his funeral" -
Justice for Jean campaign

Following leaks from inside the IPCC inquiry the mainstream media
has finally grown suspicious of police actions surrounding the
killing of Jean Charles Menezes on a tube train on July 22nd.
Leaks from the inquiry have provided a picture very different from
that initially provided by police.

Furthermore, it would appear that the Met are actively attempting
to intimidate Menezes' family from demanding a public inquiry.
SchNEWS has learned of a campaign of outright obstruction to the
family's involvement in the inquiry, including an attempt to buy
them off.

The leaked witness statements from the inquiry published in the
mainstream press are damning enough. They demonstrate that the
Met's initial reaction was damage limitation and concern for
reputation rather than any attempt to obtain the truth. Ian Blair
(Commissioner of the Met) repeatedly fed the press a diet of
outright falsehoods. We learned that Jean Charles was running, had
vaulted a ticket barrier and refused to stop when challenged. In
some news accounts he was wearing a bulky jacket with wires
protruding, and no overt denials of this were made by police. We
now know that he didn't run, didn't jump the tube, wasn't
challenged and was executed by two officers, while another pinned
his arms to his sides. He was placed under surveillance by an
officer who had left the army a year ago. SchNEWS reckons a year
is quite a short time for a beat bobby to be promoted to an
anti-terrorist unit. How many other soldiers have been
fast-tracked into London's anti-terrorist police we wonder? These
lies were propagated for weeks after the killing, long after the
police must have known they were wrong. Police press releases
peddled lies while the real evidence was suppressed.

In a clear sign of a cover up, Ian Blair delayed the entry of the
Independent Police Complaints Commission into the investigation
for six days. Police obstruction of scrutiny is nothing new. The
years it took the Lawrences, the Stanley family etc etc to gain
even a glimmer of justice are evidence of that. This time however,
the stakes are higher than one family's justice. The shooting of
Jean Charles calls into question how the 'war on terror' will be
fought on the domestic front. Already the right-wing press is
calling for all firearms officers to be exonerated from criminal
charges - i.e State sanctioned death squads. The Menezes' case
calls into question not only Operation Kratos and 'shoot to kill'
but the whole raft of anti-terror policies and the current attack
on civil liberties.

The establishment approach to the inquiry has been to sweep the
matter under the carpet and substitute a version of events more
useful to their agenda. The public perception was meant to be that
a regrettable accident had occurred, but perhaps Menezes was in
many ways culpable. That story is now lies shattered.

TUBEWAY BARMY

One major obstacle to their approach has been the public sympathy
for Jean Charles' family. There have been solidarity
demonstrations both here and Brazil. A broad swathe of the public
can empathise as easily with a young man gunned down on a tube as
they can with the victims of the 7/7 bombings. Just like
terrorists, the police are now to be feared as the agents of
random death. In short the case has turned into a public relations
disaster for the government's policy on terrorism.

The Justice for Jean campaign still have a number of unanswered
questions and are outraged at the revelations of a cover up. They
are demanding a public inquiry. Among the questions they want
answered are:

* "Where did a "shoot to kill" policy emanate from and on what
claimed legal basis? What public debate and democratic
accountability surrounded the coming into being of that policy?"

* Why was the pathologist at the post mortem conducted on July
27th (at which senior investigating police officers were present)
told the following: "This man's death occurred as part of the
emergency relating to the planting of bombs on public transport in
London. On the morning of the 22 July 2005 he was pursued by armed
police officers as a result of surveillance. He was followed into
Stockwell Tube Station where he vaulted over the ticket barrier.
He ran downstairs and onto a tube train where it appears that he
stumbled. The officers then immobilised him and a number of shots
were fired. At the present time I am not sure as to any further
details."

* "What CCTV footage from Stockwell underground station and the
underground train exists? If there is none, why is there none?"

The family are also voicing concern about the processes of the
inquiry. They are demanding to know:

* Are police officers, including those who fired the shots, making
statements as witnesses or as potential suspects i.e. are those
interviews being conducted under caution.

* At what levels police officers, including senior police
officers, are being interviewed and whether they are under caution
or not. Who is being interviewed and by whom?

* Do these include senior police, past and present who appeared to
believe, wrongly, that they were entitled to order a blanket
"shoot to kill" practice.

These and other questions, if asked and answered in public as Jean
Charles' family wish, will surely shed light on areas of domestic
policy concerning civil liberties, the militarization of the
police and the 'war on terror' that Blair & Co. would prefer
shrouded.

read more...


There will be a protest outside Downing Street - Monday 22nd
August at 6pm called by Jean Charles de Menezes Family Campaign.

2 comments:

TP said...

It was clear from the outset that there was something very wrong about how this was reported. It is also quite clear that if this leak hadn't happened we would be kept very much in the dark about the truth. I don't think we will ever get answers to many of the questions in the article.

A fucking death squad! As soon as the confirmation toaim for the head (rather than the chest) of any suspected suicide bomber came, so did the sanctioning of death squads. I believe this came from the fear that if a chest shot we not effective in subduing a would-be bomber then they may left off the bomd, therefore instant death = no threat. The justice process is steadily being erradicated and replaced with wild reactions to paniced power holders.

slowdown said...

Just blogged this after reading your post - thanks. Beforehand I was just stunned, then depressed - now I'm angry. I can understand people having different views as to whether a shoot to kill policy was ever justified, but I don't know anyone who can justify the cover up that seems to have been attempted. There must be a reckoning - though after the ongoing Iraq whitewashes, I begin to despair of anyone ever being held responsible for anything in our 'democracy'.