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I Always Knew The Police Killed My Partner Blair Peach


dalsingh101
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I've always admired Blair Peach and respect the way he went to Southall to protest against the neo-nazi group, the National Front (NF). For the younger guys out there - he went to protest against the presence of this very violent, white supremacist group (who are the forerunners of what we now know as the BNP), in Southall. Southall back then was pretty much a Sikh town. The NF were behind many attacks on immigrants nationally, especially those of 'Asian' background. Given that we have some twisted token bewakoofs from Sikh backgrounds who feel no shame in cosying up to the BNP these days, I think we as a quom (in the UK at least) should show respect to, and remember this guy. We should also remember those days and tell the younger generation about them so they wont be fooled into supporting the modern incarnations of our old enemies.

By the way, it looks like a police man got away with murder - or at least manslaughter.

For Blair Peach, a little justice

I always knew the police killed my partner Blair Peach. Now all can see the scale of the lies they told

By Celia Stubbs

In 1979 the family and friends of Blair Peach called for the Cass report into his death to be made public and for a public inquiry to be held into the events of Southall on the day that he was killed. This week, after 31 years of campaigning, we received the Cass report, albeit with all the police officers' names redacted, or, as I would rather say, censored.

We have been vindicated. The report states what we always believed – the fatal blow was struck by a police officer from Unit 1 of the Special Patrol Group based at Barnes police station, and it is likely that it was the first officer out of the police van parked at the corner of Orchard Avenue and Beechcroft Avenue who dealt the blow. But, equally disturbing, in reading the report the deliberate untruths told by officers and their success in obstructing the police inquiry have been laid bare. The deceit and lies these officers told is a major factor as to why no policeman was prosecuted for Blair's death.

The mindset and attitude of Commander Cass, other senior Metropolitan police officers and coroner John Burton also stymied this inquiry. Cass set the scene by saying: "It was an extremely violent, volatile and ugly situation where there was serious disturbance by what can be classed as a rebellious crowd ... Asian youths appeared quite often to lose complete control of their emotions." He said "the demonstrators received orders from the Anti-Nazi League."

Of Blair, who was known to the police as an anti-racist campaigner, he stated: "If he was true to form he may have been in dispute, conflict, obstructing or interfering with the police."

The coroner wrote a personal account of the inquest subtitled, "The true story of the death of Blair Peach will never be told, but the myths will certainly multiply as occasion demands".

He intervened several times during proceedings to express his admiration and sympathy for the plight of police officers that day, and harangued Asian witnesses when there was a translation error.

In fact the 11 eyewitnesses to the blow that led to Blair's death gave clear accounts of what they had seen. Burton was extremely biased, and the prejudice he showed certainly affected the verdict of misadventure.

We should not forget why Blair and many people from all over London went to Southall on St George's Day, 23 April 1979. The National Front, a fascist political party (forerunners of today's British National party), whose leader openly admired Hitler, held an election meeting in Southall town hall. Forty National Front members were bussed in from outside the area and five members of the public were allowed in.

The Southall community had asked the council to stop the meeting, but their request was refused. A demonstration was organised and a call went out for support from people who wanted to show their opposition to the meeting.

It was then that more than 3,000 police officers entered the town, behaving like an occupying force, and sealed off the centre to prevent the peaceful demonstration. After hearing of Blair's death, the National Front proclaimed – as they had at the death of a young Sikh man three years earlier – "One down, a million to go."

The echoes of that day were heard 30 years later at the G20 protests in London, when Ian Tomlinson was hit from behind by a member of the Territorial Support Group, which replaced the Special Patrol Group. The family are still waiting to hear if there will be a prosecution.

Blair was not a martyr, nor a cause célèbre for the left. He was a dedicated teacher, a committed trade unionist and anti-fascist. He was a good, funny and loving person to his family and friends. He was a socialist who believed passionately in fairness and equality. He supported the Bengali community in their protests against the National Front selling their newspapers in Brick Lane, demonstrated outside a pub that would not serve black customers, and had been instrumental in getting the National Front headquarters closed in Shoreditch. It was his socialist beliefs that took him to Southall, and it is amazing that he is remembered by so many people.

Blair, we have fought for justice for you for 31 years, and I hope that we have, even if only partially, got it.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/apr/30/cass-report-blair-peach-justice

Edited by dalsingh101
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  • 3 weeks later...

This is a really good article. The 3000 riot police sound like storm troopers. Cass is most interesting - he seems to be a closet racist, the type who finds ways of harming BMEs without breaking the law or leaving clues, e.g. by excusing other racists, blaming the victim, or using the rules to harm them jobsworth style. The type Rajinder Singh would never see through. Notice that he blames Asians and anti-racism activists like Peach but there is no mention of him blaming the NF! I bet a lot of police regarded Peach as the enemy within as much as the NF and this hatred will have played a role in his killing.

Edited by Dharma
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