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Campaigners demand justice as they mark anniversary of Mark Duggan's death

Published 06/08/2016

Riots broke out following the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan by police
Riots broke out following the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan by police

Protesters shouted "no justice, no peace" and chanted that police were "murderers" as they marched through north London to mark the fifth anniversary of Mark Duggan's death.

Around 300 people joined a demonstration at the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham on Saturday to take their message to the street that black lives matter.

They also accused the police of racism and demanded justice for black people who died in controversial circumstances, including Jermaine Baker, who was shot by police as he waited with gang members to free a criminal from a prison van last year, and others such as Cynthia Jarrett, Joy Gardner and Roger Sylvester.

Among the protesters were Duggan's mother Pamela and his aunt Carole, who marched alongside Baker's mother.

Carole Duggan told the Press Association: "We are doing it to show the country that we are not this gangster family. We are trying to show the people who Mark really was, who we really are."

She said there had been a "systematic smear campaign" against his name, and slated as "perverse" an inquest verdict from 2014 that found his death on August 4 2011 at the hands of a police marksman was lawful.

Ms Duggan said: "Right now, as it stands, the police can shoot any unarmed person they want. They don't have to be armed now, because of that verdict."

Duggan's death triggered riots across the capital in which shops were looted, buildings set alight and there were stand-offs with police. It quickly spread to other parts of the country, including Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester over the following few days.

But Ms Duggan said in the intervening years the police had failed to learn any lessons and accused them of wanting to adopt a violent "American style" of policing in London.

Stafford Scott, a Tottenham Rights campaigner, said it was important to the family that people in the area and across the country could see they were continuing their "struggle for justice".

He called for an end to "cover-ups" when police make mistakes on the street, adding: "We want institutional racism that's embedded within the police force dealt with properly. We want everything to be on an equal playing field. We want the stereotyping of black people that goes on in police stations to stop."

As the demonstrators marched through the streets they carried placards saying "jail racist cops" and "white silence kills", and chanted slogans such as, "Whose streets, our streets" and "Hands up, don't shoot".

At one point Carole Duggan and Jermaine Baker's mother embraced, Ms Duggan saying: "When the police think that they can make our communities into gangsters, this is what they are creating - unity.

"They are giving us what we want - people coming together and living in harmony and unity."

Two officers walked ahead of the march, and when the demonstration reached the High Road in Tottenham - which police had closed to keep people safe - the protest made for the police station, where five years ago to the day Duggan's family went to report his death.

After a minute's silence community representatives spoke of their frustrations and anger.

A community artist attacked the area's MP David Lammy for not attending, and read out a poem which threatened another riot unless there is "justice" for Duggan.

And Mr Scott told the crowd that instead of there being in a "post-racial society", they were living in one in which racism is still occurring by "creeping".

And he suggested the Met's new counter-terrorism units may "target" people in Tottenham when they are not fighting terrorism.

As the vigil carried on, about 200 yards up the road a young black boy and his friends played with a police officer, sitting on his motorbike and pretending to ride as it was parked by the side of the road.

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