HUNDREDS of people marched through Brixton on Sunday 3rd May to show solidarity with the people of Baltimore in their struggle against police brutality and racism.
Baltimore has erupted in protests after a 25-year-old African American, Freddie Gray, died in police custody with a broken neck – the most recent in a long litany of black victims of shocking police brutality made public through social media.
The people of Brixton in south London have also had their share of clashes with racist police. Brixton is noted for its diverse ethnic mix and has had a thriving West Indian since the 1950s, now joined by a large African community.
Brixton has seen riots against police brutality in 1982 and 2011.
Last Sunday, in the event organised by the Black Revs (Black Revolutionaries), the banners proclaimed: “No justice, no peace”, “Africans have a right to resist,” and “Reclaim Brixton”.
The community is also engaged in a titanic battle against “gentrification” of the area, soaring rents and the destruction of working class homes and communities to be replaced by luxury apartments that no local can afford.
In Baltimore, a curfew was lifted on Saturday after scores of arrests were made over the week, with over 3,000 security forces on the ground, backed up by the National Guard.
The tensions there eased after six policemen involved in Freddie Gray’s death were arrested and charges were brought against them.
But they were renewed again earlier this week after another black man was reported to have been shot in the back while running away from police. Police are claiming that no one was hurt but video footage shows a black man being taken away in an ambulance.