(Taken from "LoomBreaker")

Don't Walk On By

"...I had to stop. I didn't want it to be another Stephen Lawrence situation... I would like to think if I was faced with the same situation, someone would stop and help me."
Last year Lee Lawrence was charged with "racially aggravated assault" (later dropped to assault) for intervening and stopping a racist attack in Brixton. He was recently acquitted.

As part of the support campaign for Lee, Movement for Justice has launched the "Don't Walk On By" campaign, calling on all people in the community to step in and put an end to racism on the streets. And that goes for racist policing too. An individual may know their rights but it can count for little when surrounded by half a dozen coppers. And black people are five times more likely than whites to be stopped, questioned and searched by the police.

Don't Walk On By is an integrated, organised campaign of collective action based on the principle that ordinary people have the right and responsibility to act and intervene.

The results have been impressive, as crowds up to 20 people have gathered around police patrols ensuring the dibble don't step beyond or abuse their powers. Conceived with the aim of bringing people of all colours together to support those who experience the oppresive nature of the system at the sharp ends, Don't Walk On By is about taking direct action where it matters - out on the streets.

Movement for Justice, POBox 16581, London SW2 2ZW, 07957 696636

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© Networking Newsletter (Sept 2000)