Reverend Jesse Jackson joins BME leaders in voicing concern

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A coalition of BME leaders including Reverend Jesse Jackson have come together to voice their concerns about the recent events which have hit Britain.

 

Read the full statement below:

We, the undersigned, condemn the wanton violence and looting that has been perpetrated in our communities over the last few days. Above all it is good people in our areas such as Tottenham, Enfield, Walthamstow, Birmingham, Liverpool, Brixton who are most affected by these unacceptable actions.

However, whilst, unreservedly condemning the disgraceful actions of a minority, we must not ignore those elements that make these occurrences more likely. For example, the death of Mark Duggan is sad enough, however, the lack of information to his family and very conflicting reports of how his death occurred leads many to hold a deep distrust towards some authorities including the police.

Sadly this unclear, and at times, conflicting information given by the police and other related bodies has occurred in a number of recent deaths of Black men in police custody.

Equally we strongly feel that to do this debate, we must not ignore other conditions that make these occurrences more probable, including high Black and Minority Ethnic (BME):

- levels of youth unemployment

- levels of police stop and search

- detention rates under the Mental Health Act in the country

- the decimation of voluntary organisations which cater for young men and women in these areas.

In no way are these excuses for lawbreaking, but they are factors that need to be considered.

Our final message is to our communities in which we serve. Together, we must forge an even stronger sense of local community.

We call upon our MPs , Councillors and church leaders to meet and discuss our response. We call upon our young men and women to reject those who see this as an excuse for unlawful behaviour including looting, and show the rest of country our readiness to shoulder the responsibility to rebuild our communities out of the ashes of destruction.

Signed by: Reverend Jesse Jackson; Rainbow-Push Coalition; Simon Woolley, Operation Black Vote; Rob Berkeley, Runnymede Trust; Dr Elizabeth Henry, ROTA; Lee Jasper, BARAC; Sharon Grant, Chair of Haringey CAB; Remi Kapo, Author; Matilda MacAttram, Black Mental Health UK; Claudia Webbe, Operation Trident; Jeremy Crook, BTEG; Bishop David Shoshanya; Bishop Joe Aldred; Remi Kapo, Author; Karen Chouhan, Equanomics UK; Vandna Gohil, Voice 4 Change; Bishop Wayne Malcolm; Dave Weaver, 1990 Trust & Viv Ahmun, Black Men in the Community.

Archived Comments

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Positive leadership at last - please keep it focussed

First, I cannot express the relief I felt by our leaders collective note. Thank you. Please do what you can to be more visible about the communites own sence of responsibility and the intension to co-ordinate a community-wide response. I have one plea - please keep external messages focussed on sorting out our own house before making policy or funding requests. I understand the links between the issues above and recent events. However, I can hear detractors questioning whether the 11 year old Birmingham girl in court today for stealing consumer goods was condering the health inequalies in our mental health system? Perhaps parental responsibility is a good place start followed by the breakdown of the community values that my hard working parents arrived in the country with in the 60's. When you set our plans I'll check for opportunites to volunteer. We all have to do more...

The Voice of Common Sense.

"Equally we strongly feel that to do this debate, we must not ignore other conditions that make these occurrences more probable, including high Black and Minority Ethnic (BME):

- levels of youth unemployment

- levels of police stop and search

- detention rates under the Mental Health Act in the country

- the decimation of voluntary organisations which cater for young men and women in these areas.

In no way are these excuses for lawbreaking, but they are factors that need to be considered."

I will add the shenanigans of the Employment Tribunals Service to this list. I am pretty sure that some of the law breakers of the past few days had been on the wrongful end of the spite and injustice of an Employment Tribunal.

I am going out on a limb to personally accuse previous governments - especially New Labour - and this present Government for the riots and looting of the past few days; they all had a part to play in it.

New Labour and the dumb idea of it was built on deception. Thinking up ridiculous laws (most to the disadvantage of Black and Minority Ethnic Citizens) and implementing them by stealth, and without consulting any BAME citizen within their ranks was at best dishonnest and, such bad or deceptive judgement has played its part in this disturbance. I have always said in the past that there is going to be a consequence to the government's policies which was carefully designed to exclude and have a very negative impact on BAMEs.

Please read this caption from my letter to the President of the Employment Tribunals Service dated 17/Feb/2010:

" The best you will achieve in this respect is to be a major source of embarrassment to the government when the members of the public decide to take the law into their own hands. You are not far off of that mark. I enclose a photocopied caption from the Voice Newspaper’s caption of:” Young Black and Jobless”. The poor service from the public bodies like the Tribunal Service is contributing to this because of the negative messages you are sending out to employers."

These words have come back to haunt him. I would like to see the government reshuffle all of its offices by removing the dead wood within who have contributed to this problem, meet with leading members of all it ethnic groups to find a common ground on which to move forward on, and to start looking inward to see if the government itself is more diverse enough, and do something about redressing it.

A good number of the people in the picture are Black. A high percentage who are probably unemployed and with no prospects at all. The Employment Tribunal Service between October 2004 to present have revelled in contributing fully to figures of the unemployed within the BAME communities, and the odious government of that period standing back and allowing it to happen; abusing every sinew of trust.

The time has arrived for a shake up of the Employment Tribunal Service, and, I personally feel that a change at the helm of that service is nigh.

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