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August 1998

The public inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence has exposed the depths of police racism. Hundreds of people packed the public gallery day after day, and made their views of the police clear. When Stephen's killers gave evidence they (and their police protectors) were confronted by hundreds more, determined to get some measure of justice and not trusting any official inquiry to deliver it.

These actions and revelations have inspired a renewed fight for justice for all victims of the racist police and legal system. We must keep up a campaign of action to make sure the opportunity that has been created isn't wasted:-

· The Movement for Justice has made a submission to Stage Two of the inquiry, which is supposed to look at 'the wider issues', saying it must hear evidence from all victims of racist attacks and murders which the police and courts failed to prosecute properly, from the families of black people killed by the police, from black people framed by the police, like Winston Silcott, from black and Asian youth criminalised for defending themselves against racist attackers, and from the Movement for Justice and other campaigns dealing with police racism on the ground.

· We are organising a public petition to the inquiry, demanding that all these witnesses are called, and a demonstration at the inquiry to support these demands when Stage Two starts - 9.00am, Weds., 16 September, Hannibal House, Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, London SE1.

· We are calling for the Stephen Lawrence Family Campaign, together with the Movement for Justice and other groups, to organise a truly independent Community Tribunal, where the community, youth and workers can hear from all these victims and campaigns, call their own witnesses, and reach their own conclusions about these cases and how to fight police racism and injustice. That is the only way we will really bring out the truth, show the government it can't con us with 'sops' and cover-ups, and build our own movement to fight collectively for justice.

That is the kind of movement we need. The Stephen Lawrence case isn't an isolated episode. We face a whole racist system. The police are getting away with a rising toll of deaths in custody! In many areas black people are 7 or 8 times more likely to be Stopped & Searched than white people! They are 4.5 times more likely to be arrested! They are on the receiving end of more dangerous police equipment - like the people CS Sprayed in the Stephen Lawrence inquiry! The Labour government is increasing the brutal, racist treatment of asylum seekers! The Movement for Justice fights on all these issues, building action in the community, workplaces and colleges.

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