Crowds of people descended on a London police station to protest ‘police racism, police violence and police impunity’ nine years after Mark Duggan was killed.
Activists spoke to crowds outside Tottenham Police Station near signs reading ‘defund the police, invest in our lives’ and ‘1,750 deaths in police custody or following contact with police in England and Wales since 1990’.
Mr Duggan, 29, was shot dead in Tottenham after armed officers intercepted a minicab he was travelling in on the basis of intelligence that he was carrying a gun.
Crowds of people descended on a London police station to protest ‘police racism, police violence and police impunity’ nine years after Mark Duggan was killed
Activists spoke to crowds while standing in front of signs reading ‘defund the police, invest in our lives’ and ‘1,750 deaths in police custody or following contact with police in England and Wales since 1990’
Tottenham Rights, The Monitoring Group, Black Lives Matter UK and Stopwatch also co-organised the demonstration (an attendee pictured) and all participants were urged to obey social distancing rules
An activist spoke to crowds outside Tottenham Police Station. Signs were seen stuck to a door
A pistol was later found around seven metres away from the minicab.
Mark Duggan, 29, (pictured) was shot dead in Tottenham after armed officers intercepted a minicab he was travelling in on the basis of intelligence that he was carrying a gun
Mr Duggan’s shooting in August 2011, by an officer known only as V53, sparked riots in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester and other English cities for nearly a week.
Temi Mwale – the director of London-based 4Front project – wrote on Instagram: ‘It has been nine years since the Metropolitan Police killed Mark Duggan in Tottenham, sparking uprisings across the country.
‘The police continue to violate, brutalise and kill black people with impunity. On the 9th anniversary of the uprisings we will demand justice.
‘We are empowering young black people most impacted by police violence to fight for their rights and get their voices heard. No justice. No peace.’
The group support people with experiences of violence and the criminal justice system and empowers them to ‘fight for justice, peace and freedom’.
Tottenham Rights, The Monitoring Group, Black Lives Matter UK and Stopwatch also co-organised the demonstration and all participants were urged to obey social distancing rules.
A woman wears a mask with a fist, a symbol synonymous with the Black Lives Matter movement
A protestor holds a sign reading ‘Black lives matter. UK police murder too’ at the demonstration today
A woman stands by a painted sign reading ‘no justice no peace’ and ‘Black lives matter’ in Tottenham
Crowds descended to Tottenham Police Station for a demonstration in north London today
Demonstrators take part in a Black Lives Matter protest outside Tottenham police station
A flag soaked in fake blood was flown. It read: ‘The UK is not innocent. Our blood your hands’
Signs were plastered to the entrance to Tottenham Police Station as demonstrators addressed the crowds today
The protests this weekend follow last Saturday’s Afrikan Emancipation Day march through London.
The event was slammed as ‘divisive’ by Nigel Farage after as protestors dressed in paramilitary-style clothing took part in the event.
Hundreds of demonstrators brought Brixton to a halt as they marched through London.
Farage said: ‘Terrifying scenes in Brixton today. A paramilitary-style force marching in the streets.
‘This is what the BLM movement wanted from the start and it will divide our society like never before.’
The protests this weekend follow last Saturday’s Afrikan Emancipation Day march through London (pictured)
Family Forever members resembled the Black Panther revolutionary activists of 1960s America
A promotional video made by the group (pictured at the march) said they are ‘united in the battle against racism, inequality and injustice’
However, co-leader of the Green Party Jonathan Bartley responded to Mr Farage’s intervention.
He tweeted: ‘You are just trying to create division. But these people in Brixton today know that love and justice will conquer the fear and hate that you peddle. Hope is what people need right now and they are showing the pathway toward it.’
The Metropolitan Police said three people were arrested during last weekend’s demonstration.
The new face of race hate: Marching through London they claimed to be fighting bigotry – but as this exposé by GUY ADAMS lays bare, their leader revels in anti-Semitic abuse… with chilling echoes of 1930s fascism
By Guy Adams for the Daily Mail
A group of protesters dressed in black military-style uniforms march in tight formation through the streets of London.
They are led by strapping men who bellow orders such as ‘Atten-hut!’ and ‘Right face!’ and look like a highly trained group of soldiers out on parade.
Some have dark berets, gloves and knee-high leather boots. A few carry walkie-talkies. At least one is wearing an IRA- style balaclava.
In some ways the scene appears to echo the 1930s, when Oswald Mosley’s ‘Blackshirts’ took their ugly brand of fascism to working-class neighbourhoods of our capital city. But this was Brixton, last Saturday.
A group of protesters dressed in black military-style uniforms march in tight formation through the streets of London. They are led by strapping men who bellow orders such as ‘Atten-hut!’ and ‘Right face!’ and look like a highly trained group of soldiers out on parade
The occasion was a march for African Emancipation Day, held on the first day of August each year to mark both the anniversary of the date in 1834 when the Abolition of Slavery Act came into force, and to campaign for Britain to pay reparations for its role in the transatlantic slave trade.
The protesters in their stab vests and paramilitary-style fatigues belonged to a strange new organisation that calls itself the Forever Family Force.
Formed last month, to pursue what its social media feed has described as ‘the battle against racism, inequality and injustice’, it seems to have been conceived as a sort of British version of the Black Panthers, the radical far-Left protest group which wore similar garb as it campaigned against police brutality in 1960s America.
In keeping with this tradition, Forever Family has already sparked controversy.
To critics, the group appears to be importing an inflammatory brand of American-style identity politics — given oxygen by the Black Lives Matter movement — in which people of colour are encouraged to believe that society is so intrinsically racist, their only hope is to mount an organised resistance against the ruling class.
Those who see them as divisive and intimidating include Nigel Farage, who circulated images of last Saturday’s protest on Twitter, saying: ‘Terrifying scenes in Brixton today. A paramilitary-style force marching in the streets. This is what the BLM movement wanted from the start and it will divide our society like never before.’
Supporters, for their part, point out that the Brixton event was largely peaceful, with just three arrests, and argue that Forever Family is a harmless, if somewhat eccentric, group of well-meaning activists who enjoy dressing up.
In some ways the scene appears to echo the 1930s, when Oswald Mosley’s ‘Blackshirts’ took their ugly brand of fascism to working-class neighbourhoods of our capital city. But this was Brixton, last Saturday
This camp includes Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party, who responded to Farage by declaring: ‘You are just trying to create division. But these people in Brixton today know that love and justice will conquer the fear and hate you peddle. Hope is what people need right now and they are showing the pathway towards it.’
So, what is the truth? Well, here is where it starts to get interesting.
Despite Mr Bartley’s remark about ‘love and justice’, I can reveal that Forever Family is led by a highly controversial musician who has recently used social media to voice vile slurs against other minority groups.
Among other things, he has shared deeply anti-transgender ‘memes’, circulated bizarre anti-vaccination conspiracy theories and suggested that Bill Gates has killed tens of thousands of children in Third World countries and is somehow responsible for the coronavirus pandemic.
Forever Family’s leader has also made a series of anti-Semitic remarks blaming Jews for slavery.
In a series of Instagram posts this month, he described the Jewish community’s alleged role in the slave trade as ‘the original holocaust’, criticised ‘devils’ who campaigned against Left-wing anti-Semitism on social media, and advanced a further selection of conspiracy theories claiming that Jews ‘own’ the banking system via what he calls the ‘Rothschild bloodline’.
It is a wholly revolting world-view for anyone to hold, especially the leader of a group that purports to campaign against racism.
Indeed, some might argue that the real agenda of this militaristic protest group is not so far removed from that of the Black Panthers, the leaders of whose unofficial successors have denied the Holocaust and called Jews ‘hook-nosed’ impostors and ‘bloodsuckers of the poor’ who profiteer from the black community.
Perhaps that explains why, despite Forever Family’s highprofile protests, its founder appears to have taken extensive steps to keep his identity secret.
On paper, the organisation is opaque. Its website consists of an image of a clenched fist, along with links to Twitter and Instagram accounts that have been set to ‘private’, so they can be read only by approved users.
A Facebook page, which can also be accessed from the website, allows viewers to watch two short videos which claim the organisation exists to ‘mobilise, organise and centralise community initiatives to empower and support organisations with similar objectives’ and say it is ‘united in building a self-sufficient and stable community’.
What these vague mission statements mean, and how the group proposes to actually achieve its aims, are unclear.
Neither its social media accounts nor its website contain any information about who is behind it.
The only supporter who has made his identity publicly known is a musician called Mega — not the leader of the group referred to above — who performs with the hip-hop collective So Solid Crew. He used Twitter to declare that he took part in last Saturday’s protest, boasting: ‘We locked down Brixton today.’
Ironically, given this secretive modus operandi, the films circulated by Forever Family also claim that its values are ‘integrity, transparency and accountability’.
One thing Forever Family is keen to get its hands on, though, is money. And that is what allows us to trace its founder: several of its social media pages carry links to a PayPal site where supporters can donate to the cause.
Contributions are then, according to PayPal, passed to a company called Forever Family Limited, which was incorporated on June 20 and operates out of a service address in Hoxton, East London.
Companies House records show the firm’s secretary is a 27-year-old woman from Wandsworth, South London, called Rachelle Emanuel. The only director — and the group’s leader and founder — is a 28-year-old resident of Ilford, East London, called Khari McKenzie.
Neither has responded to a request for comment.
Little is known about Ms Emanuel. However, McKenzie, who is listed as having ‘significant control’ over Forever Family, is a rap artist who performs under the stage name Raspect.
He appears to have become politically active in 2011 after the police shooting of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old gang member whose death sparked the riots in London and elsewhere that year.
In more recent years, McKenzie has been active in a community group called ‘GANG’, whose supporters arrive at incidents of gang violence wearing stab vests and using loudhailers to encourage locals onto the streets to ‘reclaim the space’.
In early 2018, McKenzie made a series of appearances on Victoria Derbyshire’s BBC chat show to discuss race relations following the death of Edson Da Costa, a 25-year-old from East London who died after swallowing plastic bags of heroin and crack cocaine when his car was stopped by the police.
In one bizarre interview with Derbyshire that year, he urged viewers not to call the police to incidents of crime, saying: ‘Don’t call 999, call the g-line,’ an apparent reference to GANG’s contact number. At around the same time, he was photographed shaking hands with London mayor Sadiq Khan at City Hall.
The only director — and the group’s leader and founder — is a 28-year-old resident of Ilford, East London, called Khari McKenzie
More recently, McKenzie filmed himself being, as he put it, ‘rudely interrupted, harassed and threatened’ by police officers, who asked why he appeared to be breaking lockdown rules to socialise with a group of acquaintances in a park at the height of the Covid epidemic.
And in early June, soon after the killing of George Floyd in the U.S., he began taking photographs of himself in military clothes at Black Lives Matter protests in London.
In more recent times, McKenzie’s public statements — particularly since Forever Family came into being — have become more volatile, not to mention offensive.
Last year, for example, he used Instagram to share a transphobic joke suggesting that people who identify as female but are born male are likely to be sex offenders.
‘A man followed a young girl into Asda toilets in London, saying he identifies as a woman,’ it read. ‘The man’s teeth were knocked out by the girl’s father, who said he identifies as the tooth fairy.’
In spring this year, he uploaded several posts to Instagram making various claims about Bill Gates, suggesting that the Microsoft founder is somehow exploiting the Covid crisis to try to force mandatory vaccinations on the world.
This odd conspiracy theory — doing the rounds in corners of the internet popular with the anti-vaccination movement — reflects the senseless belief that Mr Gates has established that vaccines will kill people who take them, and is therefore endorsing them as part of a plot to reduce the global population.
‘The same guy who says we need to depopulate suddenly wants to save everyone with his vaccines,’ read one such post by McKenzie.
Another claimed, wrongly, that 48,000 children in India had been ‘paralysed by Bill Gates’s polio vaccine’. A third post called him a ‘documented thief’ who ‘owns vaccine companies’ and ‘visited [Jeffrey] Epstein’s pedo [sic] island countless times’.
In fact, there is no evidence that Mr Gates is a criminal, nor that he ever visited Mr Epstein’s private island (although he did meet him and once travelled on his private jet).
McKenzie isn’t just posting paranoid content on Instagram, however. He also uploads blatantly anti-Semitic content.
In June, he began using the network to attack the Jewish community, sharing a false conspiracy theory that the restraining technique of kneeling on the neck, as used by the police officer who killed George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, had been learnt during secret seminars with Israeli security forces.
‘Research who funded the transatlantic slave trade biggest holocaust and crime against humanity, with no reparations,’ he declared in one Instagram post, illustrated with images of the Israeli Defence Force. ‘Look who is behind training police in the USA and the UK to put there [sic] legs on our necks.’
Similar sentiments were voiced, at around the same time, by the Corbynite actress Maxine Peake, leading to the sacking of Shadow Cabinet minister Rebecca Long-Bailey, who described her as ‘a diamond’. Peake later apologised.
Last week, McKenzie continued in this questionable vein by using Instagram to share a video of himself giving a rambling speech about Zionism.
‘Every Zionist is an Islamophobe,’ he said. ‘It don’t make me anti-Semitic if I don’t agree with the oppression in Palestine. That’s foolishness, yeah.
So when we’re talking about Zionists, and even talking about if I don’t agree with the people that run the banks, yeah, and by them running the banks the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, if I don’t agree with that, that don’t make me anti-no one. I’m just anti-oppression.
‘If I look in my history book and see there were people with Zionist blood that were heavily involved in the transatlantic slave trade, me pointing that out doesn’t make me anti-Semitic…’
The next day, McKenzie attacked the ‘devils’ who had successfully persuaded Instagram, YouTube and Twitter to close the accounts of a rap artist called Wiley, who had made a series of highly anti-Semitic attacks on the Jewish community.
As well as circulating a petition calling for Wiley’s reinstatement, his posts attacking the move carried a series of anti-Semitic hashtags, including #Rothschildbloodline and #whoownsthebanks, advancing the Nazi-era slur that Jews are in control of all international finance.
In response to those posts, a spokesman for the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism tells me: ‘There is no justification for using anti-Semitic tropes to commemorate the horrors of slavery or protest [against] ongoing racism in society today.
‘Forever Family should appreciate that, for ordinary decent people, and the Jewish community in particular, seeing a paramilitary [group] wearing black shirts and marching through the streets of London led by a man who rails against ‘Zionist bloodlines’ is frighteningly reminiscent of humanity’s darkest hour and does nothing to further the noble cause of fighting racism. Prejudice cannot be beaten by more prejudice.’
To put things more bluntly, the group that dressed up in uniform to ‘reclaim’ the streets of Brixton a week ago — and was so publicly endorsed by the co-leader of the Green Party — has rather too much in common with those fascist blackshirts who paraded through London in similar garb more than 80 years ago.