2011
Revolt and community defence
in Black resistance to British policing
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This chapter focuses on black resistance to British policing in the aftermath of the 2011 ‘riots’. The historical section of this chapter offers an account of a very recent history – the media reports and police and political rhetoric which began in the twenty-first century, concerned with ‘gang crime’. This provides some context for an analysis of the 2011 civil unrest and of three community-led defence campaigns. The first of these, the Tottenham Defence Campaign, is one of the many local initiatives which sprang up to challenge the increase in arrests, raids and imprisonment following the 2011 revolts. The second campaign concerns Mauro Demetrio, a young black man violently assaulted by police in the aftermath of the 2011 unrest. Finally, the chapter turns to the inquiry into the police killing of Mark Duggan, and how his family-led campaign challenged racism from the media, politicians and the criminal justice system. These forms of black community defence echo similar campaigns in previous decades and, like those outlined in Chapters 1 and 2, also draw on histories of anti-colonial struggle.

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