Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Merlin Emanuel, (nephew of Smiley Culture) transcript of speech on 16th April 2011 at The March for Justice, Scotland Yard

Merlin Emanuel. (Photograph by Dee Constantine-Simms, Copyright)

On behalf of the Emanuel family and all the other families who stand in solidarity here with us today, we would like to thank you all for your support thus far. For all of you who have travelled many miles to be here with us, we stand with you and we salute you.

Today we are all family, regardless of colour or creed, religious ideologies, class or background, we are bonded by our quest for justice and truth, by our demand for transparency and equality in a system that is supposed to protect and serve the people but has failed to adequately protect us, or the many lives lost in police custody over the years.

In truth, the judicial system is there only to protect those in power, the affluent and rich, yet continues to pour scorn and contempt on the many lives that have been lost as a direct result of police actions.The list is many, from David Oluwale in 1969 to Joy Gardner, (my friend's mother), Ibrahim Sey, Brian Douglas to Jean Charles de Menezes, Ian Tomlinson, my uncle: Smiley Culture and most recently Kingsley Burrell Brown. All of these, as my brother Maxi Priest penned in his tribute song, gone before their time.

Today is a momentous day, for as we stand on the hinges of great change in the world, we the people of Britain have united in one voice, to let the powers that be know, we condemn the sustained injustices of the police and also the British judicial system which, by default, is designed to protect those in positions of power yet shuns us the common citizen.

The simple facts family, is that we have been betrayed by the state. There is one rule for the rich and another for the poor, and until we, the people unite and challenge this system of things, nothing will ever change. As we get on with our day to lives many of us are ignorant of the fact that our rights and liberties are eroding at an alarming rate, the government that is there to serve the needs and aspirations of it's nation seeks only to serve itself and it's national interest rather than the interests and concerns of it's people.

Power concedes nothing without demand, and we the people demand change!

Mr Cameron recently said of the NHS, he had a special interest in their welfare due to his recent experiences with them because of his recently born child....Well Mr Cameron, I say to you that we, the community have a special interest in the police because of the experiences we too have with them day to day, experiences of harassment, beatings and unexplained deaths whilst in their custody.

Over 400 in the last decade, one a week, have died under police custody, and yet not one officer has been held responsible in that time, this of course is why we the people have little faith in organisations such as IPCC, their capacity to procure justice on behalf of us the common citizen has thus far has been impotent.

At my speech in Lambeth town hall, I mentioned to clean a vessel properly one must clean it from the inside out, the British judicial system needs cleaning, it's dirty, stained in the blood of those that have gone before Smiley, that were never afforded the justice and protection that one would expect from a nation such as this.

This is why I said to Mr Cameron and those that came before him, if you can champion peace in the middle east and beyond, spending millions on foreign aid, championing democracy and equality in foreign lands, how can you ignore the sustained injustices against your own citizens here at home, on your own front door?! I mean, look at the hypocrisy of it all? You're in Libya because you say Gaddafi is attacking civilians yet your own police force does it on a regular basis without fear of being held to account.

We humbly suggest Mr Cameron you get you own house in order before you seek to control others.

We are a bold new generation, unafraid to speak to speak unto power, unafraid to stand up and condemn the sustained injustices that we the common citizen are subjected to, daily, weekly , monthly and yearly.

Wasn't long ago, we'd be rioting in the streets to vent our anger and frustrations on the system, getting mad, mashing up tings, lighting fires and what not, but we say to you now that things have changed, the fire that burns is now a spiritual one and comes within the hearts, minds and the very souls of us, the kind of fire that you can't put out after a couple of days rioting but a fire that burns forever , fuelled by an insatiable demand for justice, this is the kind of fire that we need, for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world and against spiritual wickedness in high places.

To the upstanding members of the police force, you have rotten apples within the bunch and if they're not cast out they indeed will spoil the whole tree. You must stand up and be counted, against the fraternity within the fraternity, you know of whom I speak, you must be brave and challenge this epidemic before it's too late and the police have zero credibility with the very people they are here to serve.To the righteous among you. Fight for truth and justice. It's your obligation and duty.

As the winds of revolution and change sweep across the world be warned Mr Cameron that such unrest will reach these shores very soon unless you address the needs and concerns of the masses

For you, the government are elected to serve, us, the people, and until you start to put the aspirations and concerns of the people first you will never have the support or trust of the people that you crave.

If the police are here to serve and protect, they've failed miserably, and so has our government, yes, it is indeed true that we have been failed by the state, and no, the government cannot detach themselves from the police because it is they who the police answer to and ultimately it is they, the government, who have the power to affect change within law enforcement and the judicial process.

Yesterday, we buried my uncle, David Emanuel also known as Smiley Culture before his time. Like many others he would still be here if it were not for the police, a couple weeks later, another man dies under police custody, namely Kingsley Burrell Brown.

How long must this continue? What kind of future do our children face? What are you trying to force us to do? We the people have had enough and will no longer stand idly by whilst our people die, black, white, young or old, in police custody, we say to you in one united voice:  Although you enforce law, you are not above it!

We the people, here today take a stand against this kind of injustice, not only for those who have gone before us but also for those who come after us.

Shortly we will be concluding a mandate for judicial reform that the nation will submit in form of a petition to No 10 Downing Street. Here's what we, the people, propose;

  • Any officer that has had somebody die whilst in their custody is immediately suspended until further notice, pending inquiry.

  • No member of the IPCC can have worked for the police or any other organisation where there is a clear conflict of interest.

  • Any police officer that has had somebody die whilst in their custody and there are no witnesses other than police present, take a lie detector test on oath.

  • And lastly....All police officers record arrests using a mobile video device, that we might have an accurate account of events should anything go wrong with suspects whilst in their custody.

You will be seeing me a lot in the future, as I now know what my specific function is, it is to protect the interests and voice the concerns of you the community, black, white, young and old. I am in the process of setting up an organisation called Spear, the Society for Protection of European Affairs and Rights. Originally it was Ethnic Affairs but such a stance would only serve to divide rather than unite, our strength is our unity, injustice is colour blind and as such we should stand together. Black white and in between.

Some very powerful people will be a part of this organisation and we are determined in our quest to implement real change for the better within our communities.

Thanks you all for your time, family, one love, one people, one objective, Justice and equality for all.

Merlin Emanuel.