Deaths in custody: RMT meeting calls for justice


by: Socialist Worker
published: 17th March 2012

A meeting organised by the RMT transport workers’ union saw over 100 people come to hear speakers talk about racism, police and the state in London on Monday.

The meeting, We Demand Justice, heard from family members of those who have died in police custody. These included Janet Alder, whose brother Christopher Alder died in Kingston upon Hull in 1998, and Samantha Rigg-David, whose brother Sean Rigg died at Brixton police station in 2008.

Paddy Hill of the Birmingham Six and Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four also spoke powerfully about their own wrongful imprisonment and abuse by the state.

CWU union leader Billy Hayes, Wilf Sullivan from the TUC and Weyman Bennett from Unite Against Fascism also spoke. Helen Shaw from the campaign group Inquest chaired the meeting.

The audience was audibly shocked as they heard Janet Alder talk about her brother’s final moments.

“The RMT has given me a breath of fresh air just when I needed it,” she said, speaking about how the union had helped her in the campaign for justice. She also announced a memorial for her brother in Hull, to take place on 1 April.

Samantha Rigg-David told the meeting, “Janet gave me lots of strength. She’s been fighting for 14 years. We’ve only been fighting three and a half.”

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