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Justice for Chris Kaba protest

Justice for Chris Kaba protest. Photo: Cici Washburn

Thousands of people marched through London to protest the Metropolitan Police for the killing of Chris Kaba and to demand justice, reports Lucy Nichols

On Saturday, around 5,000 people gathered in Central London to protest the murder of Chris Kaba at the hands of the Metropolitan Police.

Kaba was just 24 years old when he was shot dead by the police last Monday evening.

His family have called for protests and argued that his killers should be taken to court for murder, as well as demanding that bodycam footage be released.

The protest, led by Chris Kaba’s heartbroken family, was angry and defiant as it met in Parliament Square. It marched up to Trafalgar Square and made a loop down to Scotland Yard, where speeches were made by a variety of activists, such as Delia Mattis, and Weyman Bennet of Stand Up to Racism. Rappers Wretch 32 and Stormzy also made speeches as protesters chanted ‘Black Lives Matter’ at the police officers stationed outside Scotland Yard.

Elda Cardoso, from the Frente Preta UK, gave Counterfire this statement on why she joined the protest:

“My name is Elda Cardoso. I’m one of the co-founders of Frente Preta UK which is a member organisation of Black Lives Matter in the UK and of the coalition of Black Rights in Brazil. One of the main reasons I migrated to this country is that the police are unarmed. As a black woman this gave a sense of security. The reason I came to today’s demo is that I’m a mother. I have a 19 year old son who’s in university. What happened to Chris touched very closely.

“What happened to Chris happens every day in Brazil. The police in Brazil is one of the most violent in the world. On average every 20 minutes a young black person is killed by the police. These are young people aged between 15 and 29. If we don’t take to the streets and protest to demand justice, what happened to Chris will snowball and what happens in Brazil and the USA will also happen here.

“If Chris had been a white young man the police would have let him get out of the car, handcuffed and arrested him, not shoot him. We only have one life. He was young, about to be a father. His fiancée is pregnant. She’s expecting a baby in three months. It’s very sad. His family were here in tears. The main reason I came to the demo was to take part in the struggle so that what happens in Brazil does not happen in the UK.”

There are more protests planned, and following the Black Lives Matter protests during the pandemic, activists are calling for a renewed wave of resistance. The speeches made emphasised the systemic nature of police racism, and how this is linked to the overall racism of the state.

We have already seen the wider establishment undermine the (very recently) renewed Black Lives Matter movement. Sky News falsely reported that the demo was no more than a group of mourners on their way to pay their respects to our recently departed Head of State (which they later corrected).

For this reason, it is crucial that the left unite behind the organisers of the Justice for Chris Kaba campaign. We must not allow this new campaign to be overlooked as the mainstream media focus on the death of one monarch and the sucession of another.

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