Issue 221 of SOCIALIST REVIEW Published July 1998 Copyright Socialist Review

SPECIAL FEATURE: Racism, incompetence, collusion or corruption?

The brutal death of Stephen Lawrence at the hands of racist murderers five years ago was shocking enough. It followed several other such fatal attacks and a growing level of harassment of black people in south east London. These incidents were, to many people, linked to a growing level of racism in the area following the opening of the BNP 'bookshop' there.

But almost as shocking as Stephen's death is the tale of his family's and friends' attempt to bring his attackers to justice. The inquiry which has been taking place in the past few months has revealed a catalogue of failure on the part of the police. It has also demonstrated that the public airing of the case has only got as far as this because of the efforts of the Lawrence family, their friends and supporters, to fight for the truth to come out.

The police deny any racism on their part, but this claim sounds hollow to many black people - not surprisingly, given the police record and the very high level of institutionalised racism which exists in Britain. The Labour government is claiming that it is dealing with the issue because the inquiry has been set up. But it has done little to challenge the priorities of the police or to deal with the deeper problems of racism in British society.

In this special issue, campaigning journalist Paul Foot explains what is so remarkable about the case and why it has become such a major question. Gary McFarlane examines the experience of Britain's immigrants from the Caribbean and their descendants over the past 50 years and shows how racism is still a major feature of their lives. We also speak to some campaigners who attended the inquiry and look at the police record of racism.

The Stephen Lawrence Case

Paul Foot

Everyone knows that the rich and powerful, through the newspapers and television channels they own and control, normally succeed in keeping their reins on public consciousness. The 'stories' that interest and excite people are, as a result, safely marooned in palaces or sports stadia. Every now and then, however, a story circulates which defies these rules, and which engages the public attention in spite of every effort from on high to suppress it. Such a story is the 1993 murder in Eltham, south east London, of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence and its aftermath.

Five months after the murder, one of Scotland Yard's senior detectives, Deputy Assistant Commissioner David Osland, now a Tory councillor in Croydon, circulated a memorandum announcing that he was 'losing patience' with Neville and Doreen Lawrence, Stephen's parents, and suggesting that the police officers engaged in the murder inquiry should sue the couple for libel. The irony in the notion that police officers who had not brought Stephen's murderers to justice should secure damages from his parents was plainly lost on Mr Osland. He felt he and his force had been entirely justified by a 'review' conducted by a senior detective in London, Detective Chief superintendent RoderickJohn Barker. Mr Barker's 'review' which flowed from a secret inquiry and was of course not published, had discovered that the police investigation following the Lawrence murder was almost entirely flawless.

This remained the official police view as the long saga of the hunt for Stephen's murderers unfolded. Weeks after the murder, five men were arrested. Two were identified by a witness to the murder, Stephen's friend Duwayne Brookes. But Duwayne's evidence was tainted--by a police officer who was appointed to drive him home and whose account of the conversation he had with Duwayne (which Duwayne hotly contested) persuaded the Crown Prosecution Service to drop the charges.

Angry and disillusioned, the Lawrence family took out a private prosecution against three of the men. The prosecution failed--largely because of the 'tainting' of Duwayne Brookes's evidence by his police escort. An inquest jury proclaimed unequivocally that Stephen had been murdered in an unprovoked racist attack. The Daily Mail (in a sudden fit of conscience brought on by the fact that Neville Lawrence had once painted the house of the Mail editor) named the five original suspects and denounced them as the murderers. In spite of all this, the position five years on is that the murderers of Stephen Lawrence are still at large.

The early and prolonged confidence of the Metropolitan Police in their handling of the case began to wilt with the publication last year of part of the report by Kent police into the Lawrence investigation. The report was highly critical of the Metropolitan Police in charge of the murder inquiry. It concentrated on their failure to respond to information which flowed in to them immediately after the murder. On the day after the murder, a reliable informant, known as James Grant (a pseudonym) gave the inquiry team the names of the five suspects, who, he disclosed, had been carrying out racist attacks systemati cally in the area, who carried knives and boasted about using them on black people they met in the street, and who were out on the rampage in the area of the murder on the night it happened. Other reliable information followed. Most extraordinary was a witness who said she had visited the suspects' home on the day after the murder and had seen them washing clothes and wiping blood off a knife. The senior officers in charge of the inquiry, however, decided not to arrest the suspects. They adopted a policy of delay' which in the view of the Kent police hopelessly hampered the investigation and made it much more difficult to procure vital evidence. Despite its critical tone, however, the Kent police report concluded only that the officers in charge of the Lawrence investigation had been either mistaken or incompetent. The report effectively acquitted the investigating police of racism or corruption.

The report was the nominal reason behind Jack Straw's decision to set up a full public inquiry into the events before and after Stephen's death. The nominal reason was bolstered by the continued campaign of Neville and Doreen Lawrence, who refused to be fobbed off or patronised. Their long battle had swung huge sections of the British public behind them. When the public inquiry into the events opened almost exactly five years after Stephen's death, the large room at the Elephant and Castle designated for the publlc hearings was packed with supporters of the family. The enthusiasm for the campaign was not confined to south London or to black people. As sellers of Socialist Worker all over Britain were to discover, a groundswell of anger and dismay about the Lawrence case was building up all over the country, among people of all colours and of all and no political persuasions.

This groundswell grew and grew as the inquiry proceeded in its quaint and sedate way. It overflowed into the hearings themselves, not just in applause and tears for the Lawrences and for Duwayne Brookes but also in mocking laughter at the police.

Leaflets were issued from 'the public gallery' which consistently denounced the apparent reluctance of the police to disclose documents. This unexpected and entirely admirable expression of public outrage shifted the inquiry itself to such an extent that a grim story is beginning to emerge which is entirely different from anything originally contemplated.

The early intention of the inquiry, it seemed, had been to contain criticism of the police within the boundaries of the Kent report: to blame the investigating officers for incompetence and mistakes, but nothing more. In the early days, this damage limitation exercise was conducted uneasily but reasonably effectively. It changed only with the rising clamour outside and the determination of the Lawrences and Duwayne Brookes's lawyer to get answers to the questions which Kent police had not even asked. Why had the suspects not been arrested immediately? Why had the information from the informers been allowed to fester for so long? Gradually, a name started to be floated in cross-examination: Norris. David Norris was one of the five suspects. His father was Clifford Norris, a well known gangland racketeer, and arms smuggler, who is now in prison. Clifford Norris, h emerged, had paid an important witness not to give evidence against his boy. Could Norris have in any way influenced the police to ho easy' on the lad?

At first the lawyers for the police and the inquiry mocked any such suggestion and dismissed it. But then it emerged that Clifford Norris had been seen in pubs on several occasions with a flying squad officer called Coles. Customs officers had mounted a surveillance operation on Coles, and were surprised to see him handing over plastic bags to their suspect. They reported Coles to the police who investigated him and, remarkably, cleared him.

So what, was the initial reply? What had Coles to do with Stephen Lawrence? Quite a lot, it then emerged. First, the officer in charge of the murder investigation, DCS Iain Crampton, who took the decision not to arrest the five suspects, has worked with Coles at Bexleyheath police station. When Coles was in trouble for the Customs business over Norris, Crampton had written him a glowing reference. Secondly, Coles had been selected as an escort officer for the key witness, Duwayne Brookes, when the latter gave evidence in the private prosecution at the Old Bailey.

Such revelations hugely shifted the axis of the inquiry. Increasingly, the police seemed on the run. The cross-examination of former DCS Barker, whose report had given such comfort to the police in 1393, was so embarrassing that the inquiry chairman, Sir William Macpherson, denounced him as 'not credible' and his report as 'indefensible'. The feeling of even the most servile journalist at the inquiry (and most of them are not servile at all) is that there is more, much more to come out yet; and whether it does or not depends at least to some extent on the persistence and growth of the justice for Stephen Lawrence campaign.

The inquiry continues. For the moment, however, the story of the campaign is powerful evidence against those who moan that the British people are 'intrinsically racist' or that it is 'impossible to interest anyone in individual justice campaigns'. The campaign has carved the name of Stephen Lawrence deep into the consciousness of the working masses, the enormous majority of whom detest the racist gangs who pour blood onto the streets, and admire the strength and courage of those who campaign to put a stop to them once and for all.

Speaking up for justice

Donncha Mac Raghnaill

When Ian Johnston, the Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner, under questioning, told the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry that some officers had left the witness stand and shed tears afterwards, the public gallery jeered, amid cries of, 'What about us?'

Johnston's crocodile tears, following an apology to the Lawrence family, did not impress the many supporters and followers of this case who came to hear evidence on the police handling of the case. Throughout the inquiry the public gallery has been an active part of the proceedings, keeping a keen eye on events, issuing statements to the press and giving support to those giving evidence about the police.

Much has been made about the lack of compulsory race relations training for officers, especially since the death of Stephen in 1993. When Mike Mansfield QC, representing the family, asked what improvements in this area were made in the recent years, Johnston explained the 'generic audience' approach, and how the police trained officers to be careful in their choice of language. Mansfield replied that a racist will still he a racist even after learning what language to use. The public gallery screamed 'Exactly!' and then 'Thank you' when Mansfield said that people had been complaining about police racism for years--a truth known all too well by people in the black community.

'There is a real feeling of unity and solidarity here', said Gilly Mundy from the Stephen Lawrence Family Campaign. 'We are not just observers. but part of the inquiry. Noise has to be made--for justice.'

The anger at the injustice is what unites these people. Val, a woman in her 30s, said, 'I came to this inquiry because I really did want something to happen. Condon should get sacked, and the retired officers involved should hand their pensions to the Lawrence family. However, now having heard the police officers I do not think much will change.'

This view was backed up by others. 'This inquiry will achieve nothing--it highlights the inefficiency and racism in the police force,' said Rose, who started attending out of interest 'If a house is burgled, the police round up the usual suspects. But they didn't round up the members of the BNP after Stephen's murder. This shows the inequalities of the system.'

Rose was quick to point out the political nature of the inquiry. 'Jack Straw is clutching at straws,' she said, referring to the reason the inquiry was set up. 'The vast majority of black people vote Labour, and also this case has a very high public profile. But what about Joy Gardner?' 'We need more inquiries, 'said Gilly Mundy. 'Look at Joy Gardner. in that example it was the state who killed her.

After the Windrush

Gary McFarlane

It's 50 years since the arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury docks in London. The 430 migrants from the Caribbean onboard the ex-SS troop carrier had arrived in what they saw as the 'mother country', beginning the modern story of African-Caribbean people in Britain. The obvious question against the background of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry is - was it worth it?

The fact that Neville and Doreen, Stephen's parents, decided to bury him in Jamaica at first sight suggests it may not have been. Certainly, the abiding memory of arrival in Britain for most was one of shock. Guards at Paddington station greeting you as 'sir' and white people doing menial work was unseen in the Caribbean. The sight of what some thought were little factories with chimneys belching black smoke implied there were lots of jobs. There was a feeling of hope and high expectations. Most intended to work and then, after maybe five years, go home a relatively well to do man (the Windrushians were overwhelmingly young men).

The welcome from both officials and ordinary people was not one of outright hostility, but early paternalism from the authorities and the press quickly turned into hostility. Black people were soon seen as a problem and the refrain 'go back to your own country' became a regular parting shot in the everyday life altercations between people if they happened to be black and white.

British society after the war was undergoing huge changes. Although rationing was still in force when the Windrushians arrived, the foundations were still being laid for the welfare state. Into these circumstances West Indians (which was how everyone still identified themselves) arrived to fill the postwar labour shortage.

In 1949 questions were asked in parliament as to who had sent for the migrants. But the truth is no one had sent for them - the government-inspired campaigns were to start in the 1950s. The migrants arrived under their own steam having raised the small fortune for the fare across the Atlantic - 24. At first they were from more middle class backgrounds than those who followed later. By relying on the network of connections established during the war, news of the opportunities to earn good money in England travelled to the Caribbean quickly.

Postwar Jamaica was a poor place. The appeal of the 'mother country' was irresistible for many black men and it was primarily skilled and semi-skilled workers who made the journey in the years following the Windrush pioneers. Whereas Jamaica was still fundamentally an agricultural economy, and Kingston a medium sized town - not the city of one million of today - Britain was an advanced industrial country. The formality of speech used by the new migrants, such as greeting a stranger in the street with a 'good morning' or 'good evening', was considered out of place in urban Britain. Many migrants were also struck by the sheer ignorance of ordinary people in Britain when it came to the colonies. They were also amazed by the lack of ambition among ordinary white workers and the lack of focus on education which had been drummed into the Caribbean people as the prime way for social advancement. The new migrants were not yet aware of the contours and limitations of class society in Britain.

In the 1950s and 1960s life was hard for the migrants who were subjected to racial taunts and abuse on a regular basis at work and in the street. The colour bar had been erected throughout public life. So in housing, the notorious 'No Irish, no dogs, no blacks' sign defined the limits of British citizenship for black people as they were crammed into the decaying inner city areas that had been deserted by those working people class people who could afford to get out.

African Caribbeans began to buy private houses in response to the racism they faced in the rented housing market and the impossibliity of meeting the residence qualification for council housing. Owning residential property was nothing new for working people but it fostered resentment towards the newcomers, even though unemployment was virtually non-existent. A poll in 1958 showed that 71 percent of the population were opposed to mixed relationships. Today that figure is down to just 15 percent of the population.

The way African Caribbeans overcame the problems of housing was partly through hard work but also due to the specific forms of social organisation they brought with them. The legacy of slavery had created bonds of interconnected, extended families. So if someone was homeless or living in a hovel it was seen as beholden on others in the 'community' to help out. The Jamaicans also brought with them the 'partner' system which was in effect a form of credit union into which a group of people would pay, taking it in turns when each could make a withdrawal. This was a very effective way of pooling resources either for buying houses or for bringing over family members from the Caribbean. But like migrants before them there were those who were willing to engage in exploitative arrangements for personal gain. So black landlords tended to charge more than white landlords knowing they could get away with it because black tenants had nowhere else to go.

The initial unwillingness to recognise racism for what it was was due to the genuine attachment many still had to the ideas of empire. Many were inclined to give Britain's institutions the benefit of the doubt. They were, after all, British subjects of the United Kingdom and Colonies according to the citizenship law of 1948 - with exactly the same status as UK residents. The mother country and its institutions, embodied in the 'mother of all parliaments', would look after them. But, as they were to learn, the police far from being there to help them, represented the worst of British racism. They saw the black population of the inner cities as a useful target from which to deflect working class anger away from the police. This became very clear in the Notting Hill riots of 1958 when the police stood by and let events unfold until the third day of the violence.

The disturbances were triggered by clashes in Nottingham the previous week around which the press whipped up anti-black hysteria. It was the presence of black people themselves that was seen as the problem - they were a provocation to white working class men under the delusion of the need to defend their 'womenfolk' from lecherous black men. The 2,000 black people of Nottingham fought back against the attacks they were being subjected to on a daily basis. Yet very soon it became the case that in the public consciousness black people were associated with the social problems to be found in the inner city areas they were forced to live.

The race riots of Nottingham displayed a pattern that was to repeat itself. The establishment either through its silence or fomenting of racist attitudes, and the police either through their inaction against racist gangs or their harrasment of innocent black people, gave a green light to the rioters who gathered in and around Notting Hill in the days following the Nottingham riots. The organised racists in the shape of fascists like Mosley and Colin Jordan intervened consistently in the area, whipping up hate among local whites. African Caribbeans had become a convenient focus for disgruntled and increasingly alienated white working class youth - who were very often lumped under the catch-all label 'Teddy Boy'. Of course there were anti-racist Teds (and indeed black Teds as well) who hated Mosley and his fascists. But at the time of the race riots they were not in the ascendant precisely because a consensus against 'coloured immigration from the New Commonwealth' had emerged at the top of society, which gave legitimacy to the racist thugs at the bottom.

The Notting Hill riots and the murder of Kelso Cochrane a year later provoked an anti-racist response. In retrospect this marked a turning point. for many working class whites naked race hatred was a huge turn off - it was too close to the bone after the defeat of the Nazis in Germany. As one black person noted after the riots, the atmosphere had changed. On a bus he noticed how a white woman interjected when another white person got up to move so they did not have to sit next to a black person. The woman said, 'We're not all like that you know.' Anti-racists were gaining the confidence to challenge prejudice and racism head on. From that point on the idea of keeping your head down was at an end. The fact that black people fought back, dispersing gathering crowds of white youths and fascists by hurling petrol bombs among them, as happened in Notting Hill, laid down a marker.

In 1961 the Commonwealth Immigration Act placed the first limits on black immigration into Britain. Paradoxically this led to a great leap in the numbers entering the country. Whereas in the previous decade figures had never risen above 1,000 a year, in 1960 and 1961 they rose to 50,000 and 60,000 respectively. People were trying to beat a looming clampdown. Race and nationality were to dominate British politics for the next 20 years as the labour shortage came to an end and the postwar boom gave way to economic crisis. But times were changing.

The 1960s saw a breakthrough for black people in Britain. From James Brown to Malcolm X, an air of optimism was being turned into concrete action and the walls of segregation started to come down in the US. The rise of the civil rights movement and later Black Power had a huge impact in Britian. Yet if attitudes were changing among working class people, this could not be said of the institutions and companies that held the real power. So there were campaigns and boycotts to end colour bars on the buses in places like Bristol, for example. Black people appreciated the significance of being in trade unions in places like London Transport and the NHS and, although there was hostility, white workers generally realised it was in their own interest that the new migrants were organised.

In the 1960s the first significant numbers of black kids started to appear in the classrooms. Contrary to the hopes and aspirations of their parents, their children were at best directed into sports or at worst ignored. Black teachers who entered the system quickly left because the full impact of racism was often unbearable. When black parents heard their children were being sent to 'special schools' it was at first thought that this meant 'good' schools. In fact they were for the so called ESN (Educationally Sub-Normal) kids.

The passing of the Race Relations Act in 1965 was a result both of the movement in the US and the struggles in Britain. But Labour traded off anti-discrimination legislation measures with a tightening of immigration rules. This was in response to the racism whipped up by Enoch Powell and events such as the notorious Smethwick by-election. Essentially the result of the 1965 act meant that primary immigration was brought to an end. From here on the two main political parties were to compete as to which would be toughest on immigration.

As the Mangrove Nine trials of the 1960s and 1970s (a restaurant on the All Saints Road in Notting Hill which was raided countless times by the police who eventually tried to stitch up Frank Critchlow, Darcus Howe and others) were to show, it was the attitude of the police which really captured the oppressive reality of life as a young black man in Britain. From the Notting Hill riot in the 1950s to the smashing of the National Front's attempted march through Lewisham in 1977 there had been a sea change in the ideas of many white workers. But in the police and other institutions, it was, and still is, a very different story.

The battles against the 'sus' laws in the 1970s (based on the 1824 vagrancy laws and a licence to harass and beat up black kids), and the Notting Hill Carnival, which became a yearly battle between black youth and the police, were a direct challenge to the state. It was a challenge it eventually failed to meet - forcing it to consider the questions of discrimination and unemployment that it had previously blamed on the cultural deficiencies of African Caribbeans.

The use of the US term 'mugging' as a description of a particular type of street crime carried out by black youths built up a picture of black people as part of a criminal community. The urban disturbances, which began in Bristol in 1976, carried on until the riots of the 1980s - notably in Brixton in 1981. This sparked a nationwide revolt which spread to white working class kids in a way not seen before, and which terrified the police and the authorities.

The Deptford fire of 1981 galvanised black people all over the country both in outrage at the murder of 13 black kids, but also at the indifference of the authorities. Some 15,000 marched and made it clear to the powers above that the generation of black people born in Britain would demand their full rights and nothing less. In 1985 the police were again on the receiving end of a 'bloody good hiding' (to quote Bernie Grant) after the death of PC Blakelock on the Broadwater Farm estate in north London.

These battles forced the police to make a calculation before they took to routinely arresting black kids - did they want an uprising on their hands? Although the riots never really reached the level of urban insurrection seen in the US, they did force Britain's rulers to address the questions of institutional racism.

So black people have come a long way since the Windrush. There are now black MPs, black members of the English football team and so on. A black middle class has emerged. But today unemployment for black youth still runs at twice the national average. Discrimination in the workplace, despite the legislation, still continues.

We have made progress in Britain but it is with no thanks to the state, its police and its prisons. It was the battles fought by black people themselves from the 1950s onwards that had the effect of drawing in increasing numbers of white anti-racists. In the Anti-Nazi League of the late 1970s that alliance took on its most potent form as black and white joined together to draw a line in the sand. We built an organisation capable of destroying what was then the best organised fascist party in Europe - a victory that created the space for black youth to breathe.

Black and white unity inside the working class is uneven but is nevertheless a reality that stands as a bulwark against any future resurgence in populist racism. But institutional racism is still very much with us and shows signs of worsening.

To really drive back this sort of built-in racism means attacking the capitalist class, who will try to use racism to divide and rule, and turn one group of workers against another. Today socialists, black and white, are in a better position than ever to do this.

Judged on their record

Lindsey German

The Metropolitan Police has apologised for its failings in investigating the death of Stephen Lawrence. Its spokesmen would like us to believe that this is an exceptional case and that all its faults stem from incompetence rather than anything more sinister. They reject charges of racism being in any way endemic in the police. However, the record of the police shows that black people have always been subject to racism by the police and that many 'everyday' police attitudes have been racist in the extreme:

1966: a report to the West Indian Standing Conference describes the police term for their heightened operations in Brixton as 'nigger hunting'.

1970: police repeatedly raid Mangrove restaurant in North Kensington, a black radical meeting place, and arrest organisers of a protest demo against the raids. The Mangrove 9 are acquitted in 1971.

1971: Metro Four charged with affray and assaulting police after police try to raid Metro Club in Notting Hill. None convicted.

1971: two Leeds policemen imprisoned for assaulting Nigerian vagrant David Oluwale. He was kicked by the policemen, one of them pissed on him, and he was eventually found dead in a river. The two acquitted of manslaughter on the direction of the judge.

1973: study by sociologist Maureen Cain finds that policemen generally believed that 'niggers' were 'in the main...pimps and layabouts, living off what we pay in taxes.'

1974: Carib Club in north west London raided and Cricklewood Twelve charged with affray, possession of offensive weapons and assault on police. None convicted.

1976: Gurdip Singh Chaggar, an Asian student, murdered in Southall, west London. Metropolitan Police commissioner Robert Mark refuses to accept there is a racial element to it and in his report for that year says, 'This racial unrest was stimulated and manipulated for their own ends by extremist elements.'

1977: The Virk brothers, four Asians, attacked by gang of whites while repairing their car. They are arrested but their attackers are not. The judge reprimands the defence for raising whether the attackers were members of the National Front and says race prejudice was 'irrelevant'.

1978: Michael Ferreira murdered on Hackney Marshes by white youths. Campaign around the case by Hackney Black People's Defence Organisation harassed by police, including raids on homes of friends and family. Michael's mother arrested on protest outside court.

1979: report into police-black relations produced by the Institute of Race Relations. Allegations include heavy police concentration in black areas, raids on black clubs, refusal to protect blacks against racial violence, arbitrary arrest of black people.

1979: Kayumerz Anklesaria kicked to death on a tube in London's East End by three white racists; Newham police refuse to accept racist motive. The Indian Workers' Association comments, 'In east London racist attacks on the black population are an everyday phenomenon and are intensifying. When such attacks are reported to the police they ignore them. In the past all racist murders have been called non-racist by the police, who seem more interested in covering up racism than arresting the culprits.'

1979: Nearly 3,000 police protect Nazi march in Southall and violently attack counter-demo. Blair Peach, a white teacher, killed by a police truncheon blow to the head. The Metropolitan Police commissioner says afterwards. 'If you keep off the streets in London and behave yourselves, you won't have the SPG to worry about.'

1981: summer of riots in a number of British cities showing mass discontent with police among black youth.

1981: Bradford Twelve political trial of young Asians involved in black group. Accused of conspiracy 'to manufacture explosives with intent to endanger life and damage property' when bottles filled with petrol found on waste ground. Bail conditions amount to virtual house arrest. The Twelve argue self defence of Asians in the face of racial attacks. These denied by the police; even the murder some months previously of an Asian taxi driver by a British Movement (fascist) supporter supposedly not racist. All were acquitted.

1981: 13 young blacks die in a fire during a party in Deptford, south London. The police repeatedly reject the possibility of a racist arson attack. 15,000 march through London to protest.

1985: death of black woman Cynthia Jarrett in police raid on her house leads to Broadwater Farm riot where three young men arrested for murder of policeman. Later all found innocent. One, Winston Silcott, still in prison.

1987: Clinton McCurbin dies after being arrested by police in Wolverhampton shopping centre. 1987: report shows one in four black residents of Newham, east London, had been victim of racist attacks and that four out of five of those who reported attacks to police were dissatisfied with handling of case.

1991: racist murder of Rolan Adams in south east London.

1992: racist murders of Rohit Duggal in south east London.

1993: Stephen Lawrence murdered in south east London.

1993: Mass demonstration to close down BNP headquarters in south east London attacked by police. Hundreds arrested and injured.

1993: Joy Gardner dies after being handcuffed and gagged as authorities deport her.

1995: Paul Condon, Metropolitan Police commissioner, says that 'very many of the perpetrators of muggings are very young black people'. Yet 'street crimes' (which include much more than 'mugging') were only 4 percent of all crime in 1994 - exactly the same proportion as fraud, which is never described as 'white' crime.

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