Today, like thousands of others, I sat staring at Twitter with my finger on the refresh button as news that the jury in the Ian Tomlinson manslaughter trial had finally reached a verdict. When the tweets rolled in stating, despite video evidence, that PC Harwood had been found not guilty by a majority verdict, I hit an intense emotional rollercoaster. Primarily, I felt for his family, who I’d met when I supplied a stage at a fundraiser for them a couple of years ago. Three years of heartache and no justice at the end of it?
It’s not the end though – far from it. The family issued a statement today and will be taking the case to the civil courts. I am in awe of their undying strength and fight. If only everyone found that within them…
Then I fluctuated between being upset and being angry. No, FUCKING angry!! More info flooded in about how the jury were unaware of Harwood’s previous disciplinary stuff, and how his career in the police was checkered and questionable, to say the least!
Then I wondered what kind of jury, after the previous one at the inquest had found him guilty of unlawful killing, could find this clearly lacking in self-control fucker innocent?! If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say it was down to most of them being afraid to have their’ cards marked’ or being judgemental about someone down on their luck. I really can’t fathom where any reasonable doubt comes in, can you?!
This cannot be the end of this on so many levels. State oppression and what they get away with is getting out of control and has to stop.
Even though they’ll get Legal Aid for the civil suit, Ian’s family are going to have to raise dosh to cover their expenses, so please get involved with fundraising. Set something up and contact them by clicking here.
The good folks of Norwich, who we worked with last time on this, are already making plans for a benefit gig, which we’ll be involved with again. But for now, my wee contribution is the song I wrote after that last gig – No April Fools’. You can download either the acoustic or electro version (with Rev Dread) below for 79p or more, and all proceeds after Bandcamp and Paypal fees will go into the pot.
Please do something! Unity is everything, and this is too big to be tomorrow’s chip paper. x