We were established in Southall (West London) in the 1980’s, by community campaigners and lawyers who wished to challenge the growth of racism in the locality.
We are one of the most established anti-racist grassroots groups in Britain, and over the past 40 years, we have helped thousands of people through casework, campaigns and research.
We are the leading exponent of family-led empowerment and justice campaigns in the UK and we are best known for our public interest campaigns, most notably Stephen Lawrence and Victoria Climbie. Our most recent campaigns include Southall Resist 40, Free Siyanda and more recently we are advocating on behalf of Christopher Kapessa’s family following his tragic death in July 2019.
Our core values are around – Empowerment, challenging racism, monitoring police misconduct and collaboration with victims and communities.
A key reason for the group’s sustainability is the involvement of “survivors/victims” in its management, staff and volunteering structures. Now more than ever we need to raise funds to sustain and continue the invaluable work we do within the community and further afield.
Justice for Christopher Kapessa
Christopher Kapessa was a young black 13-year-old child who died on 1st July 2019 after being pushed into the river in front of many of his peers. He was the only black child present at the scene of the incident.
Within 24 hours South Wales decided, without interviewing all the other children or collecting all the evidence, that this was no more than a tragic accident.
South Wales Police tried to convince his mother, Alina Joseph, that Christopher had willingly jumped from a bridge.
Soon after a complaint was lodged against the police.
Consequently South Wales Police appointed a new major police investigation team who then submitted new evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Earlier this year the CPS decided not to prosecute anyone despite establishing that there was sufficient evidence to charge the teenager who pushed Christopher into the river with manslaughter. They argued that this was not in the public interest.
This is a perverse decision because it implies Christopher’s life is cheaper than the ‘public interest’. The family’s lawyer has asked the CPS to review their decision.
Christopher was a gentle likeable child who loved to be outdoors and he was a talented footballer and won many trophies. Despite suffering racist abuse, he, amongst all his other siblings, would look at things positively – he did everything to integrate with his peers and within the community. He loved life.
Christopher deserves your attention and justice.
20 October 2020
LEGAL ACTION LAUNCHED AGAINST THE CROWN PROSECUTION SERVICE ON CHRISTOPHER KAPESSA’S KILLING
MOTHER TAKES CHALLENGE TO HIGH COURT
The decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) not to charge the suspect for the manslaughter of a young schoolboy, Christopher Kapessa, will formally be challenged in the High Court. An application for a judicial review has been lodged today, 20th October 2020, on behalf of Christopher’s mother, Ms. Alina Joseph.
Hilary Brown of Virgo Consultancy Limited, Michael Mansfield QC and Philip Rule of No 5 Chambers legally represent Ms. Joseph. Mountain Ash Comprehensive pupil Christopher Kapessa, aged 13, was deliberately pushed into the River Cynon, near Fernhill, on July 1, 2019 and died hours later. Christopher could not swim.
South Wales Police initially concluded that the death was accidental. A police complaint was submitted in the same week as Christopher’s death by The Monitoring Group, an anti-racist advocacy group, on Ms. Joseph’s behalf. As a consequence, a new police investigation was launched led by officers from the serious crime group.
In its initial decision of 16 February 2010, the CPS stated there was sufficient evidence to charge the juvenile suspect on a manslaughter charge but declined to press charges on ‘public interest grounds’.
This decision was challenged by Ms. Joseph’s legal representatives, Virgo Consultancy Limited, by submitting a victims’ right of review. However, the CPS upheld its original decision.
In a letter dated 20 July 2020, the CPS stated that although there was sufficient evidence for a successful prosecution, the public interest outweighed the evidential test. Ms. Joseph wants the High court to issue an order forcing the Crown Prosecution Service to reverse its decision
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