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.
Alina Joseph and her supporters, have launched the Christopher Kapessa Family Campaign to ensure justice for her child.
Our demands include:
· The suspension of police officers involved in the initial investigation
· A fitting memorial in Christopher’s name.
· An independent Inquiry into the conduct of South Wales police and other agencies involved with this family so that lessons can be learned.
If you require further information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org