Not many people go to talks on Friday evening, yet last Friday nearly 300 people attended a talk given by Suresh Grover and Imran Khan exploring the legacy of Stephen Lawrence at the School of Oriental and African Studies.
The Lecture explored the enduring legacy of the legal and public campaign around Stephen Lawrence from two different people a anti racist human rights campaigner and a anti racist solicitor. The Stephen Lawrence case amplified many of the issues that had affected people suffering racist attacks for over two decades, and the speakers explained how over the course of the Macpherson Inquiry the public began to accept many of the issues previously raised by anti racist campaigners. The inability of police officers to really understand the impact of racism and how this should influence the investigation of a racist attack, the lack of impartiality of the police complaints system, the absence of any racist reporting centres, amongst others.
Imran Khan concentrated on charting the legal challenges initiated by the family, including the evidence uncovered at the Public Judicial Inquiry and during the trial of the two suspects at the Old Bailey. Suresh Grover looked at the main Macpherson recommendations and explored some of the key lessons for civil society and campaigners when challenging violent or institutional racism in Britain today.
This was the first of a series of talks and we look forward to more to come.