For two days in June, campaigning lawyers, scholar activists and community campaigners, from some of the most marginalised communities in England and the North of Ireland, came together at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham to analyse the ‘joined-up state’ and discuss how to form a community of solidarity network between activists from Black, Irish, Muslim Gypsy and Traveller communities. The symposium was organised by the Institute of Race Relations and the Power, Conflict and Justice Research Group at Edge Hill University, in conjunction with the Tottenham Defence Campaign.
Across the UK, there are communities that have been subjected to a certain form of policing: targeted towards particular individuals, less accountable. This has resulted in high levels of anger and hostility towards the police, which has contributed to outbreaks of public disorder; most notably the August 2011 riots in the UK. The symposium aimed to bring together representatives from the various ‘outcast’ communities as well as lawyers, academics and researchers to discuss the policing of public order, surveillance and security and try to find strategies to improve accountability and foster community engagement and development.
Read Liz Fekete’s report on the symposium on the Institute of Race Relations’ News Service: http://www.irr.org.uk/news/community-of-solidarity-2/. Liz is the Executive Director of the Institute for Race Relations, and Head of its European Research Programme. The latest issue of Race & Class, the journal of the IRR, features an article on the UK riots, ‘Four days in August’, by Lee Bridges. Read it here for free for the next 30 days and visit the journal’s website at rac.sagepub.com.