StopWatch to flash mob central London – Saturday 17 March 2012 from
14.00 at Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Oxford Circus
Urban dancers dressed as police officers will perform in central London this Saturday to raise awareness of police discrimination whilst using controversial stop and search powers.
StopWatch is particularly concerned about disproportionality in the use of stop and search. Black people are stopped and searched at up to 7 times the rate of White people. Asian people are stopped 2.2 times the rate of White people.
The event marks 14 years since the beginning of the landmark ‘Macpherson’ public inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence on 16 March 1998 which famously declared the police force ‘institutionally racist’. The event also falls in the week of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination observed annually on 21 March.
The flash mob is part of a larger StopWatch campaign for better policing made up of leading figures from civil society, the legal professions and academia and spanning over 40 organisations. Kam Gill, StopWatch member and research and policy analyst at the Runnymede Trust commented:
“Excessive stop and search was shown to be a primary concern for minority communities after the Brixton riots of 1981 and the public inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence in 1998.
Yet excessive stop and search remains an issue that young Black and Minority Ethnic people have to contend with on a daily basis. We want to show the public that after all these years, stop and search still isn’t fair, effective or accountable. ”
Stop Watch Youth Group member and flash mob organiser says,
“The StopWatch flash mob uses creative means to challenge disproportionate use of stop and search. It attempts to raise awareness in a way that is both critical and engaging. Considering most stop and searches happen in public places, a street dance flash mob is a great way to express our concerns.”
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