Bearing witness

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I’ve been taking a break from writing Lily’s Walk the sequel to West Richardson Street and doing a different kind of writing.

This month has been the second inquest into the death of Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah who died during a stop and search in High Wycombe in July 2008. I’ve been supporting the family since then and with his cousin Zia Ullah set up the Justice4Paps campaign early on after his funeral.

Over the last month I’ve been writing a daily blog from the court about the proceedings so those that couldn’t attend could at least get an update. Been a hard job attending court all day and going through reports and notes and then writing the damn things!

If I want to be critical the quality has been patchy and its been a struggle to keep it mainly factual and descriptive and nothing that will prejudice the legal proceedings. Not a big believer in balance when it comes to dealing with injustice. In the words of the great Sivanandan if the whole society is bias against you why you do want add more balance. If you have very little power/influence we need more bias and more opportunities to get our views across.

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But it’s a skill to write whatever setting and continues my aim to write everyday as a discipline. This writing is also vital as it’s about bearing witness and ensuring that the events of this inquest are recorded BY us and FOR us. About bearing witness to the key events that we go through, and these trials and inquests are going to feature sadly more and more in our lives as police powers grow exponentially and their accountability decreases. The final conclusion was of a critical misadventure and narrative verdict further details on the INQUEST page.

Got to give a big shout out to the Family Web Pages Collective and in particular Zinzi Napthali for managing the site and giving me tech support.

Good in some ways to get some time away from Lily’s Walk but itching to jump up back in so watch this space.

One love



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