THIS SATURDAY THE 22ND OF JULY IS THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF JEAN CHARLES DE MENDEZ TRAGIC MURDER BY THE METROPOLITAN POLICE!THIS SATURDAY WE WILL BE HOLDING A PROTEST AGAINST THIS SHOOT TO KILL POLICY | WE WANT TO SEE NUMBERS THERE | THIS IS A RESPECTFUL GATHERING AS DE MENDEZ FAMILY MEMBERS WILL BE HOLDING THEIRE OWN VIGIL BEFORE WE GET INVOLVED | WE SIMPLY WANT TO VOICE OUR OPINION TO THE METROPOLITAN POLICE THAT WE ALL VIEW THIS AS MURDER AND WISH TO SEE SIR IAN BLAIR RESIGN AND A CHANGE IN POLICE ATTITUDE AND TACTICS | AS THIS MURDER HAS BEEN CONDONED IN TABLOID SENSES AS BEING INEVITABLE DUE TO THE CLIMATE OF FEAR CAUSED BY THE "TERRORIST THREAT" THEN WE ARE ALSO HERE TO PROTEST ON THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF WHAT A TERRORIST THREAT IS.GATHER OUTSIDE STOCKWELL UNDERGROUND TUBE STATION FROM 5PM TIL 8PMEXPECT SPEAKERS FROM CHAIN OF COMMAND | FULLeBLUNT | SUNKEN HEADS | PLUS MANY MORE MCS, POETS AND MUSICIANS | THIS IS A PEACEFUL PROTESTRESPECT TO THE DE MENDEZ FAMILY
Police first claimed that the savage killing was part of an anti-terrorist operation following failed attempts to detonate explosives in Londons transportation system a day earlier, an apparent bid to repeat the deadly transit bombings of July 7. The authorities were subsequently forced to acknowledge that Jean had no connection whatsoever to the attacks, and that they had killed an innocent man.In the aftermath of the shooting, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other officials have issued formal apologies and promises of financial compensation for the murdered workers family, while stressing that the British polices shoot to kill policy would continue. Blairs plea for sympathy for the difficult circumstances faced by the police is virtually an assurance that this will not be the last such cold-blooded state murder.Calling the killing an assassination, Gonzagas mayor, Julio de Souza, dismissed the British governments expressions of regret. Its easy for Blair to apologize, but it doesnt mean very much,Apologies are not enough, we want justice, demonstrators chanted last year as they marched slowly through the cobblestone streets of Gonzaga. The killing of a young worker abroad stuck a powerful chord in the small town, where virtually every family has a relative who has emigrated to the US or Europe to seek work, sending money home to alleviate the local poverty.Throughout the country, the brutal public execution in London has touched a raw nerve. Brazil has had its own bitter experience with police death squads, which acted against political dissidents under the dictatorship and continue to claim victims among the countrys poor. Last year, according to Amnesty International, police shot to death 663 people in Brazil, a country of 180 million people.Media reports suggesting that Jean had run from the police because he was working in Britain in violation of immigration law have been discounted by both the British and Brazilian governments. Relatives in Brazil pointed out that he came home earlier this year for vacation and then returned to Britain in April, which would have been impossible if he lacked a necessary visa.The false accusations that he was an illegal immigrant were widely seen as an attempt to somehow justify the shooting. It appears entirely possible that the young worker commuting to his job had no idea he was being chased by the police. Witnesses have reported that his attackers never identified themselves before dragging him down and shooting him.When Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim met with his British counterpart Jack Straw and the two appeared together at a joint press conference in an attempt to assuage the growing anger over the killing.Straw declared that he profoundly regretted the killing and offered his condolences. Amorim had sought the British offer of compensation to the family. Neither indicated how much would be offered to the family, and Straw indicated that the amount would be determined based on the investigation of the shooting. Jeans wages in London constituted a crucial support for his family in Brazil, allowing them to build a house recently.Amorim stressed that the terrorism must be fought with a total respect for human rights. Asked if he was satisfied with the British governments response to the killing, he replied, I think I will only be able to answer that fully when all of the stages mentioned have been completed, when the investigation has been concluded and those found guilty have been punished ... when the questions related to the family have been settled. He added, It is clear that if things happen in the way they apparently happened in this instance, it can only benefit terrorism.Both Jeans relatives and the Brazilian people as a whole were far more critical of the Blair governments response. Neither hypocritical apologies nor promises of cash compensation have been enough to dispel their anger.His apologies arent easing our pain, said Arialva Pereira, one of Jeans cousins, in response to Blairs statement. Hes not saying anything about punishing the police who did this, its more like hes supporting them.Another cousin living in London indicated to the BBC that the family would pursue a legal case against the police and the Blair government. They have to pay for that in many ways, because if they do not, they are going to kill many people, they are going to kill thousands of people, said Alex Pereira. They killed my cousin, they could kill anyone.Unions and Brazils landless peasant movement called demonstrations outside the British embassy in Brasilia and the consulate in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) issued a statement charging that Jean was assassinated in cold blood, a victim of intolerance, and calling for Britains withdrawal from Iraq.Newspaper letter columns provided a reflection of the outrage sweeping the country and the popular association of the killing with the US and British war in Iraq.Ademï..i wrote to the Rio daily O Globo that the blame for the killing of the Brazilian worker fell not only on the London police, but also on Bush and, principally, on Tony Blair. Before launching a war, the leaders of the globalized world should face the fact that everything is globalized, including the terror that they impose on other peoples.A reader from Curitiba wrote the paper, The murder of a Brazilian in London only proves that brutality and stupidity is on the rise the world over. If in London a person is assassinated on his back, one can imagine what the British soldiers are doing in Iraq. Or what they did in the epoch of colonialism. Who are the barbarians? Who really is a terrorist?And from Rio, a reader commented, The murder of the Brazilian in London is a consequence of the policy of war. In militarizing the world, the US and its British allies have turned it into an unsafe place for everyone. But this doesnt matter to Bush and Blair, who want not peace but power.
Fanny Ha Ha