Tag Archive | "Crime"

Black People in 18th Century Old Bailey Court Records (pt1)

Old Bailey

Old Bailey

Part of the Myth that black people have only been living in Britain since the 1950’s has been due to the general inaccessible nature of public records to the masses. In today’s modern world, more and more records are becoming available to people online. The Old Bailey Online site is one such resource that helps to reveal a wealth of history to us detailing the roles of black people in Eighteenth Century life. Africans and their descendants are both the victims, witnesses and perpetrators of crime.

Black People at the Old Bailey

For example, the story of John Guy, A black sailor who claimed he was robbed by two unscrupulous women,

Sarah Jones, Mary Smith, Violent Theft > robbery, 8th September 1736.

46. 47. Sarah Jones and Mary Smith , were indicted for assaulting (with Margaret Brown , Mary Maldock and Sarah Cox , not yet taken) John Guy , in the Dwelling House of Edward Whitcher , and taking from him, one silk Handkerchief, value 3 s. and 17 Guineas, the Goods and Money of the said Guy , August the 4th .

John Guy . (A Negro) I was just paid off from the Ship Newcastle, and walking along Rosemary Lane , between 4 or 5 o’Clock I met 2 Women; I asked them for a Lodging, they bid me come with them: I went with them to Whitcher’s House, and we had some Salmon and Punch and a quartern of Brandy? Then I went to bed, and one of the Women came to bed to me, tho’ I would not let her: The oldest of the Prisoners pull’d up her Coats, and bid me look at —–and told me it was as black as my Face, &c. &c. —–I would not do it, but went to sleep, and when I waked I found all my Money gone. One of the Girls own’d before Justice Farmer, that 8 Guineas and 4 s. of my Money was divided among them.

Prisoner Smith. Did not you swear your Money on another Woman?Guy. Why Mary you know, you took my Breeches from under my Head.

George Fulham . These 2 Creatures own’d before the Justice, that they had divided 8 Guineas and 4s. and that Whitcher had the best part of it. Jones said in New Prison, if we would let her out, she would tell who had most of the Black’s Money.

Nathaniel Harris and Jeremiah Lester , deposed to the same Effect.

The Prisoners in their Defence, said the Black gave them the Money. Acquitted .

Reference Number: t17360908-39
Offence: Violent Theft >
Not Guilty

Quite why the defendants were acquitted, we cannot know for sure. The evidence suggests that the accused admitted their crime in front of the local magistrate, but then reneged on their crime. Prison workers testified that that the accused had admitted their crime in order to get free and in return would expose the real criminal; the owner of the Boarding house Edward Whitcher. It would seem that either the jury had no sense of sympathy for the plaintiff or perhaps the judge advised them that the black sailor encouraged the women and was not telling the whole truth about the evenings encounter.

A Black thief, Thomas Robinson did not fare much better at the hands of the court.

Thomas Robinson, Theft > burglary, 17th January 1724.

Thomas Robinson , of the Parish of St. Margaret, Westminster , was indicted for burglariously breaking the House of Mary Gunnis in the Night-time, and stealing divers Goods , on the 18th of December last. The Prisoner was a Negro Black Boy , and us’d to come for two or three Times to the Prosecutor’s House, to buy Liquors, and the House being broken, and the Things stolen, she suspected the Prisoner, and upon Search made after him, 3 Rings and 32 s. in Money, were found upon him, and one Ring where he had bid it in the Ground, on Tower-Hill. The Boy had confessed the Fact before the Justice, which Confession was read in Court. The Fact being plainly prov’d, the Jury found him guilty of the Indictment. Death .

Reference Number: t17240117-6
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

A young servant boy , John Coffee gave evidence in the trial of Highway Man, John Everett

John Everett, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 16th January 1730.

William Coffee , (a Negro Boy being set up to give Evidence, the Prisoner asked, if he was Christened, and was told he was) depos’d, That the Prisoner at the Bar came up to the Coachman near Battle-Bridge, and bid him stop, and bid this Deponent look another way, or he would shoot him; but he would look at him, and was sure the Prisoner was the Man.

Young Coffee had been brave enough to look at the face of the Robber even after being warned against doing so on pain of death.? His evidence helped convict Everett.

Reference Number: t17300116-35
Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death
Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, 29 July 2010), April 1754, trial ofJohn Everett, Pancrass ( t17300116-35).

Posted in African History, Black Britain, Black History, Black People in EuropeComments (2)

Annie Gross tried for Murder 1912

Annie Gross

Annie Gross

Annie Gross was a black entertainer from America. She and her husband Harry had been working in New York before touring British Music Halls.

Harry Gross had left Annie for an actress called Jessie Mackintosh, they were living in actors lodgings in Coram Street, Central London. He had been in a song and dance act in the New Cross Empire and was throwing a party to celebrate its success before leaving for Sheffield. At around Midnight that night the doorbell rang and Miss Mackintosh went to answer the door, but saw a little girl was running away, she tried to catch the girl but couldn’t so returned to the party, telling the other party goers.

A couple of hours later, Jessie Mackintosh came face to face with Annie Gross either in the bedroom or on the landing. though accounts differ with regards to the exact location. Gross fired a revolver several times, Harry Gross rushed out to see what was happening, and had the gun pointed at him, his wife pulled the trigger but there were no bullets left. She rushed past him and out into the street. Later she gave her self up to a Police Officer at Russel Square.

The case was reported by a number of newpapers. The Illustrated Police News ran a story and published an artists impression of of the shooting. The Times reported ‘Arrest of a coloured woman’

The Daily Chronicle of Monday 2 December 1912 had ‘Actress shot in Bloomsbury. Murder by Six-Foot Negress. Music Hall Party Tradgedy. Midnight entry to house by trick’.

The revolver had been acquired by a man of colour Frank Craig. Craig was arrested by police but then released by the police when they couldn’t disprove his statement that the gun had been for Mrs Gross’s protection as ‘she was the only coloured woman in the house’ .

The trial was in January 1913. The jury heard the the Gross’s were married in Chicago 1903 and then left for London in 1908, to be joined later by his wife. After arriving in London, he had taken her money, tried to get her deported and forced her into prostitution and then left her for another woman.

Annie Gross told the Jury that she hadn’t meant to kill Mackintosh but had gone to speak to her husband, when he had hit her she pulled out the gun, and fired, not realising that she had hit Mackintosh. The judge told the jury that if Gross had hit his wife, and tshe then killed him the verdict should be manslaughter, but if she had hidden in the house and then emerged to kill the mistress hours later, then the verdict should be murder.

After 35 minutes the jury returned a verdict of manslaughter. The judge disagreed with them and told them so. The Daily Mail reported the verdict and alluded to their disapproval of inter racial sex. The Times reported that it was odd that a manslaughter verdict be passed in a Murder trial, and that the judge told the juy that he disagreed with their verdict.

Annie Gross was given a sentence of five years in Prison. Jeffery Green writes in the book ‘Black Edwardians';

” Surely the jury had felt that she had suffered enough, with the beatings, humiliation and prostitution. They also probabaly had no respect for the dead woman who had taken up with a Black entertainer from the United States”.

Related Links

The Sydney Morning Herald – Annie Gross

Posted in African American History, Black Britain, Black History, Black WomenComments (2)

Sickle Cell and Deaths in Custody Conference

Registration closes 18 May 2009 - Book now to avoid disappointment!

The Unit for the Social Study of Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell (TASC Unit) at De Montfort University, Leicester is pleased to present this exclusive one-day conference.

The conference examines Sickle Cell Disorders, healthcare neglect in prisons, racism in the criminal justice system and the introduction of specialist custody nursing Sickle Cell and Deaths in Custody dmu.ac.uk/conference/sickle-cell.

Wednesday 10 June 2009 – £130

You will receive a FREE copy of Professor Simon Dyson and Professor Gwyneth Boswell’s new groundbreaking book Sickle Cell and Deaths in Custody (London: Whiting & Birch) worth £50.

Resgistert on-line here

Speakers include

  • Professor Guy Rutty – a member of the British Association in Forensic Medicine, the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland, British Medical Association (to name a few) and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology.Elise Bethancourt
  • Dr Adebayo Olujohungbe – a consultant haematologist at the University Hospital Aintree NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, Chief Investigator of the Priapism In Sickle Cell Study (PISCES) and Medical Adviser to the Sickle Cell Society.
  • INQUEST – an ‘award winning’ campaigning organisation founded in 1981 providing a specialist comprehensive advice service to bereaved people, lawyers, the media, MPs and the wider public on contentious deaths and their investigation.

If you would like further information please contact Sarah Allen conferences@dmu.ac.uk or call (0116) 250 6215.

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A Tale of a Forgotten People (Congo) – Pt1

A Tale of a Forgotten People

By Vava Tampa

Outside public eyes in a remote corner of Africa and literally under the world’s radar screen, a country is sinking in a river of blood! Mothers crying! Fathers and sons trading hot metals! Neighbours, in alliance with local armed groups, seething through the thick dense forest to secure mining areas with unparalleled natural resources! Hospital beds filled with mothers and young girls raped and shot in the vagina.

This is the Congo is the richest country in Africa and the scene of the world’s nastiest, bloodiest and deadliest war since Adolf Hitler’ army marched across Europe. For the past fifteen years, she has been raided, hacked, raped and looted by her neighbours, friends, sons and international cooperation. At some points it involved nine foreign nations -Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Angola, Namibia, Chad, Sudan, Libya and Zimbabwe – as well as numerous indigenous armed militias

Congo is Wealthy

Congos wealth is being exploited with a human cost

As to the dead, figures are staggering: You could take all lives lost in Bosnia, Rwanda 1994 and Darfur then add the 2005 Asian tsunami, then add a 9-11 every single day for 356 days and then go through Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Put all of those together, multiply by 2 and you still don’t reach the number of lives that has been lost in the Congo since the war started.

Over 6 Million have been killed. War, disease and malnutrition are killing 45,000 Congolese every month. Around 2 Million have been uprooted; 100 000s of women and young girls have been brutally gang raped and around 40% of all adult women have been made widows.

The root cause of the killings: natural resources. The DRC is a home to vast expanses of pristine rain forest, rare animal species and a treasure trove of rare precious minerals, it houses all elements found on the periodic table; and just about every natural resource under the sun.

The most lucrative and wanted of all is Coltan also know as columbite-tantalite: a dull metallic ore used in the aerospace weaponry as well as electronics devices such as: laptops, cell phones, pagers, play station, game counsel, VCR, CD player, P.D.A. and TV, remote control and various other electronic devices.

The Congo possesses over 80 per cent of the world’s reserve of Coltan; and for the past fifteen years neighbouring countries, in alliance with certain Congolese armed groups, have raided, hacked, killed and raped to gain access to Coltan, gold and diamonds mines as well as coffee plantations.

Major world military and economic powers, consumed by a painful sense of guiltiness for not responding during the one hundreds days of genocide that claimed over 800 000 lives in Rwanda 15 years ago, dare not to question or lecture, let alone speak out loud against, the leadership of Rwanda for their role and actions in the Congo.

1994 is the year it all begun. 800 000 lives hacked to death in one hundreds days: neither Africa nor the UN Security Council showed interest. The world stood idly: Rwanda, ethnically targeted, was covered in blood. Soon, waves of violence unleashed by the Rwandan Genocide spilled over Eastern Congo, back then Zaire.

Vicious attacks committed on women by all sides.

Vicious attacks committed on women by all sides.

Some 1.7 million Rwandan, among them, Hutu militias responsible for the genocide and armed to teeth, fled from Rwanda to Eastern Zaire. Once in eastern Zaire, Hutus militias regrouped and launched border raids against Paul Kagame’s newly established government.

The Zairian state was in a grave: the end of the Cold War brought an end to Zaire’s long privileged relations with the West. Mobutu, once America’s closest ally in Africa against Communism and Africa’s one-man party because the US and former European colonial powers did not trust the people of Zaire to elect a leader who would let them control their country’s resources, was not longer needed.

The US Congress had cut off military and economic aid to Mubutu’s regime. France and Belgium, similarly, had cut off all development aid and downgraded diplomatic contacts to pressure Mobutu to relinquish power. In 1993 the Clinton administration refused to replace its outgoing ambassador to Zaire and barred Mobutu and his closest associates from visiting the U.S.

Mobutu, a monarchical ruler who lived in grotesque splendour while his people starved, as the Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka once described him, was sick: advanced prostate cancer proved too much for a guy who, for 32 years, ruthlessly ruled Zaire and the Great Lake region by fear and the rod.

Meanwhile, Paul Kagame, then Rwandan vice-president, and generally seen as the representative of the victims of the genocide hence, often, is received with the same moral weight as Jewish Holocaust survivors, heirs of the victims of the 1915 Armenian genocide and the Cambodian killing fields of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s

In light of Hutus militias military raids against Paul Kagame’s newly established government, major world military and economic powers, ashamed of their inaction in 1994, granted Paul Kagame a blank cheque: do whatever you need to do to secure and re-build your country. Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda and Paul Kagame’s closest ally in Africa, had an idea: Laurent Desire Kabila.

Laurent Desire Kabila, a disciple of Lumumba, had been a fierce opponent of Joseph Mobutu. He once lived with Che Guevara in the dense jungle of Congo plotting how to overthrow Joseph Mobutu; but this time: he was to lead a coalition known as the Alliance des Forces Democratiques pour la Liberation du Congo-Zaire (AFDL) made up Rwandan, Ugandan, Burundian, Chadian, Eritrea and Angolan troops as well as Congolese Tutsi and anti-Mobutu groups to overthrow Joseph Mobutu.

By May 1997, after only seven months of fighting, the coalition force reached Kinshasa, Zaire’s capital city. Laurent Kabila, from Lubumbashi, the second city in Congo, declared himself president; and gave the country it’s real name back By May 1997, after only seven months of fighting, the coalition force reached Kinshasa, Zaire’s capital city. Laurent Kabila, from Lubumbashi, the second city in Congo, declared himself president; and gave the country its real name back “The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)”. The honeymoon, however, did not last long. Laurent Desire Kabila’s relationship with West as well as his with Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni soon deteriorated. The US desired to see Kabila’s government include personalities from outside his own alliance, one of which was Etienne Tshisekedy, the only prominent opposition politician and leader of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS).

The U.S. State Department’s spokesman, Nicholas Burns, was quoted as saying that the U.S. ambassador to Kinshasa, Daniel Simpson, has started extensive talks with Kabila’s chief advisors Diofrasia Bovira and Paul Kayungo, urging them to pave the way and establish contact with Etienne Tshisekedi. Laurent Kabila, however, had a different plan: Etienne Thisekedy, he claimed, was an American agent. He refused to meet with him; and rushed into forming a presidential government akin to the American system, i.e. without a Prime Minister, thus snubbing Etienne Tshisekedi, in which key cabinet posts and the new Congo army and security forces were staffed at the highest levels by Paul Kagame’s closest friends and families and banned political activities and demonstrations in the country; and announced that elections, a key demand of many Western nations, will not be held for at least two years.

The moved angered the US, UN and Europe. In addition to this, the coalition forces, while on their way to Kinshasa, had wreaked terrible vengeance on the Rwandan Hutu exiles encamped since 1994 in eastern Zaire: hundreds of thousands of Hutu civilian, among them militia responsible for the 1994 genocide, and villagers had been massacred and raped. Laurent Desire Kabila, being the leader of the coalition, was called upon to answer allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and violations of humanitarian laws by the UN and Human rights groups. Much of the atrocities were carried out by Paul Kagame’s Rwandan army; and fearing that investigation by the UN Human rights team and human rights groups would destroy Rwanda’s image as a country that recovered from genocide to become one of Central Africa’s most benign and stable regimes, Paul Kagame pressured Laurent Desire Kabila to stonewall all investigations. But after, relentless (Western) media attacks and growing calls from human rights groups that the massacred of Hutus refugee and villagers be fully investigated; and the perpetrators be identified, named, shamed and punished, Laurent Kabila cryptically responded: claiming that he had no blood in his hands; and hinted that the atrocities and violations were committed by troops beyond his control; and stated that countries and international groups, including groups in the name of sending humanitarian assistance, were responsible and to blame for the massacred and violations.

The move, in the international arena tarnished and severely discredited Laurent Kabila; in the regional level the claim had severely strained his relationship with Paul Kagame and Yowweri Museveni as the claim was seen as pointing fingers directly at them; at home, with the overbearing presence of Rwandan and Ugandan military and civilian advisors in Congo, made him look like a puppet to his own people: a feeling Etienne Tshisekedy had soon capitalized on as he lashed out at Laurent Kabila claiming that he was held hostage by foreigners. Kabila later fell out with Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni: accusing Rwandan and Ugandan troops in eastern Congo of stockpiling Congo,s diamond, gold, coltan and coffee; and ordered them out of Congo. Less than a week later, on August 2, 1998, the dismissed Ugandan and Rwandan troops, under the pretext of the enemy of my enemy is my friend, regrouped, and allied with President Mobutu’s military disciples and launched a bloody military offensive to overthrow Laurent Kabila, who, similarly under the same pretext of the enemy of my enemy is my friend, realigned with local anti-Kagame armed groups and other regional forces to fight what they perceived as Tutsis hegemony in the Great Lack region.

This turned the Congo into huge battlefields, which, at some points, involved nine foreign nations -Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Angola, Namibia, Chad, Sudan, Libya and Zimbabwe, as well as dozens of militia groups and private armies fighting spontaneous wars that goes on to this day despite of several UN Security Council Resolutions, Peace Treaties and amnesties; the largest UN Peace-keeping force in the world -17, 000; and shaky, much-violated, U.S., EU and UN-sponsored and backed cease-fire. The biggest single factor behind the continuing mass killings and human rights violation, according to the UN, is looting Congo’s rich abundant natural resources, particularly Coltan. And behind the fighting are two principle actors: Rwanda and Uganda government, in alliance with certain Congolese armed political groups. Together these alliances have actively continued to fuel inter-ethnic conflicts by using the treat of their own security to justify their military intervention and the control of Congo’s richly diverse mineral areas.

As a result, Congo, specially the eastern and northern regions, has been transformed into hotbeds of barbaric atrocities. No rule of law seems to exist and life has lost its basic value. Eastern Congo has been left at the mercy of tyrannical administration of warlords; and transformed it into what can only be termed as concentration camps: nothing but terror, mass human rights abuses, extreme sexual atrocities, ethnically motivated persecution and systematic massacres of innocent civilians reign.

Unable to be protected by the Kinshasa government and abandoned by the international community, those still trapped in these concentration camps have no hope: they are all awaiting the final solution: If lucky he or she will be shot dead, if not, he or she will endure a slow painful death depending upon the mood of his or her killers, some are set ablaze or hacked and chopped off; whilst women and young girls are subjected to orchestrated campaign of mutilation and rapes that go beyond the mere meaning of rapes. This is the Congo: sinking in a river of blood without a whiff of complaint from the superpower. Only heaven knows if the value of life of Africans is the same as that of citizen of other nations.

Posted in African HistoryComments (0)

Hoodies Raid Derby Store

CASH was stolen from a till when three men wearing hooded tops raided a Derby shop.

The shop assistant at the Afro-Caribbean food and fish store, in Upper Dale Road, was pushed out of the way by one of the thieves while another snatched money from the till and the third stood by and watched.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident which happened between 5pm and 5.30pm yesterday (17).

Anyone with information is asked to call Derbyshire police on 0345 1233333.

Posted in African History, Caribbean HistoryComments (0)

LOCK UP – Short story (Contains Adult Language)

Lock up



Im nineteen years of age. Im standing in the dock. There a Judge. A right snooty f***. Hes staring at
me. Got a twinkle in his eye. And for all I know, hes as bent as a nine Bob note, and wearing ladies knickers and push-up bra in the bargain. Or hes one of the old school. Fancies a tipple. Got a flask of Johnny Walker concealed under his gown.

So the Judge squints at me and says:

Have you anything to say before I pass sentence?

Yes your honour. Ive gone. Ive got plenty.

I snatch out my notes. I start to read. Im getting worked up. I cant find my place. I hear someone cough. I stand to attention. Clasp my hands behind my back. I raise my chin. I open my mouth…And out comes the old legal banter:

In conclusion, I say…Number one. It werent me. Number two. Ive never even met the feller. Number three. The police are all liars. And number four. Well, (I cough) nuff said your honour.

So the Judge looks me up and down and says in a voice that makes him sound like hes got a turd shoved up each nostril:

Murder is a very serious crime. You have destroyed a human life. For this you must be punished. The police have testified they saw you with a gun. We are all architects of our own destiny. The fact that you claim not to have fired the weapon does not preclude you from guilt. You are a known criminal, and a menace to society…20 years!

The first night I stuff my head in a pillow and cry myself to sleep. Im nineteen years old. I wont be going home until Im nearly forty. The walls are caving in on me. Theres barely room to swing a cat. Im getting claustrophobic. Every second in my cell is making me ill. I break out in hives. My skin feels all prickly. My face is hot, and my shoulders, and arms, and legs are drenched in sweat.

In the middle of the night I hear my cellmate moaning in his sleep:

“Barbra, my lovely Barbra”, he says.

The bunk above my own begins to shake. Were all alone. The doors are bolted shut and no one cares. Im innocent, completely innocent…I might have done a lot of things, but Id never harm another living soul. Suddenly it all gets too much for me. I get an awful feeling. I spring out of bed, and vomit everywhere.

I wipe up the mess and climb back into bed. I lie there and stare at the bunk above me. I look around the four dirty walls. I looked at the tattered pictures and the faded Playboy posters. I wriggle about, and try to stop my body shivering from the cold. Im a nineteen-year-old kid. Im doing a twenty-year stretch for a murder I didnt commit.

In jail Im mostly scared. I try and stay out of everyones way. Its not the first time Id been in trouble. But it is the first time Ive been in stir. Its the first time Ive been separated from my parents. And its the first time in my life Ive felt so utterly alone.

Theres fights erupting over nothing. Twenty-three hour lock up. Horrible shitty smells. Horrible cramped living conditions. Nosh you wouldnt torment a rabid dog with and the fear of being grabbed in the showers, by a nonce the size of an Olympic shot putter.

There are all sorts of nasty blokes on my wing. But out of the blue I get a nice surprise. Im sweeping up the floor, when who should I bump into but the terrible twosome. Ive known the pair of em for years. We grew up on a council estate in South East London. Moochie’s the tall one and Errols his light skin friend.

The first time I got nicked was with these boys. We were using stolen credit cards in a tailors shop in Savile Row. We were getting kitted up for Errols sisters wedding. Moochie and Errol did 6 months, and I got a suspended sentence. I was 8 days shy of my eighteenth birthday.

Its my second month inside and things are looking up. I get a pile of letters from my mum and dad. Im scared, but at least I have my mates around me. If anyone tries to strong it, as they sometimes do, a word to my spars and my problem is solved. Unfortunately for me this cushy number doesnt last. Moochie gets parole. And a shortly afterwards, Errol gets ghosted to an open nick. So all in all Im buggered. Im left on my own. And thats when my troubles begin.

What I remember…the two of them bearing down on me. The skinny white bloke, laughing, and spitting in my face. Then calling me a dirty queer bastard. Telling me hes gonna make my life a misery, now that my bodyguards have chipped. Give me such a god almighty kick-in, that Ill shit my pants, and bawl like a kid. Then his mucky little partner opening his fly, taking out this cock and telling me to hurry up and suck him good and proper. And when I refuse the smaller one getting me in a headlock, while his mate grabs my arm and tries to rip it off.

2 months later

So theyre standing on the wing. Paddy tells me where to find em. Its the tall skinny one with the tattoos I want the most. Hes the one that broke my arm. The little midgets just his stupid sidekick.

Im that scared I can barely stop myself from toppling over. I clench my fist again and a sharp stabbing pain shots up and down my arm. My bones still ache from where they did the damage. The skinny one twisted my elbow back like he was trying to literally dislodge it from the socket.

Its three weeks since by arms been out of plaster. Ive been calmly and patiently biding my time. Ive been lying on my bed trawling through the possibilities. Ive been planning how to get the dirty bastards back.

So Im running towards them. I smash my fist into the little ones face. I hear a crunch and his nose splits apart. His eyes go all droopy. He slips backwards and cracks his skull against the metal rails. Blood spurts everywhere. People are running to get out of the way. He curls up in a ball. He rolls about moaning. Hes paws at his face, and screams out in pain.

Three months ago, I could never have been that ferocious. But being locked up for twenty-three hours has focused my mind. Im obsessed with my own self-preservation. From now on its survival of the fittest. Its the law of the jungle, kill or be killed. Were in prison and theres no one to protect us. Theres no place to hide. And nowhere to run.

I look up and see the tall skinny one looking back at me. Before I can move hes up on his toes. Hes moving fast along the landing. Somebody shouts that one of the screws is coming our way. Meanwhile this 18 stone con called Big Nigel steps outside his door and inadvertently blocks the landing. Big Nigels got one of his famous jigsaw puzzles spread out on a plastic tray. So the skinny one has to stop. Hes forced to turn round and face me.

“Piss off you c**t”, he says. “You aint got the bottle”.

Hes standing with his fist bunched up, and I can see by the haunted look in his eyes that hes buzzing on gear.

My knees start to wobble, and in my heart I know hes right; I aint got the bottle. Im a small time crook. Ive never been one for senseless violence. Id rather blag my way out of trouble, than stick a prison shiv in anybodies back. But as usual people are watching. If I dont do him, Im done for. Soon or later every c**t in the nick ll be having a pop.

So I clench my fist again. A shooting pain runs all along my elbow. Im standing there. I actually feel physically sick. Im terrified but theres no way out of it. Its him or me. I run towards him and as he swings at my face, I duck and throw the hardest punch Ive ever thrown in my life. Its the punch Ive been practising in my cell for the past three weeks. And even before he reacts I know Ive broken his jaw.

Big Nigels starts squealing, and one of the other prisoners, a black guy name Foxy, guides him back to his cell.

The skinny geezers head rolls to one side. He lets out a wail that rises up from the back of his throat. He drops to floor and one of his teeth slides along the landing. Hes lying with blood and saliva trickling out of his mouth.

For a second I wonder if hes dead. Then I hear one of the older cons shout, do the bastard. So I smash him in the face with my shaking fist. And now my hands are covered in blood, my hearts pounding and Im going berserk. Im venting my anger against all the Judges, and all the lawyers, all the police and all the screws and all the cunts that locked me away for 20 years. I stomp on his face and watch his body twists and his legs fly up into the air. People are shouting that the screws are coming. Theyre yelling that Ill kill the poor bastard.

So what if I do? I scream back. After all, isnt that what everyone wants?

I stand there looking down at him and let the chunk of iron fall out of my hand. The second it hits the ground its whisked away from sight. Theres blood everywhere and the skinny geezers face is battered to a pulp. And then I hear the trample of heavy feet. Loads and loads of bodies and heavy feet. And the first screw in the mob fly kicks me to the ground. Then somebody else grabs, my arms, legs and my ankles. Somebody calls me a nasty evil bastard, and they lift me high and carrying me away.

I come back from the block a changed man. In the block Im alone and afraid. The air is stale. I can hardly breath. At times I feel alarmingly close to suffocation. The mattress I sleep on is smeared with come stains, dry shit and blood. The four walls are carved with inmates names. Im driven to despair and the guards play on my unstable emotions. They look through the spy-hole to see if Im awake. Only twenty-eight more days, they hiss. They flip up the cover and laugh out loud.

There are times when I revert to being a child. I scream and groan and beg to be let out. I scrap my nails along the wall and plead for mercy. There are times when I feel giddy with exhaustion. There are times when every muscle cramps inside my body, like hundreds of little bundles of stone. There are times when I dont feel quite human. There are times when I wonder if Im already dead.

I loose track of time, and for hours I focus on tiny spot on the wall above my head. For hours I attempt to run away to the land of dreams. For hours the only sounds I hear are jingle of the screws keys and the squeak of their rubber soles. Sometimes Im aware there are others around and I bang my bed against the floor. I call out, shout and scream and at last ,I am triumphant. I hear the desperate moans. I hear the rush of thuds. I hear the sound of muted screeching. And thank God, I know Im not alone.

Im miserable and desperate for any human contact. I dream that someone dropped the bomb and outside a dying world is slowly grinding to a halt. Im the last man alive. The final testimonyIm a pathetic wretched animal, in a damp barbaric cell.

Sometimes I think I was forgotten long ago. I anxiously wait for the familiar squeak of the rubber soles with bated breath. There are times when I wonder if I ever existed at all. There are fears I am afraid to contemplate crawling around like millions of ants inside my skull.

I remind myself that I have a family. I remember running through fields, climbing trees, and splashing through puddles as a kid. But for all I know thats just something I invented. For all I know Ive spent the last nineteen years dreaming my life, and now all of a sudden, I am awake.

Im afraid that I will die alone in my underground dudgeon. I sink my teeth into my arm and bit my flesh. I stab my thumb against my eye to remind myself that Im alive. I scratch the plastic knife across my arms because at least the pain tells me I can feel.

I find a spider in the corner of my cell. I watch its eight legs slowly crawl across the floor. I spend an hour talking to the spider. I tell the spider that Ill call him Jim. I hear the spider saying, “Call me anything you like mate”. I jump to my feet and pull out my hair. I let out a scream and gouge my eyeballs. I wring my hands and crack my head against the wall. I slide to the floor and hide my face. I lay their sobbing terrified. Ive finally reached the moment of reckoning. Ive actually gone out of my mind…But I survive, and now Im back on the wing, and there are lots of people glad to see me.

Im not a hardened druggie, but I have my vices like every one else. Like a lot of the guys, I smoke cannabis to pass the time. I lie on my bed for hours and travel to a world of my mind. I reach into the vaults of my memory. I think of girls I have known. I think of my family and my friends. I pray that God will help me. I spend beautiful hours dreaming I am free. I dream I go to college and get myself a proper job. I close my eyes and clenched my teeth, and suddenly the anger and frustration bubbles up inside me.

I smoke because sometimes I get so angry and so depressed I want to hurt someone. I smoke because at least it makes me happy for a while. There are days when I imagine I hear voices. I become convinced that people are out to get me. I make secret plans to murder them one by one. I walk about the wing, muttering to myself, ready to pounce and unleash my fury. Then association is over, I curse and I shuffle back to my cell.

Almost three years into my sentence and I meet a prisoner called Mr K. Mr Ks a right character and we wind up being cellmates. After 4 years and nine months my old cellmate Clive is given Parole. All and all, Clive turns out to be a stand up geezer. We fall about laughing talking about the old days. And afterwards, he sits there almost crying. He clutches hold of his bible, and swears and he wont be coming back.

I show Mr K the ropes and in return for watching his back he agrees to get his lawyer to look into my case. Since the fight with the skinny geezer, no one gives me grief. Ive now got friends. But Ive also got 20 yrs inside a tiny stone and metal box. If I ever get out of the nick, I promise myself a life worth living.

At night Mr K and me share a joint together. Mr K tells me he hasnt smoked a joint in 20 years. Instead he confesses slyly,

“I drinks Champagne and do a little coke from time to time.”

Without meaning to he has reminded me of my twenty-year sentence. Fortunately Im now a hardened man. Still, as tough as I am, Im only human. I stare at the picture on the wall of my family and chuckle sweetly to mask the pain.

Mr K and me are sitting on our respective beds giggling like schoolboys. Im on the top bunk and Mr K is on the bottom. It is around eight oclock at night. Mr K opens his wallet, holds it out and shows me a picture.

“What dyou reckon”? he says.

“Very nice…bit young for you aint she”? I say.

“Cheeky fucker. Id do anything in the world for that girl”, he says holding the picture up to the light.

There is a moment of silence, during which time I suspect that Mr K is reminiscing. I think about myself, and I realise that I have no one waiting for me at home. The last girlfriend I had was almost three years ago. Though I dream of girls nightly, they exist as only fantasies to filled the sexual void. My ex-girlfriend gave up on me long ago. Thats not to say I blame herI sometimes feel sad because, I cannot say that I have a special person. Someone that I could love. Someone that would love me back.

Sometimes I daydream about porno stars. I focus on perfect steamy bodies. Im a red hot blood male so of course its only natural. But Im always amazed when I see a gorgeous pair of tits. They are such a visual part of a womans anatomy. I try to see each girl as an individual, though in truth, there is little to distinguish one of my phantom girl friends from the next. But the girls play an important part in making me feel manly. But like all the good things inside my head they dont last.

Long you got left? I say.

I sometimes ask this question and imagine that Im the person giving the answer.

“Four monthsYou”? says Mr K.

“Seventeen years, four months”, I say.

“Im Sorry”.

“Salright…Fuck it”. I shrug my shoulders the way I always do.

“Whens youre next appeal date”? says Mr K.

“Not for another couple of years”.

“From what youre told me it dont take a genius to see youre innocent.”

“Yeah, well”…Fuckem.

“So Linvall, whats the first thing youre gonna do if when you get out”?

“Sit in my own kharzie and take a shit without being watched. Then visit that big gaff youve got in Kensington, and rob the place”.

Mr K likes my humour and we both crack up. Mr K stops laughing before I do. His tone becomes deadly serious, which catches me off guard.

“No seriously, what you gonna do”? he says.

“I am being serious”, I say lowering my head over the side of my bunk.

For a long time now I have taught myself not to get too hung up on my future. I feel cheated by life and cheated by the law. But fortunately Im no longer that kid I was three years ago. Im no longer nineteen and wet behind the ears. Im older and wiser. I wont weep or crawl for anyone. I dont want pity. All I want is to be treated like a human being. I want dignity and respect like any normal man.

“Really”? says Mr K. His voice goes quiet. I can tell that he is unsure whether Im joking or not. He wants to believe that Im just being flippant. Its hard, because despite what he knows of my particular circumstances, Im still a prisoner serving twenty-years for murder.

“Nah”…I say still trying to stay on the up and up. “Get married have a coupla kids, stay out of trouble”, I add.

“You gonna go straight”? says Mr K. He sounds relieved.

Im looking up at the ceiling and I dont know what to say. Its a very odd question…What exactly does he mean by going straight? To be perfectly honest, Im not sure myself. Ive been in prison for almost 3 years and in order to survive Ive had to play dirty. Ive seen more drugs and violence in here than I ever saw on the outside. Im constantly looking over my shoulder. Arguments are frequently settled in the most brutal and primitive fashion. Im surrounded by: murderers, rapists, robbers and other colourful sorts. I have spent so many years in the company of criminals that violence and extortion are practically the norm.

I dont expect the world to welcome me back with open arms. Ive spoken to enough cons to know that wont happen. Im lucky in the respect that Im reasonable educated. Unlike some other cons I am able to read and write. I went to school with great ambitions, but somehow for reasons I cant explain, I ended up a thief. The only thing I will know with certainty after my release is how to rob and beat a man to death with out letting it affect my conscious. In some respects Im more of a criminal than I ever was. At least in my thinking. And as my cellmate Clive once told me. “One mans crime is another mans necessity”. So to me, the idea of going straight seems slightly ludicrous.

“Yeah give it a go…why not”? I say grinning, because I wonder if Im conning myself.

“Listen, the day you get out, come see me Ill give you a job”, says Mr K.

“Thanks Mr K”, I say. “But by the time I get out of here Ill be ready to retire”.

We smoke the rest of the joint and I spend the night dreaming about a school trip to the Arc DTriumph. In my dream I speak French though the only words I recall on my awakening are Bonjour and Garcon.

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Omar Al- Bashir Charged-Who

Omar Ali Bashir

Omar Ali Bashir

The International criminal court (ICC) up until recently was labelled a white elephant costing millions of US Dollars annually and failing to yielding any tangible results.

The ICC gained respectability in 1999; when Slobodan Milosevic was indicted and convicting for atrocities against Serbian forces in Kosovo. In 2003 a vocal and boisterous court; in its ambitious move to date, captured Charles Taylor charging him with crimes against people of Sierra Leone. Taylor’s rebel group captured and drugged children; who in turn chopped of the arm and limbs of innocent citizens during a 10 year brutal war.

The ICC with momentum has gone one step further since its formation. The Charging of Omar Al- Bashir a sitting president of Sudan; with crimes against humanity and violation against the people of Darfur. Claims of ethnic cleansing and State sponsored militia, resulted in the death, rape and murder of thousands of people.

The Arab League and the African Union had earlier requested that Omar Al- Bashir arrest warrant be suspended. Both institutions were fearful of knee-jerk reactions and reprisals against Aid agencies and the people of Darfur.

Omar Al- Bashir will receive ample support from Russia and China on this issue. In a symbolic gesture they will try to table an amendment to the charges or a delay to the proceedings at the United Nations Security Council. Bashir is unlikely to attract similar sentiment from the Western Nations whom would more than likely veto any such proposals.

Read more on the  “Africa Speaks”  Website >>

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The Rwandan Genocide: Why it happened

Rwandan Victims of Genocide

Rwandan Victims of Genocide

Rwandan Genocide: Why it happened and Why it shouldn’t have happen The year 2004 marked the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide in which 1,000,000 Rwandans were slaughtered over the course of 100 days, although some officials reported a span of 8 weeks. The memorial was shortly followed by quaint revelations from European and American governments who freely admitted to having being able to prevent the slaughter, but for their own obtuse reasons, which they never directly answer to anyway-did not act.

Official estimate now is that it would have taken as few as 5,000 ground troops-presumably from the UN-to prevent the bloodbath. An issue that is even more provoking, but lacks public dialogue, is how the events that lead to the genocide was a direct product of European capitalism, colonialism, slavery, exploitation and the racist ideology that was deliberately developed to justify it.

The ‘age-old tribal and ethnic hostilities’ lie was perpetuated to deflect blame from where it belongs, when infact prior to 1959, there are no records of systematic violence against one group or the other. The colonial created national myth of Rwanda is that the Tutsis and the Hutu are two groups who came from elsewhere on the African continent. This myth has it that the Twa (pygmy) people are the original inhabitants, and that the Hutus came from the Bantu people of the South and the West, while the Tutsis are Nilotic people from the North. Although both groups are African in any sense, in racial terms, this means that the Hutus are “Black Africans” and the Tutsis are of Ethiopian stock, with lighter skin, narrower noses and ‘better’ hair (undoubtedly meaning it was less kinky/coarse). Be that as it may, before the European Colonials arrived, this petty difference did not matter much for the two groups lived together, spoke the same language, shared the same religion, shared power and married each other-meaning that before colonialism and the ushering of racial categories for Africans, the Hutu and the Tutsis were already mixed with each other-indeed by the time the first European arrived in Rwanda in the end of the 19th century, it would have been easy to assume a person who was Hutu to be Tutsis, and a Tutsis to be Hutu. The Tutsis were the herders while the Hutus were the cultivators, because cattle are highly valued, the Tutsis had become economic and political elites.

The title ‘Hutu’ then took on social-economic connotations, becoming a trans-ethnic identity associated with subjugation, not ethnicity. Infact, one could Kwihutura, or shed hutuness by accumulating wealth and rising through the social hierarchy. (Wikipedia.com) This petty difference went through an intense social stratification in the mid-1800’s as the European superpowers scrambled for Africa, converting the continent into the energy source which would be used to power that enormous machine called European Capitalism (and it’s Euro-America(n) relative).

Rwanda was porous and ethnicity was not the only factor that designated ones social status and social power, until the Germans then later the Belgians. The end of the 19th century marked the arrival of Europeans explorers and would-be colonialist in Rwanda, who rationalized what they saw as best as they could-forming a picture of a stately race of warrior kings surrounded by herds of cattle and what could only be described through their lenses of ‘scientific racism’ as a subordinate people-thus they saw exactly what they wanted to see. Of course, as it was/is rationalized everywhere Europeans encountered mulit-hued populations of various physical phenotypes, the Africans resembling themselves were considered superior while the ones with visible and discernable physical differences (typically the darkest of skinned peoples) would be relegated to the bottom of the evolutionary ladder in every colonized African country. Accordingly, the Tutsis fell in place to be cultivated and nurtured as the ‘pet Africans’ serving as the bureaucratic and security ranks of the colonial government, a successful divide and conquer strategy for the colonial rulers. Rwanda was first a German colony. Tutsis leaders were enlisted as collaborators and rewarded with patronage from the then colonist.

The Colonial powers made the Hutu the slaves, and put the Tutsis in leadership positions to be the ‘over-seers’. Rwanda was well polarized by the time the Belgians took over after World War l, who sent armies of missionaries to Christianize the country, with scientists who would weight the brains and noses of the Hutus and Tutsis, and put the results through comparative analysis further polarizing the Hutu’s and the Tutsis, and just as they surmised, the Tutsis were more ‘noble’ and ‘aristocratic’ than the Hutus who were considered ‘coarse’ and bestial’. It was with the collaboration of the Catholic Church that the Belgians would reconstruct Rwanda along racial lines, and by the 1930’s after conducting a census the best they could, they then issued ethnic identity cards. Catholic schools in turn educated Tutsis exclusively indoctrinating every school child with the notion of racial superiority.

After the holocaust and pressure from the UN for independence, a new European rhetoric of ‘equality’ came ushering in with a wave of Belgian priest preaching Hutu ‘empowerment’ as a preparation for Rwandan independence. Of course, it was never about ‘equality’, it was and always was about power and ultimately retribution. By the time independence was granted to Rwanda by the Belgians, the damage was done, and sores were freshly open as the Hutu majority was given sole political power after the ‘Rwandan Revolution’. There were countless programs against the Tutsis put in place from then on leading up to the Genocide. And from then on, the condition of the Tutsis was constantly up and down depending on the particular Hutu leader in power. After the Cold War, all bets were off and done for, and the West no more had an ‘interest’ in Africa. All the ‘pet’ leaders were left to their own devices as the plug was pulled, and various leaders inherited (from their colonial rulers no doubt) the social, economic and political fallout resulting from 500 years of European colonialism, and slavery.

The end result unfolded in April of 1994 when the political will of the West to intervene-send a mere 5000 troops-to prevent a monstrous genocide from happening. They didn’t care, and they didn’t need too since their national ‘interest’ had left Africa. The Rwandan Genocide stands out as significant, not only because of the sheer number of people massacred in such a short period of time, but also because of United Nations’s (UN) inadequate response. Despite intelligence provided before the killing began, and international news media coverage of the true scale of violence as the genocide unfolded, most first-world countries including France, Belgium (which held Rwanda as a colony after World War I), and the United States declined to intervene or speak out against the planned massacres. Race and History.com It is time the world woke up to the truth about the war in central Africa and the events of April through July of 1994. These events parallel the attacks on Yugoslavia and the accusations of genocide against the Serbs and other Slavs.

Moreover, these events had the same objectives, used the same strategies and tactics and were planned and controlled by the same Great Powers. Their lust for control of the world knows no bounds. They are willing to murder millions so they can make billions. In the West we are told that this tragedy involved genocide by Hutus against Tutsis and that the U.S. and other Western powers sinned by failing to intervene. Many people, including some on the Left, denounced the supposed Western failure to intervene, arguing that it demonstrates indifference to the suffering of Black Africans.

The lies and propaganda against the Hutus, condemned as “genocidaires,” whose only crime was to defend their small country against a foreign invasion by Tutsis from outside Rwanda with the backing of the United States, Britain, Belgium, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the United Nations itself.

This invasion had the objective of restoring the tyranny of minority Tutsi rule while reducing the majority Hutu people to serfdom and a life of terror and that was supported by the great powers in order to take control of all of central Africa and its vast and incalculable resources. The propaganda against the Hutus is racist to the core and is generated by the Tutsi claim to be a superior race, more white than the “primitive” Hutus, a Bantu people, and it fits nicely with the racist attitudes of the Americans, British and Belgians who took part in the invasion and helped murder the Presidents of both Rwanda and Burundi on April 6, 1994 The Truth Turned Upside Down The violence started with a series of raids against Hutus in Rwanda, conducted by the so-called Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a U.S.-sponsored, Tutsi paramilitary organization. These raids occurred during the period 1990-1993. The raids were repelled; even so, they gave the RPF valuable information about the government’s capacity to defend Rwanda. Based on this information, the U.S.-backed forces successfully invaded northern Rwanda in 1993, driving a million people from their homes. This massive campaign of terror, directed against civilians, is never mentioned in the Western media.

The second stage of violence was launched on April 6, 1994. At that time, the invading Tutsi RPF shot down the airplane carrying the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, both Hutus. The main victims of the widespread fighting that followed were Hutus and moderate Tutsis. The western-backed Tutsi invaders of Rwanda murdered between one and a half and two million Hutus in the four months between April 6 and July 4, 1994 and have murdered more than two million more since then by attacking Hutu refugees in the Congo.

It is a tragedy made more macabre by the Tutsi claim that their Hutu victims were really Tutsis, a claim they use to justify their dictatorial stranglehold on the people of that beautiful country by portraying themselves as the victims. This macabre reversal of the truth is supported by various intellectuals, NGOs and western governments who easily fall into the racist trap of believing the lies of the Tutsi regime in Rwanda, and the lies of the Americans who, while actively involved in the murder of millions, claim to have had no involvement and to add insult to injury, ‘admit’ the lie that they were negligent in not taking steps to stop the war and the killing when in fact they were the sponsors.

The Rwandan genocide of 1994 was one of the defining events of the twentieth century. It ended the illusion that the evil of genocide had been eradicated and spurred renewed commitment to halting genocides in the future-hopefully.

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