Mark Metcalf on the 2011 riots – and the Colin Roach Centre

Exceprt from an entry on Mark’s blog (well worth reading in full):

Last Saturday afternoon I took a stroll down Clarence Road in Hackney. Having travelled down from West Yorkshire we were en route into central London to show my three-year old son around the capital for the first time in his short life.

I have largely good memories of Clarence Road, it runs down the side of Pembury Estate and I worked on it for many years during the 1990s – even occasionally getting paid for my ‘co-ordinating’ efforts – at the Colin Roach Centre.

This was an unfunded radical centre that had originally opened after the council took away the funding at my workplace, the Hackney Trade Union Support Unit, and rather than see it close down it was merged with Hackney Community Defence Association [HCDA] that had been formed in 1988 to successfully oppose the criminal – including drug dealing – and brutal activities of the police. Prominent within HCDA was Celia Stubbs, the partner of Blair Peach who was killed by the police in Southall in 1979.

Colin was a young black man shot dead in Stoke Newington Police Station in January 1983, sparking a campaign that achieved much but has still failed to catch what most then and now believe are the cops who killed him. That’s the problem with cops who kill – they get away with it. In 1995 David Ewin, who wasn’t a nice man, was shot dead in Hammersmith. His wife, Sarah, a lovely woman and fresh with a little baby approached the centre to seek support. It’s a long story but for the first time ever a police officer was charged with murder in the execution of his duty. Patrick Hodgson was strange man; he’d been a firearms officer for many years and yet had failed to move up the ranks. […]

Mark has previously written on police spy Mark Cassidy’s infiltration of the Colin Roach Centre.

Mark is now living in West Yorkshire and writes for a number of publications including The Big Issue. His website is http://markwrite.co.uk/

There is other material on this site by Hackney Community Defence Association.

One thought on “Mark Metcalf on the 2011 riots – and the Colin Roach Centre

  1. Pingback: Roach Family Support Committee – Bulletin 3, 1983 | The Radical History of Hackney

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