Tuesday, 27 April 2010

A policeman killed Blair Peach

The Metropolitan Police have released documents admitting that one of their members killed New Zealand teacher Blair Peach at a demonstration in 1979 (Guardian report here). Will anyone notice or care, especially with most media attention on the election? Certainly Peach's family and friends will be relieved; the release of this material does not close the story.

The Met Police says it has changed but, if that's so, it hasn't changed enough. Their behaviour around the death of Ian Tomlinson last year shows they still have a culture of covering up wrongdoing by their own members.

It's ironic that Peach was killed on a demonstration against the National Front in the run-up to the 1979 general election. Anti-fascist demonstrators are still being pushed around by the police when we protest against the far-right. We will be pushed around by the police this Saturday 1 May in Aylesbury, no doubt, where the English Defence League are due to demonstrate and we would like to hold a counter-demonstration.

Back in 1979 my mum was a teacher; she was active in the National Union of Teachers. She wore a badge that said "Who killed Blair Peach?" Now we know the answer to that question, but we still have to conclude that "the police protect the fascists".

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