Black Lives Matter UK and the United Family and Friends Campaign (UFFC) gathered in central London to march against the deaths and abuse of those in police custody in the UK.

Fighting for justice

The activist groups were joined by supporters as they called for an end to the deaths of people who are taken in by the authorities, immigration centres and psychiatric facilities.

The UFFC, who were established in 1997 and have been marching against this since 1999, commissioned a number of fake Home Office posters across London and Manchester in the lead up to today’s procession to gain awareness for the cause.

With the posters suggesting the police and immigration services have got away with the abuse and deaths of many in their custody, it was implied that the police officer featured in the poster was urging anyone reading it to not attend the demonstration.

Beginning their procession at midday in Trafalgar Square, UFFC and BLM UK ended their “silent procession” outside Downing Street with what they described as a “noisy” protest.

The rise of BLM UK

The increased knowledge of those who die at the hands of the police has been brought to the forefront in recent years through the movement in America. The deaths of African American citizens as a result of police interaction sparked a reaction in the UK, and earlier this year, BLM UK was formed and there were a number of protests in this country in support of those here and in America.

The history of the UFFC

According to the UFFC website, some of the campaigners’ goals are to see officers suspended until custody deaths are fully investigated, police forces to be held accountable for the communities they serve, and police officers to face criminal charges if they are found to be responsible for the death of someone in custody.

With this being the 18th year of the UFFC’s annual rally, the campaign which started off focusing on the disproportionate number of BAME people being killed in police custody, has now grown to include those of all races who have been affected by the problem.