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Injustice: A screening with Ken Fero

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This is the film that could not be killed. Despite police intimidation, Ken Fero’s award winning documentary Injustice became global news.

The film, just one of a number produced by Migrant Media, was first released in 2001; however, the screening, hosted by MMU’s Sociology Department in collaboration with the Northern Police Monitoring Project, was the first opportunity for many to see the film that has been banned in the United Kingdom. Injustice tells a story ignored by the country’s mainstream media. It is a story of deaths in police custody, the families those deaths leave behind, and their struggle for truth in the face of police harassment.

Powerful and painful in equal measure, Injustice did not make for easy viewing; however, films that make you change the way you view the world rarely do. The film highlights the long and arduous struggle the families of the deceased go through just to be heard, the institutional racism evident in the police force, and exposes the ineffectual and biased nature of the Police Complaints Authority.

At the Q and A after the screening I took the opportunity to ask Ken Fero what he felt us, as students, should be doing to promote the issues raised and how to campaign against the corruption and criminality of the police.

He responded “Just get involved, spread the message around. Forty years ago, if you said a police officer had lied about something, the courts wouldn’t believe you; if you talked about racism in the police, they wouldn’t believe you. Over the past forty years, because of the campaigns, there has been a change in the attitudes of the majority of people in this country. So talk about it, spread the word around, organise groups and support other people out there. What the state doesn’t want is for us to talk; what the state doesn’t want is for you to see this film. Spread the word, because the word is what they are trying to kill.”
Dr Waqas Tufail, Lecturer in Criminology at MMU, organised the event and believes the issues raised in the film are more important than ever. Waqas stated ‘These issues have now come to the fore, due to the long and hard fought campaigns of families and communities’, before adding ‘More and more students are seeing activism as a career choice.’ For anybody around the Manchester area looking to get involved in activism, the Northern Police Monitoring Project is a local campaigning and advocacy group aimed at monitoring and campaigning against police harassment, abuse and violence as well as offering support and advice for those that find themselves victims of mistreatment and brutality from the police. You can find the Northern Police Monitoring Project on Facebook and Twitter.

I would urge all students, not just those studying social sciences, to watch Injustice. The film, along with others made by Migrant Media is free to watch here.

So watch, listen, spread the word and join the fight for justice.

George is a third year MMU student studying Criminology & Sociology who aspires to become a writer. Torn between two cities, George spends half his time in Leeds, and half his time in Manchester. He is as northern as killing your brothers kestrel.
Follow him on Twitter.

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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