1) crowbar, small metal cosh, whip handle, whip, brass handle.
2) US type truncheon, two knives.
3) wooden truncheon.
4) bayonets, swords, a cosh and Nazi memorabilia*.
OK, so that isn’t my shopping list. It is a list of items which were found during a search of the lockers (*and home) of four police officers of the Special Patrol Group who were named in connection with the killing of Blair Peach. None of them were ever charged or (as far as we know) reprimanded. Calls for a public enquiry at the time were rejected.
The investigation into the killing has never been released in full. 30 years later, The Friends of Blair Peach are still demanding that it be released.
The Institute of Race Relations has posted two very interesting articles during the anniversary:
– on the ensuing political struggles, memorials and calls to disband the SPG. Also the setting up of INQUEST, a group dedicated to “helping families get justice through the coroner’s courts – especially when someone has died in custody or at the hands of the police”
– about Blair Peach the man, which I think is an important way of rehumanising him, if that makes sense? All the column inches and lyrics tend to obscure the fact that he was a bloke, a teacher, someone’s friend, someone’s neighbour.
I’ve also been reading Tony Ward’s Death and Disorder, which was published by INQUEST in 1985. The pamphlet deals with the deaths of Blair Peach, Kevin Gately (who was killed during a demonstration against an NF meeting in Conway Hall in 1974) and Cynthia Jarrett (who was killed during a police raid on her home in Tottenham in 1985 – one of the contributory factors to the riots in Broadwater Farm). Death and Disorder is still available from INQUEST for two quid + p&p.
All this has reminded me that 20 years ago me and my friend Gerry trogged off to Southall for the 10 year anniversary march of Blair Peach’s death. I can’t remember much about the day, but I guess it shows I’m consistent.