A Pan African Human Rights Organisation challenging the misrepresentation of African people, culture and history in the British media.
Wed 25 April 2007
African community rally in support of Wilberfest objection
Hundreds of African people attended Charing Cross Police Station to show solidarity with Toyin Agbetu from the Ligali organisation who may be charged for his non-violent objection at Westminster Abbey against the government’s on-going Wilberfarce.
On March 27th, Toyin Agbetu from the Ligali organisation represented the feelings of the African people in the community when he stood up during a commemorative service organised to facilitate the British government’s on-going Wilberfarce celebrations in 2007. Following his vocal non-violent expression of concern in the Abbey, several security guards, accompanied by Rev Nims Obunge, attempted to forcibly remove Toyin from the Abbey.
On leaving the Abbey, Toyin was later arrested under the Public Order Act and taken to Charing Cross Police station where he was held and questioned for over eight hours and bailed to return on Wednesday 25th April. Toyin attended the police station at 1pm this afternoon to find out whether the Public Order charges would be dropped or if he would be facing court, possibly on new charges under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act which the government introduced to prevent people protesting near Westminister without state permission. He was supported by hundreds of people from the African community who also attended the police station to show solidarity with the important and resounding message he expressed at the Abbey.
BBC fail to deliver crucial evidence
Emerging from the police station after barely 10 minutes with the detective handling the case, it was revealed that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have told the police that they are unable to proceed with the case whilst the BBC fails to provide the vital footage taken inside the Abbey to assist them with their investigation. Many are sceptical of this explanation and believe the BBC are assisteing the CPS in deliberately stalling the investigation in order to demoralise Toyin and discourage community support whilst gaining extra time to unearth archaic legislation in an attempt to justify prosecuting Toyin.
The four week delay in providing the information has led to criticism of the BBC who many believe are deliberately withholding the complete footage of the speech that Toyin delivered to Elizabeth II, Tony Blair and the congregation in attendance at the event. It has also been said that the BBC may be withholding the footage for fear of incriminating themselves as a result of their failure to report on the incident in the Abbey in its entirety. There were calls for the BBC to broadcast the what has been dubbed as ‘the missing three minutes’ after the corporation selectively censored the remonstration to ensure that the many valid points made by Toyin were omitted in their international and local news reports.
It remains to be seen as to whether the BBC will deliver the censured footage to the police in time for Toyin’s follow up appointment at Charing Cross Police Station on Wednesday 30th May at 1pm. Speaking outside the police station today, Toyin urged the community to continue and enhance our focus on the young people in our community. He called for a reinstatement of the Rites of Passage for young people in the community in order to instil and institutionalise a sense of a responsibility to community, family and ultimately themselves.
The hundreds of people who had gathered outside the police station then progressed to Downing Street via Trafalgar Square where the gathering culminated in libations, drumming and a remembrance call to the Ancestors.
Should the BBC comply with their legal obligation to provide the full and unedited version of Toyin’s expression of dissent at Westminster Abbey?
He was supported by hundreds of Africans who attended the police station to show solidarity with the important and resounding message he expressed at the Abbey.
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