March for Rochelle Holness - 13.11.05
Over two hundred people marched in honour of the murdered teenager Rochelle Holness to raise the issue of the need for better youth protection and media coverage.
Was the media and government authorities response to Rochelle’s murder adequate?Click here to speak out and share your perspective on this article.
My daughter is somebody too and deserved just as much recognition and publicity. We as a family felt completely shut off.
Whilst the British government and media pats itself on the back for not being ‘as bad as the French’ they simultaneously ignore the fact that they are cultivating the exact same conditions that led to disaffected African youth in Paris finding a more direct method to articulate their political concerns. The makeup of this march was very similar to those participating in the riots in France. Over three quarters of the marchers were young African Britons.
They were angry that the horrific circumstances surrounding the murder of Rochelle Holness were marginalised by the national media, and that the government continues to suppress issues such as child safety and socio-economic inequality that are pertinent to the African British community.
The media and political parties are keen to portray young people as uninformed, apathetic, anti-social mobs who are totally obsessed by fashion, music and criminal activity. However, in areas of deprivation where dreams and aspirations are discouraged and often thwarted by the fallacy of opportunity, the opposite is often true. It is precisely because these young people have high aspirations, work hard and value education that they are increasingly frustrated by having to contend with a poor and sub-standard quality of life. Many of these young people are aware that this poverty of opportunity is intrinsically linked with their ethnicity.
On Sunday 13th November 2005, several hundred youths peaceful marched in the cold for three hours from Lewisham to Greenwich and back again to express their discontent at a government that denies there is a chronic problem with anti-African hate crime and a blinkered media that portrays all young African Britons as yobs. Typically the national media ignored their voices again, with neither the BBC nor any so-called ‘liberal’ newspaper covering the march. No doubt they will feign ignorance of the march or deem it ‘not quite important enough’ to cover this time. It is therefore more than understandable that some people resort to more attention grabbing means of getting their voices heard in this ‘democratic’ illusionist society.