No reliance on police

THE ACQUITTAL last week of John Rutter of taking part in the vicious attack on Quddus Ali 18 months ago has left campaigners for justice on the issue bitter and frustrated. They contrast the failure to bring any successful prosecutions in a case which left a young Asian on the point of death with the vigorous way the authorities are pursuing charges against the Tower Hamlets Nine - Asian youths arrested outside the hospital on the night following the Quddus Ali outrage who were themselves attacked by the police.

Rutter was originally charged with attempted murder, reduced to grievous bodily harm, before the crown prosecution service (CPS) eventually settled for affray. Yet the jury took only 45 minutes to find him not guilty. This was hardly surprising, as there appeared to be no evidence against him apart from a disputed ‘confession of involvement’ to a work colleague.

Naz Uddin of the Tower Hamlets Nine committee told me that the prosecution was “a bland effort to calm the community”, and called for support for the forthcoming picket of the CPS (details to be announced) to protest against the failure to bring to book the attackers of Quddus Ali.

Many community activists appear to believe that John Rutter must have been guilty and that the police and CPS are characterised by ‘institutionalised racism’ in failing to secure his conviction. They call for greater police accountability.

“If the police are not going to protect us, we will have to defend ourselves,” says Adil Rahman, also from the Tower Hamlets Nine committee.

Unaccountable and chauvinist the police undoubtedly are. But more importantly they are an arm of the state, dedicated to defending the very capitalism which fosters the deprivation of workers and drives them towards the vicious chauvinism and thuggery of the BNP.

We need our own workers defence corps to protect ourselves from both the fascists and the police.

Peter Manson