Monday, May 27, 2013

Black European victims who became symbols in fight against racism

From left to right, Kerwin Duinmijer (Netherlands), Stephan Lawrence (UK), Alberto Adriano (Germany)
Racially motivated crimes against black people and people of colour in Europe is still a problem. Some of these incidents briefly make the headlines and cause a public out cry, but often these incidents are not even documented as racist violence. But in some cases victims of racist violence become symbols in the fight against racism.

Kerwin Duinmeijer
In The Netherlands in 1983 15-year old Kerwin Duinmijer was stabbed in by a 16-year-old Dutch skinhead and died of his injury because a taxi-driver didn't want to take him to the hospital. The taxi-driver didn't want blood stains in his taxi. Kerwin, who was born in the Dutch Antillean, died on 22th August 1983. His killer was a skinhead, who's father was a Jewish holocaust survivor. His killer was convicted of the murder, but according to the judge there was not enough evidence to define and see it as an act of racism. He was involuntarily committed in an institution for minors. He was released in 1988. He committed suicide in January 2012.  Kerwin Duinmeyer is commemorated each year in the Vondelpark in Amsterdam by the foundation "Vrienden van Kerwin Duinmijer"

The video shows anti-racism demonstration in the Netherlands, the first demonstration in the film is one in 1983 for Kerwin Duinmijer

Stephen Lawrence
In the UK 18 year old black British teenager Stephen Lawrence was murdered in a racist attack while waiting for a bus on the evening of 22 April 1993 in London.  In 2010 the case was described as being "one of the highest-profile unsolved racially-motivated murders. A report concluded, "that the Metropolitan police had failed in their basic duty to investigate until they could investigate no more because the Met was blighted by institutional racism". As a result his killers were convicted 9 years later and were sentenced on 4 January 2012 to detention at Her Majesty's Pleasure, equivalent to a life sentence for an adult,with minimum terms of 15 years 2 months and 14 years 3 months respectively.  Lawrence is commemorated annually in London. Four years ago The Stephen Lawrence Centre was founded in his name.

Also see Group lists 96 'racist killings' since Lawrence
Documentary of Stephen Lawrence

Alberto Adriano
In Germany Mozambican Alberto Adriano is also commemorated annually. Adriano was brutally murdered by three drunken neo-Nazis in the evening of 11th June 2000 in the Eastern German city of Dessau. His killers were convicted of the murder. The oldest killer received life imprisonment, the others received nine years imprisonment because they were juveniles at the time the crime. The Afro-German music collective Brothers Keepers made the commemoration song "Adriano (Letzte Warnung)" ("Adriano Final warning").

Commemoration of Alberto Adriano in Dessau Germany in 2012. In the video many German officials from the State Govermenment and a friend of Alberto Adriano, who delivers a speech.

Toyosi Shittabey
In the Republic of Ireland the 15 year teenager Toyosi Shittabey was stabbed to death in a racially motivated attack on 2nd April  2010 in Dublin. Toyosi moved from Nigeria to the Irish Republic with his family 11 years ago. One of the attackers (40) who was due to stand trial for the murder of Toyosi Shittabey committed suicide one day before the trial. The other attacker (26), his brother, was acquitted of the murder because his brother inflicted the stab wound on Toyosi.

Also see a partial list here.


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