Mass rally in Croydon South-east London calls for an end to horizontal violence in memory of 16 year old Wesley “Solem” Sterling

On Saturday, May 1st, 2010, the people of Croydon saw a magnificent mobilization of the African community. 

The march had in excess of one-hundred participants, starting with an assembly at Croydon Sports Arena and ending with an assembly at the green area next to Croydon College.

Mainly made up of black people of all ages but, also, had participation from white and Asian people, the march received great support from onlookers in the neighborhood standing on the roadside and in their cars, who clapped, cheered, and tooted their horns in solidarity.

It was a testament to the immense power that the African working class have when mobilized in their own interest. 

The mobilization was organized in response to the ongoing problem of horizontal violence (This is when African colonial subjects inflict violence on other colonial subjects. This problem, we define as horizontal violence, a condition imposed by our oppressors and is prevalent among colonial people all over the world, and is solved only when revolutionary consciousness is achieved through the struggle for black power) in the Croydon area, which claimed the life of it’s most recent victim, Wesley Sterling. 

Wesley, also known as “Solem” to his friends, was stabbed directly in the heart in the early hours of Sunday, April 18th at a party that was taking place at the Croydon Sports Arena. 

Immediately after the tragic death of Wesley, the Police and white media set about it’s all too familiar efforts to criminalize the victim. 

The Daily Mail in its report, dated Monday 19th April, on the incident, incorrectly, stated that “Police believe Wesley was one of a six-strong gang of youths who tried to gatecrash the birthday party earlier on Saturday evening.” 

Actually, Wesley had been an invited guest at the birthday party as was reported the same day in The Mirror.

As is often the case during election season, local councilor candidates, from at least two of the main imperialist parties, turned up with their ribbons and fliers doing their best to canvas for votes. 

The young people at the event were not impressed by this obvious opportunism and did not hide the fact, as friend of Wesley, Tope Phillips made clear in addressing the crowd at the end of the march by stating “We are glad that the politicians are here, and I hope you’re not just here to win votes for your campaign”, he also said “I don’t really care which of you wins, you have to do something about this problem.”
Thanks to Sister Abigail, who got involved in promoting the event and informed the local APSP unit in London, organizers from the Uhuru Movement were on hand to offer their organizational experience in helping to fire up the march by helping march leader brother Andrew to adapt slogans such as “Stop the killing!  Let’s start building!” (directly referring to the need for self determination), encourage the participants to chant, control the pace and provide the much needed political education necessary to move beyond a memorial event to actually ending horizontal violence. 

Rally organizers and local residents, brother Andrew and Winston were pleased to have had the Uhuru Movement’s honesty and experience there. 

Many Africans rose to the challenge by assuming responsibility for stewarding roles, without even having to be asked. 

Two sisters who really stood out were Sister Freda, who jumped straight into action on the spur of the moment, having only heard about the rally two days prior at another event, and Sister Muut, who assumed the role of official photographer for the event and made sure the police new that the people were in control of the march and not the police. 

Although Wesley’s parents and sisters were still in too much distress to attend the event, the family was represented by aunts, cousins, and close family friends.  

One of the aunts, in particular, addressed the crowd, urging young people to start loving each other stating “Wesley is gone and he ain’t comin’ back no more, and another youth is gonna go to jail because of this, and their life gonna be ruined for nothing!”

Our oppressors promote colonialist violence amongst ourselves and only the African working class led revolution will solve this problem.

The imperialist state is incapable of dispensing justice to the young African charged in Wesley's death.  Africans alone have that right!

There will be a vigil at Croydon Sports Centre on Tuesday 4th May, which would have marked Wesley’s 17th birthday.  Keep a look out on for further updates in this case.

For anyone who wants to be involved in ending horizontal violence and the other symptoms imposed on the African community, as a result of our relationship with the parasitic state, should contact InPDUM London on 077 2306 7486 or e-mail  Stop the Killing!  Let’s Start Building!


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