LONDON — Like many areas across the UK that have a large black population, the community of Willesden in the Borough of Brent is in a constant state of police containment.
Even though the metropolitan police and white media in this country most often choose to justify this military occupation in the area through their constant slander of African youth as being gun toting and knife wielding drug barons, most Africans you meet on the High Road here are seriously mistrusting of the police.
As with most places throughout the African world, this is not without good reason.
Afia Asantewaa and her family, who have always lived in this area as a family, are no strangers to state slander and terror.
In fact, they are a prime example of the kind of terror that isolated Africans are forced to endure in the area.
Afia's 19-year-old son, Tyrone, was diagnosed eight years ago as having Special Educational Needs and learning difficulties, and has not had access to any of the support or facilities that the state say he is entitled to.
But, this is just a small part of the attack on Tyrone and his family.
Over the past five years, Tyrone has been subjected to about 300 incidents with police.
In one example of many, Afia details how her son was beaten up in a local shop by youths.
One of these youths was spotted in the back of a police car on the street where the family lives, while the cop in front pointed to the house.
Despite the eye-witness statement of the Indian shopkeeper stating that Tyrone was the one who had been attacked, Tyrone was charged and convicted of assault.
On another occasion, the police had invaded the family’s home and manhandled Afia.
Then she was arrested, charged, convicted and fined for assaulting the cop!
Sister Afia, speaking at a Conference for Justice for Ricky Bishop — who himself was murdered by Brixton Police in 2001 — held in November in Brixton, described her son's life as being a cycle where the state takes him from either his home or the street to a cell, to a court room, back onto the street and then to a cell again.
Tyrone has spent very little of the last five years at home.
He has spent most of those years institutionalized in either prison, court, police stations or mental health institutions.
Whilst Afia was preparing to come to the meeting on that cold Saturday in November, she was called once again by Brent Police to inform her that they had her son in custody and that she was welcome to join them at the station as an appropriate adult for Tyrone.
Brent Police could not have been more insulting if they had slapped her in the face with a wet fish!
Having already decided themselves to choose an unknown social worker to act as appropriate adult for her son, they were attempting to lure her down to the police station and further frustrate her by not allowing her to see her son.
Afia, having been bitten by this venomous tactic before, was not buying it and flatly refused to go to the station.
Since the meeting, Tyrone has been picked up on a further three occasions for reasons mostly unknown.
Even the solicitors and barristers — who at one time appeared supportive and are supposedly meant to represent Tyrone — appear to be in on the act.
They are withholding information, appealing for more home visits from the police who continue to terrorize Tyrone and going against Afia's wishes by beginning proceedings before she could get the much needed medication for her son.
The International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) in Brent and the rest of the world are absolutely clear that the attack on Afia Asantewaa and her family are not unique, but are a part of the British government's public policy of police containment, in order to put down any idea that Africans may have in our heads about resisting its domination of us.
It is also our understanding that the only way to resolve this contradiction — and to ensure the same policy that killed Ricky Bishop and is being used against Tyrone is destroyed for good — is through organized resistance of the African community and into a single mass movement.
In the words of the great Malcolm X, "You don't take your case to the criminal! You take your criminal to court!"
It is for this reason that we are engaged in a process here in the UK and throughout the world to build the World Tribunal for Reparations to Africa and African people, which will put the state on trial for the crimes they commit against African people like Afia and her family.
What you can do:
Call-in to the police switchboard to verbally protest against the treatment of Tyrone.
Below is a guideline script for the phone calls.
They will try to ask for your address, but you do not have to give them any information other than your name.
Make sure they give you a reference number as confirmation that they have registered your complaint.
Contact InPDUM by phone on 07723-067-486 or by e-mailing email@example.com to report on how the call went.
"I am calling to exercise my democratic right to protest against the ongoing vicious attack that Brent Police are implementing in the black community with regard to Tyrone Burton of Willesden and his family. I understand that Tyrone has been persistently targeted by Brent Police since 2005 and over the last few weeks in particular has spent most of his time either within your custody or at court, most of the time not even being aware of why he is being held. I demand an end to this ridiculous harassment that has seen over 300 police troops march through Tyrone's family home with little, if at all any, regard for this family's rights. Disciplinary action and charges must be brought against all individuals of the force who are involved. Police must be accountable to the people and should not be free to terrorize the community with no fear of repercussion"
The number for the police switchboard is: 0300 123 1212
Do not allow them to intimidate you or try and engage you in a debate. You are exercising a democratic right.
InPDUM will also be leading a demonstration outside Wembley Police Station 603 Harrow Rd, Wembley HA0 2HH on Saturday, December 18, starting at 1pm and ending at 4pm. See you there!
Down with state terror! All power to the people!