I’d known Norman Blake as an individual for about 5 months up until his death. He was only 24 years old; in the prime of his life, his face gleaming with youthful pride manifested through the due diligence he took into grooming his hair, and the artful way he retained his glowing, clean-shaven jawline. I could immediately tell that he took great pride in his appearance. His early life was difficult, and upsetting for him. He had always lived with his mother, whom he adored and loved, even after she tragically passed away in a traffic collision when he was 20. He never talked much about his father. Yet in spite of this, Norman harboured a very optimistic attitude about the future, and was cheerfully dismissive about his infectious charm, and his bright longing optimism for the future. But then I suppose that is always typical of the young. You don’t truly know what you have, until it’s gone.
By all accounts he was an astounding man. He was a policeman – and in particular he worked for London Metropolitan Police’s Mounted Branch (CO13). When we spoke to each other, he told me of how it had always been his dream as a child to be a cowboy and ride a horse. Once he finished school, he originally planned on joining the Armed Forces but, upon deciding that he didn’t like the idea of being too far away from home, volunteered to join the Police instead. He was an exceptional officer, according to his peers. He had lightning-quick reflexes, he was tough and had dogged determination to see his task through to the end. He soon graduated from Peel Centre, and before long, was attested and sworn in as Metropolitan Police constable. It is said that he established a reputation on the beat for being kind, easy-going and relatable with the local public. He was good at making judgement calls, and was always able to keep calm, even when under intense pressure. But he had his sights set on something far more appealing to him – the Mounted Police Branch. He knew that it was what he wanted to do, but because all volunteers needed 2 years’ experience in ordinary uniform duties before they would be eligible, he had to remain patient and eager to volunteer when the time would come. Then finally when the years went by, in recognition of his splendid efforts as a beat copper, his application was a success. It was not easy at first. All London Police cavalrymen have to undergo a gruelling course lasting 22 weeks; and be thoroughly drilled in the arts of balance, smartness and etiquette. But true to his nature, he pulled through and was eventually entrusted with his own horse. He named her “Irene”. So without exaggeration, his life, though short, was nothing less than a roll of endless achievements, promotions and glory. If he had lived another ten years, he would have probably reached the rank of Chief inspector – or even Commander. But it was not to be.
It may seem like a strange idea for the police to still rely on horses, in this day and age. But just like in the old days of knights and cavalry, a man on his horse is an army all by himself. That is why, even in this day and age, the Mounted Police are a branch specifically tailored for outbreaks of public disorder and riots. In fact, the Mounted horse patrol is the oldest part of the Met, dating all the way back to 1836. The branch is made up of 200 officers, and approximately 25% of them are women. It is a job that certainly requires skill and bravery, and are every bit as valuable now as they were way back then. But it is by no means a safe, risk-free profession. I should probably start by getting you familiar with the context:
In the weeks leading up to Norman’s death, there had been a series of protests by a new civil rights pressure group known as “Global Circuit”. They were originally a splinter group of the Socialist Workers’ Party and were even affiliated with the much celebrated international civil rights activists’ groups, such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa. Although they campaigned for a varied range of social issues such as wealth redistribution and the legalisation of Cannabis, they were particularly well-known for their protests against racism and police brutality. It was reported that in the more deprived areas of London; particularly areas with a high population of ethnic minorities, crime had recently escalated. The Commissioner had recommended that more units be dispatched to tackle the increase of crime, but of course the local residents were not too pleased about this. They saw the police as intrusive, and began to stage protests in the months leading up to the incident. You may probably remember the Tottenham riots of 2011 – the series of riots that left London’s inner cities in tatters. The spark that was reported to have triggered the violence was the police’s shooting of unarmed 29-year old Mark Duggan. Along with this, another commonly cited case by Global Circuit was the death of Stephen Lawrence, whose murder investigation was carelessly mishandled, and even allowed the majority of the gang that killed him to escape conviction until more than a decade later. This led to a well-known inquiry in 1999, by Sir William MacPherson, who famously concluded that the London Metropolitan Police force was “Institutionally Racist”.
In recent years, Global Circuit had also drawn attention to the worldwide abuse of power by authority figures in places such as New York City, where Eric Garner was famously filmed being choked to death by the police. They had also held a public vigil in the memory of Michael Brown, who was shot dead in Ferguson, Missouri. Their Mission Statement on their website was clear and unambiguous:
“AN END TO POLICE BRUTALITY AND WHITE SUPREMACY
Imagine a world free from injustice. Free from discrimination and hatred. No state ordained violence against the smaller people of society.
We are the Global Circuit, a humble grassroots movement made from a chain of the little people that make up the poor, underprivileged and the oppressed.
The London Metropolitan Police has declared war on Black people. At the heart of this injustice lies a strong, hidden and entrenched racial caste system that has stubbornly resisted the social and civil rights changes of the 20th century, and still plans to maintain White peoples’ privileged status at the top of society. Our aim is to use peaceful protest to reclaim the streets, and shed publicity on any instance of police brutality. Where we are not allowed to use peaceful protest, then we will seek other means to fight back – to regain our rights as human citizens.
Our main priority is to expose all the inner mechanisms used to uphold social injustice. The police are a global class of elites, created by racists, and for the benefit of racists. All around the world, these bullies and tyrants have become a law unto themselves. We plan to pull the rug from underneath their feet and put power back into the hands of the people. So get involved with our hashtag #Globalcircuit and get updated with our latest activity.
Remember that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.”
I mentioned earlier that this was a fringe movement, but it had in fact grown really popular a few months ago. Students from Cambridge, Oxford and Exeter had championed their cause and welcomed speakers from the movement to give talks there. Of course, young students are always first to dive into the subject of politics; and they were the ones who were effectively at the forefront of this organisations’ global campaign. Most students these days simply irritate me – not necessarily with their political views (even though it does sometimes factor into it), but by how certain they are of their opinion and how uncritical they are of their own arguments. I was a keen supporter of the Labour Party for nearly 30 years. These days, I frankly pity those who think that anything can be changed by vote. Who needs rigged elections in modern Britain, when you have elections like ours? Nothing is ever done and that way, everyone is equally disappointed. At least it’s fair, to some degree. What was that old saying – The definition of madness is doing the same thing, over and over again, and expecting a different result?
I was also beginning to tire of constantly being subjected to that self-serving tele-evangelism by politicians with their worthless platitudes, encouraging me to play into their hands by voting for anybody among them. “Don’t waste your vote” they’d say, or “a vote for someone is better than nothing at all”, even going so far as to openly scold those who do not turn up to the polling stations to decide the future of their governments. Of course, this attitude all boils right down to self-righteous hypocrisy; since what they are really asking is for you to vote for their cause, over nothing – it’s essentially nothing more than a cynical exercise in moral grandstanding. I’ve strongly believed in the citizen’s right to remain indifferent, just as much as I believe in the right to vote – because contrary to popular belief, not everything in life hinges on politics. Voter apathy is simply the side effect of a neglected and ignored electorate. These days, I prefer to sit in my chair and wait for change to happen, because as far as I’m concerned, it’s no less a legitimate form of protest than street activism and it’s equally effective. By the way, if I sound like an embittered 50-year-old man who talks politics in the bar with drunks, it’s because I am one.
Anyway, as I was saying, Global Circuit was continuing to build on its popularity. It received an endorsement from 2 well-known politicians, a commendation from Greenpeace and a reference was made in a speech by the Prime Minister. What had recently happened to make them soar into the spotlight was a more recent case of police brutality that dominated the headlines of tabloids and newspapers alike; the death of 32-year-old Pauline Prince, which I shall carefully explain in detail:
Pauline Prince, a 32-year old black woman, was walking down the street and was heavily pregnant, carrying a 7-month-old baby inside her. According to reports, Police had received a tip-off that a woman was dealing Class-A drugs in the streets of Brixton, and two uniformed constables approached her when they saw that she matched the suspect’s description. When they stopped her, and asked to take her in for questioning, she refused, protesting her innocence. She accused them of harassing her, and once her husband and some of her friends arrived at the scene and noticed what was going on, a row occurred between the two parties, which soon escalated into a fight. This made the Police call for backup. Another two teams of policemen arrived in cars, and used pepperspray on the attackers. Prince had escaped, and tried to drive away in a car, when she was spotted by road police. In the struggle for her arrest, Prince herself was dosed with pepperspray, but was administered more than the recommended usage; and instead of being sprayed in her eyes as is normally instructed – she received a dosage around the nose and through the mouth instead; which is not recommended. To make matters worse, Prince suffered an allergic reaction, and her nasal passages became so inflamed that she could not breathe anymore. By the time paramedics arrived, there was nothing that could be done. She was pronounced dead on the scene; her unborn baby with her.
Once the media had reported the incident – the reaction from the Brixtonian locals was fierce. And as anyone can imagine, by the time of this incident, the media narrative of Global Circuit had really gained credibility. Local beat Bobbies had bottles thrown at them and were shouted at. But it was not just limited to the United Kingdom. The story’s repercussions had reverberated throughout the English speaking world – protests in Melbourne, The Bronx, Paris, everywhere. The hashtags #IamPauline and #JusticeforPauline trended worldwide on Twitter with over 2 million tweets within the first day of its exposure. There was even a trend going around called “Don’t hurt my child”, as they were believed to be the victim’s final words. Though this might probably be sensational fiction. The victim’s husband, Jason Prince had been given a seat to express his own views and become a welcome and powerful figure within the organisation. In response, the Home Office and proclaimed that all public meetings were to be banned for a week, to limit the scale of political activity that would undoubtedly arise. A careless move. Global Circuit had decided they would do a “March on London” – obviously inspired by the March on Ferguson.
This occurred on the 3rd June 2016, only 2 days after the incident. By this time, London was now a tense, and volatile environment to live in. When he noticed how his influence was not changing the mind of the protesters, the Home Secretary immediately capitulated and revoked his ban, and in what was essentially a big virtue signal, untold thousands and thousands of people (mainly young students) had gotten together, linked hands in hand, and starting a march all the way from Brixton, to Westminster, in solidarity with the memory and the family of Pauline Prince, and her unborn child. The plan was they would end their march and stage their protest in front of the Houses of Parliament. The police were simply overwhelmed and had no choice but to let them pass – the world stood back in awe, as these fiery protestors marched through the roads, chanting slogans here and there such as “Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere!” and “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance!”. They were even singing songs such as “We Shall Overcome”, other tunes that were reminiscent of America’s civil rights era.
I was not there to witness everything – I only saw televised footage from BBC news. Apparently before the outbreak of chaos, there were reports of skirmishes between marchers and police. Since this was for the most part, an unplanned protest, the boundaries had not been well drawn up and indicated. Nevertheless, the protest would have ended peacefully were it not for one crucial event. By the time the march had arrived at Westminster Bridge, there was a legion of mounted police approaching them. It seemed that the Home Office had by now regained his courage, and decided to let them go no further. Things got to a head, once the protestors marched halfway down Westminster Bridge. Near along the very middle of the cavalry brigade, was Norman Blake, reins in one hand, baton in the other. The march slowed down, then ground to a halt. By now, the Inspector who lead the cavalry read the riot act. He announced that the protestors were not authorised to cross the bridge, and this was as far as they were allowed to go. The protestors however, were determined to cross, in spite of the fact that their march had already been proscribed by the Home Office. Some started to lob missiles at the police. The police, nonetheless, remained still and were determined not to move.
As they approached, the Inspector prepared his cavalry to lead a baton charge.
Baton charges are trained and synchronised charges aimed at a mob, by a line of policemen, baton in hand, with the intention of frightening unruly crowds and making them disperse and break away. It is usually very effective, and baton charges on horseback were known to work especially well. But what happened next is unclear, and I will try to piece together as much of the fragments of the evidence as I possibly can. According to witnesses on the scene, and news footage of the incident – Norman had moved by himself, rather close to the scene of the action, while his friends were still preparing for their baton charge. He was nearly surrounded by the activists. He had drawn his baton, and swung it twice toward the crowd off, but when this did not work, he got closer – he was approximately 2 yards from the crowd. He reached for a nearby protestor and it looked as if he was reaching for his pepperspray. Suddenly, out of nowhere there was a massive, blinding explosion of yellow and orange. It turned out that one of the protestors had prepared and thrown a Molotov cocktail. The police were so baffled by what had transpired that the baton charge spiralled and halted. Several of them looked around in a daze, as the protestors began to charge towards them. At this point, the bridge had escalated into full-blown violence. This was known in the papers as “The Battle of Westminster Bridge.” Everywhere was rife with activity. Protestors charged towards the cavalrymen, attacking them. Due to Norman’s precarious position in the midst of the action, and the intensity of the fire that surrounded him, he could not be reached. His body lay helplessly smoking from the flames of the fire, slowly agonising as he burned to death. His horse squealed in agony, and flailed about on the road helplessly. In the end, more backup serials had arrived with water hoses and tear gas to put an end to the mad violence of the crowd, and rescue their fallen man. But by this time, it was already too late. The fiery weapon had already taken its toll on Norman. He had suffocated from the smoke, and had serious third degree burns all over his legs and torso. He died shortly afterwards, in the hospital. His horse also sustained terrible injuries, and had to be put down.
Now, the average listener may be puzzled as to why it is that Norman got so dangerously close to the protestors in the first place, while his team were slowly preparing for the baton charge. Well, I managed to find another video recording of the incident on YouTube, uploaded by one of the passers-by, who was understandably perturbed by what they had seen. In this video footage, though the film quality is poor, if you look carefully to the right, one can see a small figure doubling over, near the front of the crowd, and given the particular angle where the film was shot, it would be hard for the other cavalrymen to have seen her. In my view, PC Blake must have noticed that a woman was being crushed by the sheer number of people attending the protest, and had prepared to dismount in order to save her. He was not reaching for his pepperspray – instead he was trying to help her. Whatever the case may be, from what I had known, I would never have suspected deliberate foul play on Norman’s part. Also, let’s not forget that it would have been a terrible idea to deliberately provoke an angry crowd when you are only standing inches away from them.
After a week of heated debate and news coverage of the protest, which again was brought to the forefront of global news, 24 people were finally arrested for breach of public order and rioting, and 3 people in particular were arrested for conspiracy to commit murder. These people were Muhammad Ib’n Al-Sarwati, Michael Rockwell, and Rachel Dominica-Vasquez. Muhammad Ib’n Al-Sarwati was a 20 year old British student from the University of Oxford, a second year single honour student studying Law. Shocking to think how one so bright and talented could be motivated to commit such acts of violence like this. It was alleged that he had actually prepared the cocktail, along with two other accomplices and by doing so had made himself liable for prosecution at the Crown Court. Rockwell was an older man of 25, native of Brixton – and like Al-Sarwati, studied at Oxford as a postgraduate. The two actually spent a lot of time together, in the Social Justice and Progressives’ society on campus and were very active members. By trade he was a writer for a weekly progressive news journal called “Spotlight”. He too had prepared the cocktail along with his accomplice, and had even a few more on his person, but he had not been the one to throw it. Rachel Dominica-Vasquez, 30 years old, was a Venezuelan-born blogger and graffiti artist, a renowned figure on the internet who cultivated an artistic online persona with her paint tutorials where she blogged about the LGBTQIA+ movement. It was she who, according to prosecution, had thrown the device with the intention of causing damage.
I followed the trial developments and proceedings as closely as I could, when I sat in the court and watched. The Prosecution, in his opening statement, gave the main arguments. Firstly: the three had chosen to join a raucous political protest march, which was already proclaimed to be forbidden, thus making their political activity unlawful. Second, they had willingly and intentionally prepared a lethal device that would later be used as a weapon to inflict upon a person and cause severe injury, and given the degree of planning they had prepared into this weapon, this made the murder premeditated. Thus, he argued this crime was not merely a hot-blooded incident but “a criminal act of collective violence.”
The Defence, headed by a promising, clever young Law-school grad from Oxford, gave the opening statement made an appeal to the wider audience of society and begged us to consider the social and political context, irrespective of which laws had been broken. This had occurred with the disgraceful double-homicide of a pregnant woman fresh in recent memory. These people felt a connection with the victims of police brutality as they themselves had experienced it; they were all non-white persons who had grown up in streets with a reputation for violence, and social alienation. The Defence even laid the peculiar argument that if all of these defendants were white, they would certainly have been certainly granted mitigation, and cited recent studies and history to draw attention to what he called the Crown Court’s “double standards”.
After hearing the case, the trial proceeded. Only 2 witnesses were brought to trial. The first being Police Sergeant Fredericks who led the cavalrymen at Westminster bridge, and prepared the baton charge. He testified that Blake was an honourable individual, who always obeyed the law, and would never think to carelessly ignore orders from his superiors. That being the case, he said could not explain why Blake had broken protocol and prematurely approached the crowd. He said that his actions on that day were both “dangerous and unpredictable”, and questioned Blake’s momentary lapse in judgement. The second witness was Julie Winters, the woman who had recorded the film footage which I referred to earlier. Her testimony added little to the body of evidence, other than that she suspected Blake may have tried to help one of the struggling protestors who was being crushed. Upon a rigorous and hostile cross-examination from the Defence, she broke down and confessed that she couldn’t see or hear anything in the chaos.
Now it was time for the defendants’ cross examination. Dominica-Vasquez took the stand. “I was only trying to defend myself” – her famous opening plea, that instantly became a headline for the tabloids and sensational news stories to come. This resulted in a fierce dialogue between the prosecution and the defendant, but the conversation drifted into the subject of fear. She said that she was really, really frightened, and when she noticed the policeman approaching her so solemnly, and watching him draw his right hand, she feared an attack. It was objected that from a cavalryman’s perspective, this would be the worst thing to do – cavalry charges are meant to be swift and break the nerve of the people they are approaching into running away. However, the jury was, on the whole, sympathetic to her story. I even recall hearing the courtroom murmur as she recited how in her early childhood, growing up in Venezuela, the police had ruthlessly battered her father when they accused him of hiding drugs. She compared the actions of the Metropolitan police with the notoriously more corrupt Venezuelan cops.
The two other defendants made a similar plea for lenience, because they too had felt threatened during the event. Standing in the midst of a large crowd, carrying placards, and some with weapons, witnessing only one man on his horse approach him slowly reach for something with his hand – that must have indeed been a truly daunting experience. Whatever the case may be, it seemed that the court on generally in an appreciative mood to hear the Defence’s side of the story. The Judge too was giving considerable input, and even threatened to hold the Prosecution in contempt of court when he aggressively questioned the defendants of the use of their weapon.
Meanwhile, how did the outside world react to this, might I ask? Well suffice it to say, Global Circuit’s side of the story had certainly won the day. In the eyes of the world’s middle class, they were the righteous champions of humanity who made a noble stand against a tyrant on his horse. There was very little, if any, sympathy for the victim in this case. Here, let me just read a few examples from the Twitter Feed:
“#Westminster #BBCNews Oh come on! An idiot policeman gets himself killed? Can we get something newsworthy?”
“#Westminster Today is a good day for humanity when a policeman is burned to death! Pauline has been avenged! #JusticeforPauline”
“#GlobalCircuitTrial Who cares!? Stupid tosser shouldn’t have provoked them in the first place. He got what he deserved.”
“#GlobalCircuitTrial So @NormanBlake, what’s the weather like in hell?”
“Breaking news: Pig is roasted to death at #WestminsterBridge. Barbeque time!”
Without exaggeration, it’s fair to say that the vast majority of people sympathised with the defendants’ actions. So much to the extent, that by the end proceedings of the trial, it was clear which side had won. The Defence’s closing statement, to secure mitigation, was centred around an elaborate profile of the victim in this case, to portray him as the aggressor. He explained how he had disobeyed protocol by deliberately approaching the crowd in a provocative manner, how he joyfully intended to use his pepper spray on the front row of protesters, with a menacing glint in his eyes, and had he been given the opportunity he would gladly have lashed out at the protestors as police were “known” to do so. He told of how sudden and unwarranted the presence of the police battalion of cavalrymen were, given the Home Office’s assurance that they would be allowed to continue on with their march, notwithstanding Britain’s absolutely unanimous approval of their cause – thus making Norman’s appearance on duty less dignified. He even gave a vivid depiction of Blake’s early life and psychological profile: how he was raised by a single mother in a small council estate, with a lousy, good-for-nothing father who abandoned him at a very young age, with no higher education qualifications, feeling resentful and angry towards society, seeking a career in the Metropolitan police, blissfully oblivious to the daily sufferings and torment experienced by ethnic minorities, thus deciding to unleash his anger and frustration upon them. For, as he crucially argued, Norman was a white police officer. And it was often typical of white policemen, juries and even people, he argued, to ignore, undermine or trivialise the daily issues faced by ethnic minorities; and Blake was simply the microcosm of a phenomenon which plagued British society as a whole and had allowed the deplorable death of a woman and her unborn child.
Bearing this in mind, he pleaded a minor sentence, claiming that notwithstanding the serious incident that had occurred, these three unfortunates were blameless victims of a far greater problem that permeated British history, and how the police have historically been known to abuse their own powers. He interestingly made a reference to the notorious “SUS laws” in his speech. For those of you who don’t know, the SUS laws refer to both Section 4 of the Vagrancy Act (1824), and especially, Section 66 of the Metropolitan Police Act, (1839) which reads:
“Any person found committing any offence punishable either upon indictment or as a misdemeanour upon summary conviction by virtue of this Act, may be taken into custody without a warrant by any constable, or may be apprehended by the owner of the property on or with respect to which the offence shall be committed, or by his servant or any person authorised by him, and may be detained until he can be delivered into the custody of a constable to be dealt with according to law; and every such constable may also stop, search and detain… any person who may be reasonably suspected of having or conveying in any manner anything stolen or unlawfully obtained.”
Together, these two laws permitted any constable to stop, search, and detain any person suspected to commit an arrestable offence, provided they cited the reason why they did so in their notebook. This was used often in the 1970s, and it was widely felt that these Stop and Search laws were being applied disproportionately to Black people, which infamously lead to an outbreak of race riots in Brixton in the year 1981. According to the Defence team, there was a community of disaffected youth in the areas where the defendants lived, which together felt that this behaviour from officers was very common. The Defence pointed out to the court that this was the basis under which the Met had operated to find and arrest Pauline Prince, and to reduce her status and her child’s status as a common criminal, and to treat her as an enemy of the state. And Police Constable Norman Blake was a symbol of the very system that had allowed this atrocity to occur in the first place. Therefore, in this case, Police Officer Blake’s death was not unjustified.
This argument, if nothing else, had had a very compelling effect on the audience. In any case, it had certainly prevailed in the Judge’s decision. The Judge’s ruling was that the defendants together were under considerable mental stress and had engaged in “justifiable self-defence”, given the circumstances. He sentenced them all to 3-years’ imprisonment, which he would postpone until November. He also granted that they would both be able to appeal against the ruling, and be eligible for parole.
The media celebrated the Judge’s decision, with an article in The Guardian calling it “A triumph for human rights everywhere”. The New Statesman called the defendants’ barrister a “Good-intentioned, sober-minded man” and even compared him with Clarence Darrow. The twitter feed, as one can guess, received the trial’s outcome very positively. The Police Commissioner, and the Home Secretary both capitulated to the verdict and social pressure which followed, and soon held a conference wherein they would institute new reforms to root out “systemic racism and corruption” in the Metropolitan police ranks. Jason Prince remarked that he was pleased with the verdict, and was beginning to see “improvement” in British attitudes towards corruption. Oxford Union even invited the three defendants to give a talk about their experience later in the year. Norman Blake was forever stamped in the mud of history as a villain and a thug who abused his powers. And that was the end of that.
Or so the world thought. The next development in the saga came 2 months later,
roughly 2 months before they were due for their sentence hearing. On the 13th of August, all 3 of the defendants were reported missing. The barrister who represented them was also found missing. As the days went by, their disappearance began to attract more media attention, with police appealing for witness information, and the families of the disappeared raising funds for their safe return. A reward of £5,000 was promised. This later increased to £10,000, then £20,000.
Day by day, there were more articles raising concern for the safety and well-being of the three “brave protestors” and suspecting foul play. The three civil activists became subject to a nationwide manhunt, making them the most sought-after missing persons since Madeleine McCann. Suspicion fell on people who were linked with Right-wing extremist groups, but no further developments came of that since no evidence could be found linking them with the victims’ disappearance. Then eventually, the days grew into weeks, then into months. The Police Commissioner made a speech on television explaining how earnestly he was coordinating teams to find out where they were, to successfully retrieve the three people who had killed one of their own. He was under intense pressure, and the met gave regular updates on the progress of their own investigation. He gave the solemn vow: “We are doing everything in our power to see about the safe return of Al-Sarwati, Rockwell, and Vasquez.”
But no progress was made. Months had passed into the next year, and their grieving families were still granted no results. Finally, one year after their disappearance, the one heading the investigation into their disappearance, a Superintendent Nathan Simmonds made his solemn oath on BBC news:
“We will not give up. We are still appealing to the public for information – we will not stop until we’ve found them. We have a duty to maintain the lives of our citizens, and we will never abandon those in need. Alive or otherwise, we will eventually find them – and we will bring the perpetrator, or perpetrators responsible for this straight to justice. I implore all of you to remain calm and cooperate, because as long as we remain united, and the British people keep their faith in us, we will do our duty and find the three activists and the man that represented them, and bring them back safe and sound. It’s not a question of if, but when.”
Yet I remain unconvinced by this façade. I do not think you will ever find the four missing persons, Mr. Simmonds – certainly not alive, at the very least. Why am I so certain of this? Because I killed them and buried them, myself.
The March on London lost its legitimacy from the beginning. Global Circuit, however honourable they held themselves to be, had no right to carry on with their march and disobey the Home Office’s decree, regardless of their precious ideals – they clearly thought they were above the law, and decided to disregard the authority of the British Home Office when they saw fit. If the Home Secretary had had any spine, he would have ordered serials of riot police immediately and arrested those troublemakers on the spot. Instead, he bent over backwards like an utter fool, and let them taint their civil cause for all eternity by murdering a police officer and blaming their actions on the victim. I might add that Global Circuit’s narrative of perceived police brutality is all based on false statistics, circumstantial evidence, and curiously does not explain how the overtly racist white supremacist London Metropolitan police managed to allow 13% of its own ranks to be comprised of people from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Molotov cocktails are dangerous makeshift weapons that inflict serious harm to those it is thrown at, and can sometimes kill, just as we observed. So ask yourself; What sort of self-respecting political protest group allows them to be brought along to a protest march, in the first place? These are dangerous weapons, and any person who attends a protest with the intention of using them is clearly not interested in preserving law and order, but rather terrorising the general public by causing damage to suit their political agenda. In doing so, he reduces the value of the whole protest group to that of a domestic terrorist organisation. This was not simply a mindless act of criminal violence, but worse than that – it was a mindful act of criminal violence.
And that wonderful speech by the well-groomed lawyer about the “SUS laws”. A very interesting story, especially when one considers that the SUS laws were phased out and made defunct since the year 1981, during the aftermath of the Brixton riots; they were actually replaced with a revised stop and search code of laws known as PACE, which clarified the legal context under which such action would be permissible, even imposing a time limit for how long the suspects could be detained. He certainly made no mention of that in his speech. And could he not even provide statistics or facts to indicate the police were still accustomed to unlawful stop and search without flimsy, anecdotal evidence from people who never even made an appearance, or were even referred to during the trial?
The Defence, whom I refuse to name, was a black-hearted fiend of no integrity. His plea was all based on emotional rhetoric, and mainly predicated on the notion of skin colour, unverifiable statistics and vague sentiments of discontent by people whose make-believe stories he had likely invented by himself. He was so consumed by his own tales, stirring up the secret prejudices of the jury, lecturing them how despicable and complicit white men were in the workings of systemic racism; it was as if he’d forgotten that he himself was also a white man. He’d successfully manipulated the feelings of the British people into thinking that the victim was actually the perpetrator, and the perpetrators the victims. And while Norman Blake had suffered a most gruesome and unjust death in lawless and horrific circumstances, what had reviled me even more, to the point where I felt nauseous, was how this vermin had the temerity to kill him again after his death with his lies and glib narrative of how he grew up to hate society, with the sole intention of portraying him as an opportunistic bully who was deliberately out to cause trouble. I could not believe what I was hearing. In all my 50 years of being alive, never before did I experience such uncontrollable feelings of anger and hatred towards a man. I became unhealthy just thinking about it. I lost my appetite. I couldn’t concentrate. I spent all my days drinking myself to sleep.
You see, there is one more additional detail that I did not mention earlier. Norman Blake was not just an extraordinary individual with a great moral fibre, a heart of gold, a wonderful sense of humour, and one of the bravest men who ever lived. He was my son. All this time I spent by myself, living alone in a spiral of sorrow and regret, I feared that Norman would never accept me into his life after he learned the truth about me. I had been an irresponsible man in my day; I hooked up long ago with a girl in a nightclub, left her months later when I found out about her pregnancy, and never saw nor spoke to her again… until one day I noticed her name in the obituaries. I knew I had to visit our child and see how he was, or I would never forgive myself. I looked high and low for him, and when I finally found the flat where he lived, I deliberately chose the house straight next to his so I could keep watch, under the guise of his friendly older neighbour. I wanted to tell him everything… about how much I loved him and how proud I was to see that he’d made something of himself… but I just couldn’t approach him. I was terrified of what I feared he might say to me. But now it’s too late. I let him down. I should have been there to protect him, but I failed. I failed him as a father, and I failed as a human being. He was gone, and the whole world had mindlessly cast him away into the pit of evil. I knew that the only thing I could do to restore my peace of mind, would be to avenge his death and correct the ludicrous travesty that had besmirched our nation’s history. I thus began to set in motion a chain of events that would eventually grant him the last word.
Finding the three activists was ridiculously easy. Especially given how, in this day and age, it seems that nobody is interested in keeping information private. With a little help from the internet, I found soon that coincidentally, the three murderers (or activists – whichever you believe) lived within fairly close proximity of each other. The lawyer had a manor in Chelsea, and a firm in Mayfair. My plan was simple. With my day job as a concert promoter, I tracked each of them and promised them front row tickets to CAPITAL radio’s new Jingle Bell Ball, with backstage passes – which they were made to believe were almost entirely sold out. Of course, the tickets were not genuine at all, but I had my ways of convincing them, and I even had my connections to prove it. I even pretended to be avid follower of their trial and had been planning to grant them the tickets for a long time to show them how much I admired them. The idiots grinned at the prospect of free tickets and fell for my trap hook, line and sinker. I lured them to a remote spot to “validate their tickets”, and knocked them out with a shovel. Then I tied them, and locked them in the back of a white van.
Now that snake of a lawyer was more difficult to ensnare. I had to think of a really convincing lie to get to him – this is a lawyer I’m talking about, remember. I had to get creative. Somehow I convinced him that I too was a lawyer who worked for a helpline for people who had experienced discrimination in the workplace – and I had 13 female clients who were willing to testify under oath that they were unfairly subjected to sexual harrassment at a large banking firm. Of course, I explained that the particulars of the case was privileged information that I could not disclose over the phone, but I told him that I was looking for a top-class legal team who was willing to represent these people in a mega lawsuit that has actually been involved in a similar scandal in the past decade, and would thus be likely to capitulate with a large settlement – and I was scouting for the right people who I knew would be good members of the team. He was sceptical at first, and asked why I hadn’t gone through the trouble of representing them myself. I explained my clients were convinced that I alone was not competent enough, and needed a top-class team of people who would together stand a chance; since it was possible that they too would have a dedicated team of lawyers at their own disposal. I pulled all of his strings. Some little people in need of help. And a lot of money. And only he, a smart, well-educated Oxford lawyer with a huge ego, could do it. He was initially reluctant do so, as he explained he was a “criminal lawyer” (the perfect way to describe him, I must say) and had little experience in litigation and the civil court. But as the prospect of an easy win, and lots of money and fame for his firm sounded tentatively close, he at last agreed to meet with me in person, so that he could see the outlines of the case and later he’d agree to see if it was worth his time. All of the clients were imaginary, of course, but he didn’t know. I went through the trouble of designing my fake company’s web page, and made it so immaculately detailed, so he would think I was legitimate. I even prepared a brown dossier, which contained the “privileged information about the case”. We would first meet up in a café – and I was sure to order the same drink as him. Once we sat together, I told him tall tales of how my imaginary clients had been catcalled, groped and given crude nicknames, and were so terrified of legal retribution none of them had come forward, all while he listened intently. Little did he suspect two important things:
Firstly, The brown dossier of “privileged information” I was holding as I spoke to him, was full of blank A4 paper. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking at the time, but it was an extraordinary bluff, and it paid off. Secondly, I slipped a little something in his drink. Our meeting was soon over. I handed him the document, sealed, and with the words “CLASSIFIED” on the front, so he would not just casually open and read it there and then. Then shortly after we shook hands, he began to feel a little light-headed. I accompanied him outside the shop, and lured him towards the car park, making sure we weren’t being followed or on camera or anything. Then I struck him on the back of the neck, and carried him to the back of the van. I then drove all the way over to the Scottish Highlands, to a particular spot where I had enjoyed many holidays in the past.
By now, it was the dead of night, and all my prisoners were still sound asleep. I was careful to keep them asleep with powerful drugs for the whole trip. I had bought a casket for each of them, and I lowered each body into each one, then watched their terrified faces as I sealed each one shut with some nails and a hammer. Then I joyfully dug some large holes in the ground, and chucked each coffin deep in the earth, before burying them alive and leaving them to rot in the dirt. I still remember the squeals; the frantic knocks upon the coffin doors – the cries for help! Each of them had soon begun to realise what was happening to them – it was justice! Once I was satisfied with my work, I planted a large wooden stick in the ground; in the midst of where their bodies were buried, to commemorate their demise. The years have long gone by, and the bodies have never been disturbed since. The stick remains unmoved to this day.
Am I a good person? The answer is obviously no. I have repeatedly committed sin after sin – the worst one was turning my back on my son and my family the way I did. I am a selfish, cruel and cowardly man. But unlike me, my son was none of those things. He was the most pure and excellent being that ever came into this world. It was so unfair that he had somebody as rotten as me for a father. He was a noble man; one who believed in the law and made a stand for the British people; despite what they all did to him. Now 5 years have passed since then, and here I stand before the grave, looking down on the burial stick. Will I eventually confess my crime to the police? Who knows? Maybe it’s a secret that I will take with me to the grave. But this much I can be sure of: justice has finally been done for my son. All I have to do now is prepare myself for the justice that lies in wait for me.
Norman Blake,Muhammad Ib’n Al-Sarwati, Jason Rockwell, Rachel Dominica-Vasquez, and… the lawyer… may they all rest in peace.