Together We Are: Event in remembrance of Mikey Powell and support of Tony Egbuna Ford
4WardEver, in conjunction with the Mikey Powell Campaign and Indymedia Birmingham, are staging an eventful night on September 7th at the Rainbow, Digbeth, Birmingham to mark the fourth anniversary of Mikey Powell's death.
The event will include live performances by Capital X, The Welfare Poets (US), The INJUSTICE Roadshow with Princess Emmanuelle, Yaz Alexander and The Tribunes (London and West Midlands). There will also be an art and photography display from death-row inmates.
From Texas death row Mr Ford told us:
"The death of Mikey Powell is something that should resonate with everyone in the UK and abroad, regardless of race, class or background. Here was a brother who was taken into police custody, and given an impromptu death sentence.
"For me personally, this resonates with me, in that I was taken into police custody, and charged with a capital offence which resulted in my being sentenced to death. Now, while my experience and Mikey Powell's may not be 'exactly' the same, we have both been sentenced to death. But, I am still able to fight to save my life. Sadly, brother Mikey Powell is not here to do the same. Brother Mikey should not be dead."
For more information, please contact:
Tippa Naphtali or Joyce Springer-Amadedon
Tel: 0560 271 3085 (leave call-back message)
Mob: 0774 008 3915
Notes for editors:
1. 4WardEver is a resource for profiles, appeals, news, event details and other useful information in relation to deaths in police custody and other injustices in the UK and abroad. The campaigning website was established in June 2006 by Tippa Naphtali, a cousin of Mikey Powell, and inspired by the families' relentless campaigns for justice.
For more information see www.4wardever.org
2. Michael Lloyd Powell, known as Mikey, died on 7th September 2003, aged 38, whilst in police custody in Handsworth, Birmingham.
Here's what happened:
Officers drove a police car at Mikey, hitting him, beat him with batons, CS gassed him, restrained him and, knowing he was injured, and drove him to a police station not a hospital. At the police station the officers simply did not call for an ambulance for over 4 minutes. Mikey was dead by the time it arrived. On any body's version something went very seriously wrong.
In March 2007, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has confirmed that none of the West Midlands police officers acquitted of criminal offences following the death of Michael Powell.
3. The Friends of Mikey Powell Campaign for Justice was established by the family of Michael Lloyd Powell, a cousin of renowned poet and writer Benjamin Zephaniah, following his death to demand justice. The Mikey Powell Campaign shows solidarity with families that have lost loved ones in police, penal and mental health institutions across the country.
For more information, see www.mikeypowell-campaign.org.uk
4. Tony Egbuna Ford was the driver for two brothers who went to a house in El-Paso to collect a drug debt in 1991. The brothers forced their way in but didn't find the man they were looking for. They demanded money from a woman at the address then shot each of the four family members, killing the son, seriously injuring the mother and wounding two young women. There was no evidence to place Tony in the house that night. He was convicted and sentenced to death despite his testimony that he was not involved in the break-in or shooting.
For more information, see www.tonyeford.com
5. Indymedia Birmingham is an interactive platform for alternative news and reports on grassroots struggles that cover a wide range of social and political issues. The content of the website is created through a system of Open Publishing, where anyone with internet access can upload their written, photo, audio or video reports directly and without any editorial manipulation and hierarchy. As part of the global Indymedia network, it is aimed at empowering 'direct media', where the division between the reporter and reported, between active producers and passive audience is challenged.
For more information, see www.birmingham.indymedia.org.uk