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Blacker than Metal! The Black Liberation Movement Photography of Henry Jay Kamara + Video

Photo by Henry Jay Kamara

via Vice

Photographer Henry Jay Kamara talks about the Black Lives Matter movement and shows us images he took at an anti-fascist protest opposing the activities of the far-right figurehead Tommy Robinson. From pictures captured during armed conflict to anti-fascist protests to global pandemics to the start of a revolution, when you are on the front line, picking up a camera can often result in an image that immortalises a moment in time. In this series, we interview photographers whose photos have become synonymous with important world events. They relive the story behind the images, regaling us with their tales from the front line. We hear how they documented the truth, sometimes even risking their lives, to provide proof of events that stay long after the memories fade.

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Yesterday in Bounds Green, a police chase between two police cars and a black man driving a supposedly stolen BMW 1 series ended in a car crash seriously injuring the ‘suspect’. Following reports of ‘wild west boy racers’ in the Alexandra Palace, police have been aggressively stopping and searching ‘suspicious’ cars in the area. After witnessing the scene, I saw an elderly black woman approach and ask one of the officers present if an ambulance had been called as the man was lying on the floor screaming in pain. She was told “eject yourself from the situation, this does not concern you”. This was something I could not stand back and observe. Why does the police behave in a manner that punishes you for caring about another human being? Couldn’t this officer have spoken in a more respectful way? Although two officers attempted to provide medical care to the young man, most of the officers seemed generally unconcerned for his life which was put in serious danger by the police officers reckless actions. Attempting to communicate with the officers at the scene was frustrating at best. Im sick of hearing “you are not a police officer you don’t know what we are doing”. Really and truly, we were all concerned with how long the ambulance was taking. It had been well over 20 minutes since the crash and still no ambulance had arrived. To our dismay a bully van of lower ranking officers were dispatched to the scene to ‘pacify’ the public and remove them from the scene before any ambulance arrived. It seemed as though that ranked much higher on their priority list. It was these officers that proceeded to the scene and had the audacity to tell us what had happened, as if we had not witnessed it with our own eyes. We were told he was a dangerous driver and failed to stop when flagged by the police. Regardless of what led up to the scene, these reckless actions seemed all to acceptable amongst the officers. It was honestly frightening to witness this scene unfold. Just because you’re suspected of a crime it doesn’t mean you deserve to be treated like prey. Far too many brothers and sisters are being injured or killed by the hands of the police.

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