Benjamin Zephaniah launches NMP’s Stop and Search on Trial crowd funding campaign

Newham Monitoring Project today launched a crowdfunding project to put ‘stop and search on trial’ with the support of its patron, the poet and author Benjamin Zephaniah.

The ‘Stop and Search on Trial’ campaign is hosted by Crowdfunder and seeks to monitor the way the government implements its planned reforms, announced in August, of the use of police powers to stop and search members of the public.  Read more

Terror Kid: Benjamin Zephaniah in Conversation

Newham Monitoring Project and Newham Bookshop are delighted to welcome NMP’s patron Benjamin Zephaniah talking about his new book Terror Kid.

Terror-Kid-PRINT (2)Thursday 2nd October 2014

Stratford East Picturehouse,
Salway Road,
London E15 1BX

Tickets are £5 and available at the Stratford Picturehouse box office or by calling 0871 902 5740

Rico knows trouble. He knows the look of it and the sound of it. He also knows to stay away from it as best he can. Because if there’s one thing his Romany background has taught him, it’s that he will always be a suspect. Despite his efforts to stay on the right side of the law, Rico is angry and frustrated at the injustices he sees happening at home and around the world. He wants to do something – but what? When he is approached by Speech, a mysterious man who shares Rico’s hacktivist interests, Rico is given the perfect opportunity to speak out. After all, what harm can a peaceful cyber protest do…?

Terror Kid is Benjamin’s first novel in seven years and is set against the backdrop of the 2011 riots. It tells the extraordinary tale of how one boy’s idealism and passion to speak out is distorted and manipulated by those who want to commit acts of terror.

On 2 October, Benjamin will be talking about the issues he tackles in his novel – examining our judgements, intentions and actions, and also the timely issues of terrorism, hacktivism and the exploitation of young people. Always impactful and thoughtful, Benjamin Zephaniah is not to be missed.

Terror Kid is published on 28 August by Hot Key Books and will be available from Newham Bookshop

NMP publishes report on community legal observing during the London Olympics

The gloss and spectacle of mega sporting events can hide many potential threats to human rights and equality. Today, on International Migrants Day, we are reminded of one of the starkest examples of this: the pattern of exploitation of migrant workers that has cast a shadow over the preparations for global sports events in recent years. In September 2013, reports emerged of brutality and forced labour in Qatar, which is preparing for the World Cup in 2022. This is one of many instances of exploitation around such events that extend beyond the appalling denial of employment rights. These include the displacement of people from their homes (as witnessed in Rio’s favelas in the preparation for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Brazil), unfulfilled promises to create jobs and affordable housing, environmental damage and harassment of working class, black or migrant communities by security officials, enforcement officers and police.

During the 2012 Olympics, Newham Monitoring Project (NMP) set up a human rights observation project in an attempt to monitor, record and challenge any detrimental impact on or targeting of local communities in east London. Today we publish a report setting out in detail how one of the UK’s longest-established civil rights organisations deployed close to a hundred ‘community legal observers’ (CLOs) during last summer’s Olympics, what these volunteers witnessed and how the experience of monitoring street level policing during such a major event can help other organisations, both in the UK and abroad, to consider using community legal observers in the future.

‘Monitoring Olympics policing during the 2012 Security Games’ is available online here or to download here [PDF, 1.1 Mb] Read more

Newham Council in alleged racism ‘whitewash’ of its Equalities agenda


Independent anti-racist organisation Newham Monitoring Project (NMP) has today accused Newham Council of trying to ‘whitewash’ racism out its Equalities Framework agenda, after viewing a document (see below) that appears to reveal attempts by the council to downplay and remove references to racism reported to them by the public.

NMP reports that the discovery came to light after it downloaded a copy of Newham’s Council’s ‘Equalities and the Local Development Framework in Newham: December 2010’ document, available on Newham Council’s website, on Tuesday 5th November. Read more