Five years ago, a ‘Hard Stop’ incident left 29-year-old Mark Duggan dead, shot by the Metropolitan Police. The incident is generally considered to be the spark that set of riots across the country in August 2011.
The event not only left its mark on the country but also had a profound effect on the Duggan family and their friends.
On 29 July, Fade to Black in conjunction with the Northern Police Monitoring Project (NPMP) and Sustained Theatre showed the documentary – The Hard Stop – as a fundraising event donating £250 to the Duggan family.
The screening of the documentary was released close to the 5th anniversary of Mark Duggan’s death.
Northern Police Monitoring Project member Tanzil Chowdhury said: “Before his family could even properly grieve the death of their son and nephew, Mark was already guilty in the eyes of an unforgiving tabloid press. What this fatal shooting illustrates is that in this day and age, an unarmed black man can be shot repeatedly in the full media glare, and the entire episode can be deemed lawful as was the verdict of the inquiry in 2013”.
Hard Stop shows that this episode, in the life of the Duggans and his friends, did not start and end with the police shooting, but is another chapter of the continued disenfranchisement and disillusionment of black, working class youth. The context is clear and honest, and Mark’s two friends show incredible strength when many could forgive them for not doing so.
Fade to Black co-organiser Deyika Nzeribe commented: “Sometimes it’s important for arts organisations to reflect what is happening in its programme while it’s happening, if possible to do so. The showing of The Hard Stop as we approached the 5th anniversary of Mark’s death, coinciding with the emergence of Black Lives Matter, was such a possibility. We are pleased that Sustained Theatre supported our event in support of the Duggan family”.
On Wednesday 26 October NPMP is collaborating with the University of Manchester’s Students Union Executive Team and the School of Law’s Black Lawyers Matter initiative. The alliance is to host a free, public screening of The Hard Stop. This will be followed by poetry and debate with more details to be confirmed.