Thursday, December 10, 2009

In Lasting Respect Designed to Remember. Mosaic for Stockwell. Morning Star photograph

AFTER losing a brother, battling for the truth, listening through a painful inquest, but seeing no justice, the family of Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes, killed by police as he sat on a train on his way to work, have taken what consolation they can from the tributes of friends and the sympathy of the public.

Now that support, expressed in meetings and demonstrations and a veritable shrine outside Stockwell tube station, is to be given more permanent form. Here's the news:

'Today, on International Human Rights Day, the family of Jean Charles de Menezes can announce that permission has been granted for the official installation of a permanent memorial to Jean outside Stockwell tube station.

'After hundreds of signatures were collected in support of a petition backing the mosaic and following discussions between the family and London Underground, agreement was reached to place it on the wall outside of the station.

'The mosaic will serve as a permanent reminder of the Menezes family's fight for justice and will replace the shrine that has been maintained for four and half years outside Stockwell tube station.

'The mosaic was created by artist Mary Edwards with help from Jean's cousin Vivian Figueiredo and Chrys Vardaxi.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Vivian Figueiredo said:

"All of our family are so happy this memorial has been approved and we thank London Underground for their support. The pain of never achieving justice for Jean's killing continues to haunt us everyday. But knowing his memory will be kept alive in the local community through this memorial is a tribute we could not have dreamed of. We thank all the members of the public who have supported us from the bottom of our hearts"

Jean's family will be joined by special guests to unveil the beautiful locally-designed mosaic at 9:00am on January 7th 2010 to mark what would have been his 31st birthday. Further information on this event will be issued in early January.


Jean Charles family have earned not just sympathy, but respect and admiration for the dignity and determination they have shown. Often we sign petitions without much confidence they will work. That this one has suggests the London Underground authorities sensed the public feeling behind it. It will be good to show that on January 7.

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