February 14, 2008

Racists vandalise Stephen Lawrence memorial centre

A £10m architectural centre built to honour the memory of Stephen Lawrence, who was brutally murdered in a racist attack 15 years ago, has been vandalised after only one week, Guardian.co.uk can reveal.

Eight windows each worth £15,000 and designed by the Turner prize-winning artist Chris Ofili on the front of the new building in Deptford, south-east London, were destroyed overnight. A Metropolitan police spokeswoman confirmed the attack was being treated as a racist incident.

"A number of windows had been broken and police were informed at 5.46am today. The hate crime unit at Lewisham CID are investigating the incident," she said.

No arrests have been made and inquiries are continuing.

Attackers appeared to have thrown bricks at the windows from behind a 2.5m high metal fence surrounding the complex.

"It is a very sad day for the trust and for Stephen's family," said Karin Woodley, chief executive of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. "Stephen's mother is very distressed by all of this."

She said it was the fourth time the centre had been attacked, but this was by far the worst. She added that the centre had 24-hour CCTV and on-site security, and that security measures would be reviewed.

"I think this is awful and just shows there are still people out there who have a problem with racism and with those who value diversity," said Imran Khan, a lawyer for Stephen's mother, Doreen Lawrence.

The three-storey building, designed by the award-winning architect David Adjaye, aims to offer thousands of young people from deprived backgrounds the chance to break into architecture, urban design and building. London's mayor, Ken Livingstone, and the commissioner of the Metropolitan police, Sir Ian Blair, were at the opening of the centre last week, along with Lawrence. She said her son, who dreamed of being an architect from the age of seven, would have been "so excited" that the centre was built in his name.

Stephen was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack by a gang at a bus stop in Eltham, south-east London, in April 1993. Many of the suspects continue to live in the area.

The case was the subject of three separate investigations, an internal Scotland Yard review and a re-examination by Kent police, as well as the 1999 Macpherson inquiry, which found the Metropolitan police was beset by "institutional racism".

Last November, police confirmed they were investigating new forensic evidence in the case.

The Lawrence centre offers courses, training and mentoring in engineering, architecture and building facilities for people between 14 and 25. It is linked to several leading firms and universities. Woodley said last week the centre was a "laboratory for looking at new ways of working with young people to improve their attainment and skills".

"Stephen was tragically denied the chance to realise his dream of becoming an architect, but we hope to offer young people who are living in poverty the opportunity to realise their aspirations," she said.

In 1999 Stephen's memorial was defiled by paint. It was attacked again the following year, despite 24-hour camera surveillance.



Anonymous said...

I wasn’t surprised to find out that BNP leaders Nick Griffin and Mark Collett were secretly recorded on the BBC documentary, the Secret Agent, making slurs against Stephen Lawrence back in 2005. Nor, was I surprised to read on the BNP website the nonsensical claim that media coverage of the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence is part of an “an anti-white agenda”.

Then I found out that leading National Front member Stuart Hollingdale was convicted of attacking Stephen Lawrence's memorial. Here’s a picture of Stuart Hollingdale giving a nazi salute:

BNP and NF = nazi scum.

A Director said...

Is it just me or was £15 grand per window a bit of a piss-take?

I mean, really, I couldn't give a flying monkies who made them!

£15,000 grand a pop - someone's having a laugh, surely?

Probably why mindless idiots have such fun breaking them.

The designers never really thought this one through, did they!

Unloved Collett said...

Yawn, yawn, yawn!

Thanks, Mr ShitforBrains troll for trivilising an act of vandalism which was 100% racially motivated according to the police.

No, it was not "boredom" or "an objection to the price of glass", you arsehole.

The link to your name, when you click on it is a redirect to the Autoglass website.

Sadly, in the last few days, the trolls have been getting through the moderators a bit more than usual. Perhaps it was the whiff of love in the air which preocupied Denise and Ketlan, from deleting nazi scum purposely trivilising the memory of Stephen Lawrence.

Just wandering which Hitler-worshipping loser "A Director" happens to be? After all, this is Valentine's Day, and instead of typing such purile shite, you should be out enjoying yourself with the opposite sex.

I guess stay-at-home, "no-girlfriend, Billy No Mates" Mark Collett himself is the prime suspect, as no girl in her right mind would go on a Valentine's Day date with him.