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We’re still waiting for report into Blair’s death—30 years on

PUBLISHED: 21:57 12 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:21 05 October 2010

Blair... died in 1979 during anti-fascist demo

Blair... died in 1979 during anti-fascist demo

Dear Ed, BLAIR Peach was an East London special needs teacher who died at the hands of police 30 years ago in an anti-fascist protest at Southall. The campaign to find out who was responsible is still trying to get the Cass Report into his death in 1979 released

Dear Ed,

BLAIR Peach (pictured) was an East London special needs teacher who died at the hands of the Met Police 30 years ago during an anti-fascist protest at Southall in Middlesex.

The campaign to find out who was responsible is still trying to get the Cass Report into his death in 1979 finally released.

The Metropolitan Police appointed Commander John Cass to conduct an investigation into the circumstances of what happened, after Blair died in Ealing Hospital from brain injuries. That report has never been published and a whole raft of ruses has been used by the Home Office and Scotland Yard to keep it secret.

I sent an open letter to both Home Secretary Jaqui Smith and Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson over a month ago asking for the report to be finally published. The letters were sent by Recorded Delivery and the Post Office confirmed they arrived.

But neither the Home Secretary nor the police chief seem to think we are worthy of a reply.

Because of this rudeness, I have now reported them to the Standards Board which hopefully will shame them into at least saying they have no intention of releasing the report.

An attempt was made two years ago under the Freedom of Information Act to get the report published.

The Met used an obscure clause in the Act to get out of publishing it—by saying it would cause the family “unnecessary anguish.”

But Blair’s two brothers have now said they have no objection to publication. So it will be interesting to see what excuse and Jaqui Smith and Sir Paul can come up with this time.

It is vital the police are held to account. One way of doing this is to know what exactly happened in Southall on the corner of Beechcroft-avenue and Garden-avenue on April 23, 1979, when Blair was fatally injured.

The family have asked me to express their gratitude to the East London Advertiser and Hackney Gazette for carrying stories and letters remembering Blair Peach and preventing him being forgotten.

Terry Fitzpatrick

Victoria Park Road, South Hackney


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