Thursday, 28 April 2016

Why the verdict on the Hillsborough disaster matters in the long-term

Earlier this week, a jury at the inquest into the Hillsborough Stadium disaster of 1989, which resulted in the tragic deaths of 96 people (95 of them fans of Liverpool FC, who were playing against Sheffield FC), concluded that those 96 people were unlawfully killed and that police failures were entirely responsible for their preventable deaths. It took 27 years to achieve such a verdict, due to the cover-ups, smears, vilifications of innocent people and falsifications of statements by the police in conjunction with a compliant and prejudiced media.

Nevertheless, this is one of the biggest victories of the people against abuses and misues of power by police, which frequently still go unpunished today. After all, in the public's eye, police forces are supposed to protect the safety of the people and uphold the law as passed by Parliament and elected MPs, rather than abuse their position of power to falsely accuse innocent people of immoral actions and cover up their own responsibility for the disaster.

It is also an important example of how the truth is more powerful than a thousand lies, no matter how well these lies might be spun by the powers that be more concerned about themselves and their own self-interest than principles that really matter to us all, of which justice is one. No matter how long things might take, we must stand up for fairness, honesty and justice in all we do, for these principles will prevail when we act. I also hope this verdict can help families and friends of victims who have so far not been compensated over the loss of their loved ones receive compensation and bring the surviving negligent police officers who were present at the disaster and could have at least tried to prevent this tragedy, yet failed to do so, to justice over the preventable deaths of wholly innocent people.


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