Stephen Lawrence remembered on 28th anniversary of his murder
Stephen Lawrence is being remembered 28 years after he was murdered in an unprovoked racist attack while waiting for a bus in Well Hall Road, Eltham, south-east London.
April 22 is now considered Stephen Lawrence Day, an annual celebration of the life and legacy of the teenager.
His murder and the subsequent failure from the police brought the nation’s attention to institutional racism and the very real dangers they pose for minorities.
The day has is particularly significant this year in the wake of the George Floyd murder that has put institutional racism back in the spotlight once again and exposed systemic discrimination in the UK as well as the US.
Tributes were paid at Westminster to Stephen's mother Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon as she used the anniversary of his death to press the government over the education of vulnerable youngsters.
Speaking in the House of Lords, Baroness Lawrence tackled ministers over support provided to students in specialist pupil referral units (PRUs) during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Former National Union of Teachers general secretary Baroness Blower also took the opportunity to “salute” her fellow Labour peer on Stephen Lawrence Day.
Opposition frontbencher Lord Watson of Invergowrie said: “I want to add my tribute to those of others to Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon for the great strength of character she has shown following the callous murder of her son, and for the work she has done in establishing the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.”
Stephen's death in 1993 led to an inquiry, the result of which – the 1999 Macpherson report – concluded the Metropolitan Police was institutionally racist.
It took 18 years for the family to secure convictions for the murder.
In January 2012, Gary Dobson and David Norris were found guilty of murder at the end of a six-week trial.
Despite the two convictions, a group of up to six thugs attacked the teenager and his friend Duwayne Brooks.
The campaign for justice has continued so that everyone responsible is taken to trial and sentenced.
But to this day only two have been convicted, despite strong suspicions around specific individuals.
Baroness Lawrence, speaking on the 20th anniversary of his death in 2013, said: “Justice for Stephen is about all of us, every one of us, in society having justice.
“There are still too many young people who do not have a sense of hope, who just don’t get the chance to live their dreams.
“I want all our children and young people to feel inspired, be confident and have hope in their own future. We are building hope but there is more to do.”