24 May 2012
Doreen spoke about a range of issues, including how she feels groups such as PCS have supported her campaign for justice and what she thinks of the government’s austerity measures.
How have found the energy, strength and determination to keep going over the past 19 years since your son Stephen’s murder?
I think we just had to keep to going and challenging the police and their inaction. They knew who had murdered Stephen and did nothing with the information. I have always said had Stephen been white they would have caught his killers.
Do you think things have improved over the last 19 years in terms of race relations in UK society as a whole?
Each time I think things have changed for the better and we have examples of positive improvements then something happens which puts that back. What I wanted to see after the inquiry which eventually followed Stephen’s death was for them to get rid of the whole police force and start again. Having said that since the recent trial and in the build-up to it the officers who have been involved seem to have a different mindset and relationship. But you have to be careful not to get too complacent.
Are you confident of changes and that the three remaining suspects are brought to justice?
If they (the police) had had the information at the time of the recent trial then the three others would have been in the dock at the same time as the other two. So no, I am not optimistic about any possible future convictions.
How has the support of PCS and other groups helped your campaign for justice?
Sitting there listening to the powerful messages of support at your conference meant a great deal to me. There has been great support from everyone and great support for us.
What do you think of the government’s cuts, particularly to legal aid and the Equality and Human Rights Commission?
This government does not have race on the agenda. Cuts have always affected the black community more. I despair to think of the future for my children and grandchildren. We used to think that Thatcher was bad but this present government are even worse than she ever was. They have no sense of reality because they don’t live in the real world. When my son was murdered they didn’t live in the real world, nothing much has change where they are concerned.
What is next for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and your own work?
After nearly 20 years of campaigning I’m coming to end of my campaigning. It’s time for someone else to take over. I would like to see the trust continue to work to break down barriers and give opportunities to people to achieve their ambitions. I would like to see organisations like PCS and other trade unions make long-lasting commitments to support the trust’s work.