Angry protestors took to the streets to vent their fury last Saturday (September 22), the latest in a series of protests opposite Khan’s Mobile Accessories shop in Peckham Rye Lane, southeast London.
Organisers also told The Voice they plan to have another demonstration this Saturday (September 29).
The series of protests began in early September after witnesses claim they saw the 20-year-old university student being chased and attacked by a large group of Afghan men after going into the shop.
The young man did not want to be identified but his angry mother, Charmaine, told The Voice he was attacked at Khan’s Mobile Accessories shop when he tried to return a faulty Blackberry PlayBook he bought on August 24 for £140.
She said shopkeepers agreed to pay for the faulty PlayBook but gave her a partial installment only.
“They later agreed to pay. They paid [me] £70 and asked him to return for the rest later. When he returned for the rest of the money [on September 5], they refused to give it,” she added.
Charmaine, 50, claimed shop owner, Zahr Khan, 38, instead told her son the shop had purchased the playbook for the £70 they had already given, which was half of the PlayBook’s price.
The mother-of-two, who has lived in Peckham for 32 years, alleged: “An argument ensued between them. The manager then threw tea at my son and told him to leave the shop. Eyewitnesses saw at least 20 people chase him across the road and try to hit him.
“He was chased by over 20 Afghan men. He was chased all the way to Peckham Rye station where he had to get on a train to escape,” she said.
Jacqui Fergus, who witnessed the chase, later set a protest group, which has been demonstrating every Saturday.
This is not the first time shopkeepers have beaten someone, she reported.
“Others have been beaten when they try to return faulty goods,” alleged Jacqui Fergus, founder of the Reel Ashanti Justice Centre in Peckham.
She said she plans to continue the protest until CCTV cameras are installed around the shops.
“Enough is enough. They have no respect for us but they want to take our money.”
However, the shop owner has disputed the claims.
Khan told The Voice he did not throw tea at the young man.
He said he and other shopkeepers have never beaten anyone but simply keep a record of disputes and report them to the police.
He claimed “the boy beat me up instead. He stabbed me with a knife and put his finger in my eye.”
Charmaine has hit back at these claims, calling them “untrue”. She said: “photographic evidence and eyewitness accounts back my son’s story”.
Southwark police confirmed officers did go to the shop around 4.30pm on September 5 and are investigating claims from both the shopkeeper and the 20-year-old.
A police spokesperson said: “It is alleged that a 38-year-old man and a 20-year-old man were both assaulted but neither have made a formal allegation to police. No arrests have been made.”
In the meantime, local councillors and police say they have been trying to calm the situation.
Councillor Dora Dixon-Fyle, cabinet member for children’s services at Southwark Council, appealed for calm, adding “we do not achieve anything by violence”.
Chief Inspector Rob Harper from Southwark Safer Neighbourhood, added: “We have been in contact with both parties to try and resolve this matter and prevent it from affecting the wider community in Rye Lane.
“Our investigations are ongoing at this stage.”
Source: The Voice
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RYE LANE CAMPAIGN 2012
We as local African customers are sick to death of shops and retail premises treating ‘Us’ as criminals, especially those owned by other social groups by:
o Committing assaults upon ‘US’ as African people… particularly the men in ‘Our’ community… Then having retailers work with the Police by lying, and making false statements to criminalize or ban ‘US’ from the premises after such harassment or assaults.
o Threatening with weapons African customers who complain about bad treatment , or short changing, or short measures.
o Making sexual advances and sexual innuendos to African women as CUSTOMERS!
o Banging or literally throwing change at African CUSTOMERS!
o Short-changing African customers… Thinking that ‘WE’ are unintelligent, therefore unable to workout what the correct change should be.
o £20 Note scam – Cheating African customers when given a £20 note, and arguing that it was a £10 offered to them. Always make sure, you say, this is a £20 note whenever handing over a £20, or mark your £20 notes, so that the police can be called, to verify the make on a not in the till…
o Giving or making ‘short-measures’ for African customers.
o Grabbing money from African CUSTOMERS hands.
o Giving funny looks or showing reluctance to print till receipts or worst refusing to give receipts even after three or four kind polite request.
Given all these long-going, long-standing issues and ill-treatment by retailers made worst; in an area like Rye Lane, where so many African people spend so much money only to be treated as second-class customers, and worse, being assaulted by staff or the owners of shops, who then try to work with the prejudiced institutionally racist police to criminalize ‘US’, as just CUSTOMERS and PATRONS of these retail outlet… We’ve simply had enough!
If you have information about the assault or saw the young boy being chased into Rye Lane station, about 4.45pm Wednesday 5th September, or any information you fee may be useful…
If you or your organization or one you know of should like to help or get involved with the Rye Lane Campaign please contact one of the existing organisers to add your name and clout to the cause…
We would like to thank:
Galaxy FM 102.5
Lightning FM 90.8
Genesis FM 91.6
Businesses in and around Peckham Rye Lane
82-84 Peckham Hill Street
Pollard Curtains, Bedding, Towels, Blinds Lace etc
171 Rye Lane
New Pollard UK Household Goods, www.newpollard.com
0207 277 5578
Cafe God Bless
Unit 2 Choumert Road
135 Peckham Hill Street 0207 635 7020
0207 277 7244
Gabby’s Take Away
165 Rye Lane 0207 732 2030
Western Union Bilex cargo Express
0207 277 3253
Celebration Gifts Shop
Harte’s Irish Meat Market (nxt door to Primark)
0207 639 3095
United Meat (Halal), nr Burger King
Kumasi Market & Travel Centre
0207 639 3851
J&T Foods (Fish and Seafood) 7c Choumert Rd
0207 635 7596
Orits Cosmetics Hair and Body Shop
Kroo Town, 5 Choumert Road
Helping Nature Salon, 84a Rye Lane
07535810391 / 07960682369
CONSUMER ADVICE AND GUIDANCE
Have you been a victim of unlawful treatment or trading in Rye Lane?
Have you witnessed any assaults on the members of the Community in Rye Lane by shop keepers and associates?
Are you aware of tensions between some shopkeepers and members in the community?
Are you aware of the safer neighbourhood scheme?
Report these crimes in confidence as follows and still remain anonymous:
CALL police helpline on 020 8721-2769
CONTACT the Peckham Safer Neighbourhood team at Peckham Police Station or on : 020 8721 2728
CALL/EMAIL talk show hosts on Community Radio Stations – Galaxy [102.5], Genesis [91.6], Lightening [90.8]
CALL/EMAIL Local/Community Press: Southwark News, The South London Press, The Voice Newspaper
If you are owed money for goods purchased in Rye Lane, contact or have concerns about Environmental Health: Contact
Jonathon Toy firstname.lastname@example.org
Head of Community Safety & Law Enforcement
Address: 3rd Floor Hub 2
PO BOX 64529
London SE1P 5LX
Rye Lane Customer helpline 020 7525 2750
- KHAN MAKES APOLOGY TO FAMILY
- VICTIM WILL NOT BE PROSECUTED
- ALLEGATIONS RECORDED ON VICTIM’S CRB
- KHAN GIVES VICTIM FULL REFUND
- RYE LANE CUSTOMER CHARTER SIGNED
- CAMPAIGN GROUP MEET WITH COUNCIL & POLICE
- PHYSICAL BOYCOTT ON RYE LANE
Ryle Lane Campaign: 9TH SEPTEMBER – 13TH OCTOBER
- BUY FROM SHOPS THAT RESPECT CUSTOMERS
- REPORT BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE
- SUPPORT GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE
- ASK FOR RECEIPTS
- CALL HELPLINE NUMBER OR EMAIL
- KEEP THE £ IN YOUR POCKET
- SET UP YOUR OWN BUSINESS
- SUPPORT COMMUNITY VENTURES
- SHARE TRADITION &SKILLS
- SEEK ADVICE WITHIN THE COMMUNITY
- ADVISE YOUNG PEOPLE OF THEIR RIGHTS
- NETWORK …………………………………….
Liberate the minds of men and ultimately you will liberate the bodies of men. (Marcus Mosiah Garvey)
INVITES YOU TO AN EVENING OF PUBLIC DISCUSSION FACILITATED BY:
RYE LANE CAMPAIGN GROUP:
VENUE: CLF ARTS CAFÉ @BUSSEY BUILDING,
133 RYE LANE, SE15 5TH
Topic: The Way Forward for Rye Lane
The Rye Lane Campaign Group (RLCG) consists of members of the community whose common interests are Community cohesion and a cleaner /safer Rye Lane. The group was formed as a result of incidents which have been occurring on Rye Lane over a period of 6 years or more.
Jonathon Toy (Southwark Council) and Inspector Linda Upton (Peckham Safer Neighbourhood team) have responded to some of the concerns which the community has raised. However, RLCG is of the opinion that Rye Lane Traders Association’s (RLTA) reluctance to fully engage with RLCG to recognise the issues and find possible solutions has not been helpful.
- RLTA declined RLCG’s invitation to attend the public meetings on 5th December 2012 & the next meeting on 6th February 2013, as well as the pre-meeting (in preparation for 4th public meeting) on 31st January 2013.
The RLCG still wishes to collaborate with all parties so that the interests of the Peckham Community are served. RLCG is therefore extending this invitation to the 4th public meeting.
- Day: 6th February 2013
- Time: 18:30 – 21:00
- Venue: CLF Arts cafe/Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST http://www.clfartcafe.org/Site/FIND_US.html
Further details can be found on RLCG’s Facebook page.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Rye Lane Campaign Group (RLCG)