Mavis Best

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In 1970′s London, the notorious Sus law (based on the 1824 Vagrancy Act) was used by police to stop, search, arrest, detain and assault young black men. Mavis Best and a group of black women from Lewisham lobbied the police and the government to scrap the sus law. It took numerous demonstrations and meetings with Government officials but within 3 years the law was scrapped. This was a major chapter in the Black British fight for civil rights. ‘We used to scan the papers daily and if there was anything inaccurate about our community we would immediately respond with a rebuttal or story from our perspective. If we don’t do that then people tend to believe what they hear’ Mavis Best, Leader of the Scrap Sus Campaign 1981

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