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2012 in review

FROM THE Olympics to The Voice’s own 30th birthday, 2012 was an eventful year. Lizabeth Davis and Juliana Lucas take a look at some of the biggest moments in news over the past 12 months.

JANUARY
* AFTER NEARLY 19 years of fighting for justice, on January 3 Stephen Lawrence’s family finally saw a court convicting Gary Dobson and David Norris for the killing of the south London teenager. Stephen, 18, was fatally stabbed in a racist attack in 1993.

* SINGER BEYONCE gave birth to first daughter Blue Ivy on January 7. She and husband Jay-Z had been forced to deny rumours the Grammy-award winning artiste had been wearing a prosthetic belly after her stomach appeared to collapse as she sat down during a TV interview. 

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FEBRUARY
* GRIEF GRIPPED fans worldwide as pop legend Whitney Houston was found dead in a hotel room on February 11, aged just 48. A report found she accidentally drowned in the bath. Houston’s death was the most Googled news item of 2012.


CONTROVERSY: Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman
* FURY ERUPTED when unarmed African American Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot dead by self-styled neighbourhood watchman George Zimmerman. Petitions and protests broke out in the US and London when Zimmerman was initially not arrested or charged for Trayvon’s murder. The Florida resident, who claimed he acted in self-defence, is currently on bail and awaiting trial in June.

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MARCH
* DOUBTS OVER Notting Hill Carnival being held emerged after its longstanding directors quit over concerns about lack of financial support from government and other agencies. However, a new group of volunteers took over and the carnival went ahead in August this year. Hold up your foot and jump!

* HUNDREDS OF black lawyers faced losing their businesses because of alleged institutional racism by the law industry’s regulatory body, The Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA). These allegations brought by The Society of Black Lawyers have prompted a review led by noted consultant Professor Gus John.
He will publish his findings this year.

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APRIL
* LEADING BLACK figures, including chairman of the Metropolitan Black Police Association Bevan Powell, called for closer monitoring of the police after claims of racism shook the Met Police. It included allegations brought by Mauro Demetrio, 21, where officers were recorded on a mobile phone calling him a “n****r.” They called for spot checks, recording devices in police vehicles and the re-introduction of independent monitoring groups.

* FOLLOWING THE police racism scandal, Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe pledged to “rid the Met” of racist officers with a package of measures, such as introducing CCTV in 6,000 Met vehicles and zero tolerance of racist officers. Some critics were left unimpressed with his “slow and casual intervention.”

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MAY
* BORIS JOHNSON wins a second term as London’s mayor, beating rival Ken Livingstone in a hard-fought race on May 3.

* IN MAY, The Voice launched a campaign to get 90s hit sitcom The Real McCoy back on TV. Support flooded in from all over the country as fans of the much-loved show demanded to know why the BBC hadn’t shown re-runs. The BBC has not said if the show will return.

* COLETANE LOPEZ, a Leeds-based lesbian who feared she would be killed if she was deported to Jamaica because of homophobia, won the right to remain in the UK. It followed a Voice news story and two petitions.

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JUNE
* AFTER A four-year hiatus, teen magazine Young Voices was re-launched on June 1, 2012 much to our young readers’ satisfaction.

* LOVELL BRIAN Dennis was awarded thousands of pounds in an out of court settlement on June 6 after a secret recording proved he was falsely accused of using abusive language and threatening a social worker as he discussed taking over care of his brother who has Down’s syndrome.

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JULY
* READERS AND other supporters put up a fight when The Voice – Britain’s longstanding black newspaper - was denied media accreditation to the Olympics. A petition led by activist Zita Holbourne gained thousands of signatures, media attention and raised tough questions over the treatment of ethnic media. Olympics authorities quickly backtracked and The Voice was granted one pass.


GOLD MEDALLISTS: Mo Farah (left) and Usain Bolt 

* PRESS PASS sorted, The Voice – and black communities across Britain – witnessed and celebrated as a number of black British, African and Caribbean stars such as heptathlete Jessica Ennis, distance runner Mo Farah, boxers Nicola Adams and Anthony Joshua and sprint king Usain Bolt shone at the 2012 Olympics, held in London between July 27 and August 12. The city also hosted the Paralympics from August 29 to September 9.

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AUGUST
* THE GAMES also coincided with The Voice’s 30th birthday and Jamaica and Trinidad’s 50th anniversary of Independence. Jamaica’s milestone anniversary, marked on August 6, saw the island celebrate even more as its athletes took the gold silver and bronze medals in the men’s 200 metres final.


SEAN RIGG: Inquest found police restraint led to his death

* POLICE RESTRAINT contributed to the death of black musician Sean Rigg, an inquest into his death found. The 40-year-old died at Brixton police station, in south London, while detained under the Mental Health Act. A review is being held into how the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s (IPCC) original investigation was handled.

* KINGSLEY BURRELL, who died on March 30, 2011, days after controversial contact with West Midlands police officers, was finally laid to rest on August 31, 18 months after he died.


ANGER: Kingsley Burrell march for justice in Birmingham, August 2012
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SEPTEMBER
* IN AN 11-minute short film, which premiered at the Portobello Film Festival, Paulette Hall reflected on her brother Mark Duggan’s death. The 29-year-old was shot and killed by a Metropolitan Police marksman in Tottenham, north London, on August 4, 2011. Anger over his death sparked riots that spread across England last August.


STILL RAW: Paulette Hall with a drawing of her brother Mark

* THERE WAS outrage at Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe’s claims that Jamaican men were ‘lazy Ganja smokers’. Voice readers reacted angrily over his comments at a Harare lecture that “Jamaican men are always high and universities are full of women.”

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OCTOBER
* IN THE same month black history was celebrated, The Voice launched Enough is Enough- Get Onside, a campaign to pressure authorities to seriously address racism in football, following a series of incidents affecting black footballers in the past year.



* BLACK BRITS were urged to advocate for greater recognition and demand better service from businesses as a new report revealed that the spending power of black and Asian communities had soared to an estimated £300 billion.

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NOVEMBER
* WHEN US President Barack Obama was re-elected to the White House on November 4, Nottingham-based Dionne Rose also secured another four years in ‘office’. Rose often works as a look-a-like for First Lady Michelle Obama.

* VETERAN CAMPAIGNER and former mayor race adviser Lee Jasper lost his bid to become MP for Croydon North. But the Respect Party candidate vowed his party would fight on.

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DECEMBER
* THE LATEST Census statistics, released on December 11, showed black Africans are now the majority group in Britain’s black communities, doubling from 484,783 to 989,628 nominally. Between 2001 and 2011, those who identified as Black Caribbean increased only slightly to 29,204. The black ‘other’ numbers also rose from 0.2 per cent to 0.5 per cent. Overall, black communities make up 3.4 per cent of Britain’s total population of 56.1 million.

* LORD HERMAN Ouseley announced his decision to step down from his post on the Football Association’s (FA) council on December 14. The Kick It Out chairman said his position at the football authority had become untenable. Speaking exclusively to The Voice the veteran anti-racism campaigner said: “I am stepping down because I had to go public with my criticisms of the FA. I asked them on three occasions to go public about mistakes made with regard to the Terry and Suarez cases. I told them if they weren’t prepared to do that then I would.”


FA RESIGNATION: Lord Ouseley

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1. ‘Tulisa’s sex tape is fake’ - Rep for X Factor judge blasts shocking reports

2. ‘I’m not happy with the club I love…’ - Hazelann Williams gives her candid view on Liverpool's Luis Suarez controversy

3. Daggering injuries on the rise  - Pubic bone fractures have tripled since the Jamaica dance craze became popular

4. Website for white men seeking black women launched 

5. Dynamic duo boost Gunners’ Champions League bid - Sagna and Walcott key to Arsenal

6. Channel 4 Top Boy open auditions cancelled - Hundreds of young acting hopefuls left disappointed after heading to Hackney for their shot at fame

7. Leeds chiefs want ‘The Guv’nor’ - Ince is front-runner to be manager at Leeds

8. Defoe’s cousin dies on St Lucia holiday - Spurs striker flying home from US where he was on pre-season training with teammates

9. Frimpong frustrates title-chasing Spurs - Dropped points hinder White Hart Lane oufit's quest for glory

10. The wrong friends can land you in prison - If you think you’re doing the right thing by staying loyal to a friend who breaks the law, you could find yourself in trouble too

11. Good ass-set - The Voice explores whether having a large bottom is a blessing or a curse

12. Wenger in line of fire after Swansea defeat - Arsenal outplayed and outfought by Welshmen

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