‘Racism still devastating lives’- Doreen Lawrence

Doreen Lawrence. (2303PG03)
Doreen Lawrence. (2303PG03)

The mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence was in Derry today to launch the Foyle Film Festival Intercultural and Anti-Racism programme.

Doreen Lawrence campaigned for 18 years to have the men who killed her son in an unprovoked racially motivated attack brought to justice.

This morning she introduced a screening of ‘Stephen Lawrence: A Time for Justice’ at the Tower Hotel.

Speaking to the Derry Journal she said: Things still have to change. Racism is still devastating lives. It is still there - it tells people they are not good enough because of the colour of their skin. It invades every inch of their lives until they believe that they are worthless.

“It leaves people demoralised, hurt. It creates an atmosphere of fear.”

Mrs Lawrence said the conviction of Gary Dobson and David Norris earlier this year in relation to Stephen’s 1993 murder had brought “some sense of peace”.

“I never thought we would get to this stage. I never dared to believe we would ever see two men behind bars for murdering Stephen. To wait 18 years for that - and to hear those words, it was very overwhelming. It was very emotional.”

Mrs Lawrence said that although almost 19 years have passed since Stephen was murdered, she still thinks of him every day. “It will never leave me,” she said. “I will never stop thinking about him. About what may have been.”

For an indepth interview with Doreen Lawrence see Friday’s Journal.