Soup Kitchen lawyers premiere Brixton on Trial

Written by on 12 February, 2018 in Community, Education, Film, News - 4 Comments
Lawyers in the Soup Kitchen founder Twanieka Alcindor at the launch

Lawyers in the Soup Kitchen founder Twanieka Alcindor at the launch

Brixton was yesterday (11 February) the setting for the premiere of a unique new film, an education drama that explains how a criminal trial works.

It has been produced by Lawyers in the Soup Kitchen (LISK) – the free legal advice service operating from the Brixton Soup Kitchen on Coldharbour Lane – with help from legal and creative professionals.

Brixton on Trial was filmed in the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in London.

Daria Ermini

Daria Ermini

Introducing the video, Daria Ermini said: “We were told that filming in the Royal Courts of Justice is prohibited. Nobody had ever done it. We did it.

“We were told that our fundraising target was excessive. But we reached it.

“We were told that we were aiming too high. But here we are today.

“We have shown that Lawyers in the Soup Kitchen can achieve great things. So watch this space.”

Sinead McCaffrey

Sinead McCaffrey

Sinead McCaffrey explained how 25 young people from the Brixton area had gone to the Royal Courts of Justice to act as the jury in the mock trial of a man accused of a gang-related murder in Brixton’s Moorlands Estate, next to the Soup Kitchen.

Before, during and after the trial, they met a judge and other legal experts who explained law and legal procedures.

Rhi Griffiths said that the “bread and butter of LISK is free legal advice – “family, migration, tenancy, eviction, debt – the real personal matters that our community is dealing with all the time.”

Rhi Griffiths

Rhi Griffiths

But it was also fielding queries about running small businesses and is looking at a one-day “one-stop shop” event to cover such issues.

She introduced Twanieka Alcindor, “founder, CEO and the brains behind the organisation”.

The local woman who worked tirelessly to become a barrister and to help local people through LISK, said TV professionals had made promises and then tried to discredit the work the LISK team was doing.

“We were told there was ‘no way’ we would get cameras in Royal Courts of Justice,” said Alcindor.

She went on: “Today is a testament that, no matter what people say you cannot do, with a little bit of hard work and some faith and good old elbow grease and being up sending emails at 3 o’clock in the morning, you can do anything.”

“I am so proud to be able to say that we have done this together”.

Twanieka Alcindor introduces her mother Michelle

Twanieka Alcindor introduces her mother Michelle

She introduced her mother, Michelle, saying “there is a woman stronger than me”.

“My daughter has worked very hard,” she said. “Law degree, masters in law, and the bar. She has pushed and pushed and pushed. She has fallen flat on her face and gone forward and forward and forward. She just keeps going forward. She makes me so proud that she’s mine.”

The video itself, which will be available online from 6 March, is a long and detailed look at the criminal law process, with professional actors Nathan Harris and Aaron Deacon playing key roles and professional lawyers playing the prosecution and defence teams.

LISK members at the launch event paid tribute to videographer Christopher Alozie: “a man who turned up with four cameras and four microphones and filmed Brixton on Trial in one take”.

No matter what people say you cannot do, with a little bit of hard work and some faith and good old elbow grease and being up sending emails at 3 o’clock in the morning, you can do anything

It is not a thrill-a-minute drama, and there were some problems with the sound at the first showing, but the tension of the true-to-life legal drama with its emphasis on “innocent until proven guilty” builds to a tense conclusion.

You will have to watch it to find out what happens.

But Twanieka Alcindor managed a surprise close to the launch event itself, saying: “Most people in this room have no idea what I am about to say.

“For 14 years I have worked for numerous law firms. I have dealt with some serious issues, including racism, being told I’m not good enough, having doors slammed in my face. And it has been hard.

“I have still managed to build a wonderful team that goes out into our community and does the work that we do for free. And that is a beautiful thing.

“However,” she emphasised, “I have decided that the time has come for me to take a leap of faith. I hope everyone on this room will support me and encourage others to support me.”

She said that from next month there would be a new law firm in Brixton as she had signed a deal with Tuckers Solicitors, the biggest independent solicitors firm for criminal defence in the country.

Twanieka Alcindor introduces Alcindor Law, part of Tuckers Solicitors

Twanieka Alcindor introduces Alcindor Law, part of Tuckers Solicitors

Alcindor Law’s front door will be between McDonald’s and HSBC on Brixton Road.

Brixton on Trial trailer.

About the Author

Alan Slingsby moved to Brixton just as the 1981 uprising began. His nearest pub was the Effra and nearest off licence the Frontline — long gone in an earlier wave of closures of treasured community establishments. Has edited newspapers for the National Union of Students and National Union of Teachers. Now makes a living designing magazines and books and anything else people will pay him for.

4 Comments on "Soup Kitchen lawyers premiere Brixton on Trial"

  1. Darrel Blake 19 March, 2018 at 3:21 am ·

    Well done Twanieka, I’ve had the honour in watching your journey and I can it’s beautiful to see you flying through life. You have come a long way and I can say that God has some special things for you lined up for you. You deserve it all!!!

    I look forward to seeing more your ventures!

  2. Twanieka Alcindor 23 February, 2018 at 7:37 pm ·

    Thank you so very much for the continued support and encouragement it makes a huge difference!

  3. Marcia 12 February, 2018 at 11:56 pm ·

    Well done Twan keep it up.

  4. Adrian Jones 12 February, 2018 at 7:42 pm ·

    Well done Twan!!!

    So proud of you, for all you have been through, how you stay grounded and how you pursue your dreams.

    Love you cuz

    Adrian

Comments are now closed for this article.

%d bloggers like this: