Pet Shop Boys song on Menezes killing

From British daily The Morning Star:

Pet Shop Boys track attacks Menezes shooting

Tuesday 17 March 2009

THE B-side of the new Pet Shop Boys single was written about Jean Charles de Menezes, it was revealed on Tuesday.

We’re All Criminals Now is the second track on the Love Etc CD and includes the lyrics “Got the bus to the station/Music playing in my head/Ran to get on the Tube train/Police shoot someone dead.”

The evergreen electro-pop duo said the song was a comment on the erosion of civil liberties.

Neil Tennant said: “The B-side of the single is about the shooting of Menezes and surveillance cameras and how when you go to the USA you have to give your fingerprints like a common criminal.

“We’re all treated like that, but yet it ends up with someone innocent getting shot, so we feel very strongly about that.”

Mr de Menezes, an electrician from Brazil, was shot dead by two police marksmen on a train at Stockwell Tube station in south London on July 22 2005 after he was mistaken for failed July 21 bomber Hussain Osman.

An inquest jury returned an open verdict in December after hearing three months of evidence.

See also here.

7 thoughts on “Pet Shop Boys song on Menezes killing

  1. Police killing has become routine in our country (Brazil), especially in certain areas, leading to the depressing result that citizens end up taking that as inevitable. Pet Shop Boy’s song “We’re All Criminals Now” has the blessing effect of setting our conscience straight, moving us towards much more than just paying lip service to human rights. As to the case of Menezes in particular, I have not heard of anyone resorting to the European Court of Human Rights. Why was that so? His family’s action, as far as I know, gave some trouble to the Scotland Yard, not to get to much in the end. Then again, why were the European institutions left idle about the case, especially when it was brought to the air that the Brit police misrepresented the circumstances of Menezes’ death?


  2. Hi Amelia, according to the BBC:

    “The family of Mr de Menezes welcomed the report but said they had not achieved justice as no individual had been held accountable for his death.

    Their solicitor, Harriet Wistrich, said they would take the case to the European Court for Human Rights.”

    I am not sure what happened after that.


  3. I have now searched the list of cases submitted to the European Court of Human Rights. I failed to find a case showing the name (or part of it) of our victim.


  4. Hi Amelia, I have also found a more recent BBC report, from about a month ago. Which says in part:

    “The family’s lawyer, Harriet Wistrich, said the legal action would not continue because of the significant cost to the taxpayer. She said if they were successful it would lead to a fresh inquest which they believed would have little benefit.

    But she said they have made fresh representations to the CPS about the possibility of bringing a prosecution against officers and were seeking a meeting with the Director of Public Prosecutions.

    The family will also be asking the Independent Police Complaints Commission to reconsider disciplinary action against the officers involved, she said.

    An application has already been lodged with the European Court of Human Rights about the issue of prosecutions in cases where someone is killed at the hands of the state.”


  5. Pingback: Death of London G20 demonstrator | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Protest songs about police and dictators | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: London De Menezes memorial mosaic | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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