Ex-Teacher who held ‘Coconut’ Banner charged with Hate Crime

A former teacher who carried a placard depicting Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman as coconuts has been charged with a hate crime.

Ex-Teacher who held 'Coconut' Banner charged with Hate Crime f

"I am absolutely committed to fighting this charge"

A British-Asian ex-teacher who held a placard depicting Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman as coconuts has been charged with a hate crime.

Marieha Hussain was arrested after police posted a picture of her in November 2023 on social media.

The image showed her holding the placard at a pro-Palestine demonstration in London.

At the time, the Met Police put out a search appeal for the woman, categorising her actions as a “hate crime”.

Terms like “coconuts”, “Bounty” and “coon” have been used as insults within Black and Asian communities to describe other people from minoritised communities who are perceived as being sympathetic with white supremacist agendas – implying that the person is brown on the outside but Eurocentric on the inside.

The November 11 pro-Palestine demonstration was attended by thousands of people in Central London, including Ms Hussain.

Around this time, Suella Braverman had faced controversy for repeatedly stoking racial tensions with inflammatory rhetoric about marginalised communities, describing the peaceful demonstrations as “hate marches”.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister described the demonstration as “disrespectful”.

Thirty-seven-year-old Marieha Hussain has now been charged with a racially aggravated public order offence.

Believed to be five months pregnant, Ms Hussain said in a statement released through CAGE advocacy group:

“Whilst I find it bewildering that the police have thought this would be a good use of their time and money, I am absolutely committed to fighting this charge in court.

“The messages to me and the messages asking the CPS to drop their case against me have been overwhelming and I am truly grateful.”

Ex-Teacher who held 'Coconut' Banner charged with Hate Crime f

The case is the latest example of a person of ethnic minority heritage being investigated by the police for using this type of language to describe right-wing politicians’ political views.

Ms Hussain, a former teacher from Buckinghamshire, was reportedly sacked from her job following negative media attention after her participation in the protest.

She is due to appear at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on June 26, 2024.

A Met Police spokesperson said: “Marieha Hussain, 37, of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire has been charged with a racially aggravated public order offence in relation to a placard carried during a demonstration in central London on Saturday 11 November 2023.

“She was charged by postal requisition on Friday 10 May and will appear at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 26 June.

“Media are reminded that proceedings are now active and nothing should be reported that could risk prejudicing those proceedings.”



Dhiren is a News & Content Editor who loves all things football. He also has a passion for gaming and watching films. His motto is to "Live life one day at a time".




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