Announcement

‘Liberation Movement’ launches tonight to fight back against UK racism

‘Nothing about us without us’, says new group

A new group launches tonight with an event in London’s Conway Hall, to fight against all forms of racism. The Liberation Movement (TLM), which has sprung from the Grassroots Black Left (GBL) initiative in conjunction with other groups, says that it is needed because ‘racism has never been starker in Britain’ and that people of colour are often not only marginalised in responses to the situation, but actively targeted as part of the government’s ‘hostile environment’:

Because of the current alarming manifestations of racism both in Britain and internationally, we need a united movement to defeat those whose aim is to divide black and white people in our communities, including in workplaces. Africans, Asians, Caribbeans and other people of colour are at the sharp end of racism, so it is they who should lead the fightback, supported by their white allies, as was seen during the Black Lives Matter protests. “Nothing about us, without us”, as the saying goes.

People of colour, who include Africans, Asians and Caribbeans, make up around 14 per cent of Britain’s population. Daily they face personal and systemic racism, including in the workplace, as evidenced by numerous reports like the milestone Macpherson one into the murder of Stephen Lawrence. The government deny this at their peril. Footballer and other black public figures have faced totally unacceptable racist abuse. This and all other form of racial discrimination must be stopped.

A specific trade unions presence was absent from the Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations, the largest civil rights mobilisations ever seen in Britain. Progressive political parties were not involved either. Our new movement can put this right.

The BLM protests were mass-based mobilisation that happened day after day precisely because black, particularly the youth, organised and turned up for them, based on black self-organisation and self-determination which, in principle, are supported by the labour movement and others. Beyond police reform, BLM widened its demand to include the decolonisation of British history in general and educational curricula in particular.

Racism and inequality have never been starker in Britain and elsewhere. Grassroots Black Left, with their campaigning and pamphlets Black People Racism and the Covid-19 Pandemic and Black Workers in Health and Social Care: A Blueprint for Action, have laid bare how racism is at the heart of the pandemic. African Caribbean and Asian frontline workers and communities have disproportionately suffered as a result of Covid-19.

But despite the crisis, the government’s racist “hostile environment” continues to scapegoat migrants, refugees and the Muslim community. Asylum seekers, including children, have been put in jail-like detention centres and deportation flights, chartered by the government, have continued despite the Windrush scandal. Many victims of the extremely avoidable Grenfell tower fire, that claimed at least 72 lives four years ago, were mainly African, Caribbean, Asian, migrants, refugees and poor people.

The disproportionate use of stop and search against black people, and the disturbing number of deaths of black people in police custody, has created bitterness and distrust towards the police. This has been made worse by a new law the government wants to pass to clampdown on peaceful Black Lives Matter, environmentalist and women’s protests. We therefore support the #KilltheBill campaign. In the workplace, disparities in health and safety, pay, and conditions for African Caribbean and Asian workers are issues which the trade unions, to which they belong, are ideally placed to tackle.

The racist and fascist right are in government in some countries and are organising and growing their numbers among members of the public. British security services have said that the activities of neo-nazis and the far right pose the biggest domestic threat they have to combat.

Huge controversy was sparked by the television interview revelations of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry about racism at the very top of the British establishment and in the news media.

Trade unionists have a long record of being at the forefront of anti-racist campaigns and actions, including the Anti-Apartheid Movement, to oppose racism.

They can be most effective uniting with people of colour, including Africans, Asians and Caribbeans, to bring their anti-racist campaigning back “in-house”. United together we can defeat the growth of racism, islamophobia and antisemitism and all other forms of hatred.

The event, which has the support of black Labour MP Clive Lewis and other prominent figures, will be chaired by GBL’s Deborah Hobson and Cllr Hassan Ahmed and will feature speakers including:

  • lawyer and leading Windrush campaigner Jacqui McKenzie
  • Chantelle Lunt, who runs the Merseyside Black Lives Matter Alliance in Liverpool
  • Greens of Colour chair Azzees Minott
  • Suresh Grover, director of The Monitoring Group
  • Unite’s political education coordinator Barry Faulkner
  • black Jewish filmmaker Orson Nava
  • Moshfiqur Noor of the Bangladesh Workers Council.

Register here.

TLM will supported the ‘United Families and Friends’ annual event about deaths in custody, which took place in Trafalgar Square last Saturday.

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10 comments

  1. Do I dare criticise this article & incur the wrath of ‘the Progressives’? If I do criticise I must be a racist as I also voted ‘Leave’,(bourgeois logic) however I will speak ‘my’ truth to those powerful & dominant ideologies that pervade Western Capitalist Media Culture, now being re-shaped to reflect the values of Neo-Liberal international conglomerates. See close reading ‘representations of colour & class in advertising, especially television. My family are ‘Mixed Race’, not Black nor White, we are mongrel.. My father’s family Gypsy & other members of our family have a variety of skin colours e.g. my skin colour is white; my sister’s black & my son is………he doesn’t care to be labelled but his mother’s skin colour was black. We agree with Bob Marley “until the colour of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes, everywhere is war. See me, see my colour is a dangerous recipe.The Perception Industry is the most powerful teacher.
    The era of identity politics has brought an obsession with thinking in cliched labels; it is not who you are but what you appear to be. The BBC now monitors ‘issues of race & gender representation’ to ensure the quota equality illusion. Black Power has become acceptable as Beyonce claims she is proud of her skin colour; how can anybody be proud of an accident of nature? Dr. Martin Luther King had a dream of races living together; but as my son observed, it is acceptable for the son to be proud of his skin colour, but not his father.
    The MacPherson Report is insidiously dangerous & has been used to inflate ‘hate’ crime figures & accusations of anti-Semitism. At Bristol University, accusations were made that ‘some’ Jewish students ‘FELT’ that they were being victimised, as did many of the accusations submitted by Margaret Hodge to the EHRC. Racism is a perception problem?
    Stop & Search was requested by communities in Liverpool to ‘prevent young people carrying knives’.

    1. Nothing about us without us was cribbed from the disability movement and a bit disappointed no one mentioned it in the article. I despise racists as it’s all so stupid and easy to blame all your problems on the ‘others’ it’s lazy right-wing rhetoric…

      I am not saying I am perfect but every day I witness these stupid people and how they interact with my partner and I get annoyed as we are ALL human beings despite any slight skin colour differences we may have.
      Let’s be honest the English people are to be polite mongrels we have been invaded and exchanged our DNA with half the dang planet why do morons think that makes them special? We all bleed, share the same internal organs, we all feel and want a better life for our family!

      The real scum is the right-wing governments that always mess up this country and it whould be better if idiots stopped voting for them and helped others than worrying about another’s racial background but we don’t live in a perfect world sadly…

    2. I respect your and your family’s personal experiences and perspectives of racism but is clear to most people regardless of their skin colour that our BAME brothers and sisters are not treated equally in society and indeed that many organisations and groups are institutionally racist.
      You only have to listen to the racist insults our Black footballers have to put up with, the vicious on line attacks directed at our black MPs ( Diane Abbott received more abuse than all other MPs put together) the anti Arab propaganda disseminated by Friends of Israel groups including Labour Friends of Israel ,the the racially motivated attacks (some of which lead to murder) on our Muslim brothers and sisters, the abuse of the stop and search legislation by the police, the disproportionate number of BAME deaths of those held by the police etc to know that equality and decent treatment for all regardless of ethnicity is still along way off so solidarity with the Liberation Movement. I wish it every success in its fight back against racism

      1. I attend ‘Professional Football Matches’ with my wife & friends, pretty much every weekend but appear to have become deaf & blind because we don’t see & hear what Gary Linekar & other overpaid experts claim they are seeing & hearing. every day. All Opposition players ‘get stick’ from ‘home crowds’ regardless of skin colour. I suppose journalists must create something to write about on Neo-Liberal platforms, but when you are being paid millions of pounds to arrive from a foreign land just to kick a piece of leather around on a patch of grass don’t expect an easy ride, even Ronaldo experiences.a great deal of ‘abuse’ in the tribal jousts called football.
        I have spent much of my life working in & around ‘professional’ football & have used these experiences to train ‘amateur’ youth teams, especially in Liverpool. I spent 5 years in 1970s training a predominantly ‘black” group of players to survive in a most hostile environment, playing against teams who preferred GBH to playing football. When I arrived in Liverpool I played in the Premier Huyton League where every week I was called ‘a Cockney C…& actual bodily harm the name of the game. Imagine that, being called a Cockney!
        This is not to deny racism exists, but to put it in context. I despise mindless abusive remarks aimed at anyone but professional football is not the arena to address major changes in attitude. In my experience, anyone shouting racial abuse is quickly ‘dealt with’ by others in the crowd. Football matches are a potentially hostile tribal environment., but a greater problem exists on-line with abuse from faceless, nameless morons who choose anonymity to rant their ignorance. Is it because Football is seen as a ‘Working Class’ pursuit & audiences are to be exploited & ridiculed at every opportunity?

      2. As I said Steve I respect your personal experience and perspective on racism but I don’t agree with your comments.

    3. The beeb and the rest are not helping. There are some adverts where their ticked boxes soaps and game shows, ads etc are so disproportionate as to be actually humiliating to everyone. My black friends call Emmerdale Harlem. I am sick of wierdos popping up and giving their opinions on topics as if they are genuine spokespersons, of non-white people. They don’t speak for me or my family and friends. It’s meant to infuriate people and it’s working. It’s not realistic representation and that enrages the very people it supposed to support. Good boys and girls, look a police station in the countryside with no white male detectives. Yeah, we buy it. Wait for Black Santa. That should cause a teeny little bit of kickback. Same divide and rule. We forget the class war at our peril. Course race and real history are a huge part of the class war but the media and Hollywood are not on our side.

  2. Twas Obama and Brown who decided the banks were to big to fail, the response to save their sorry arses will soon become apparent
    The financial pandemic will make Covid19 look like a Teddy Bears picnic
    I’m colour blind, so it matters not a jot to me where the fuckers come from
    Every horrible so and so who has caused me grief over the years has been white, middle aged and middle class
    They never call you by your name, its always the accused or the defendent

  3. The comment by Steve Richards is superb. The article itself about ‘The Liberation Movement’ and that apparently newly established group is almost beyond parody.

    1. Sincere thanks for the praise from ‘Plain Citizen’, but there goes my credibility.

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