Category Archives: UK

Taking the knee against racism shames the Tories – support England!

Taking the knee for racial justice is a gesture of solidarity and support i the fight for racial equality. It is taking a knee against racism. You would have thought that might be reasonably uncontroversial – unless you are a racist.

But the government has nailed its flag to the racist banner by supporting the minority of booing racists at England friendly warm-up matches for the Euro 2020 football tournament.

Although the government seems to have since backed down by claiming it now support the players statement against racism, the damage has sadly already been done.

This is of course part of a piece for a government that commissioned a report into racism with the intention that it should deny that racism exists.

Boris Johnson, whose racist track record is well known and for which he hasn’t apologised, is the spearhead of the assault on anti-racism.

Applaud footballer taking the knee against racism; boo our racist government

The message to black footballers is stopping moaning about racism and put up with it! The message to their white team mates is to stop being ‘woke’ by standing up for their team mates. The message to the rest of society is that it is the anti-racists that are the problem not the racists.

There is no other way to interpret this other than as the government teaming up with the far right.

Despite the war by the billionaire media and the government against BLM, a recent poll commissioned by the News Statesman showed a majority of the population think that more must be done to eradicate racism.

The truth is that it is an insulting lie that most white working-class people are supposedly racist.

Over many years of battle and struggle – of black and white – racist has been made non-respectable, although never eradicated, especially at an institutional level.

But the idea that we live in a “post-racial” world, where racism is naturally dying away or doesn’t exist in a deep or measningful way is for the birds.

The evidence is all around us, especially when the policies of this government are concerned – such as Priti Patel‘s racist refugee policies, the ongoing Home Office institutional racism against the Windrush generation, who still mostly have not been compensated and cases of gross injustice continue.

And whatever your background as a black person, you can’t escape racism, even if you are a Premier League footballer.

The shocking refusal of social media companies to clampdown on racists adds to the pain of the footballers who daily have too put up with racism in their social feeds or in stadia across Europe.

Take a knee – that’s what leadership really looks like

Footballers have shown their determination to carry on taking the knee for racial justice. That’s brilliant news. Gareth Southgate and his open letter to England fans has shown more leadership in his little finger than in the entire body of Boris Johnson as he flounders on the beaches of Cornwall.

taking the knee
Garteh Southgate’s open letter to England fans

The Tories and their racist supporters claim that they are against Taking the Knee because BLM is “Marxist”. The truth however is that BLM is a movement not a single organisation. In the UK there are literally hundreds of BLM organisations of different sizes, many of which, such as ourselves (BLMM) are not affiliated to BLM UK.

But nevertheless BLM UK is the ‘official’ organisation affiliated to the US body and maybe some of its members are Marxists or sympathetic to Marxist ideas. So what? Certainly the US group’s policies link the fight for racial justice to wider issues of social justice such as the fight against sexism or for Palestinian rights. We think that is to be applauded not vilified in a latter-day McCarthyite witchhunt.

However, whatever the policies of BLM UK, or of the individual views of the US founders or the organisations stated aims, BLM is much bigger than any single group – it is a movement with many different and competing political ideas. Those who Take A Knee or join protests for racial equality are making a statement against racism.

All such actions matter because they help to isolate and push back the racists. Unfortunately Boris Johnson and his racist government has sought to deliberately bolster not just booing racists but the Nazis that are amassing weapons in this country as they plot and plan to spread their hate-filled message with racist terrorism.

The best answer the England football team can give to the the racists within and outside government and across Europe is to bring football home.

BLM activist Sasha Johnson shot in head after death threats

Sasha Johnson shot in head – BLM activist Sasha Johnson has been shot in the head. The attacked happened at around 3am in the morning in Peckham, south London on Sunday.

Sasha has received numerous death threats because of her work for racial equality. She is in critical condition with life threatening injuries.

Sasha has been at the forefront of the BLM fight, taking a leading role in Oxford BLM and the Rhodes must fall campaign, to remove the statue of the colonialist at Oxford university.

Sasha is a founder member of the The Taking the Initiative Party (TTIP) and before that was associated with a putative UK Black Panther group.

Sasha is a tireless campaigner for the cause and everyone at BLMM wishes her a speedy and full recovery.

Sasha Johnson shot in head – assassination attempt?

Police have not officially released her name but have informed her family, according to a BBC report. Sasha has two children and graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a first class honours degree.

Police say there is no evidence that the shooting was targeted, despite the numerous death threats. The police added that none of the threats were credible, but have given no further details as to why they had come to that conclusion.

The police arrested Sasha in January for breaking Covid regulations when she took part in a protest in central London.

It is unclear why the police are yet to officially release Sasha’s name, but TTIP have made a statement on their facebook page.

Kill the bill protests this May Day – urgent support needed to defend rights

The government’s response to last year’s mass Black Lives Matter protests has been to produce a report denying the existence of institutional racism and to bring forward legislation to make many protests illegal.

The Police and Crime Bill would give to the police the power decide which protests are lawful and which are not, just like in Russia and China.

This is a blatant attack on our democratic right of freedom of assembly and the right to protest. We have to kill the bill.

The bill also targets the Roma and traveller communities – arguably some of the most marginalised communities in the UK.

But in truth there are only so many police and if the people say no and refuse to comply then their laws become a paper tiger.

The answer lies with resistance from black and white people together across all the social movements, such as Extinction Rebellion, the Women’s Movement (Justice for Sarah Everard, Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry!) and the trade union movement – and of course the Black Lives Matter movement.

Kill the Bill protests are taking place all over the UK today this May Day – join the fightback!

May Day is workers day – Black and white unite and fight!

Kill the bill protest – 1 May

London Trafalgar Square 12 noon

Aberystwyth Clock Tower 1pm

Bath Bath Abbey 2pm

Birmingham Victoria Square 11am

Brighton The Level 1pm

Bristol Castle Park 12 noon AND College Green 6pm

Cambridge Parkers Piece opposite police station 1pm

Chatham 11.30am top of Church St

Chichester Priory Park 12 noon

Coventry Broadgate 1pm

Eastbourne Hyde Gardens 1pm

Edinburgh The Pavilion Cafe 3.30pm

Exeter Bedford Square 1pm

Harlow Town Park showground 2pm

Hastings Cornwallis Gardens 12 noon

Haverfordwest Picton Fields 1pm

Lancaster Dalton Square 11.30am

Leamington Pump Room Gardens 1pm

Leeds Woodhouse Moor 3pm

Liverpool Derby Square 12 noon

Lowestoft opposite WH Smith 12 noon

Luton Market Hall 1pm

Manchester St Peter’s Square 4pm

Margate Nayland Rock Shelter 1pm

Middlesbrough Centre Square 1pm

Newcastle Grey’s Monument 1pm

Northampton Cobblers Last Statue, town centre, 1pm

Norwich City Hall 1pm

Nottingham Pavilion on Forest Recreation Ground 12 noon

Oxford Manzil Way Green 3pm

Plymouth Charles Cross police station 2pm

Portsmouth Guildhall Square 12 noon

Sheffield Devonshire Green 1pm

Shrewsbury The Quarry 1pm

Southampton Bargate 12 noon

Southend top of Pier Hill 1.30pm

Stoke outside Hanley bus station 1pm

Taunton Great Western hotel car park 12 noon

Tower Hamlets Bethnal Green Gardens 10.30am rally before attending central London demo

Truro Lemon Quay 2pm

Winchester Police station, top of High Street, 12 noon

York Minster 1pm

More updates here

Kill the bill!

Richard Okorogheye found dead after Met police refuse to search for him

The body of missing student Richard Okorogheye is though to have been found in a pond in Epping Forest by Essex police.

Although the body has not been formally identified, the Met police have told Richard’s mother, Evidence Joel, that the description matches.

Sadly the discovery comes more than a week after after the family reported him missing and the police refused to help. The student went missing on 22 March

Indeed when Richard’s mother reached out to the police ‘public servants’ for assistance, she was told: “How do you expect us to find him if you can’t?”.

It was only after the family made a plea to the public and concerned citizens demanded that the police take action, that a police search began.

As we all know, locating missing persons is a police responsibility, as is investigating domestic violence and bringing perpetrators to justice, but in reality neither tasks appear to be taken seriously by police.

Richard Okorogheye failed by police because he was black

The negligence is likely compounded by the fact that Richard was black.

Why do we say that? users of this website will be familiar with the case of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry – two sisters who went missing in August last year. When they were reporteed missing by the family to the police, they refused to go and look for them. Suffice to say the sisters were black.

Perhaps in the case of Richard the police may not have been able to locate him in time to prevent his death, but maybe they could have. We will now never know because of the racist negligence of the Metropolitan police.

Richard suffered from Sickle cell anaemia and left home without his medicine.

Still fighting for justice for Belly Mujinga one year on

It is one year since Belly Mujinga died from Covid after a racist attack in which she was deliberately spat at and coughed on by a man who said he had Covid.

Belly’s family have been fighting for justice ever since, both to prosecute thee racist and to bring the railway worker ticket inspector’s employer – Govia Thameslink – to account for not providing Belly and other frontline workers with personal protective equipment as the pandemic took hold.

British Transport Police have. so far refused to bring a prosecution, claiming there is not sufficient evidence.

The Coroner is yet to decide whether there should be n inquest into her death.

Also, although the train company knows the identity of the racist assailant, they still refuse to reveal the name.

Standing alongside the family, Manuel Cortes, general secretary of Belly’s union, the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, is demanding action: “We are asking people to take a minute out of their day to remember Belly Mujinga and to think of all the frontline workers who have died from coronavirus during the pandemic.

“There must be justice for Belly and our union will go on demanding that.

“This is vitally important, not just for Belly’s family but for all transport workers who have done so much to keep our country moving during this deadly pandemic.”

Today socially distanced protests have been held at Victoria, Brighton and Bedford train stations.

If Tony Sewell – who chaired the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities – is struggling to work out what institutional racism is, he could start with this case.

Pimlico Academy school students revolt against institutional racism

Pimlico Academy school students have risen up in revolt and racism and sexism at their school.

Instead of educating children the new headmaster has been more concerned with ‘discipline’, which in this case has been a conduit for re-establishing institutionally racist practices.

Black students have told they cannot have afro hair cuts. Muslim students have been told they cannot wear any hujabs other than black.

One of the first things the new head did was to get rid of Black History Month.

He didn’t leave it at that – he also insisted the school started flying the union jack flag – a symbol of imperialism and the racism of Empire.

As if all that wasn’t enough, the head also ordered the LGBT+ noticeboard to be taken down.

Pimlico Academy school “like going to prison”

Some students ikened going to school as “going to prison”.

Sixth form students have been told they have to wear ‘business suits, but many parents are not able to afford to buy them.

Students footwear has been damaged, with labels cut from Kickers shoes, for example, before thinking of at least asking permission from parents first.

Yesterday the school students said enough is enough and with chants of “black lives matter” and “we want change”, organised a protest in the school basketball court after being prevented from congregating on the astro turf sports area.

pimlico academy protest against racism
Pimlico Academy school students protest against racism

The protests involved hundreds and saw students also wearing red arm bands in solidarity with Sarah Everard and against the failure of the school to do anything about sexism at school.

Such was the impact of the protest that it got onto local and national TV news.

The sitdown protest took place the entire morning, forcing the school to eventually close early.

“I’m in Year 11 and it used to be a very positive place,” he said. “Now I feel intimidated in school. It feels authoritarian and restrictive, which makes it harder to learn. The culture is different—it’s very ‘British’ oriented, even with the food,” said one student.

“We all come from very different cultures. That should be respected.” 

For more reporting direct from the students, parents and teachers themselves, see this report.

Although not initiated or led by teachers, they supported the protest.

The teachers at the school have called for the head to resign.

Rumours are now circulating that the head is indeed going to resign.

More soon when we get it.

Kill the bill protests set for cities and towns across UK this Easter

Kill the bill protests will taking place all over the country on Friday and Saturday, when there is a day of action.

The Tory Police and Crime Bill would give police the powers to shut down protests for making too much noise or causing ‘disruption’ – but all protests make noise and cause at least some disruption, after all that’s the whole point of protests.

In reality the Tories fear a long hot summer and so are getting tooled up, legally speaking, although they already have enough laws to orchestrate a clampdown on our democratic rights.

The BLM movement last summer and the Extinction Rebellion actions earlier really upset the Tories and this is the backlash from the right.

Fortunately for democracy in the UK, people have no intention of taking the imposition of this draconian legislation lying down and have been taking to the streets, from Newcastle to Bristol to Manchester.

It is not illegal to hold protests providing they are Covid safe, which means maintaining social distancing and mask wearing and use of sanitiser on hands and for wiping down equipment.

Jeremy Corbyn MP is slated to speak at the London protests according to information on social media.

Update: Saturday’s London protest details latest – Meet 1pm Speakers Corner Hyde Park – Jeremy Corbyn is now speaking

Kill the bill protests – check social media for details:

blm_cardiff 🚨 PROTEST ANNOUNCEMENT 🚨

Nation Day of Action – defend your right to protest ✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽

📍Bute Park, Cardiff
🗓Saturday 3rd April
⏰2PM

#killthebill #justiceformohamud #justiceformouayed

Sewell commission was written by house slaves

The government’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, chaired by right winger Tony Sewell, denies that institutional racism exists in the UK.

In a blatant attempt to sweep the issues of racial discrimination under the carpet, the commission wants to eradicate all mention of racial inequality, as seen in one of its centrepiece proposals, which is to end the use of the term ‘BAME’ [black and minority ethnic] in the public sector.

Whatever we might think of the limitations of that acronym, the government is not looking to get rid of BAME to help fight racism, but instead to write people from black and minority backgrounds out of the data sets.

Sewell was put in place by the racist Tory government’s useful idiot Munira Mirza who was once a member of the fake-left Revolutionary Communist Party – an organisation that spent its time undermining left-wing causes in the name of “freedom of speech”.

She is now being paid handsomely for her crimes against multiculturalism.

As for Sewell, he used to head up a project called Generating Genius, which would be more accurately titled ‘generating obedience’.

Malcolm X correctly characterised people like Sewell as ‘House Negroes’, who see their lives as bound up with the well-being of their master, as distinct from the field salves who would take the first opportunity to slay the oppressor.

Malcom X: “I’m a field Negro”. Tony Sewell is a house slave who does his masters’ bidding

The cornerstone of the commission case seems to be that some ethnic minorities do well in the education system, so that must prove that there is no institutional racism, despite all the data that contradicts any such conclusion.

Here’s some institutional racism stats to remind the Tory racists and their little helpers:

• Black people are 9x more likely to be stopped and searched by police

• 60% of NHS staff deaths during the Covid pandemic have been of people from minority ethnic backgrounds.

• Kids from African-Caribbean backgrounds rare 4x more likely to be excluded from school

• Unemployment among people from Black and minority backgrounds is running at 8.5% but among white people it is 4.5%, according to a recent TUC report.

• Black women are 5x more likely to die in child birth.

The Tories are trying to claim that those who are the victims of racism are making it all up, but the reality of institutional cannot be ignored. The fact that this government is seeking to ignore it speaks to their own racism and of course their racist policies that brought us the continuing Windrush Scandal and the barbaric deportation flights and immigration detention centres.

This report, which we are yet to see in all its gory detail, adds fuel to the fire of the burning anger that drove the BLM movement last summer.

We didn’t just march for justice for George Floyd but also for the 1,750 people killed by police in this country since 1990, and all those from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds – and the poor working class people too, who have died disproportionately in this Covid pandemic due to government ‘herd immunity’ policies.

More now than ever we need to be back on the streets. Spread the protests. Fight racism! Kill the bill!

Bristol police are the thugs, solidarity with protesters who fought back

The police went on the rampage in Bristol yesterday in a display of wanton violence that has been covered up by the media and politicians.

The thuggery on display last night was from the police who attacked peaceful protesters.

Now they are launching a hunt for as many as 500 people as they look to intimidate the youth of an entire city to stop future protests against the Tories’ proposed law to give police even more powers to curtail democratic rights.

Peaceful protesters were injured in their hundreds by police swinging batons indiscriminately, using dogs, pepper spray and cavalry.

People who marched to the police station sat down in the road – and then the police attacked.

Bristol police attack peaceful protesters

Chants rang out “Shame on you” as the police hit out.

One student who does not want to be named says she was punched in the face by a police officer.

The same student said she saw people being cornered and beaten by riot police and women abused with sexist language.

Yet all the media can think to do is parrot the lies of the police press releases.

Disgracefully, Bristol’s Labour mayor Marvin Rees joined in the lies and witch hunt, claiming that the protesters were showing their “privilege” and that the demo had nothing to do with political protest. He even tried to claim that it was all white people protesting and that they were making things worse for Black people!

But the protest was in fact called by Bristol BLM and Extinction Rebellion and other groups.

A warning for the Tories and their Orwellian media

Far from being unpolitical, it was a release of the pent up anger over the alleged murder of a Sarah Everard at the hands of a police officer, the attacked on a vigil of mourning women, the outrageous provisions of the police bill that puts more value on a statue than it does on a woman, the prosecution of movement heroes the Colston Four, who played a part in the righteous toppling of the statue to a slaveholder in the city, and of course it was ultimately a protest against a government whose deliberate and callous negligence has led to the death of 125,000 people, while at the same time enriching its friends in business with £37 billion wasted on an ineffective test and trace system.

Meanwhile young people have no jobs, pay exorbitant rents, hand over money for fees for a university education that is second rate and live on a planet that is dying.

The truth is we live in a corrupt country where the police are out of control.

We also live in a country of hypocrites that is quick to attack undemocratic practices abroad but has a blind spot when it comes to their own actions here at home.

It will take many more protests to reclaim our streets from the thugs in blue and the government that encourages them in their wanton violence.

The tories received a warning last night but they show no sign of heeding it – this is how states lose legitimacy. All power to the people!

Solidarity with Sarah Everard and the women’s movement – kill the bill

Sarah Everard was allegedly kidnapped and murdered by a serving policeman from an elite unit, and now a vigil of solidarity and respect for her has been violently attacked by the same police.

Calls for Met police commissioner Cressida Dick to resign have been met by obfuscation and denial by the Met and politicians as usual have failed to rise to the occasion, preferring to let thuggish police off the hook.

Unfortunately Anna Birley, on of the organisers at Reclaim These Streets, is not calling for Dick’s resignation either in the mistaken belief that because she’s a woman she will be sympathetic to this rebirth of a miltant womens movement.

“We are a movement of women seeking to support and empower other women, and as one of the most senior women in British policing history, we do not want to add to the pile-on,” said Birley.

“We do want her to meet with us. We were hugely disappointed that she put out a statement yesterday without talking to any of the people who were organising the vigil and had such a difficult experience with the Metropolitan police force.”

But the police are our of control. If anyone doubts that, then the scenes at Clapham Common should have removed any such doubts.

Thankfully Sisters Uncut has a much better approach than Birley:

But things are about to get a whole lot worse with new legislation currently before parliament to give the police even more powers, specifically to further encroach on the right to protest.

Sarah Everard must not have died in vain

Put bluntly, the proposed new laws would put greater sanction on defacing statues than on violence against women.

The bill will allow the police to decide which protests will be allowed and which will not, on the spurious basis of whether the protest might be disruptive. But of course the ourpose of many protests is to be disruptive to some degree.

Essentially the Tory government hated the Black Lives Matter protests and those by Extinction Rebellion and now they want revenge by outlawing peaceful protests.

The Tories are playing with fire. Police credibility was already rock-bottom among wide swathes of society, not least among Black people.

Recent events have extended that dismay to many millions of women (and men) who watched on TV screens in disgust as women were manhandled, kicked and punched by male police officers.

The Tories want the police to have more powers to harass and jail black people and Muslims, target Gypsies and Travellers and to silence protesters.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill – just like the Covid legislation – is being rammed through parliament with hardly any debate to stop protests like those for Sarah Everard.

Attack on right to protest

All vestige of democratic control over the police is being removed to be replaced with carte blanche for police to decide which protests are allowed and which are not.

There will be a new trespass law to target Gypsy, Roma and Traveller groups, with clauses citing “unauthorised encampments”for closure without providing alternatives.

Homeless people will also be swept up in the legislation if they are sleeping rough in what could also be defined as unauthorised encampments’

As we reported several weeks ago, the legislation also includes more draconian stop and search provisions that mean anyone previously guilty of knife crime offences can be stopped and searched without reason, but how are the police meant to work out who these people are – unless of course they are going to assume that all Black kids are knife carriers.

This is a recipe for even more racial profiling and oppressive policing of Black youth and others. All this is in addition to the clampdown on protests.

And its not as if the police don’t already have huge powers to restrict protests.

The 1986 Public Order Act already allows the likes of home secretary Priti Patel to curb protests that may involve “serious disruption”. But the new bill goes much further, allowing the home secretary to “make provision about the meaning” of the phrase.

Tories and Met police are sexist and racist

The Tories want to stop protests that they don’t like, while claiming to be in favour of democracy. They are liars and hypocrites.

We have to make sure that Sarah Everard’s murder leads to real change in this country.

Far from the police being a reflection of society, they represent the worst of society in their outsized sexism and racism.

There are protests taking place today to defend the right to protest and to demand an end to violence against women and action from the government. The proposed legislation contains no mention of violence against women.

The issue of who polices the police and who can you turn to for protection as a women or Black person when the police are sexist and racist throws big questions about the type of society we live in and the limits of our so called democracy.

The government’s words of condolence to Sarah Everard’s family mean nothing unless they are forced to make a change. For that to happen we need to stay on the streets – and the fight for women’s rights requires the support of all of us, as does the fight for racial justice.