Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/355/5863
Cops Target Asians
THE POLICE are harassing Asians, particularly young Muslim men, more and more. Recently released 'stop and search' figures show that New Labour is clearly conducting its so-called War On Terror only against certain sections of the working-class community.
The total number of searches conducted under the Terrorism Act 2000 doubled in 2002/2003 from 8,550 to 21,577. The number of searches of Asians went up by more than 300%.
The establishment see Stop and Search as 'necessary'. They see Britain as 'at risk' from terrorist actions, so Muslims 'need' to be stopped and searched even if they're innocent. But Stop and Search causes more hatred against the police because it allows the police to pin Muslim youth on suspicion.
Harassment is quite commonplace. When I left work one day last February I was followed by three undercover police officers who pinned me down outside a shopping mall. One officer said I was being arrested for a suspected GBH charge.
After I asked the officer when the offence was committed, I was pinned down on the floor for 45 minutes and then carted off in a police van. For nine and a half hours, I was detained in a cell by the Metropolitan Police, questioned on my whereabouts when the crime took place and released on bail. The case has now collapsed but my property has not been returned to me.
Establishment Muslim politicians such as Lord Nazir only give lip service in dealing with issues of police harassment. Middle-class mainstream politicians cannot resolve the problems that face young Muslims or other young workers.
They have no interest in changing the law or condemning the establishment or tackling such issues as lack of facilities for young people or the problems of poverty and inequality or the lack of a future under this system.
Asian youth suffer most at present but all workers are threatened by such police tactics. After high-profile pub bombings in 1974, a Labour government introduced a Prevention of Terrorism Act which was used mainly against Irish workers with no connection to terrorism.
We need to build a united working-class movement against this repression and other aspects of a capitalist profit system which is once again reverting to divide and rule.
In The Socialist 10 July 2004:
Workplace news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis