This year marks the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade. The Socialist Party’s London Black and Asian group held a public meeting on 22 March in Lambeth to draw attention to this most important event.
The excellent work done by the Lambeth Socialist Party branch and others ensured the meeting was well attended. The meeting proceeded as advertised and was chaired by UNISON activist April Ashley.
The main speaker, Hugo Pierre of Tower Hamlets Socialist Party branch, gave a masterly introduction. The essence of his speech centred on the slave revolts, with special reference to the San Domingue (now Haiti) slave rebellion led by Toussaint L’Ouverture. He went on to explain how the revolutionary movement of slaves, freed slaves, sons of slaves and French revolutionaries, forced abolition from below.
The introduction led to a lively discussion, with a particularly moving contribution from a Sudanese speaker. Seeking refuge in Britain from the brutal polices of the Khartoum government, he went on to describe how slavery is still a common practice in Sudan. The discussion also explored various forms of modern day slavery.
We plan to hold our next meeting on 17 April. The introduction will be on youth crime. All are invited to attend. For more details contact the Socialist Party 020 8988 8777.
To read Hugo Pierre’s article on the abolition of the slave trade go to www.socialistparty.org.uk/2007/479