Anti-racism demo 17.3.18, photo Paula Mitchell

Anti-racism demo 17.3.18, photo Paula Mitchell   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Isai Priya, Socialist Party Black and Asian group

22 June marked the 70th anniversary of the arrival of Caribbean migrants on the Empire Windrush ship to the UK.

These migrant workers contributed enormously to our public services such as the NHS and public transport.

Their contribution to society must be remembered as well as acknowledging the difficulties they had to overcome during those difficult years.

70 years on, and the Windrush generation is continuing to face discrimination by both the ‘hostile environment’ first pushed through by Theresa May as home secretary and the anti-migrant racist propaganda of successive governments.

The Windrush scandal exposed the brutal racist immigration system that, to this day, sees innocent victims suffering and lives ruined.

The government announced this month that an annual Windrush Day would take place on 22 June. The Socialist Party recognises that anniversaries are important to remember these workers and victims – but it’s simply not enough for those still affected.

The London Socialist Party Black and Asian group organised a discussion on 23 June on the Windrush scandal and refugees rights.

There are still many more people affected, including real tragedies of deportation and denied access to return to their homes in the UK.

Hugo Pierre, a member of the Unison national executive committee (in a personal capacity), drafted an emergency trade union motion.

This demands that the UK government operate a ‘fast track’ stand-alone system to enable any of the Windrush generation to gain immediate citizenship rights free of charge, without citizenship test requirements, whether they are in the country or abroad, as soon as possible.

The working class in Britain has a proud history of fighting against all forms of racism and there is an urgent need again for trade unions to lead the fight on these issues.

We appeal for all those that want to get involved to take part in the session ‘Windrush Scandal and Fighting Racism’ at the National Shop Stewards Network conference on 7 July.