Socialist Worker

Harassment starts in run up to Notting Hill Carnival

Issue No. 2213

Police have begun using their annual excuse to harass and arrest black people.

They have already arrested two people, an 18 year old woman and a 25 year old man, under Operation Razorback—their attempt to “pre-empt trouble” at the Notting Hill Carnival.

The media have dutifully reported this as targeting “troublemakers” who want to use Carnival “as a venue for violence and criminal activity”.

But the most dangerous group that uses Carnival for violence and criminal activity is the police.

In 2008 hundreds of police, some with machine guns, raided buses taking people to Carnival.

They detained around 200 mainly young black men, some as young as 14, for no reason other than they fitted their profile of potential “troublemakers”.

Notting Hill Carnival is a multi-racial festival attended by thousands of Londoners every year. It grew out of the riots against racism of the late 1950s.

Since it began, the police have consistently exaggerated the potential for violence at Carnival and tried to restrict or abolish it altogether.

But they have failed.

Carnival remains a symbol of black resistance and black and white unity—and that’s why the police are so hell-bent on undermining it.

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Tue 3 Aug 2010, 18:18 BST
Issue No. 2213
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