Socialist Worker

Hundreds gather in solidarity with the Windrush Generation

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2601

Rallying in Windrush Square

Rallying in Windrush Square (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Around 800 people joined an angry rally in Windrush Square in Brixton, south London, on Friday evening. 

It was called by Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) in response to the Tories' racist treatment of "Windrush Generation" migrants who came from Britain's former colonies after 1945.

Protester Carlene told Socialist Worker, "This is about racism, Theresa May wants to keep down immigration figures by deporting different groups of people.

“The Windrush generation came here, worked their socks off, did the dirtiest jobs—now the government are  saying they should leave." 

People are furious with the way the British government has treated the Windrush Generation who face the threat of deportation. They heckled and chanted, "Amber Rudd, resign!" and "Theresa May, resign". 

Herman told Socialist Worker, "I came here on 26 June 1962 and became a qualified electrician on London Transport, but now that we have cleaned up England they want us to leave the country.

"Black people are not treated fairly in this country." 

Margaret added, "It's the audacity of it—we came here back then to make the country." 

Outrage at the Tories forced Theresa May and Amber Rudd to issue a public apology. 

Labour's shadow home secretary Diane Abbott slammed the Tories' hollow words. "They should not be apologising, because you only apologise when you make a mistake," she told the rally.

"They knew what they were doing with their 'hostile environment'." 

Gary Younge warned against separating worthy and unworthy immigrants

Gary Younge warned against separating 'worthy' and 'unworthy' immigrants (Pic: Guy Smallman)


The treatment of migrants from the "Windrush Generation" is a direct result of the Tories' racist clampdown on immigration.

Henry, a Unison union black workers' group member, told Socialist Worker, "They were trying to steal a march on Ukip when Ukip was stealing a march in them. 

"The government are hypocrites who are adopting to the racist ideology of far right groups."

"It seems like they want to ethnically cleanse the country.

Guardian journalist Gary Younge said, "I have a concern that the Windrush Generation is the new national treasure and that we will be separated as the worthy immigrants.

"That suggests there are unworthy immigrants for whom this hostility is okay.

"I don't want to live in a country that is hostile to immigrants, I don't want to live in a country that's hostile to refugees.

"We need to stand with the Windrush Generation, but also make sure that nobody has illusions that it stops with them."

Targeting

Nadia Sayed from Queen Mary University said, "The sharp rise in racism that we have seen is because of this government's relentless targeting of refugees and Muslims.

"It's not migrants, whether from the Windrush Generation or arriving from Calais, that are the problem.

"It's this government that is the problem, and it is this government that needs to go.

"We need to kick out the Tories if we're going to make sure that the rights of all migrants are respected and protected."

Weyman Bennett from Stand Up To Racism said, "This is not  an office mistake, the reason why we're here is because people like Theresa May are racist. 

"Amber Rudd is a racist."

Mobilise against the racist far right in Manchester and London
Mobilise against the racist far right in Manchester and London
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"It's not unwitting racism, its institutional racism."

"We got our rights because we fought for them", he added, as he called on people to rally in their thousands when parliament debates the Windrush amnesty on 30 April. 

This racism from the Tories is built on decades of Britain's history as a colonial power. 

Wayne, who came from Barbados in 1986, told Socialist Worker, "Britain was a colonial power with countries all over the world, now they are shutting the door. 

"If they don't deal with this fairly, they're going to cause problems for themselves." 

The scandal of the Windrush Generation is just part of Theresa May’s “hostile environment” she wanted for migrants. 

Fighting against these injustices means combating the Tories' racist assault against migrants and refugees. It means the stopping the threat of deportations for all migrants, and struggling for a world without racist border laws. 

And we have to take on the far right groups such as the Football Lads Alliance that seek to take racist scapegoating even further.

"Windrush Generation" amnesty debate, Monday 30 April, 4pm-7pm, Parliament Square, London. Details here

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