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View from the community: Spurned on by virus heroes and Black Lives Matter Spurned on by virus heroes and Black Lives Matter

PUBLISHED: 13:00 24 October 2020

Vivek Lehal, Haringey Stand-Up to Racism (HSTUR)

Vivek Lehal, Haringey Stand-Up to Racism (HSTUR)

Archant

It is like they just do not learn, maybe they do not want to, maybe they do not care or maybe, just maybe they find racism a useful tool to use against us. From prime minister to prime minister and home secretary to home secretary they resort to the same racist scapegoating to deflect criticism of and avoid responsibility for their own failings.

Just look at the last decade of Tory led government. David Cameron longed for a past where immigration was practically zero. So, his home secretary, Theresa May implements the “Hostile Environment”, she sent out the “Go Home” vans and her mantra was “deport first, appeal later”. She in turn was PM when the Windrush scandal happened – for which her home secretary, Amber Rudd had to resign – for misleading parliament mind you, not for destroying the lives of those who came to serve the “mother country”.

The Windrush scandal has had and continues to have consequences in communities across the country.

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We may never know exactly how many individuals and families who live in Haringey were caught up in this cruel exercise because of the home office’s penchant for secrecy, but, we do know that as recently as July, only eight per cent of claimants had received any compensation.

But 2020 has been significant for the anti-racist movement. The pandemic has highlighted the contribution of black, Asian, and other ethnic minority key workers to our communities and the discrimination we experience. BAME doctors, nurses and other staff have died disproportionately in the fight against Covid-19. Some foreign-born NHS staff have faced charges for using the very services they have risked their lives in.

The Black Lives Matter movement has raised serious questions about institutional racism in all areas of our lives not only in the justice system.

This summer Haringey has seen dozens of events in solidarity with George Floyd and demanding an accounting for racial injustice both past and present.

Renaming Black Boy Lane in Haringey is just a start. The winds of change are blowing.


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