Ware, Vron - The Black People's Day of Action 02.03.1981
The Black People's Day of Action 02.03.1981.
Southport, United Kingdom: Cafe Royal Books, 2020.
Black & White.
2 March 2021 marks the 40th anniversary of the historic ‘Black People’s Day of Action’ when an estimated 15,000 people from all over the UK marched in solidarity with the victims of the New Cross Fire and their families.
Described as ‘the largest black demonstration’ in British history, the Black People’s Day of Action march began in New Cross, filing past 439 New Cross Road, the site of the fire that led to the tragic deaths of 14 young people, towards Hyde Park via the Houses of Parliament and Fleet Street.
Organised by the New Cross Massacre Action Committee led by John La Rose and Darcus Howe, delegates delivered letters to then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, Scotland Yard and the Metropolitan Commissioner. According to organiser, John La Rose, the purpose of the demonstration was;
“To show the determination of the black population that they will not be killed, maimed or injured with impunity and that if the state would not protect its citizens then the black population and its allies in the country would.”
The reporting of the day’s events in The Sun newspaper was officially censured by then regulator the Press Council, who found that The Sun’s coverage was ‘damaging to good race relations’, the first ruling of its kind.
The Black People’s Day of Action was a pivotal turning point in the black community’s struggle for justice and civil rights in Britain.
The above account is based on extracts from ‘Longest Journey: A History of Black Lewisham’, by Professor Joan Anim-Addo.
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