Jamaican Deportation: Charter Flights Crime.

The way Black and Brown bodies are moved around is directly linked to the legacy of the Afrikan holocaust, chattel slavery. Our bodies are somehow disconnected from family, from love, emotions and thought. This is one of the cornerstones of the ideology that allows bodies to be shipped, packed, unpacked, killed, discarded and dehumanised. This is what is happening now. The deportation and treatment of our Elders has caused a scandal that the government is still keen to dodge. Our law abiding forebears deserved better. 

‘Law abiding’ is the narrative that works, it holds currency as well as the public imagination. But people who have been labelled as criminal are not considered the ‘right’ kind of citizens. Our siblings are being deported on flights chartered by the government, and managed by security personnel (one need only look at the case of Jimmy Mubenga to see how this can end). It’s become a conveyor belt: an industry capitalising on the transportation of human flesh. The flights are conducted in secret, men and women dragged from registration centres and detained and then deported. There is no room for enquiry or to be able to challenge the decision. Children are left behind.. people have died awaiting justice when ‘mistakes’ are brought to light.

Men and women, many of whom have been here since early childhood, are being told that to be labelled a criminal, makes them instantly not British, not a citizen, not quite human enough to be treated like a white person. They have been charged with predominantly minor offences. This does not take into account that Black and Brown people are more likely to be convicted in the first place and serve longer sentences than white counterparts, or that some of the ‘crimes’ are a direct consequence of migration status. This is a systemic farce to justify deportation!   The charter flights are nothing new, the loss of loved ones like this has been going on for some time, but there’s a change in pace.

What are those countries such as Ghana and Jamaica gaining by accepting these flights? Surely if they refused, the British government would have to make alternative arrangements. And it is clear that those governments do not care about the long-term impact the deportations are having, both upon the individuals and the communities of the deportees. Many of those who face deportation are experience high levels of depression and other mental health issues, they are subjected to rejection and in some cases violence, forced into communities they often have no connection to. After living here for so long they are themselves ‘othered’ in a country they are being told is home. As per usual the focus on ‘Black criminality’ as covered by the media buys into the racist notion of Black Crime and the idea that we are inherently more prone to criminal activity.

This is one of the ways oppressors justify their cruelty: it’s still being used today. The criminalisation of Blackness also functions to reduce collective sympathy towards mothers and fathers being separated from their children, and lives torn apart and lost. The statement issued by the Home Office states, Foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality by committing crimes in UK should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them.

Ask any footballer or athlete about British hospitality, as they continues to dodge banana skins, ask any Black and Brown child excluded from school, or harassed by the police. Ask Black women suffering sexist racism in the workplace. Perhaps then, we can talk about British hospitality.   

The Racial Justice Network stands in solidarity with those facing deportation, support End deportations’ CALL TO ACTION and we urge this government to end its callous mistreatment of Black and Brown communities.

Article by Desiree Reynolds @desreereynolds @racejustice

Reflecting on 2018 and looking forward to 2019 at the Racial Justice Network

2018 has been an eventful year for the Racial Justice Network and its been great to see the network go from strength to strength. We have been delighted to expand our board of trustees this year. Bringing a wealth of experience and expertise, Desiree Reynolds, Farzana Khan and Sipilien Birani have helped to consolidate and grow the work that we do at RJN.  We are also very pleased to have worked with many new members, friends and allied groups this year. We fondly remember hosting former Black Panther Kathleen Cleaver with the Northern Police Monitoring Project in Manchester, and another former Black Panther, Bob Brown in Leeds. 

We have been drawing attention to the dangers of the Hostile Environment for a long time now, and are pleased to see the issues finally gaining attention in anti-racist and leftist circles, and even (fleetingly) in mainstream discourse. A gathering in solidarity with hunger strikes at Yarl’s Wood have led to the establishment of ‘Yorkshire Resists’, a loose network of allied groups to resist the hostile environment, and we were pleased to support our friends and members in Glasgow to establish ‘Glasgow Resists’. The launch was well attended and we will continue to support them and their work.

We will also continue with our pastoral work supporting our members and friends with projects in Bradford, Glasgow, Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield, and wherever else necessary.   As an organisation and as individuals we have delivered an incredible number of talks this year. Across the UK and internationally, we have spoken at universities, festivals, academic and professional conferences, and community events. We have also increased the number of blogs on our website, published a number of interventions in mainstream and leftist media, and released several statements on important issues affecting our communities.   

The successes of the RJN meetup group for ‘white allies’ has been particularly encouraging and we look forward to further developments of this project in 2019. We’ve also had valued opportunities to host film screenings and discussions in collaboration with Leeds Black Film Club and other groups, and, given the positive reactions from our members and local communities, we have plans for more of this in 2019.  

  We have taken particular inspiration from the successes of Sisters United this year, a group that includes a number of RJN members and friends. They’ve been campaigning tirelessly against the mismanagement of housing for people seeking asylum in Halifax (which we named as a concern in our 2017 round up), Sisters United have been successful in bringing greater attention to this issue and in developing Halifax G4S charter with support from local, regional and national organisations as well as the local authority.   

One of our aims for 2018 was to begin to develop international connections with groups involved in anti-racist struggle. We have made advances with regard to this aim, with our director Peninah Wangari-Jones attending Dialogue II women in movement in Brazil, and connecting with a number of groups and individuals, including Criola, Virada Feminista, and Bokantaj who came to visit RJN in the UK. We will continue to seek out international connections in 2019, and particularly hope to visit the African continent to build solidarities, and strengthen our anti-racist struggle.   Looking forward to 2019, building on the work of 2018, we will be hosting a ‘collective conversation’ series throughout the year. Through this series – funded with the support of Scurrah Wainwright Charity – we hope to bring together a wide range of people from our communities to discuss big issues, including race and mental health, race and disability, and a number of topical issues.   Amidst all of our successes, we were saddened to lose an important activist when our friend Jackie was forced to leave for Botswana. Whilst we continue connecting with Jackie on an international scale, this was also a stark reminder of how harsh and real British migration policies can be for our communities. Alongside our other activities, we have had to campaign and fund-raise against the threat of deportations facing several of our members, a constant reminder of how important our work is.   

We have been disappointed this year to have had unsuccessful applications for larger sources of funding, as this would really have enabled us to increase the scale and impact of our work. However, we recognise that remaining committed to our radical anti-racist principles limits our access to funding. We are grateful to those supporters who continue to donate through our Paypal. Anybody else willing and able to donate to support our work can do so by following this link.  In solidarity,   The Racial Justice Network 

Looking forward to 2019, building on the work of 2018, we will be hosting a collective conversation series throughout the year. Through this series – funded with the support of Scurrah Wainwright Charity – we hope to bring together a wide range of people from our communities to discuss big issues, including race and mental health, race and disability, and a number of topical issues.

Racial Justice Network statement on the unjust conviction of the Stansted 15

The Racial Justice Network statement on the unjust conviction of the Stansted 15   

We at the Racial Justice Network are deeply troubled by the conviction of the Stansted 15 this week. We have to ask important questions about what this says of our ‘justice’ system, and wonder what implications such a decision has for the right to protest, and for human rights.  

The UK immigration system is despicably cruel, and we stand in solidarity with the Stansted 15 and others who seek to oppose the ruthless injustice it produces. The Racial Justice Network has the utmost admiration for the heroic non-violent actions of the protesters. As a consequence of which, several of those threatened with deportation are pursuing, or have granted, permission to remain in the UK.    

In light of this travesty of justice, we must redouble our efforts to dismantle borders, and make what should be an obvious point: no human being is illegal. We stand in solidarity with the Stansted 15.  

School Safe Spaces?

In the last few days a video of a young Syrian boy being attacked and bullied has gone viral. Whilst there has been lots of media coverage, there has been little if any attempt to recognise this as a part of a continuing trend of Black, Brown, poor, Muslim and migrant children being attacked whilst they are in school and that this trend reflects society as a whole.   

It points to a concern about popular and visible hatred of the ‘Other’ that transcends society from social media to the streets. It would be ludicrous not to associate these manifestations of racism with that perpetuated by the powerful: politicians and the media, and its larger manifestations in Brexit, Trumpism, and racist migration policies that take on a particular character within the context of the current Hostile Environment policy and the Windrush scandal. All of the above have populated and reinvigorated a new wave of nationalism and patriotism that has incubated a far-right narrative and sentiment.

The likes of the EDL, Britain First, FLA, DFLA, and specific individuals like Tommy Robinson, Nigel Farage who are being seen as messianic, have received mainstream coverage and a range of platforms, as well as financial backing and more from neoliberal society bent on dividing the masses whilst they continue to line their pockets.   The White British student who attacked the Syrian boy has been said to have previously posted Britain First messages on his Facebook account. In the video, the Syrian boy who was attacked is seen with his arm in a cast because his arm was broken in a previous attack. His sister whose video has also come to light has been attacked in the same school with attempts made to remove her headscarf.

There are many, many other reports of other students from migrant backgrounds, as well as from Black and Brown people born in Britain, being attacked including some that have been reported directly to the Racial Justice Network.   Police have stepped in to do their job and the schools will attempt to do theirs in co-operating but is that enough? What is the responsibility of everyone else? It’s impossible to ignore the snowball effect this has on young people or anyone on the receiving end of racism; students attacked and those who witness it face threats to their mental wellbeing and academic achievement and are put at risk of having to deal with great trauma, often alone.

Often when a child reports a racist incident, they are made responsible for it, told to ignore it and/or that it isn’t that bad. Again, leaving that child alone to cope. The impact no doubt extends to families, loved ones and communities that want to see their children do well and be treated with respect and common courtesy. Too often, though, parents from Black, Brown and migrant communities are not heard by the schools or local authorities who fail to keep the spaces safe for children who, in the case of those who have fled from particularly difficult situations (like Syria), may be particularly vulnerable to the risk of re-traumatising events.   

What is clear is that schools as centres of learning are not doing enough, the councils and education departments are not doing enough and the police as law-enforcers are not doing enough, being ill-equipped in handling issues of race and racism. Black and Brown teachers are also coping with the rise of racism in schools. The continuous portrayal of the UK as ‘post-racial’, the denial of racism and slashing of budgets to organisations that deal with race equity (not equality and diversity) means there is great discomfort in talking about race, so ideas on how to deal with it are very superficial and surface-level.   

Individuals observing the very aggressive and explicit forms of racism might be able to distinguish themselves from the perpetrator, but racism is far more insidious than this. What we see in the video is a consequence of a racist society in which many actors play their part.

We need to recognise racisms that are institutional, microaggressive, non-verbal and take on any number of forms.   The Racial Justice Network based in West Yorkshire, engages with individuals and organisations to end racial injustice and address legacies of colonialism through organising, informing and training. Recent video on five ways to disrupt racism reminds of the need to be anti-racist, as it is not enough to be non-racist. We stand by the family and many more who are facing similar attacks in the region and around the country and would also suggest well wishers and decision makers increase funding for organisations, groups who are experts in doing deep-rooted systemic change work around race to increase their capacity to support schools, hospitals, places of work so communities can see we are all in this together.

As depicted in a schools could do better article by one of our trustees, we would also suggest curriculums must be adjusted to add British history that explains Britain’s relationship to its former colonies, and consider how this relates to current issues and particularly the reasons why people continue to migrate. This might then engender compassion and humanity rather than fear and hatred of migrants.

Travelling while Black: From Dr. Who to Ryanair

Earlier this week many tuned in to watch an episode of Dr Who that featured the civil rights icon, Rosa Parks. The episode has quite rightly been lauded for shining a light on racism but we must recognise that, in isolation, there are limits to the episode’s effectiveness as an anti-racist intervention. Rather than focusing on pertinent examples in the British context (the 1963 Bristol Bus Boycott, for example) the show engaged with racism as a problem that is geographically and temporally elsewhere: in 1950s Southern USA, to be precise.

Focusing on racism as a problem in the United States (where it is often more explicit and/or fatal) often comes at the expense of recognising racism as a problem here, in the UK. It is perhaps in running this risk that the show lacked the capacity to meaningfully disrupt contemporary racisms. Given how white fragility impacts upon popular discourse and culture, such disruption would surely have threatened the commodity value of Dr Who.

The show’s abstraction of racism from here and now means it’s not surprising that much of the discussion has followed the familiar ‘post-racial’ script: “look how far we’ve come”. However, the self-congratulatory post-show discussion could not stand in starker contrast to viral footage that circulated on the same evening.

Taken onboard a Ryanair flight heading for the UK, the footage shows an older Black woman being racially abused by a white man. The abuser was so concerned about the prospect of sitting next to the Black woman that his shouts of “ugly black bastard” were accompanied by explicit threats of physical violence.

The disgusting interpersonal abuse and the airline’s incredibly limp response reminds us that travelling while Black presents a range of problems that not only transcend national boundaries, but continue well into our contemporary moment. The condemnation of the racist individual, and even of the airline is to be expected. The problem is, however, that cases like these are viewed (and condemned) as anomalous. By disavowing the supposed anomaly, this condemnation helps to maintain the illusion of a liberal, progressive and ‘post-racial’ society, but this isn’t an anomaly. 

Excavating the wider context allows us to connect the dots: to see that these instances do not occur in a vacuum. This occurred onboard a flight to the UK: a country in which, less than 10 years after the Montgomery bus boycott, the British electorate were encouraged to vote against the Labour party in order to avoid the threat of having a ‘nigger for a neighbour’. Was the man’s concern about sitting next to a Black woman not an echo of this sentiment?

Contemporarily, the UK government have pursued a callous hostile environment agenda that’s seen the indefinite detention and ruthless deportation of those racialised as ‘the other’. The British state has an unrelenting (centuries old!) desire to control the movement of Black and Brown bodies. Is it not an everyday interpersonal manifestation of this power dynamic that the viral footage reveals? Is it not fair to assume that the aggressor is emboldened by the racisms of the state?

Is it not this emboldening that makes it conceivable for academics, journalists and social commentators to ‘debate’ whether “rising ethnic diversity is a threat to the West”? Those in positions of power continue to feed and cultivate a racist system that bears rotten fruit, and rotten fruit is what we see in the viral video! It is only through reckoning with racism in its structural and historically-rooted forms – as a problem that affects us in the here and now – that we can meaningfully begin to tackle a system in which, in so many ways, it is difficult to travel while Black.   

Remi Joseph-Salisbury – @RemiJS90

Glasgow resists the Hostile Environment

Immigration Control & The Hostile Environment Policy as Colonial Legacies

Ubuntu Women Shelter is a charity set up to provide temporary and emergency accommodation for women with no recourse to public funds. By Law, Glasgow City Council does not owe these women a duty of care. This is an initiative conceived and developed by members of the Unity Centre.

As far as we are aware there exists no dedicated night shelter for this group in Scotland. Why? Yes it is well known that these women are destitute, yes we know they are housed somewhere in this city, secretly tucked away in private lets or hosted by families. Through the Unity Centre, some of us have housed women who would rather stay on the street than provide sex for a place to sleep, including a mother with three children under 5 years old, she was afraid the council will take them away on the ground that her destitution is not in their best interest.

Why are people with no recourse to public funds destitute in the first place? What has their destitution got to do with the hostile environment? Further, what has this got to do with colonisation? How many times have we heard, ‘that was centuries ago, we had nothing to do with that’. ‘Come on you people need to move on from the past and be grateful for what you have.’ ‘We are all civilised now.’

True that. The hostile environment is civilised. This is not slavery, no, no, no this here relies on consent each destitute woman is making a choice. They can always choose voluntary return. The state respects their choice in the same way that they respect our choice to buy a red car rather than a blue one. Their destitution becomes a concern if they can actually be seen sleeping rough: that is uncivilised. The states response has been more detention centres to keep them off the streets and more charter flights to take people back where they came from. Rather than using resources to ensure they live in dignity, the state increases the contractual fees of the companies that run the detention centres and operate the charter flights. Destitution is good for business.

In our eyes, this civilising imperative of the hostile environment has a direct unbroken link to colonisation. This is a template that has been perfected over many centuries.

In 1858, the British State colonised India with Queen Victoria’s proclamation. She said and I quote “We know and respect the feelings of attachment with which the Natives of India regard the lands inherited by them from their ancestors, and we desire to protect them in all rights connected therewith subject to the equitable demands of the State“. It was phrases like these that justified colonial extraction. 

It was with civilised words like consent, equity and fairness that the British state magicked away the violence of close to 300 years of colonisation in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the language of choice and consent continues to do the same job in the hostile environment. These grand sounding words are instrumental in the continuing amnesia about colonisation in the collective consciousness here and the normalisation of justified state violence on black and brown bodies.

By setting up a dedicated night shelter we are calling out the lie that it is civilised to choose destitution. These women have a right to a safe place to rest, they have a right to a safe place to recoup and engage with the brutal demands the asylum system makes on them. Our resistance is calling out the lie. The magic words do not fool us anymore.

As the colonised, we are constantly reminded that we should be grateful to colonisers: they gave us English, the railways and yes white culture. Yes, they did but at a cost. We were co-opted into a game fixed so that the mother country would always win. With the railways for instance, what we must pretend not to see is that they laid down the tracks to efficiently extract resources not to civilize coal, minerals, cotton and yes black and brown bodies. Colonisation hardwired globally extended production lines that exist today in the guise of the hostile environment. The hostile environment is a framework of laws geared to thrust black/brown or ‘other’ poor bodies onto these extended global production lines for extraction by large multinational companies like Serco, G4S, black and brown bodies still pay the salaries of the Home Office and the holiday bonuses of their case workers.

The hostile environment is not complicated just a few amendments to immigration law with one aim – the extraction of maximum economic value from the most vulnerable amongst us. This scheme was piloted under Labour and refined under the Conservatives. The extraction envisioned is simple but comprehensive starting from the pharmaceutical companies that profit from over medicating asylum seekers for depression for instance, to the Aspen Cards recently linked to Visa, the ATM machines where these cards can now be used and of course private detention centres and private charter flights. Each point an extraction point.</span>

To ensure that bodies are positioned to maximise extraction, the new bail conditions make detention a default. Out of detention, asylum seekers are not free they are on conditional release at the discretion of the Crown. This is the freedom this state offers people fleeing violence and persecution. This freedom is not the freedom white, rich people have. This freedom is the freedom that sheep and cows have in this ‘green and pleasant land’ before they are put on the global food production line that extracts their milk, meat and leather. Let us not forget, this is the freedom that civilised nations offer black, brown and poor people. This is compliance with their international obligations under the Geneva Convention and Human Rights law.

You don’t have to dig deep to see the continuities between colonisation and the hostile environment. British architecture is famous as things are built to last and the production lines set down over centuries continue to extract value and sustain this white economic and political structure.

In a typical Ubuntu meeting we have 11 nationalities each with lived experience of either, immigration, asylum or destitution. Most importantly all of us are marked by colonisation we carry the collective memory of its brutality and violence in our bodies and our minds. We are not fooled by the magic.

Ubuntu is us stepping off this production line. We can see the truth and the genie will not go back into the bottle.

Article by Dania Thomas co-founder of Ubuntu Women Shelter and Racial Justice Network family member.

Ubuntu Women Shelter (info@ubuntu-glasgow.org.uk)

A GUIDE TO THE HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT The border controls dividing our communities – and how we can bring them down (pdf).

ASAP Report on Women with no recourse to public funds (pdf)

UK compliance with the Geneva Convention

Botswana on the horizon, Jackie’s story

Racial Justice Network and anti-racist movements will lose a local activist on the 31st of August as she sets off to live in Botswana. But before she does, we decided to hear her story again and also hear about what lies ahead.

Jackie came to the UK 11 years ago to complete her Masters degree. She goes back with 11 years experience of the UK’s harsh migration policies. She was a teacher and head of department, a mother and well accomplished. She sold everything to sustain her children but also to pay her international students fees and accommodation. There were no anomalies raised by immigration officers as she went through passport control at the airport.

Jackie got alarmed when she tried to contact the college she was meant to be studying and accommodation she was meant to stay because with phone numbers changed and switched off, she could not get hold of anyone. On further investigation, she and others found out the college had been bogus and shut down by the home office but that information had not been passed on to new-coming students. Unaware of best action, Jackie then moved place to place and worked for low wages until she contacted the home-office.

What was tried; Jackie entered the process of seeking asylum and was represented by irresponsible lawyers and paid money for that. Jackie feels this greatly impacted on the situation today because she had to start appealing and case eventually went to tribunal.

I like many other asylum seekers was at everyone’s mercy; my solicitor, judges, migration officers, charity workers. I became a moving corpse, not doing much just existing. Did lots of voluntary work to keep busy. It felt like a different form of slavery because I did not have the option/choice to work for payment; Maslow’s hierarchy of life stood up and out very clearly. Theory talks about basic needs being met followed by psychological and self-fulfillment. Most marginalised groups and in this case destitute asylum seekers do not get food, shelter or safety so they fall below.

Jackie strongly believes that most people who migrate to this country to be a burden and do not come for handouts especially when they have skills and ability. Most want to contribute to the society they live in. They want to have a sense of worth and reason to get up in the morning. She initially worked as a carer and cleaner and for very little but the poverty, struggle got worse. The environment is so hostile it makes one hostile, it becomes difficult to see good when you have been through hell, sometimes turning on your own, turning on good people trying to help because everything becomes one huge struggle.

Migration affects everyone and more people should participate in this conversation. The lack of conversation about reasons why people migrate and role that the western society has played in it needs to be had for the treatment and reception of migrants to change; whether its climate change, colonialism, foreign policy including arms trade and many more. It will change the narrative of us and them but the fear and hatred around difference. Those who care should do more and be active in joining and supporting anti-racist organisations like Racial Justice Network and Migrants Organise. I was a lot more quiet when I arrived but frustration and racism got me to speak up and I encourage others to speak up too because silence does not help.

As I leave UK, I leave with an anger about experiences that I have had and injustice I have faced over the years. Even though I am returning to the country of birth with no money (I have not been allowed to work for 9 years and voluntary return declined to offer me integration money to resettle), I leave with a desire to turn my experience for the education of others here and in my home country and a yearning to see my family that I have not seen for over a decade.

I will be implementing skills and knowledge acquired as well as experiences for the betterment of others but i have some anxieties about how or where to start laying my foundations as I have no funds. Any support to do this is welcome.

Resisting Racial Injustice with Kathleen Cleaver

Based on the event on 20th of June 2018 and in partnership with Northern Police Monitoring Project.

The underlying reason for our resistance lies in our vision; Holistic, Economic, Cultural and Spiritual repairs to end Racial Injustice and address legacies of colonialism.

We acknowledge there is no biological or anthropological basis for race, and claim we are but one race. However, the socio-political reality dictates that opportunities for participation are organised on the basis of the myth of race. Centuries of colonisation and enslavement have created psyches that believe in white supremacy, therefore mean black and brown bodies all over the world continue to be allocated inferior status.

Racial Justice Network engages with marginalised communities because racially minoritised communities in the UK have endured decades of being invisible, silenced, marginalised. In some cases, this has resulted in the accepting of suffering as part of existence, picking up adaptive as well as maladaptive practices, internalising powerless, becoming self destructive and expecting immediacy in changes to overcome apathy. So, we aim to reach and organise with people who acknowledge the continuing injustice and inequity and hold a desire to act and disrupt the status quo.

Our members and partnerships include people who have recently migrated, those who were born and raised in the UK, those from former British colonies and many more.

We hold Race at the core of our work and build on race analysis as it intersects with other injustices or oppressions like (but not limited to) gender, disability, migration, mental health, religion and sexuality. and by doing this we centre those most on the margin.

The US Civil rights Act was struck down in 1883 with Jim Crow Legislation that pushed for the separate and subordinate status of African Americans. The legislation ensured all social institutions organised themselves according to tenets of white superiority. All people who did not learn or abide by prevailing rules of white superiority were subject to severe consequences.

In the United Kingdom, Theresa May and her (dwindling) team have come up with a similar set of laws targeting people who have migrated into the UK (the majority from ex-colonies) with consequences of fines, prison sentences and the possible loss of business and income for those who do not comply with discriminative laws. With reasons of migration deeply connected to empire, foreign policy, ethnic conflicts instigated and rooted to European colonial divide and rule, foreign debt that cripples economies so inequality, poverty and lack of opportunities becoming a real driver. The Hostile Environment policy targets health, housing, driving, banking, education, employment and many other areas leading to a sharp increase in racial profiling, targeting and turning everyone to border control officers.

Migration policies are racist and we encourage others to over-stand racism as they tackle and challenge these policies: by so doing they will over-stand why people are fleeing their homes, why shutting down normal channels of seeking refuge have led to thousands dying in the Mediterranean and why having bodies floating on the sea, in villages, in camps is not as shocking as it would be if they were of European decent. They will understand the connections between the, Windrush scandal, racist over-policing, Grenfell, the thousands who are locked up in detention centres, and the toxic narrative behind Brexit.

Western society spent decades institutionalising racism and comes up every so often to condemn, blame or offer tokenistic gestures to silence and distract: complete eradication will take time. Dominant societal understandings see racism as individual rather that state led and structural. The state assisted by the media and other neoliberal sectors poison and misinform the public, then act surprised or punish the few individuals who act out or verbalise what the state is doing under the guise of policies and laws.

Connecting the dots of colonialism, Imperialism, Capitalism, neo-liberalism, migration, climate change destruction of cultures and peoples way of life, foreign policies, arms trade, medical experiments, debt, greed, greed, greed explains why we are where we are and offers a useful point to think about what next and what is just.

Racial Justice sees hope in; genuine and un-exploitative solidarity with humans and nature, remembering and reclaiming our awesomeness, growing our connections locally, regionally, nationally and internationally with other groups, individuals, struggles that intersect with ours, inspiring and getting inspired, creating platforms to share and raise our voices, supporting and getting support, remaining present and resisting unapologetically as we tackle the source of the problem not just the symptoms.

Use this link to view some of the images from the event.