Brian Richardson

Growing rage over black deaths in US

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Fifty years ago last month Dr Martin Luther King was being feted in Europe as he travelled to Norway to collect the Nobel Peace Prize. The previous year his legendary speech at the end of the March on Washington had captivated a worldwide audience. In its aftermath the US Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, and a voting rights act would follow in 1965.

Solidarity against racism

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The electoral success of far-right parties presents a challenge for the left. Brian Richardson reports from a key anti-fascist conference in Greece that is beginning to coordinate a continent-wide strategy to halt them.

The headline story in this May’s European Parliament elections was the success of the fascist Front National (FN) in France. Marine Le Pen’s party topped the poll with 24.85 percent which translated into 24 seats.

It is now the fourth biggest party in the parliament. That success was subsequently consolidated with the capture of two seats in the French Senate elections in September. The outright fascist Jobbik party took second place in the Hungarian elections with 14.6 percent of the vote, winning three seats.

Is racism on the rise?

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Black and white strike together

A recent survey suggests racial prejudice in Britain is increasing. Some argue this explains the rise of Ukip. Brian Richardson argues that the real picture is much more contradictory and complex.

Rising tide of race prejudice across Britain” screamed the front page headline in the Guardian at the end of May. This depressing declaration, which was repeated in similar terms across the press and media, came just days after Ukip topped the poll with 27.5 percent of the votes and 24 seats in the European elections.

CLR James in Imperial Britain

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When Cyril Lionel Robert (CLR) James died in May 1989, he was a seemingly marginal and inconsequential figure. His death in a tiny flat in Brixton, south London, appeared symbolic.

Supposedly "socialist" regimes were collapsing all across Eastern Europe. As James was taking his final breath, protests were erupting in Tiananmen Square against the tyranny of Chinese "communism".

After the inquest into Mark Duggan's death, police are racist to the core

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The killing that sparked the 2011 summer riots has exposed the reality of policing of black, Asian and working class communities. Brian Richardson looks at the inquest and its aftermath.

The police and political establishment must have feared the worst when an inquest jury announced in January that they did not believe that Mark Duggan had a gun in his hand when he was fatally shot by police officers in Tottenham, North London, on 4 August 2011. Ultimately, however, they must have breathed a huge sigh of relief when the jury concluded that the killing was lawful.

The Stuart Hall Project

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For many people on the left and in black communities, the Stuart Hall that we care about is not the disgraced "It's a Knockout" presenter. Instead, the man who enthralled us is one of the foremost post-war thinkers on the left in Britain. In the words of director John Akromfrah he is a "public intellectual" who in the 1970s "was one of the few people of colour we saw on television who wasn't crooning, dancing or running".

The Politics of Immigration

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Brian Richardson examines the battle lines being drawn around immigration. We also publish an extract from the updated pamphlet Immigration: The Myths Spread to Divide Us that puts the case for opposition to all immigration controls.

The next general election is still two years away, but the battle lines are already being drawn. In a series of carefully planned announcements, the mainstream parties have all made it crystal clear that immigration will be at the top of the political agenda. The 2015 election looks set to herald the most racist campaign in a long time.

Django Unchained vs Lincoln

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Two of Hollywood's heavyweight directors are slugging it out for the prestigious best film award at the annual Academy Awards ceremony. The favourite is Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg. Also in contention is Django Unchained, the latest offering from Quentin Tarantino.

Both films tackle the sensitive subject of slavery and have attracted considerable critical attention.

Tarantino has divided opinion ever since he exploded onto our screens with films such as Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction in the 1990s. But recently he has been attacked for his approach to race, notably by black director Spike Lee. Having previously criticised Tarantino's repeated use of the "n" word in various films, Lee denounced Django Unchained for trivialising the experience of black people. He described it as "an insult to my ancestors" and urged people to boycott it.

Hamstrung by racism

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Why has racism returned to the "beautiful game"?

The beginning of a new year is traditionally regarded as one of the highlights of the football season. As we enter 2013 however, the self-proclaimed "beautiful game" limps on, hamstrung by a series of events which have exposed the racism that remains endemic and continues to leave an ugly stain. By the end of 2012 this had led to the resignation of former Commission for Racial Equality chair Herman Ouseley from the FA Council and the start of serious discussions about the establishment of a breakaway black players union.

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