Anti-racism

“We needed to write our own history”

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Known as the “Godfather of Black British Photography”, Vanley Burke was born in Jamaica and moved to Birmingham in 1965 at the age of 14. He spoke to Birmingham poet Kurly about his life, his photography, how communities had to respond to racism after immigrating, and his new exhibition at Birmingham Cathedral for Black History Month, Being Built Together.

How were things when you arrived in the UK compared with where you were brought up?

German anti-racists stand up to the rise of the far-right

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Socialist Review spoke to left wing German MP Christine Buchholz about growing campaigns aimed at stopping the rise of the far-right

In terms of the situation in Chemnitz, it’s not just the AfD but other forces as well that have been involved on the far-right. What is the relationship between the AfD, the streets forces and the mainstream in terms of the growth there and what happened?

How we can reverse the racist agenda

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Greek anti-fascist and revolutionary socialist Petros Constantinou talked to Socialist Review about the Golden Dawn trial, the forest fires, and the prospects for anti-racists across Europe today.

The trial has been running for some time against the Nazi organisation Golden Dawn (GD). What are the outcomes so far and how much longer will the trial go on?

It started on 15 April 2015. It will probably last another year. There are three main cases: the murder of the musician Pavlos Fyssas in September 2013, the violent attack on Egyptian fishermen at their home when they were sleeping, and the attack on trade unionists of the Communist Party in Perama.

Is Ukip coming back from the dead?

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Ukip’s recent flirtation with racists and fascists could have serious consequences, not only for the party itself, but for the growth of the far-right. But socialists and anti-racists have the potential to build a nationwide campaign that can stop such developments coming about.

It was only a few months ago that professor John Curtice’s blunt summary of the council elections captured a spectacularly low ebb in the fortunes of Ukip: “It was a night in which big swings were rare — apart from a collapse in the Ukip vote.”

Who we are and how we got here

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We are all profoundly mixed up genetically, and our ancestors were always moving. These are just two of the discoveries that David Reich presents in this exciting book about the ancient DNA revolution.

Reich starts by explaining how rapidly analysis into ancient DNA has developed. Since 2001, when the human genome was sequenced for the first time, research has ballooned as costs have diminished and automation has mushroomed.

All out to stop the racists from organising

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The Football Lads Alliance (FLA) has now been with us for a year. If at first there was an ambiguity about their message, a year on the Islamophobia and racism at the heart of the project has been laid bare.

It’s now not just Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) and other anti-racists who are sounding the alarm about the group. The Observer and The Times newspapers ran exposures on the FLA while the Premier League has given clubs a warning about the FLA and its extremist links.

A decisive triumph for anti-racists everywhere

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The Rotherham 12 are vindicated in their fight against charges of violent disorder on an anti-Nazi demo in 2015. Campaigners Phil Turner, Abrar Javid and Matt Foot draw out the lessons.

The acquittal last month of the last two defendants in the group of Asian men known as the Rotherham 12 is probably the most important victory in the fight against racism and fascism in Britain for decades. The impact of such a decisive triumph for anti-racists has not been felt since Southall in the late 1970s or the Bradford 12 in the early 1980s. It is a victory for the whole of the working class.

Say it loud: hands off the hijab

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The government and its allies in the media are once again fuelling anti-Muslim attitudes, this time with their attack on the right of young Muslim girls to wear the hijab at school.

Following the chief inspector of schools Amanda Spielman’s call for primary schools to consider banning the hijab, Neena Lall, the head of St Stephens School in Newham, east London, imposed such a ruling. But after a meeting of more than 150 parents, she scrapped it, and apologised for her huge error of judgement.

Ambalavaner Sivanandan, 1923-2018

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Ambalavaner Sivanandan, who died on 3 January, was the director of the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) and one of the most important anti-racist activists and intellectuals in Britain.

Sivanandan talked and wrote on all aspects of racism in an anti-imperialist, Marxist framework. He spoke out strongly against the idea of celebrating fixed ethnic or racial communities as the basis for fighting racism. He said that the fight must come out of “communities of resistance” — people who came together and thus defined themselves as a community in the fight against racism.

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