Anti-racism

How defeat bred division

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On 20 April 1968, leading Tory politician Enoch Powell made his infamous “rivers of blood” speech in which he attacked mass immigration from the Commonwealth. Quoting from the Latin poet Virgil, he proclaimed: “As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood.” The speech caused a political storm, making Powell one of the most divisive political figures in the country.

The landscape of the far right

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Weyman Bennett looks back at the past decade of crisis and renewal on the far right, and assesses the threat facing anti-racists and anti-fascists in contemporary Britain.

The growth of fascism and the far right is a consequence in large part of the economic crisis of 2008. The neoliberal centre ground has eroded, leading to polarisation and the rise of figures like Jeremy Corbyn on the left — but also, increasingly, the rise of a new right, building on the state racism that targets migrants and Muslims in particular.

Can implicit bias explain racism?

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Twenty years on from the Macpherson report focus has shifted from institutional racism to unconsious bias. How helpful is this concept in the fight against racism, asks Esme Choonara.

When the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, chaired by William Macpherson, announced in 1999 that the police were institutionally racist, it was a huge vindication of the struggles and arguments of black people and the wider anti-racist movement. Yet 20 years on, there is widespread denial of institutional racism. The London Met police commissioner Cressida Dick recently said she doesn’t see it “as a helpful or accurate description”.

Taking on the far right

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With a toxic realignment of the far-right seemingly taking place across the planet, how should socialists respond to push back against the racists?

We face a grim situation on a global scale. As Socialist Review went to press the second round of voting in the Brazilian election was about to take place and the far-right candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, looked likely to be elected president.

This is a man who celebrates police killings and has said of left wingers, “These red outlaws will be banished from our homeland. It will be a cleanup the likes of which has never been seen in Brazilian history” — this in a country which was run by a right wing military dictatorship for over 20 years.

Intervening in the national immigration conversation

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A number of recent reports and surveys have contradicted the assumption that Brexit Britain is overwhelmingly racist and anti-migrant. However, writes Brian Richardson, there is still a long way to go to counter the racist ideas pumped out from above and enacted on the streets.

Mainstream politicians and pundits frequently lament the lack of a supposedly “grown up debate” about the impact of immigration in Britain. Such claims are usually followed by the suggestion that the reason for this is because the media is dominated by a cosmopolitan elite who are worried about causing offence to “ethnic minorities” and whose comfortable lifestyles protect them from any negative effects.

Fundamental British tosh

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The government’s Prevent strategy is inherently racist and it attempts to turn teachers into agents of the security services. Ümit Yildiz looks at the problems with enforcing a spurious notion of “British values”.

Paul Gilroy wrote that “racism does not, of course, move tidily and unchanged through time and history”. While on the surface “acceptable” racism in the UK has shifted its focus from colour to creed, culture and religion, its tools of operation remain the same: the judiciary, the police, the education system, the media, namely the British state itself.

Following the attacks on 11 September 2001, already growing anti-Muslim racism was normalised by the US administration and successive British governments.

Buck passed on jailing Robinson

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On a cold Tuesday morning late last month, 500-1,000 supporters of Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) gathered outside his retrial at the Old Bailey, central London. The retrial focussed on two charges — whether Robinson had breached reporting restrictions on the Huddersfield child grooming case, and for contempt of court. After a short hearing, Nicholas Hillyard QC took the decision to refer the case to the Attorney General.

“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.

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