The fight for liberation in the UK is more relevant than ever before, Remi Joseph Salisbury and Penny Wangari-Jones from the Racial Justice Network take stock:
With the Tories crumbling, recent events in British politics should have us all believing that things can be different. Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign has shown that this is an opportune moment to galvanize the youth, marginalised communities and push for meaningful social change. Whilst his campaign has been admirable, we should remember that so many of our gains come from outside of mainstream politics. To be clear: without grassroots having laid the groundwork for a Corbyn-like figure to emerge, his assent would not have been possible.
Impressive as the left’s resurgence might be, history shows that we cannot rely on mainstream politics for Black and Brown liberation. The fight for racial justice must take heed of Frederick Douglass assertion that ‘power concedes nothing without demand’. For those of us committed to anti-racism, now is the time to organize. As we do so, we contribute to a great lineage of Black and Brown activism in Britain. From the Mangrove Nine campaign, to the Bristol Bus Boycotts, contemporary Britain is defined by Black resistance and agitation.
The vehement explicit racism that has proliferated post-Brexit is only the most visible tip of the iceberg. Racial inequality and injustice persists in all areas of society. From education to policing, to employment, housing, and health, there are many battles to be won. These battles must be led by Black and Brown activists who are organized and committed.
Majority of BME communities acknowledge experiencing racism of some form, however very few do anything about it due to fear, trauma or have normalised the behaviour. Campaigning rather than complaining is one way of re-addressing the balance and countering effects on psyche.
Race conversations have been associated with denial, blame and shame leading to most activists who dare experiencing burn-out, getting overcome by apathy or becoming disillusioned.
The Racial Justice Network is running a 6 months campaign course facilitated by leading national anti-racist campaigners and community organisers in Leeds. The course is designed to turn activists into organisers, and build solidarity between struggles.
We are looking for people of colour campaigners/organisers working across the movement to join us for this free six months training in Leeds – Please apply before the 23rd June here: http://tinyurl.com/