Forty years ago in Brixton, Black communities were living in poor housing with high unemployment, subject to racist reporting by the British media, as well as the political leadership at the time which gave license to racist police brutality.18 January 1981 saw
THE BLAZE WE CANNOT FORGET
as Darcus Howe called it – the New Cross house fire in which thirteen teenagers died at a birthday party.Racist attacks were common in the area and the slow response to investigate the cause of the fire, or massacre, led to a protest march of 20,000 Black people and their allies from Lewisham to Hyde Park on 2 March 1981. This was the Black People’s Day of Action and was the largest political gathering of Black people in British history at the time. Chants on the march included Thirteen Dead, Nothing Said, No Police Cover-Up and
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