To Black Perspective,
We are writing to inform the Black Community of the consequences of events that occurred in the aftermath of the brutal murders of Stephen Lawrence and Rolan Adams, and a miscarriage of justice which has befallen five young men.
A protest, with political undertones was organised and attended by concerned individuals from both black and white communities. A large number of black youths were segregated outside the heavily protected BNP headquarters and forced in the direction of Welling High Street by a pre-planned operation mounted by riot police. Racial taunts and abuse was hurled at them by members of the local community, especially by white youths from a social club on the High Street. There ensued a confrontation resulting in property being damaged. The police retaliated with excessive force. Many black youths were beaten, and those who escaped were hounded by the police. Eight months after these events, five black youths were arrested and charged with public order offences. On July 22 1994 these five youths appeared at Croydon Crown Court, and were sentenced to a total of 14 years in prison.
Our otherwise untarnished reputations have been shattered as a result of the media attention portraying an isolated moment of anger and frustration, and the real issue has been conveniently overlooked. Is there a reluctance on the part of the black community to demonstrate or become involved? It sees even with all their influence, they refuse to acknowledge that families are still feeling the loss of lives. Where is the unity? Where is the communal spirit?
Where is the justice?
BULLET PROOF LOVE AND UNITY FOR ALL DE PEOPLE IN DE STRUGGLE. PEACE.
Wilson, Ramsooner, Bogle, Jacks, Jacks. HMP BEDFORD
I am writing to you in reply to an article in your publication as to why more Black people do not participate in anti-fascist marches. My theory is that there are far too many Black people who either through fear, ignorance or just total unwillingness will not attend these kind of marches and demonstrations.
I think that if more Black people were to attend these marches, then I seriously believe that there would be outside forces on or around the scene to provoke or intimidate them into situations where in the end the whole purpose of the march or demonstration would be lost. Can you imagine where say 5000 Black people congregated at Trafalgar square to protest against a certain piece of legislation!! Can you imagine what kind of thoughts would be going through the minds of the police in attendance? or the general public at large?
It is with this thinking that I honestly believe that there are a lot of us who would participate in these marches, but don't because they don't want to be seen as aggressive or radical or maybe they think the police would turn on them and or arrest them or maybe they just haven't got the guts to stand up for their beliefs.
Let's not forget about the authorities' cleverness at having spies in and around these marches. Plain clothes police officers, photographers and probably special branch men just milling about to see the who's who of Anti-fascist groups and others who exploit these marches to basically cause trouble.
We as Black people know how the white power structures deal with us as a community in this country but we still lack the total understanding that if we as Black people don't do anything more positive and radical like "WE KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS" then who the hell are we to complain when we get dissed by white society?
Peace Brothers and sisters and keep up the good work.
Mr Richard Thompson
Willesden, London NW10
Ed: The excuses that you mentioned are precisely the reasons why we condemn Black people's attitude. If Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, the Black Panthers and many other lesser know brothers and sisters had been too concerned about other peoples' perception of them; if they had been too frightened of the "special branch", would we still not be slaves? Why should we be too embarrassed or frightened to take OUR freedom? Too many of us just don't care and that leaves the few who dare, open to abuse from the authorities.
SLAVE BABIES: THE SEQUEL
I am totally appalled by the publicity material for the Blue Mountain Theatre play, "slave Babies - Smallie The Sequel", which includes leaflets (which are distributed all over London) portraying Barbadians and Nigerians as monkeys and Rastafarians as pigs, and adverts on South London's disco music station, Choice FM, which refer to Africans as "bubus" and claim they (Africans) live in trees.
The sponsors of the play are Wray and Nephew white overproof rum and Jamaica National Building society, two of Jamaica's leading companies whilst Choice FM employs a number of people who are from Jamaica.
I appeal to Wray and Nephew, Jamaica National Building Society and Choice FM to withdraw their support for this insulting and offensive rubbish. I also believe that there is an urgent need for the High Commissions of the African and Caribbean countries represented in this play to meet and issue a joint statement regarding this outrageous insult to the African Caribbean community.
Isola Thomas-Asante (Ms)
Tulse Hill, London SW2
Black Perspective caught my eye at the newsstands. I purchased it instantly with no regrets after reading through the pages. Though more factual and incisive articles (obtained in your former magazine) will be preferred to unsavoury fiction. However, more grease to your elbow.
Dr Jide Layiwola
London SE15 4HW
Ed., The story was meant to be satirical