In April, and beyond, this year, the communities of Southall and people from afar will honour the memories of Grudip Singh Chaggar and Blair Peach both killed in the locality by violence dictated by racism.
Gurdip Chaggar, a young Asian boy, was an innocent victim of a racially motivated attack on 4 June during the hot summer of 1976. His untimely and senseless death galvanised young Asian people nationally to create their own political culture of self-organisation & self-defence as well as new artistic movements.
Blair Peach, an anti-racist schoolteacher, was killed on St Georges Day (23 April) in the spring of 1979 by Metropolitan Police’s Special Patrol Group during a peaceful anti National Front demonstration. No one has ever been arrested, never mind charged, for his murder. His brutal murder inspired an international campaign for justice led by his partner, Celia Stubbs, and friends. Police actions on the day also led to the criminalisation of a whole community – mainly people of Asian and African Caribbean origin.
Despite these tragedies, our audacious resistance achieved a remarkable and life changing victory – people in Southall finally began to live and thrive in a town free of racial and fascist violence.
Today the giant twins of racism and poverty fuelled by the far right are back again. In some parts of our continent, Europe, extreme-right and anti-immigration parties have become partners in government. Their strategy includes strengthening forces of nativism and fascism in the UK. Death and criminalisation motivated by racism remains a potent mixture of lived experience.
The signs are there to be read. Do we need a weather presenter to tell us which way the wind is blowing?
A locally led coordinating group – Southall Resists 40 – has been established to plan the events. Our aim is not only to remember the past by learning lessons from the resistance that was created but also to prepare for the future.
Why not join us? Please browse through other sections of the website to gain more information on our activities, our supporters and how to promote our work. Like our FB page and spread the word other social media tools. Think about volunteering or even donating money. We will always value and acknowledge your help.
Were you in Southall from 1976 to 1982? Did you witness any of the events? If yes, please contact – we especially want to hear from you