Below is the speech I delivered outside Downing Street at the ‘March for Windrush’ as a newly elected Councillor.
I am honoured to have been elected yesterday to serve the people of Haringey.
And I am extremely proud to be on this stage today to make my first public appearance as a newly elected councillor and to say that I will be working every day to make Haringey a hostile environment for racists.
As long as I am Councillor, there will be no hostility towards refugees.
There will be no hostility towards asylum seekers and
There will be no hostility towards migrants.
Now, let’s turn to the disgraceful and ridiculous mainstream media coverage of the election.
They are painting this as some kind of a defeat for the Labour Party.
Labour actually won 1018 more seats than the Tories across the country. That is 1018 seats more than the Tories.
What they are not covering is that a racist Tory Councillor has just been re-admitted into the Conservative Party so that they can take control of Pendle Council.
The Tories have form in running racist election campaigns. You will remember the last London Mayoral election – the most racist election campaign in living memory that the Tories ran against Sadiq Khan.
In the 1964 by-election, the Tories ran a campaign with the slogan “If you want a coloured for your neighbour, vote Labour”. They actually used the ‘N’ word in reference to Windrush citizens who had to the UK to rebuild this country after the Second World War.
A few years after that, we had the infamous Rivers of Blood speech from Enoch Powell.
In a follow-up speech, Enoch Powell proposed a Ministry of Repatriation to send Commonwealth Cizitens back to their country of origin.
We are seeing a manifestation of that policy in Theresa May’s Go Home vans and in her ‘hostile environment’ policy.
Let’s not make any mistake about it. The hostile environment is a racist policy.
The hostile environment has treated British Citizens, the Windrush Generation in the most despicable manner, destroying lives and denying their human rights.
To give you one example, the hostile environment has refused to treat British Citizens on the NHS.
When the founding fathers of the NHS, Nye Bevan and Clement Attlee set it up, they set it up with the principle that access to healthcare is a fundamental human right.
And to refuse NHS treatment to the Windrush Generation is to deny them their human right and to treat them as less than human.
That is what racism looks like.
That is what slavery was about.
And that is what colonialism was about.
And from this stage, I would like to re-iterate our demands to Sajid Javid and Theresa May:
- We demand that the 2014 Immigration act is repealed
- We demand an immediate end to deportations and detention of Commonwealth Citizens
- We demand that all those deported be brought back to Britain immediately
- We demand a guarantee to protect of all Commonwealth Citizens and their human rights
- We demand that all those affected in any way be given compensation for deportation, threats of deportation, detention, loss of housing, jobs, benefits and denial of NHS treatment.
- We demand an immediate end to the hostile environment for any immigrants.
Thank you vert much for listening. Peace and solidarity to you all.