Tackling racism, injustice and cuts in 2012, and beyond

22nd July 2012

Zita Holbourne, co-chair of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC) sets out a campaigning strategy for the next year.

In order to build a mass movement of black organisations and individuals we need to examine the reasons why people may not join a trade union or campaign, do not go to meetings, rallies, protests, do not believe they can make a difference.

Some people may not feel empowered, others may feel their input cannot change anything, think it’s time and effort they cannot afford to give or feel there is no choice but to accept their fate.  Some may be fearful of repercussions if they challenge the discrimination around them and others may never have been involved in organised action and feel apprehensive about taking part. Others may simply have never been invited to take part and need support to take that first step. 

For those that expect that it’s up to the trade union representatives and the community activists to take the action and fight for them there’s a need to recognise that its the members of these unions and communities that make them strong and effective or not. A union is only as strong as its members and a community campaign is only a community campaign if the community is participating in it.

We shouldn’t forget that all of us impacted by racism, injustice and cuts are the majority – those creating them are a tiny minority. That majority working together collectively can be a powerful force for challenge and change.

In addition to the need to come together now in order to respond to the immediate attacks and threats we face we need to think about the next generation. These are the hardest hit and it both breaks my heart and angers me that young people are facing rising unemployment, with over a million young people unemployed but with one in two young black people unemployed, barriers to further and higher education with funding for courses cut, EMA slashed, tripled tuition fees, essential services, support and advice cut and demonisation by the right wing press and Tories.

If we don’t step up now to fight discrimination and injustice we won’t have a legacy to pass on to them. If we fail to nurture the talent in our communities now it will die.

As well as fighting to keep what we have we need to create opportunities for ourselves, our families and our communities so we’re not dependent on what others have to both offer and take away when the going gets tough.

BARAC is planning to start the process of discussing these issues and how we move forward working with a broad coalition of black and anti-racist organisations and individuals at our forthcoming public meeting being held to coincide with the opening day of the Olympics, entitled ‘Jobs and Justice, Olympic Fair Play for Who?’.

We are inviting you to

  • Join with us in helping to formulate a national set of demands for jobs and justice.
  • Explore the possibility of holding major black organisations’ AGMs and/or national conferences during one week in 2013.
  • Attend a National Coordinating Committee and help us develop the main anti-racist demands and produce a mobilisation strategy.


  • We are suggesting a National Black Convention to be held during one week at a residential venue in early September 2012.

Leading to Equality in our Life Time: A National March on for Jobs and Justice August 2013: The 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech.

On August 28th 1963 Dr Martin Luther King led the historic civil rights Jobs and Freedom March on Washington. The march attracted over 300,000 people in a unique and historic effort to end racial segregation, racial prejudice and Jim Crow legislation in the United States.

For more information (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Bookmark and Share


No comments

Comment on this feature

Log in to post a comment