Over the past 30 years, the prison population has almost doubled, with police having more powers (e.g. Section 60s, surveillance tech and injunctions) and more weapons (e.g. guns, tasers and spithoods) than ever before.
While immigration controls are a relatively recent phenomenon, Britain taking land, resources and exploiting people across the world, from Australia, to Africa, to Asia, to the Americas, is centuries old. The wealth of Europe is built on the colonisation of the countries from which migrants come. Our message to Britain is: We are here because you were there.
Black children are three times more likely to be permanently excluded from school than their white counterparts. Black children are more likely than average to be failed by the school system, leaving with fewer qualifications.
In the UK, the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting Black and other racialised communities, working class communities, those with existing health conditions, people in precarious employment or legal status and those in overcrowded housing. Lockdown has had a massive effect on people with mental health problems, special educational needs or living in homes with domestic abuse.
As members of the diaspora, we stand in solidarity with our family across the globe. Britain and Europe’s imperial history underdeveloped the peoples they colonised. Imperialism is a product of racial capitalism, where racism shapes how land and people are stolen and exploited. Over 100 companies on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) have African mining operations that control over $1 trillion worth of Africa’s most valuable resources.
The deliberate divestment away from our communities in the last few decades means that more than 14 million people are living in poverty in Britain today. Nearly half of Black African Caribbean households live in poverty, compared with just under one in five white families. Your chances of living in poverty are even higher if you are a single mother, if you are disabled, or if you’re trans. And we know that this is only going to be made worse by the pandemic.