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No Pasaran Youth against Racism in Europe magazine: Issue 11, Summer 2003
Campaigning against racist attacks in Walthamstow
by Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, from London ISR
The Walthamstow Guardian recently reported the tragic death of Awais Alam in Walthamstow. The police are still investigating, but many people believe it was a racist attack. If racism isnít dealt with it can increase the possibility of racist attacks and the growth of racism in general. International Socialist Resistance believes a campaign against racism of young people and trade unionists is needed in Waltham Forest.
Why are some forms of racism increasing now?
Most young people are against racism. We donít think that anyone is born a racist. Racism and prejudice are something that you learn. The people who have failed to tackle racism are the rich and powerful. Four years after the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, which exposed racism and corruption in the Metropolitan Police, police racism is getting worse not better. Figures released for the 2001 to 2002 period show that in London the Metropolitan Police stopped 40% more Asian people and 30% more black people, but 8% fewer white people.
Racist attacks do not come out of the blue but must be seen against the background of an increase in racism nationally over the last few years. Neo-Nazi parties like the BNP, who use racist ideas publicly, have also increased their vote, winning 16 councillors in England.
Malcolm X said that you canít have capitalism without racism
Racism has long been used to divide working-class people. It suits New Labour if ordinary people are blaming other ethnic groups for inadequate services and the low standard of living. The real people to blame are the government and their big business friends who have implemented huge rises in council tax in the borough while not improving the services. This year council tax went up 19% at the same time as services were cut by 5%. This combines to form a serious attack on our education and housing as well as other services.
The social problems which allow racism to develop are mainly caused by this profit system, which puts money before peopleís lives. Capitalism is the cause of the inequalities and problems that we face. International Socialist Resistance is a campaigning organisation which is run by young people for young people. We fight for an end to racism and prejudice but in order to achieve that we have to fight to get rid of the capitalist system. Capitalism is a system which is run on the basis of more and more profit for a tiny rich minority. Capitalism means war and terror and death and destruction.
We want to replace that system with a system which is run democratically on the basis of need Ė socialism. We campaign for a socialist society where the wealth and resources that exist are democratically planned for the benefit of all.
YRE is working with International Socialist Resistance (ISR), an anti-capitalist youth group, to campaign against the BNP and against racism.
For more info on the campaign in Walthamstow or ISR you can contact ISR through the YRE office; email
or visit their website at: