UWSU highlights past struggles to inspire debate and action among students
UWSU campaigns coordinator Sophia Kleanthous and Professor Dibyesh Anand Head of Politics and International Relations along with UWSU BAME officer Ibrahim Seedat worked together to coordinate the different contributions to this year’s programme. The theme chosen for the month was Immigration and Civil Rights in the UK. UWSU’s aims of the campaign were to raise awareness of the fight for civil rights here in the UK rather than focusing on America (as is often the case) and showing the positive contributions that immigrants have made to life in the UK.
Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon was a highlight of the programme with her inspiring talk on the legal and education system in the UK, including sharing her experience of dealing with the police during her son’s murder investigation. She told of how she felt that there was an assumption that she wasn’t entitled to justice. She underlined that despite progress, there are persistent media stereotypes about BAME people.
During the programme, historian Tony Warner took the audience of students and the wider community on a journey back to earlier UK civil rights campaigns and BAME contributions from the 1838 chartist movement through to the fight against fascism at the time of the Second World War. With impressive media clips and images as a backdrop, he talked about the 1963 boycott against the Bristol Bus Company’s refusal to employ African-Caribbean or Asian workers. He also shared information about the 2.5 million Indian troops that fought in the two world wars.