Anti-Racism

Shapurji Saklatvala: a series of articles

A series of articles in Solidarity about the revolutionary socialist activist who was also Labour's first "BAME" MP and a long-time fighter for Indian independence. • Labour's first "BAME" MP • "Battersea versus the British Empire" • A tribune of the working class

Kept Out for their Colour

At last week's online Tubeworker meeting (held jointly with Off The Rails), we learned about the history of 'colour bars' on the railways.

After the Second World War, there was a labour shortage in Britain, and thousands of black workers from Britain's former colonies came here to fill the jobs...

Making equality more than a buzzword

This article, by rail worker Becky Crocker, was first published in the Solidarity newspaper, here.




In recent months I have become increasingly aware of the lack of diversity in my workplace, a Network Rail office in London.

My suspicions about Network Rail were confirmed when I read in its...

Can we still protest? Should we still protest?

In Solidarity 562 we carried an article clarifying the law around protest. Despite the threats the police made to organisers of a 5 September trans rights protest (which led to it being cancelled), protesting was still legal. Then on 9 September Boris Johnson announced that further restrictions would be made so that no more than six people are allowed to gather socially. The change came into force on Monday 14 September. At the time of the announcement NHS campaigners were busy organising protests for 12 September, and were reassured that the new changes would not have taken effect by then...

Making equality more than a buzzword

In recent months I have become increasingly aware of the lack of diversity in my workplace, a Network Rail office in London. My suspicions about Network Rail were confirmed when I read in its 2019 Ethnicity Pay Gap Report that only 8.6% of its workforce is from a black or ethnic minority background compared to the national BAME population of 13%. According to the report, the lowest proportion of BAME workers is in the Operations and Maintenance section, where the overwhelming majority of Network Rail’s employees work. Those are the people who go out fixing the tracks. BAME workers make up over...

TUC report reveals racism but offers no answer

A TUC report, Dying on the job: racism and risk at work, has revealed the deep-seated racism that underlies the higher impact of Covid-19 on black and minority ethnic (BME) people, but its proposals fall well short of what is needed. In the early days of the pandemic, it became clear that BME people were dying at a significantly greater rate. Compared with white people, black people are more than four times as likely to die from Covid-19, Bangladeshi and Pakistani people more than one-and-a-half times as likely. While the government tried to portray this as a mystery requiring medical study...

Stop this deportation!

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Home Office on Friday 4 September to demand that Osime Brown not be deported to Jamaica. Led by Osime’s family, the protest was supported by Autistic Inclusive Meets (AIM), Neurodivergent Labour (NDL) and RMT’s London Transport Regional Council. Osime’s mother, sister and stepfather told how he had been imprisoned under “joint enterprise” law simply for being present when a mobile phone was stolen, and that an order has been issued to deport him when he is released next month. The family left Jamaica when Osime was four years old; he has no knowledge...

Five times the risk in pregnancy

Healthcare in pregnancy, or lack of it, is one of the starkest examples of racial health inequalities in the United Kingdom and in the United States. Work in the UK by University of Oxford researchers has found that between 2014 and 2016 the rate of death in pregnancy was 8 in 100,000 white people, compared with 15 in 100,000 Asian people and 40 in 100,000 black people. It’s a similar picture in the US, where African-American, Native American, and Alaska native pregnancies are three times more likely to result in death, according to a May 2019 report by the Centers for Disease Control. The...

"Battersea versus the British Empire"

Part two of our series. Part one here. Part three here. In 1921, aged 47, after 16 years in the UK, Shapurji Saklatvala was selected as Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Battersea North. This came shortly after his very public decision to leave the Independent Labour Party and join the Communist Party of Great Britain. He would become both Labour's first "BAME" MP and one of Britain's first avowedly revolutionary socialist MPs. How did these things fit together? Communists and Labour Saklatvala had become active in the London Labour Party in 1918, through the ILP (which was affiliated to...

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.