Thursday, June 22, 2023

Windrush 75th anniversary - London UNISON & Newham


This evening I attended two events remembering and celebrating the 75th anniversary of the ship, Empress Windrush, docking at Tilbury Port, Essex  in 1948 with several hundred West Indian migrants, who came to the "motherland" in order to fill job vacancies and rebuild the UK after 6 years of Total War with Germany and Japan. 

At the UNISON HQ centre in Euston Road, our National Officer for Equalities, Gloria Mills gave a moving and personal account of her own family, who faced terrible racism, exploitation and discrimination (landlord signs saying "No Dogs, No Blacks and No Irish").  

Hackney Deputy Mayor, Anntoinette Bramble, (and UNISON LGA branch equalities officer) gave a passionate speech about how black workers must always fight for their rights and for justice in their workplace. 

Next were a series of award for union members who had distinguished themselves and I was pleased that Newham Council Branch secretary, Gloria Hanson was recognised and given an award.  

After this I went to the Old Town Hall in Stratford, for the Newham celebration. I missed the main event but was able to chat to people and also admire the black and white photo exhibition of the "Windrush" generation entering the UK. The main Newham Council celebration of Windrush will be on Saturday. 

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