Blog Archive

Monday, 9 December 2019

Activist, Campaigner, Artist and Writer, Zita Holbourne wins prestigious lifetime achievement award in recognition of her work as an Equality Champion.



Activist, Campaigner, Artist and Writer, Zita Holbourne wins prestigious lifetime achievement award in recognition of her work as an Equality Champion.

BARAC UK urges voters to vote Labour in the general election in order to advance equality and tackle discrimination.

Zita Holbourne, Co-founder and National Chair of BARAC UK received a Lifetime Achievement Award for her role as Equality Champion. 

The Award was made by the Legacy Gala and Awards, at a ceremony held at the Royal Lancaster London Hotel in Bayswater on Saturday 7th December.

Now in their fourth year, The Life Time Legacy Awards are made to individuals nominated by their peers, because they have used their career not just for personal progression, but have also sacrificed much, in order to prepare the ground for others to follow.

Zita was given the award for Equality Champion in recognition of her work over decades as a trade union representative,  community activist and human rights campaigner, working tirelessly  not just in the UK but globally to challenge discrimination and advance equality. 

Other winners on the night included footballer Andy Cole, Lord Simon Woolley and actor Rudolph Walker. 

On winning the award Zita said:

"Equality is at the heart of all I do, be it as a trade union or community  activist, human rights campaigner, visual artist, author or poet, I strive to achieve, improve and advance equality. 

Receiving this award is a great honour for me and very special in that it recognises the importance of equality in our lifetime as well as for future generations. At a time when equality gains have been stripped away, over ten years of austerity, impacting adversely on equality grounds and bringing deepening discrimination and injustice, we all need to challenge discrimination when we witness it, as our silence empowers those who hold discriminatory views.  Equality cannot just be about defending any gains we have made, but working together, to achieve true equality so everyone can live with dignity, respect and peace and pursue their dreams and aspirations free from the barriers created by discrimination.

Over the past decade we have witnessed deepening discrimination towards black and minority ethnic people, women, disabled people, LGBT plus people, younger and older people as well as migrant communities. It is essential that we reverse this discrimination but also that we keep  advancing  equality and tackle discrimination robustly. It's incumbent on all of us to call it out and take action.

The horrific treatment, still impacting to this very day, of the Windrush generation and their multi-generational families is a stain on the history of UK politics, full justice must be served.

Likewise the scapegoating of migrant communities, cuts to essential services, discrimination  in the labour market and discriminatory barriers to progression must all be challenged.

We can and must all work together in order to make equality a reality."  

Hector Wesley, PCS National Executive Committee member and BARAC UK National Officer said;

"I'm delighted that Zita has received this award which is well deserved recognition for her decades long commitment to promoting equality and fighting injustice.

That this award has been made by leaders within the black community gives it added value.

Recipients of lifetime achievement awards are often nearing the end of their careers.  That's definitely not the case here. I know that Zita will continue her contribution nationally and internationally."

Zita is community and trade union activist, human rights campaigner, performance poet, author, writer, visual artist, curator, designer and  vocalist.

She campaigns for equality, freedom, justice and human rights through arts and activism.

Zita is the Co-founder and National Chair  of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts which campaigns against the adverse disproportionate impact of cuts on black /BAME workers, service users and communities and deepening related injustice and racism.

 She is a founding member of BAME Lawyers for Justice and BME Lawyers for Grenfell. She has campaigned against Windrush and related deportations for decades  and for refugee and migrant rights on a global level. She coordinates regular humanitarian aid distributions to refugees.

Zita is National Vice President of the Public and Commercial Services Union where she chairs the union's National Equality Committee. She is Joint National Chair of Artists Union England. 

She is elected to the Trades Union Congress Race Relations and  the Women's Committees and is also active in the trade union movement on a European and international level.

Zita's work in the arts and on equality has Bern recognised by the United Nations and she is a member of the UNESCO Coalition of Artists for the General History of Africa.

Zita is the author of Striving for Equality Freedom and Justice and featured in  the award winning book, Here We Stand; Women Changing the World. She is a  contributor to numerous books, as a writer and illustrator including New Daughters of Africa, an International anthology launched in 2019.

She is the winner of the UK National Diversity Awards Postive Role Model for Race amongst other awards.

Zita is an award winning performance  and published poet. She has performed internationally, including at Glastonbury, in the UK Parliament and at Nelson Mandela's official UK memorial service.

She is the founder and curator of the Roots Culture Identity art exhibition/collective providing a platform for predominantly young , black (BAME)  and migrant artists.

She has led and won many campaigns for justice and equality and built equality structures and initiatives in the UK and globally. She has advised the European Commission on  tackling discrimination and improving equality and for decades  she has successfully represented on and challenged discrimination at work and in wider society.

BARAC UK, urges voters in this week's  general election to vote for the Labour Party, as the party that has historically  and that will if elected, implement, progressive equality policies and  a focused strategy and stand alone department  for equality.


Friday, 9 August 2019

Joint Statement by NLAC Network & BARAC UK

Joint Statement by BARAC UK  and NLAC Network

                                                                                                      We welcome work by Newham Council to green the borough and as part of this work to look at environmental factors contributing to climate change and in taking action to reduce carbon emissions which contribute to global warming. This includes the use of vehicles such as cars. 

However we were horrified  to read in a public consultation  document  published on the Newham Council website, a narrative which we consider to be racist in tone and content. 

As quoted below, the statement by Newham Council suggests that the diversity of the borough poses a weakness and a problem, in addition to a strength and that the use of cars by black, Asian or migrant communities in the borough is an issue and problem relating to cultural behaviours, effectively othering a huge proportion of the population within the borough. 

They say but do not specify that some 'minority communities' in the borough have cars not for practical reasons that the general population may have cars such as getting to work, getting to schools and carers, transporting goods, for work purposes , for example needing a vehicle for your job, disability, as a reasonable adjustment, to cut down on high public transport costs for commuting and many other reasons,  but as a symbol of status. We are not living in the 1920s, having a car is common in Western countries for many and varied reasons and is a part of every day living. 

It goes on to describe how a 'specialist approach' is required. Again this is othering and labelling, who ever their words are targeting,  as a problem that has to be tackled rather than approaching matters by seeking to raise awareness of carbon emissions from driving vehicles amongst the whole population of Newham.

The statement then says the Director of Equality for Transport for London will be involved in targeting places of worship and faith leaders. This is of concern on a number of levels including; 

1. They are not just targeting and labelling people on grounds of race but on grounds of religion also.
2. They are bringing in someone who should be leading on achieving and promoting equality to target people on grounds of their race and religion and not even one religion but anybody of faith who is in their view a 'minority'. 

As it happens if you were add up all those they might deem to be 'minorities' they make up the majority of the borough's population.

They say they will 'systematically unpick car ownership and it being a symbol of success'.

There is no reference to data or evidence, setting out how they have reached this conclusion, no break down by race or ethnic group of who owns cars, with the reasons for owning them or how /why they drive cars. 

To target, demonise and label unspecified ethnic groups who live in the borough is disgusting. If indeed there is found to be a disproportionate use of cars by any particular group then the reasons for this should be thoroughly explored and considered rather than publishing insulting,  negative comments portraying the diverse communities of Newham as uneducated, unaware,  superficial, ignorant, uncaring and irresponsible. Also implying that there are 'good' and 'bad' citizens in the borough when it comes to the environment, divided by race and religion is inappropriate and irresponsible.

Such language and tone  along with the singling out of some, only seeks to divide communities. This kind of othering creates the climate for racism and hate crime to thrive.

It is ironic given  that those most effected  by the impacts of climate change are from the global South, areas of the world where the people or their families historically  that  the council are now  labelling as the worst perpetrators contributing to climate change, are likely to have migrated from. As a result they may still  have family in those countries directly impacted by floods, drought, cyclones, hurricanes etc. The people that the council are now targeting may include some people who came to the UK as refugees,  who were forced to flee the combined impacts of climate change, conflict and poverty. Therefore the so called 'minorities' they refer to may be people who have lived experience and as a result awareness of the importance of addressing climate change and already be involved in campaigning against climate change and promoting a green agenda .

We request that Newham Council withdraw this wording and reconsider their approach, acting in an inclusive way , if they are serious about trying to tackle environmental issues in the borough they need to support, encourage and include people in that work, drawing on the expertise, knowledge  and lived experiences of all its citizens without pointing the figure and othering and labelling any particular group. 

Extract of the Newham Council consultation document:

"Newham also has its own particular challenges in achieving this aim. The diverse nature of 
our Borough population, while being one of our strengths, also presents some cultural issues 
about status, betterment and the motor car being seen as a universal symbol of success 
amongst some of our minority communities, which will require a specialist approach to 
address. We have devised a specific approach to engage with these communities with TfL’s 
Equality Director’s help, with initial focus on places of worship and faith leaders in order to 
systematically unpick this perceived relationship between car ownership and use and it 
being a symbol of success, over time. 

(The document has now been removed from the Newham Council website 

Friday, 21 June 2019

Press Release: National Windrush Day of Action

Windrush Day Press Release.
Friday, June 21, 2019
Event Windrush Day: Seven Windrush Justice actions in
seven cities across England and Wales.
Black Groups call for a formal UN investigation into the UK
Windrush Scandal.
London: No 10 Downing Street Protest for 11am followed by
Westminster Bridge, Windrush Justice Banner
Drop. (10m x 5m at around 12 noon)
BAME Lawyers for Justice has organized unprecedented action
in support of demands for justice for the victims of the Windrush
On June 22nd will see seven actions taking place in seven cities’,
simultaneously across the England and Wales. These are London. Liverpool.
Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby, Leeds and Manchester
Symbolic actions will be taking place in each of these cities.

In London a demonstration will be held outside 10 Downing Street at 11am on
Saturday June 2019, followed by a 10 x 5 meter banner drop, across
Westminster Bridge around 12 noon – 12.15 pm
Today the Black communities of Britain both celebrate their unique
contribution to the making of modern Britain, our cultures of resistance and
rebellion, by demonstrating our opposition to one of the most hostile, racially
targeted British immigration regimes ever seen in modern British history.
Lee Jasper National Co-Coordinator for the WDA
This Governmental immigration regime is the most virulently racially hostile
immigration regime in modern British history, Today’s Windrush celebration is
marred by the fact that tens o thousands of black people remain affected.
Despite the apologies of Government, black people continue to be wrongly
denied rightful citizenship by a Home Office that is incapable of seeing past
peoples color . British black people, and the wider community remain
outraged. Whilst Brexit has dominated the political and news agenda, the
victims of Windrush have been forgotten.
We intend to place these matters at the highest level; we call for a formal UN
investigation into the Windrush scandal and the rancid racism that makes
Britain one of the most overtly racist nations in the world, in terms of
immigration policies.
Make no mistake British immigration policy is in reality a covert policy of
forced repatriation, the most coveted policy of the extreme racist right wing for
Today, Black British citizens now face a routine, implicitly racist administrative
culture that operates on the basis of automatic presumption of disbelief,
regardless of objective evidence available.
This institutionally racist culture is shared across the administration of
Government, including immigration, police, judges and schools officials,
Routinely disbelieved, routinely facing discrimination, that is the Black British
experience. The credibility of Black British citizenship can be summed up in
one sentence, “You’re a liar we don’t believe you.”

Pastor Clive Foster Is Senior Pastor from the Pilgrim Church which has
been supporting hundreds of people since the scandal broke said;
“ As part of the National Windrush Day of Action organised by BAME Lawyers
for Justice, Nottingham will be joining other cities across the UK standing in
solidarity with the victims and families of the Windrush Scandal. All are invited
to meet in the city centre at the Brian Clough statue to hear passionate
speeches from campaigners, activists and diverse Windrush supporters.

As with other cities there will be the unfurling of the Nottinghamshire
Windrush Day of Action banner to highlight the on-going plight of people still
seeking justice as a result of the governments hostile environment
policy. Along with speeches the event will also include contributions from
local poets, gospel singing and drumming as part of the day.
‘It’s great to mark the first official Windrush Day in the UK with Nottingham
joining a coordinated effort to stand up for the rights and justice of the
Windrush Generation - today is a telling reminder that injustice anywhere is a
threat to justice everywhere and we need to continue ensure that the dignity
and worth of British citizens is preserved’.
The meeting will take place on Saturday 22nd June at 1.00pm at the Brian
Clough statue, speakers corner city centre – all welcome”
Kingsley Abrahams General Secretary of Momentum Black Caucus
“ This reprehensible Tory Government should be dragged to the International
Human Rights implementing the most egregious acts of state endorsed
racism, resulting in the most profound of racist human rights violations that
we've seen in a generation. We fully support this national day of action and I
to support the campaign for justice and restitution for Windrush victims and
their families.”
Cllr Anna Rothery of Liverpool City Council and Mayoral Lead for
Equalities stated:
“We in Liverpool we will be supporting the Windrush Day Of Action and in
addition to action on the 22nd, there will also be Windrush events running from
the 26th screening black flowers reclaiming white spaces, Betrayal the
Charles Wotton story & Small Island on the 27t
There will be a community day for youth and elders with various speakers,
stalls spoken word with Levi Tafari, Akala, and the African Heritage Company
will be looking at a sense of self a sense of place a project looking at the
managed decline of black community organisations such as the Charles
Wooton education Centre, MIAU Merseyside immigration advisory unit, L8
Law Centre, Access to Law and African studies and how the lack of resources
impact on our youths consciousness.
28th a commissioned play looking at the insanity of the” hostile environment”
exploring the story of a Jamaican nurse who has been nominated for a life
time achievement award at the same time as receiving deportation papers!
Followed by a panel discussion with Sir Geoff Palmer Glasgow University
amongst other guests
This gives a platform to unpick the Windrush debacle and utilise our black
creative talents to send a clear message, all of these activities will be curated 4
and captured in a Windrush Legacy book which will be of the official record of
part of Liverpool’s fight for Windrush Justice.
Zita Holbourne, National Chair BARAC UK, National Vice President
PCS Union, Joint National Chair, Artists Union England commentated…
“The treatment of the Windrush generation, their multi generation families and
people from other Commonwealth countries is an absolute disgrace. The
pain, misery, distress , discrimination and injustice experienced and let's be
clear still happening is inhumane.
The government simply celebrating the achievements of the Windrush
generation on 22nd June without addressing the injustice and properly
compensating people is simply wrong. We have organised a day of action to
send a clear message to the government, that we are here, we will not be
silent and we will continue to fight for our rights
Prof Cecile Yvonne Wright of Derby East Midlands stated,
"We in Derby are fully in support of the Windrush Day of action and we will
work day and night to ensure that the victims of Windrush scandal received
the justice, reparation and compensation they deserve."
National and London
Zita Holbourne Tel 07711861660
Lee Jasper Tel 07984181797
Kingsley Abrahams Tel 07932 447763
Anthony Brown Tel 07392399040 (Manchester)
Claude Hendrickson Tel 07831 480196 (Leeds)
Cllr Anna Rothery Tel 07841 652168 (Liverpool)
Phil Murphy Tel 07866 531494 (Birmingham)
Prof Cecil Wright Tel 07504 510710 (Derby)
Pastor Clive Foster Tel 07881656399 (Nottingham)
Editors Info:
BAME Lawyer 4 Justice is a national coalitional of lawyers and campaigning
group challenging Windrush injustices and the Government immigration
“hostile environment” policy
We is an umbrella platform comprising of Society of Black Lawyers, BARAC
UK, Blaksox, Windrush Action & a number of Windrush campaign groups from
across the UK.

We campaign in response to the unfolding Windrush scandal calling for all
deportations, including charter flights to the Caribbean, to be stopped.
We held an online windows debate and two national conferences, one in
London and one in Nottingham in 2018. These community consultation events
have called for a Windrush Day of Action
We organised and made countless representations to the Home Office on this
issue, all ignored and have recently launched a petition calling for the
cessation of all deportation charter flights, and now signed by 12000 people.
We held a Windrush Parliamentary Round Table, chaired by Diane Abbott MP
in June 2019 that was a huge success and was massively over subscribed

Thursday, 20 June 2019

National Windrush Day of Action 22nd of June

National Windrush Day of Action 

22nd June 2019

Called by BAME Lawyers for Justice

The National Windrush Day of Action takes place on Windrush Day, 22nd June.

It has been organised by BAME Lawyers for Justice which is made up of BARAC UK and an umbrella of other race equality and Windrush justice groups.

7 cities are officially taking part:


But more are taking place unofficially.  If you cannot get to any of the participating  cities we invite you to do a photocard opportunity  in solidarity and post to our social media.
@Barack @bamefor @windrushdayjune on Twitter.

BARAC UK,  BAME Lawyers for Justice, National Windrush Day of Action on Facebook.

In London we will be assembling 11am opposite Downing Street and marching to Westminster Bridge  for a mass banner drop over the bridge.

Here is further info plus flyers for the events this Saturday. We welcome your participation and think it is crucial given the gross injustice, discrimination and misery that people of the Windrush generation and their multi-generation families as well as people from other commonwealth  / former commonwealth countries are experiencing  because of the hostile environment, that we protest on 22nd June and send a strong message to the government.

We recognise that some people will wish to celebrate on the day and if that is the case we encourage you to #demonstratethencelebrate. For others the idea of celebrations in the midst of such injustice and inhumanity is insulting at this given time.

Zita Holbourne,  National Chair, BARAC UK

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Marking United Nations World Day for Social Justice with a Windrush Day of Action

National Windrush Day of Action on 23rd February 2019

Co-ordinated by BAME Lawyers for Justice 

Today is United Nations World Day of Social Justice and we have chosen 23rd February as the closest Saturday to build for Justice for the Windrush Generation.

Below are details of events in London, Nottingham & Liverpool. 

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Press Release; Windrush National Day of Action 23rd February 2019

BAME Lawyers 4 Justice.

Press Release.

Embargoed 12.01 Wednesday 14th February 2019

Subject: UK BAME Lawyers for Justice National Coalition, Condemns UK Home Secretary Over Jamaica Charter Flight Deportations and Calls for A Windrush National Day of Action


An number of British national and regional, black and ethnic minority lawyers, organisations, community groups and significant individuals,  under the banner Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Lawyers 4 Justice, (BAME L4J) an unprecedented number of organisations and individuals, from across the country have signed an open letter to the Home Secretary demanding immediate halt to any future deportation charter flights.

In addition the BAME L4J coalition called for a Windrush National Day of Action demanding justice for Windrush victims and urgent reform of a British immigration system that treats black British people as third class citizens. That call is received resounding support . Across the country, local groups will meet on February 23rd 2019 to develop local plans for this nationwide justice initiative, the details of which will be announced in the next few weeks.

Mr Elwaldo Romeo Chair  -  Windrush Action (support group for victims)

"The resumption of deportation charter flights concerns us at Windrush Action particularly when we learn that at least one person who could have gone were it not for a last minute reprieve, has an application pending with the Windrush Task Force.

The Windrush crisis is still very much fresh unresolved and we are not convinced that the Home Office have learnt any lessons.  Decision-making is slow and in cases erroneous and we are concerned to learn that only one person has received assistance from the Hardship Fund when we have come across serious destitution. 

Further, we're concerned not to have information on how the compensation will be handled. Given all of this and given that there are still issues regarding the scope of people who should be deemed citizens or settled, we think that the resumption of deportation charter flights to Jamaica, a country which has the largest number of people affected by the Windrush scandal is premature."

Mr Lee Jasper, a founder member of BME L4J and a Blaksox sponsor said;

"The forced deportation of black British citizens, almost all who have lived here for decades, and who may have committed a criminal offence, of any kind, is a national scandal.

How many white Americans Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans have been deported using these powers? Very few I suspect.

This government is racially profiling black people for unfair and at times illegal deportation.

The Home Secretary knowingly misled the House of Commons, when he told MPs, that all those on board the Jamaican deportation flight were "serious criminals". That is simply not true and he should be challenged in the House to correct this misinformation and apologise.

The Windrush National Day of Action will be the first step, in black community of the United Kingdom, coming together to demand justice for Windrush victims and their families and put an end to this government's overtly discriminatory "hostile environment", immigration policy."

Ms Jacqueline McKenzie Lawyer and Founder of the Organisation for Migration Advice and Research and Windrush Action said:

“I'm very concerned that the government hasn't heeded the advice of Stephen Shaw who led an inquiry into detention centres and reported last July. He made it clear that it was wrong to be deporting people who were born in or spent most of their life in the UK as is the case with some of the people on the charter flight to Jamaica. 

I'm also appalled at the language used to describe the men and one woman who were deported as being serious criminals when we find that this may not be the case at all.

We're hearing now of one young man who was deported after a juvenile offence and a further offence of dangerous driving who is now being taunted in Jamaica because of the language used by the British government. The treatment of people affected by the Windrush crisis, mass deportations charter and discriminatory immigration rules and laws is nothing more than racist and a breach of human rights."

Cllr Anna Rothery (Mayoral Lead Equality & Race Equality, Liverpool)

We condemn the heinous act of deporting people who have lived worked and contributed financially to the UK. We have taken the best of their lives and reneged on our invitation to come, settle and work in the UK Abandoning our elders in their old age who gave so much in their prime.

We call on Home Secretary Sajid Javid to cease all deportations immediately. Liverpool will hold its Windrush Day of Action at Lime Street Station.”

Mr Anthony Brown, Windrush Crusade, Manchester stated;

“The Windrush Crusade calls on the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, to use his discretion and not deport individuals who came to the UK as minors. Owen Haisley's case is deeply troubling and we entirely object to this Government's belief that he does not have the right to live in the UK. This is his home, he has lived here since he was 4 years old and he should not have to go through this.

The Windrush Crusade is doing everything it can to prevent this deportation including making representations to Lucy Powell MP who has asked questions in parliament on Owen's behalf and we are waiting for a response on this. We are also calling on the Government to halt deportation charter flights particularly as the Windrush Lessons Learned Review is not yet completed.

We fully support the Windrush Day of Action to raise political and public awareness about the on-going plight of British Citizens still being affected by the 'Windrush scandal' and tackle race disparities in the application of immigration, criminal justice, employment, health and other policies.’

Claude Hendrickson BAME officer Leeds NE CLP and supported by Racial Justice Network (RJN) and Yorkshire Resist commented;

“ Leeds community is horrified and condemn the recent resumption of deportation charter flight to Jamaica. Government has not yet learnt the lessons of the Windrush scandal and yet they continue to use system they know to be deeply flawed. Leeds is fully committed to the Windrush Day of Action and will be joining cities around the country to register our demand that all such deportation flights should be stopped, the victims of Windrush compensated, people wrongly deported should be repatriated and all the descendant of Windrush should be given automatic citizenship.“

Ms Connie Sozi, Immigration the Lawyer said,

The Government promised to put things right with the Windrush Generation. However, the unjust, speedy and opaque manner in which the Charter flight to Jamaica was pursued; the untruths told to justify removal; the failure to carry out reasonable checks to ensure no Windrush migrants were removed; and
continuing delay in formulating the Windrush Compensation Scheme to provide redress for human rights violations; all show the Government is not to be trusted.”

Rev Desmond Jadoo Windrush UK Birmingham said,

" It is clear that despite assurances the "Hostile Environment" is alive and well and targeting black people, the same people that rebuilt this country after a devastating war. The latest deportation flight stained yet again our community and unless we stand up and be counted, this will continue. It is clear, that the UK believes that it’s the ultimate moral authority and they’re perfect as the so called former colonial leaders. Well they are not.

We demand that there is an immediate suspension of deportations as some of them are highly questionable and further demand that the Home Secretary Sajid Javid review all deportation cases from the last flight. We are clearly returning to the time of  "No Blacks. No Irish, No Dogs". Birmingham fully supports the Windrush Day of Action.

Ms Zita Holbourne National Chair BARAC UK and National Vice President PCS

“ The hostile environment is destroying lives and tearing families apart. The lack of transparency about deportations has made the distress faced even worse. Last year FOI requests I sent to the Home Office went unanswered for several months, despite formal complaints and instructions by the Information Commissioners to answer them.

There was no consultation by government on restarting charter flights and given that the outcome of various reviews and consultations on Windrush has not concluded deportations should not be happening. The government dishonestly claimed in parliament that all deported were guilty of the most severe crimes adding to the anguish and labelling of those impacted. In any case all have served their time and been rehabilitated so should not face the triple punishment of prison, detention & deportation.

The numbers who have died because of this scandal have increased & some of those targeted for deportation were awaiting the outcome of applications for the Windrush Scheme.

The government claims that there was no Windrush link for those targeted but the truth is that Britain's history of enslavement and colonial rule led to those told they were part of the British Empire coming to the UK to help the country recover post WWII and subsequently to being joined by children and grandchildren who are now being told they do not belong here. Furthermore some of those targeted served in the British Armed Forces on active duty and should have been granted British citizenship once discharged.

The inhumane practice of wholesale removal of people on charter flights must stop. There must be an independent public inquiry into the Windrush scandal.”

Pastor Clive Foster - Nottinghamshire Windrush Support Forum
“It is appalling and callus that our government continues to deport Windrush Generations given that we know the failure of the Home Office with wrongful deportations some of which sadly died. I am deeply concerned that the HS has characterised the deportees as “serious offenders” when this clearly not the case. We are calling on all people of good will to support the WDA against this egregious injustice. “Your the
Mr Patrick Vernon OBE Windrush campaigner and social commentator
“ In April 2018 I launched a petition exposing the Windrush Scandal that over 180K signed.  The petition helped to contributed to the government admitting that their failed the Windrush Generation and their descendants.
One of the petitions key demands that the public supported was the suspension of deportation flights to allow people to resolve their immigration status as British Citizens irrespective of previous conduct of behaviour whilst the government review their policies and procedures.
The government have commissioned a lessons learnt review in absence of a public inquiry.
The government have again let down Windrush Generation have again by not waiting for the conclusions and recommendations of the review. They have now created a new scandal by violating the human rights and causing additional trauma and anxiety particularly for those who will think twice in contacting the Home Office to regularise their status.
The government need to suspend all flights until further notice and consider the final report of the lessons learnt review as they owe a duty of care to those affected by the Hostile Environment as highlighted in the recent National Audit Office Report in systematic failure   of the Home Office.”
National and London
Zita Holbourne                 Tel 07711861660  

Lee Jasper                       Tel 07984181797  
Jacqueline McKenzie      Tel 07961 148 568 or 020 8671 7989
Anthony Brown               Tel 07392399040 (Manchester)
Claude Hendrickson       Tel 07831 480196 (Leeds)
Cllr Anna Rothery           Tel 07841 652168 (Liverpool)
Rev Desmond Jado        Tel 07946 374577 (Birmingham)
Pastor Clive Foster        Tel 07881656399 (Nottingham)
Editors Info:
BAME Lawyer 4 Justice is an national coalitional of lawyers and campaigning group challenging Windrush injustices and the Government immigration “hostile environment” policy

We is an umbrella platform comprising of Society of Black Lawyers, BARAC UK, Blaksox, Windrush Action & a number of Windrush campaign groups from across the UK.
We campaign in response to the unfolding Windrush scandal calling for all deportations, including charter flights to the Caribbean, to be stopped.

We held an online windows debate and two national conferences, one in London and one in Nottingham in 2017. These community consultation events have called for a Windrush Day of Action

We organised and made countless representations to the Home Office on this issue, all ignored and have recently launched a petition calling for the cessation of all deportation charter flights, and now signed by 12000 people.

Open letter to Sajid Javid from BAME Lawyers for Justice; Deportation Flight to Jamaica

BAME Lawyers 4 Justice.
Open letter to:

Right Honorable Sajid Javid MP
Home Secretary
Home Office
2 Marsham Street

By Email
By Post

13th February 2019
Dear Sir,

Open Letter: Deportation flight to Jamaica.

We the undersigned are writing to express our concerns about the handling of the deportation flight to Jamaica chartered by the Home Office on 6th February 2019.

There are three points that we would like to raise: -

Firstly, the misleading information given by you whereby you mentioned that all the deportees were guilty of ‘very serious crimes’ such as murder and rape.  We note that Caroline Nokes, The Minister for Immigration had been recorded in Hansard on 8th February, stating the same.

We find the government’s actions, disproportionate, discriminatory and potentially illegal. Further given the scandal of Windrush we have no confidence in the government’s reassurance that fairness, justice and respect for human rights is ensured, regardless of ethnicity.

Many of those on the flight had not been convicted of rape or murder, as Home Office officials had indicated in the days leading up to the flight. In fact, we believe that the majority of those on the flight had committed neither of these two offences. One person, we know was being deported for a driving offence.

This is an important and significant issue. We believe, that as Home Secretary, you may have, knowingly or otherwise, misled the House and would invite you to urgently clarify your comments.

The second point relates to on-going legal issues surrounding Windrush.

These have not yet been resolved. Deportations to Jamaica should not be resumed until there is more clarity around this. It is not entirely clear exactly who qualifies for British citizenship under Windrush.

Some of those forced onto the plane had made applications under the Windrush scheme, and they had not yet received a response.

If the final decision on their application is that they are entitled to British citizenship, then they will have been unlawfully deported.

The plight of commonwealth soldiers is also akin to Windrush and they should also be considered.

The third point relates to the right to family life under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and to the recommendations made by Stephen Shaw in his review of immigration detention commissioned by the Home Office and published in July 2018.

Shaw, who is an independent and highly respected individual, argued forcefully that foreign national offenders, who have been in the UK since childhood should not be removed to a country, they have barely or never set foot in.

We understand that the Home Office has not responded to this key recommendation in the Shaw report.

Government states that its hands are tied and that it has no choice but to implement the UK Borders Act 2007 brought in under a Labour government, which states that any foreign national offender who serves more than a 12 month sentence should be deported.

However, this interpretation is not correct. The government has the flexibility to place greater emphasis on the right of foreign national offenders, to family and private life but sadly, it chooses not to exercise this discretion.

At the time that Shaw’s report was published last July he said: “There is a section in my report about ex-offenders who are more British than foreign, who have been brought up in this country ... I argue that we are not talking about their return but their expulsion.”

This week he branded the charter flight to Jamaica as ‘very cruel’.

Hundreds of thousands of people, right across the country have signed, numerous individual petitions calling on the government to stop these deportations, and ensure transparency, equality and fairness are central to all decisions made in relation to determining the immigration status of these individuals.

We call upon the Home Secretary, to do the right thing, and place an immediate moratorium on all future deportations, until such time that public trust and confidence in the British immigration system can be restored.

We urgently require a response to the very significant concerns outlined in this letter.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Herbert O.B.E (Chair of Society of Black Lawyers)
Marcia Willis Stewart QC (Hons) Solicitor
Cllr Anna Rothery (Mayoral Lead Equality & Race Equality, Liverpool)
Councilor Patsy Cummings (London Borough of Croydon)
Jacqueline McKenzie (Immigration & Asylum Lawyer/Windrush Action)
Euen Herbert-Small No Dogs No Black No Irish.
Zita Holbourne (Co- Founder of BARAC UK)
Patrick Vernon OBE Patron of Sante (refugee and asylum social enterprise)
Irene Nembhard solicitor Birnberg Peirce
Rev Desmond Jadoo, Windrush Movement UK Birmingham
Councillor Amanda Pinnock - Kirklees Council
David Weaver, Board member Operation Black Vote
Connie Sozi (Lawyer)
Shivani Jegarjah (Lawyer) Justilla Chambers
Claude Hendrickson
BAME officer Leeds NE CLP
Racial Justice Network (RJN) and Yorkshire Resist
Thaila Maragh (Barrister)
Attiq Malik (Lawyer)
Elwaldo Romeo Chair Windrush Action
Pastor Clive Foster (Nottinghamshire Windrush Support Forum)
Anthony Brown (Windrush Crusade Manchester)
Liverpool Labour Black Network