National Chair / Co-founder; Zita Holbourne
Established 2010, grassroots campaigning org against racism, injustice, adverse impact of austerity on black communities, for migrant / refugee rights. UK based but our focus is both o UK and globally.
Instagram: @baracuk original
Facebook group: Black Activists Rising Against Cuts
page: BARAC UK
GoFundMe Humanitarian Aid crowdfunder: https://www.gofundme.com/f/BARACHumanitarian
Sunday, 14 June 2020
BARAC UK Ten Year anniversary zoom event and launch of the film Is Britain Racist, 21st of June
BARAC UK turns ten years old next week. We cannot believe that ten years has passed either. We started as a campaign against the forthcoming disproportionate impact of austerity on black workers, service users and communities in June 2010 and never anticipated that we would still be here ten years later. Hand in Hand with austerity came deepening racism and injustice which has continued to this very day. In the ten years since we were formed we have campaigned against institutional racism, every day racism, racism and injustice at work, in the labour market, in education, in wider society, in the arts and culture sector, in policing and public institutions, we have co-founded several other groups including Movement Against Xenophobia, Elbow Out Ebola, BME Lawyers 4 Grenfell, BAME Lawyers for Justice and we have campaigned against deaths at the hands of the state and human rights abuses globally. We have campaigned for refugee and migrant rights and for seven years coordinated regular humanitarian aid and solidarity work, fundraising and raising thousands of pounds and conducting regular aid missions to people who are displaced in France. . Our work has been recognised nationally and internationally and we have worked with our sisters and brothers for global justice. We have organised numerous marches, protests, lobbies of parliament, direct actions. Our campaigns have included Windrush Day of Action, MLK50 Equality In Our Lifetime, I am an Immigrant Campaign, Dear White People film campaign, ending with our national chair co-hosting a Leicester Square premier film screening, we have been joined in the UK and supported by the Reverend Jesse Jackson and Reverend Al Sharpton, we forced the British Olympics Association to do a U-turn and much more. During the past few years we have had a big focus on Windrush justice and campaigning against the 'hostile environment' more widely.
BARAC UK was co-founded by Zita Holbourne and Lee Jasper who were the co-chairs until Lee stepped down and Zita took up the role of National Chair.
We want to thank all of the people that kept us going and supported and stood with us, especially the activists who led the local BARAC structures in different cities, a big shout out goes to Colette Williams and Maurice Shaw - Manchester BARAC co-chairs, Maxie Hayles - Birmingham BARAC Chair, Pauline North, Bristol BARAC Chair, Graham Campbell, Scotland BARAC Chair and all the other convenors, activists and members of BARAC.
We thank all those partner orgs and individuals we have worked with, those who affiliated with us and worked with us including trade unions with a special thank you to the Public and Commercial Services Union who have supported our journey from the very start and continue to do so.
We thank everyone who has supported our campaigns over the years, attended events and demos, answered our call for action to challenge racism, injustice and cuts and to support our humanitarian aid work. We see you and appreciate you.
Sunday 21st June is the 10 year anniversary of BARAC UK & the eve of National Windrush Day . We will be holding a zoom event from 3 to 4.30pm launching the full length documentary Is Britain Racist made by film maker Jean-Marc Aka-Kadjo over a 2 year period charting the Windrush Scandal and BARAC and others campaigning opposing it, on the eve of Windrush Day we want to highlight the ongoing injustice and will be showing segments of the film plus holding a discussion on Windrush, Coronavirus impacts on black communities and Black Lives Matter with co founder and National Chair of BARAC UK , Zita Holbourne plus National Women's Officer Donna Guthrie and International Officer Hector Wesley with q&a & discussion.
Jean - Marc Aka-Kadjo says:
This documentary will take you on a journey that shows the hopes, dreams and aspirations of those who came to Britain during the Windrush era from various countries within the Commonwealth. The film is candid and exposes and reveals truth. Individual interviews, news feeds and archive footage have been utilised to show how the lives of individuals from the Windrush era, and the lives of their loved ones, have been affected by the recent changes in British law…and what is being done to help them.
Zita Holbourne, Chair of BARAC UK says:
We have fought for justice, equality, rights and freedom for many years, way before BARAC UK was formed and will continue to do so. The deepening racism and injustice our communities face globally demonstrate that our organisation and many others like it are still needed and will be needed for some time. The impacts of coronavirus on black communities are huge - with black people over 4 times more likely to die, this has a direct link to discrimination and poverty and globally people, predominantly young have take to the streets over the past fortnight crying out that black lives matter, because George Floyd was murdered by police in the USA but also because many more have died because of racism in the USA, in the UK and around the world, because institutional racism and every day racism destroys lives, because we are still far from having race equality. We have supported and campaigned for decolonisation of our towns and cities and universities and curriculums for many years and we are glad that there is now a serious discussion about the glorification of historic statues of people who enslaved and murdered our ancestors and who endorsed and allowed racism to thrive and who were complicit in enslavement and colonialism. In 2017 we published our 2025 vision for race equality and it is interesting to see that some institutions and businesses now are only just starting to consider their own part in allowing institutional racism to continue in their own organisations - for those organisations to say black lives matter is all very well but actions speak louder than words.