Horace Campbell on Coral Gardens, the Rastafari and Jamaican Independence

12 April 2013

THIS powerful testimony by Jamaican-born academic and writer Horace Campbell was written to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Coral Gardens uprising. He combines his personal recollections and memories of that fateful Easter weekend with a penetrating analysis of the deep-seated causes of the conflict. He concludes by celebrating the dedicated Rastafari who continue to carry forward the messages of peace, truth and love as a holding operation until new forces emerge to fully overthrow the Babylonian system.

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Talking Blues: the Black community speaks about its relationship with the police

05 June 1978

THE moral panic that followed the publication of The Shades of Grey report on policing in Handsworth and its central characterisation of the area as one terrorised by a gang of 200 criminal Dreadlocks provoked a powerful response from the black community. Within a few months the Affor community agency (1) had published Talking Blues, a 48-page collection of interviews with young black people, parents and church ministers that portrayed an altogether different reality – one of constant harassment, discrimination and racist behaviour on the part of the police.

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Policemen hurt in night of violence

05 May 1980

ON THE Spring Bank Holiday 1980 (May Day) John Reardon and I were working at the Sidelines office in Grove Lane. There were a few people on the corner opposite where the local betting shop was doing good business. Suddenly a police panda car screamed to a halt outside the shop and two policemen attempted to arrest a young black man. A crowd quickly gathered. We were watching from the upstairs window of our building. The crowd surrounded the policemen who were holding their suspect and moments later the two police lay on the floor and the crowd melted away.

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