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information sheet about the event

Complete Video of the Event
Running time: 2 hours 38 minutes 58 seconds

This is an annual event jointly organised by the Redbridge Trades Union Council and the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maratime and Transport Workers) Black and Ethnic Minorities Section as part of South Asian History Month (SAHM). It was held on Sunday 6th August 2023 in the clubhouse of the Clapton Community Football Club, which is a very comfortable and well appointed venue, and all visitors were made most welcome and given free refreshments and hot drinks.

The meeting had no formal agenda but consisted of stories told by the people at the top table and also from the floor about the life experience and concerns of people of South Asian heritage, which of course covers a wide range of national origins, religions and cultures. Many of the stories we heard were very personal and moving, wile other speakers took more of a world perspective and spoke of the struggles and politics of the lands in which their families had their roots.

For a white European like myself it provided an unusual insight into what it's like to be someone living in modern Britain who has a brown skin and perhaps a different faith and a slighly different accent to most of us. Inevitably the encounter with racism was high on the list of topics, but also its offshoots such as inequality, discrimination at work, distrust, stereotyping and religous hatred and bigotry everything that the person of colour has to contend with, added to the "normal" social hurdles of class, gender, sexuality, age and vulnerability to crime and violence every time you step outside.

But an equally important theme of the meeting was creating solidarity amongst all the diverse national, ethnic and religious groups in the city, and the many people whose roots are right here who are welcoming and helpful to strangers and whose minds are not poisoned by hatred of any kind.

Overall the meeting left me with a very positive and optimistic feeling about the potential brotherhood and sisterhood of ordinary people everywhere that begins when we get to know one another and has been the fundamental driving force of the world's worker movements since feudal times.

THIS LINK will take you to a page showing 27
still images taken by Jean Duggleby
at the same event.

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