Windrush protest on steps of Islington Town Hall calls for PM to go
Town Hall steps demo told: ‘May said she didn’t know about these cases, but how can that be?’
27 April, 2018 — By Helen Chapman
Yesterday’s protest outside the Town Hall
CALLS for resignations in government over the Windrush scandal, which left long-term residents fearing deportation, were made at a protest outside the Town Hall yesterday (Thursday).
Campaigners and councillors said Prime Minister Theresa May should consider her position.
The demonstration, organised by Stand Up to Racism group, was held in solidarity with those affected by the residency problems faced by children of the Windrush generation, men and women whose families were actively encouraged to swap lives in the Caribbean for work in post-war Britain.
Grenada-born broadcaster Alex Pascall, speaking on the Town Hall steps, said: “Theresa May said she didn’t know about these cases that are coming to light but how can that be?
“I call on the Queen, as leader of the Commonwealth, to actually do something or say something. Silence doesn’t count. All the trade unions should speak to other trade unions – let us make this an international affair.”
Mr Pascall added: “The council should have a workforce that people will trust, otherwise no one affected will come forward. I am prepared to help to bring a taskforce of people together to find those who are affected.
Alex Pascall called on the Queen to speak out in support of the Windrush generation
“I would not leave it to government. But we can’t solve things in just two weeks. It’s got to be much more than that.” The protest came amid national uproar over a series of cases where long-term residents have lost jobs, been refused medical treatment or told they could be forced to return to the Caribbean.
Islington South Labour MP Emily Thornberry said last week that she has dealt with at least three immigration cases relating to the fiasco. Judy Griffith, 63, an Archway care worker, was threatened with eviction from her council home as she battled to prove she was entitled to live and work in Britain.
Councillor Claudia Webbe yesterday echoed the words of council leader Richard Watts, who last week said the council would now halt any decisions affecting those hit by the policy.
She told the Tribune: “We should now say we will not engage in those actions. We will not support this racist policy.
“This is a culture that was driven directly by the Prime Minister. How can we have people in power who believe this stuff, implemented this stuff, and destroyed lives… I am calling on Theresa May and [Home Secretary] Amber Rudd to resign because of this.”
Councillor Rakhia Ismail said after the protest: “All the scars Theresa May has caused psychologically, emotionally, financially, it needs to be compensated, not just in financial terms. In the 1930s people would tell you there was racism and there were colonies. Today is worse. Now they will smile at you and stab you in the back.”
The government has set up a taskforce to help those affected. Ms Rudd made an apology in the House of Commons earlier this week to those affected, adding: “Frankly, some of the ways they have been treated has been wrong, has been appalling and I am sorry.”