Oxford’s Afro Caribbean community is holding a series of events in 2018 to mark the anniversary of the Windrush. In April 1948 thousands of families were invited to the UK to help rebuild the country after WW2, the Windrush was the name of the ship they arrived in.
The demonstration, organised by Oxford Stand Up to Racism, was to raise awareness of the current Windrush scandal with speeches presented to more than 100 people gathering in Oxford City Centre against Government in the wake of this overt racism.
Julie Simmons from Oxford Stand Up To Racism said: “First, second and third generations of the Windrush spoke out to condemn the appalling treatment members of the Windrush generation and their families have received, including Yvonne Williams who has just been released after 8 months of detention,”
“There was real anger at the treatment of people who had built their lives here and contributed hugely to the rebuilding of Britain after the war with one aunt recalling how she spent years cleaning the rooms of the elite in Oxford University for pittance wage from 1960. One mother related how the impact is also felt on the newest generation with her primary school aged daughter had asked her if she was going to be deported.”
Ian McKendrick on behalf of Oxford Stand Up To Racism said: “The deliberate creation of a hostile environment for migrants, with arbitrary targets to reduce immigration has seen people who have every right to live in the UK sacked, denied healthcare, thrown into prison and deported. People who have lived all their lives here, who helped to rebuild Britain after WWII and saved the NHS have been treated like criminals. People have been denied contact with their families and forced to live in countries they have no connection with and no means of supporting themselves, in spite of their massive contribution here.”
Junie James said: “I arrived in 1964 and lived on Princes Street on the Cowley Road. A lot of people came over when Britain left the Caribbean and due to poverty and lack of jobs, many people came to the UK do not need an amnesty if they have legal right to be here. I think Amber Rudd is a Sacrificial Lamb there are others further up the chain such as the prime minister people had to go and she has had to go. A lot of people came to Oxford and plenty who came here in the 1950s.”