338: BLAIR PEACH – IN MEMORIAM

“A warm welcome to Zingcreed, the baby blog, less than 2 years old, which attempts to punch above its weight by rushing in and commenting where angels fear to tread. As this is a purely personal blog, beholden to no-one, I can pick and choose whatever topics I please. I hope you get something from it!” Peter Turner, M.A., M.Sc.

Today I want to write about a former acquaintance of mine; a fellow teacher here in London who took part in an act of solidarity with a community who were being harassed by fascist thugs. He was murdered in broad daylight for his pains – not by the National Front – but by the police as he walked away from a demo. in the Indian area of Southall in North West London. He was beaten to death by police truncheons in someone’s front garden where he was taking refuge. He wasn’t doing anything, in fact people who knew him better than I did  said he was a very gentle person. He taught Special Needs kids in Tower Hamlets and we worked together on the ALTARF committee (All London Teachers Against Racism and Fascism) where he represented his London borough and I represented mine.

Blair Peach was from Aotearoa/NZ, in fact he was said to be half Maori. He was active in our Union (NUT) as well as being in the SWP. His funeral procession in Southall a few days later got national media coverage. My partner and I went with some friends and as we walked through the streets Indian women opened their front doors and came out onto the street and silently joined us as we walked along.

It was a very moving event and I think we all resolved in our hearts never to let the racists and fascists win even when the police appeared to be taking their side.

This week sees the launch of a commemorative pamphlet, and I hope to be at the launch. I will add a coda to this Post  afterwards.
PT

Related Zingcreed Posts:
Jesus & nonviolence
Spiral of violence

[337, i&l, t&c]

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