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December 2021 marked 40 years since the birth of the Monitoring Group, a leading national anti-racist charity in Britain that supports Black, Asian, migrant and refugee communities at the sharp end of state and street racism.
This talk will examine some of the milestone struggles of the Monitoring Group, from the street campaigning against lethal racist violence in the 1970s to the landmark government-commissioned Macpherson Report, which acknowledged 'institutional racism' in 1999.
Jasbinder will argue that exploring the formation and ongoing campaign work of the Monitoring Group offers vital lessons for present and future anti-racist resistance. It teaches us that radical anti-racist struggle is historically specific, yet always committed to political change, community empowerment and collective resistance. As such, he foregrounds a set of enduring principles and values that should invariably inspire and influence contemporary and future anti-racist fightback, despite the historical character of institutional racism and its attendant forms of exclusion, degradation and denial.
Jasbinder S. Nijjar is a PhD student in the Department of Social Sciences, Media & Communications, Brunel University London. He is currently examining the relationship between institutional racism and militarised policing in Britain, and has written for journals including Social Justice, Race & Class, Popular Communication, Sociological Research Online, and Critical Social Policy. Additionally, he is a trustee of the Monitoring Group, and sits on the council of management for the Institute of Race Relations.
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