"Asian women are exposed to British racism even before they arrive in Britain. To gain entry permission they have had to go through long and rigorous interviews in the British Embassies in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. They have had to undergo the ordeal of answering absurd and very intimate questions about themselves, their husbands and their families. Questions such as ‘How long did you spend with your husband on the wedding night?’ are common, and if either partner makes the slightest misjudgement then entry permission is refused. In 1978, there was an exposé of the vaginal examinations carried out on Asian women to determine whether they were married or not, and to determine whether they were fiancées of men already settled in England. This was not a new phenomenon; complaints had previously been lodged against the Home Office but without any results. It was only when the liberal press had taken it up as a moral and sensational issue that there was some publicity. Examinations to ‘prove’ whether a woman is a virgin can only be seen as acts of violence and intimidation by the British state.
This ‘testing’ is based on the racist and sexist assumption that Asian women from the subcontinent are always virgins before they get married and that it is ‘not in their culture for women to engage in sexual activity before marriage’. This kind of absurd generalization is based on the same stereotype of the submissive, meek and tradition-bound Asian woman. Many Asian people are also given chest X-rays before they enter the country to ‘ensure that they are not carrying any serious and contagious disease’. These are also used to prove the identity of people wishing to settle in Britain. X-rays on pregnant Asian women have been carried out by untrained entry clearance officers in Dacca. X-rays are only ever carried out on pregnant women in ‘exceptional circumstances when either the child or the mother’s life is believed to be at risk’. The fact that the immigration officers administer them quite haphazardly on pregnant Asian women is only one example of the racism not only of individual officers but also the structural and institutional racism of the British state. Such practices also indicate the direct control the state is attempting to have on Asian women’s sexuality."
Pratibha Parmar’s essay “Gender, race and class: Asian women in resistance” from The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in 70s Britain (via abstractverses)
"There were Africans in Britain before the English were here—that’s the opinion of Peter Fryer, the great historian of the black presence in England. In his history Staying Power, he quotes the existence of an African legion stationed on Hadrian’s Wall in the third century…If we skip forward to James VI’s court in Scotland, we come across a number of black court entertainers…a black knight, and a lady who was famed for her beauty: “A black lady—a skin that shone like soap. In her rich costume she gleamed as bright as a barrel of tar. When she was born the sun had to suffer an eclipse."
Reblogging the endnotes of Philippa Gregory’s A Respectable Trade back from myself like a boss.
Now you all know why that post about Brave was annoying me so much. Well, aside from the fact that it takes real people’s feelings so flippantly.
But if you just want to talk historical accuracy? Let’s talk historical accuracy.
“But?!?! I Can’t Be Racist Because…” [SHORT FILM]
“But?!?! I Can’t Be Racist Because is the first short film brought to you by theliberatedzonetv to commemorate the 47th anniversary since Malcolm X’s assassination.
“But?!?! We Can’t Be Racist Because…” touches on the issues in a day-to-day and global context of white supremacy in order to try to open up the in-depth discussion and understanding that we need so desperately.
Is racism a thing of the past?
Are white people victims of racism too?
Do you feel uncomfortable/awkward when white people emulate Black culture?
Does Black culture ‘belong’ to everyone?
Does suffering in Africa have nothing to do with people living in Europe?
Are YOU aware of how you fit into the white supremacist structure enforced by imperialism?
CAN WE SPEAK OPENLY AND HONESTLY ABOUT RACISM?
Please use this as a resource and the comments by co-producers Shamim Kisakye, Iman Hussein and Lizzie Phelan in education establishments, youth and community groups and amongst your friends in order to open up the discussion about the modern day manifestations of white supremacy.
If you would like co-producers Iman Hussein, Shamim Kisakye and Lizzie Phelan to come and discuss this film in a community or institutional setting, please contact email@example.com
This film was made with NO funding. To support further work like this please donate via www.lizzie-phelan.blogspot.com
Oh man, who wouldn’t?!
Ladies and gentlemen, the British.
- meanwhile in Britain: is that...is that sun?
A Brief History of the Philippines:
The Early Philippines
The Philippines is named after King Philip II of Spain (1556-1598) and it was a Spanish colony for over 300 years.
Today the Philippines is an archipelago of 7,000 islands. However it is believed that during the last ice age they were joined to mainland Asia by a land bridge, enabling human beings to walk from there.
The first people in the Philippines were hunter-gatherers. However between 3,000 BC and 2,000 BC people learned to farm. They grew rice and domesticated animals. From the 10th AD century Filipinos traded with China and by the 12th Century AD Arab merchants reached the Philippines and they introduced Islam.
Then in 1521 Ferdinand Magellan sailed across the Pacific. He landed in the Philippines and claimed them for Spain. Magellan baptised a chief called Humabon and hoped to make him a puppet ruler on behalf of the Spanish crown. Magellan demanded that other chiefs submit to Humabon but one chief named Lapu Lapu refused. Magellan led a force to crush him. However the Spanish soldiers were scattered and Magellan was killed.
The Spaniards did not gain a foothold in the Philippines until 1565 when Miguel Lopez de Legazpi led an expedition, which built a fort in Cebu. Later, in 1571 the Spaniards landed in Luzon. Here they built the city of Intramuros (later called Manila), which became the capital of the Philippines. Spanish conquistadors marched inland and conquered Luzon. They created a feudal system. Spaniards owned vast estates worked by Filipinos.
Along with conquistadors went friars who converted the Filipinos to Christianity. The friars also built schools and universities.
The Spanish colony in the Philippines brought prosperity - for the upper class anyway! Each year the Chinese exported goods such as silk, porcelain and lacquer to the Philippines. From there they were re-exported to Mexico.
The years passed uneventfully in the Philippines until in 1762 the British captured Manila. They held it for some months but they handed it back in 1764 under the terms of the Treaty of Paris, signed in 1763.
In 1872 there was a rebellion in Cavite but it was quickly crushed. However nationalist feeling continued to grow helped by a writer named Jose Rizal (1861-1896). He wrote two novels Noli Me Tangere (Touch me Not) and El Filibusterismo (The Filibusterer) which stoked the fires of nationalism.
In 1892 Jose Rizal founded a movement called Liga Filipina, which called for reform rather than revolution. As a result Rizal was arrested and exiled to Dapitan on Mindanao.
Meanwhile Andres Bonifacio formed a more extreme organisation called the Katipunan. In August 1896 they began a revolution. Jose Rizal was accused of supporting the revolution, although he did not and he was executed on 30 December 1896. Yet his execution merely inflamed Filipino opinion and the revolution grew.
Then in 1898 came war between the USA and Spain. On 30 April 1898 the Americans defeated the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. Meanwhile Filipino revolutionaries had surrounded Manila. Their leader, Emilio Aguinaldo declared the Philippines independent on 12 June. However as part of the peace treaty Spain ceded the Philippines to the USA. The Americans planned to take over.
War between American forces in Manila and the Filipinos began on 4 February 1899. The Filipino-American War lasted until 1902 when Aguinaldo was captured.
American rule in the Philippines was paternalistic. They called their policy ‘Benevolent Assimilation’. They wanted to ‘Americanize’ the Filipinos but they never quite succeeded. However they did do some good. Many American teachers were sent to the Philippines in a ship called the Thomas and they did increase literacy.
In 1935 the Philippines were made a commonwealth and were semi-independent. Manuel Quezon became president. The USA promised that the Philippines would become completely independent in 1945.
However in December 1941 Japan attacked the US fleet at Pearl Harbor. On 10 December 1941 Japanese troops invaded the Philippines. They captured Manila on 2 January 1941. By 6 May 1942 all of the Philippines were in Japanese hands.
However American troops returned to the Philippines in October 1944. They recaptured Manila in February 1945.
The Philippines became independent on 4 July 1946. Manuel Roxas was the first president of the newly independent nation.
Ferdinand Marcos (1917-1989) was elected president in 1965. He was re-elected in 1969. However the Philippines was dogged by poverty and inequality. In the 1960s a land reform programme began. However many peasants were frustrated by its slow progress and a Communist insurgency began in the countryside.
On 21 September 1972 Marcos declared martial law. He imposed a curfew, suspended Congress and arrested opposition leaders.
The Marcos dictatorship was exceedingly corrupt and Marcos and his cronies enriched themselves.
Then, in 1980 opposition leader Benigno Aquino went into exile in the USA. When he returned on 21 August 1983 he was shot. Aquino became a martyr and Filipinos were enraged by his murder.
In February 1986 Marcos called an election. The opposition united behind Cory Aquino the widow of Benigno. Marcos claimed victory (a clear case of electoral fraud). Cory Aquino also claimed victory and ordinary people took to the streets to show their support for her. Marcos’s cronies deserted him and he bowed to the inevitable and went into exile.
Things did not go smoothly for Corazan Aquino. (She survived 7 coup attempts). Furthermore the American bases in the Philippines (Subic Bay Naval Base and Clark Air Base) were unpopular with many Filipinos who felt they should go. In 1992 Mount Pinatubo erupted and covered Clark in volcanic ash forcing the Americans to leave. They left Subic Bay in 1993.
In 1992 Fidel Ramos became president. He improved the infrastructure in the Philippines including the electricity supply. Industry was privatized and the economy began to grow more rapidly.
However at the end of the 1990s the Philippine economy entered a crisis. Meanwhile in 1998 Joseph Estrada, known as Erap became president. Estrada was accused of corruption and he was impeached in November 2000. Estrada was not convicted. Nevertheless people demonstrated against him and the military withdrew its support. Estrada was forced to leave office and Vice-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo replaced him. She was re-elected in 2004.
Today poverty in the Philippines is still common. However in the first years of the 21st century the Philippine economy grew at about 5% a year. The Philippines suffered with the recession of 2009. However the Philippines recovered and today there is reason to be optimistic for the future.
Today the population of the Philippines is 101 million.
STEN GUN PRODUCTION IN BRITAIN, 1943
© IWM (TR 642)
The shameful deeds of the British State in Derry on January 30th will always be remembered as Bloody Sunday, but often forgotten are its shameful deeds of January 31st 1919, or ‘Bloody Friday’.
“On Friday 31 January 1919 upwards of 60,000 demonstrators gathered in George Square in support of the 40-hours strike and to hear the Lord Provost’s reply to the workers’ request for a 40-hour week. Whilst the deputation was in the building the police mounted a vicious and unprovoked attack on the demonstrators, felling unarmed men and women with their batons. The demonstrators, with the ex-servicemen to the fore, quickly retaliated with fists, iron railings and broken bottles, and forced the police into a retreat.”
“An estimated 10000 English troops in total were sent to Glasgow in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of George Square. This was in spite of a full battalion of Scottish soldiers being stationed at Maryhill barracks in Glasgow at the time. No Scottish troops were deployed, with the government fearing that fellow Scots, soldiers or otherwise, would go over to the workers side if a revolutionary situation developed in Glasgow.
On 10 February 1919 the 40-hours strike was called off by the Joint Strike Committee. Whilst not achieving their stated aim of a 40-hour working week, the striking workers from the engineering and shipbuilding industries did return to work having at least negotiated an agreement that guaranteed them a 47-hour working week; 10 hours less than they were working prior to the strike.”
WHAT IS ANTI-IMPERIALISM?
Monday 28 November, 6.30pm, University of London UnionThis year we have witnessed something that should be very worrying to all those that consider themselves anti-war, anti-imperialist and anti-racist. The British state has been at the head of a colonial war in North Africa, and there has been practically zero meaningful opposition to that war within Britain. In February 2003, two million people marched in London against war in Iraq. Only eight years later, all it takes is some reasonably sophisticated propaganda from the press and suddenly nobody is motivated to take a stand against wholesale destruction, widespread massacres and racist lynchings.The western empire is pushing its agenda of complete domination of Africa and the Middle East, by destabilising and attempting to overthrow all resistant, independence-minded states and groups (in particular Libya, Syria, Iran, Algeria, Hezbollah, Hamas). Dressing this up as a movement for democracy, they have thrown most people off the scent. We need to fully understand imperialist strategy and tactics, and develop our own strategy and tactics to oppose them.
Bronx-based rapper and activist, talking about organising against the US empire from within the belly of the beast.
Chair of the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign, talking about opposing imperialism from a Latin American perspective
Activist from the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party, talking about opposing imperialism from a Pan-African perspective
Youth worker, writer and activist, talking about the anti-war movement in Britain
There will be rap, poetry and beatbox from Marcel Cartier, Samira Musa and more.
MORE SPEAKERS/PERFORMERS TBA.