Uncertain_Worlds_World-System_Analysis_i

Uncertain_Worlds_World-System_Analysis_i - 208 Capital...

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208 Capital & Class 40(1) official reports into the 2001 riots in Bradford, Burnley and Oldham failed to recognise the evidence of structural racism that young people experienced. Instead, they created the discourse of ‘community cohesion’, which locates the roots of the disorder in the failure of Muslims to integrate into the ‘British’ way of life. Black Star provides valuable insights into the activism that emerged in response to experiences of structural racism in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s. It charts the emer- gence of a black political identity amongst young Asians growing up in Britain, and the activities they took against racist immigration control, policing, education and employ- ment practices. It shows how youth movements developed out of local community expe- riences, engaged in different types of local action and engaged in broader national and international movements. It recognises the failure to engage young women in many of the movements. The divisive nature of state funding for ethnic minority communities is exposed. A reliance on state funding has increasingly led organisations to adapt to the current political agenda. Resistance to state racism has been dissipated into projects seek- ing to integrate ‘disconnected’ communities and preventing violent terrorism. The lessons from the emergence of the AYMs still have relevance today. The attacks on working-class communities by austerity policies, restrictions on collective workers’ rights, the demonisation of Muslims as part of the War on Terror, and hostility to immi- gration and consequently those who do not appear British, increasingly create a climate of conditional citizenship. To be a scrounger, criminal or a migrant provides grounds for exclusion. Experiences of racism and exclusion led young Asians in towns and cities across Britain to organise and articulate their demands for equal citizenship through the AYMs. An effective challenge to current orthodoxies will need to build local movements for action against social injustice, and provide the basis for the development of the col- lective solidarities that have been undermined by neoliberal policies. Author biography Nigel de Noronha recently completed a researcher-in-residence post at the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre, where he used the Tandana archives collected for Black Star to develop an interactive display on the Asian Youth Movement in Manchester, of which he was a member in the 1980s.
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