It is estimated that during Colston’s involvement with the Royal African Company, it transported around 84,000 African men, women and children, who were branded with the company’s initials on their chest. Around 19,300 of these people died on their journey to the Caribbean and the rest of the Americas.
Designed to maximise profit and hold as many enslaved people as possible, the boats were hotbeds for dysentery, dehydration and scurvy.
The Independent- Edward Colston: Who was the Bristol slave trader and why was his statue pulled down?
RAPAR considers that any attempt to criminalise the people who removed his statue would be deeply misplaced and shortsighted, only piling insult on top of the injury that communities around the world are expressing at this time in the name of #blacklivesmatter.
"Recent events around the world and here in the UK have placed systemic and institutional injustice in plain sight.
RAPAR has stood against all forms of exploitation, discrimination and oppression for 20 years and we give our full and unconditional support to Black Lives Matter.”
Watch this short video about Black Lives Matter from one of our RAPAR Leaders, Alimamy Bangura:
On National Hate Crime Awareness Week, communities come together to reject racially motivated violence and call on Greater Manchester Police to investigate the incident properly
6pm Friday 18th October, Hulme Arch (Birchall Way/Stretford Road), Manchester M15 6BT)
The resident who came out of his home in Hulme to stop a young Asian man being violently attacked has welcomed a vigil being organised on Friday during National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
When Clive Pyott saw what was happening to the young man, he shouted “He’s on the ground, leave him” but the two men then attacked him and he ended up in hospital with a broken nose and fractured jaw.
The incident, which happened on 24th August 2019, was a racially motivated attack. One of the men shouted "speak f**ing English" as they stamped numerous times on the head of a tall young Asian man.
This attack was reported to the police as both a racist hate crime and as a serious assault. The police were told that the attackers had come out of the Three Legs of Man pub and they returned to the same pub afterwards.
A description of the attacker who stamped on the young man’s head was given to the police and he also appears on a video filmed by another local resident on his phone. Our understanding is that this attack was only recorded by the police as a hate crime when the story was carried in newspapers almost a month later (1)(2).
Clive, 50, has had messages of thanks and support from all over the country.
He says: “I acted instinctively, it was the human thing to do. But the police have not properly investigated a violent racially motivated hate crime against this young man. They have done nothing to protect me or others who witnessed the attacks. I welcome any action which highlights what has happened and the lack of response by GMP.”
RAPAR was alerted to the incident by another Hulme resident. We understand that:
Organisers of the vigil are calling on the police to act now. This includes widely circulating the video of the attack and the assailants, so that, hopefully, the younger man knows it is safe for him to come forward and help find the attackers.
Julie Ward, North West Member of the European Parliament and a long-time anti racist campaigner, said: “Greater Manchester is rooted in a history of struggle for equality and community cohesion. We completely reject all violence directed towards people because of their racial identity or because they intervene to stop others from being racially attacked.”
Messages of support should be sent to admin(a)rapar.org.uk People can also sign the petition here.
Use hashtags #ChooseLove #NationalHateCrimeAwarenessWeek #RefugeesWelcome #WeStandTogether to tweet about the vigil.
Organisations supporting the vigil on Friday include Cohesive Communities, North West Unison Black Members’ Group, RAPAR.
For more information contact:
(1) Manchester Evenging News Report
(2) Mirror Report
RAPAR will be supporting a protest in solidarity with the RMT rail union after their picket line at Manchester Victoria train station was targeted by members of the far right who also racially abused an Asian train guard.
The protest is supported by Manchester Trades Union Council and will be held this Saturday 12th January between 8.00am and 9.30am.
Find more information about the event here.
RMT members are currently on strike every Saturday in a dispute with Northern Rail in which the union is campaigning to 'Keep The Guard On The Train'.
RAPAR member who was on the plane stopped by the Stansted protesters shocked by their conviction under anti terror laws
Rally at 5.30pm-6.30pm
St Peter's Square,
December 18th 2018
Manchester-based human rights organisation RAPAR will be at the city centre rally today (December 18th) to show support for the 15 peaceful protesters convicted under anti terror laws after they stopped a Home Office charter flight taking people seeking asylum in the UK to Africa.
A RAPAR member was on the plane protesters prevented taking off at Stansted Airport in March 2017. He was one of 60 refugees who were on the charter flight bound for Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone – he informed the escort officers that he did not come from any of those countries but was told that the country he was being sent to was near to his home country and that he could “get a bus”.
Our member, whose case had not been resolved, was one of the unlucky people on the flight which eventually left Stansted the following day. But the courageous action of the protesters prevented 11 people seeking asylum from being removed from the UK. The delay meant that those 11 people were able to access their lawyers and their removal was stopped.
RAPAR's member, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he was very shocked by the conviction at Chelmsford Crown Court which could see the 15 protesters facing life imprisonment.
Today is International Migrants' Day and there will be rallies throughout the UK and Ireland to protest about the conviction of the Stansted protesters. In Manchester, there will be a demonstration from 5.30pm-6.30pm in St Peter's Square and RAPAR urges everyone to attend.
The charges facing the Stansted 15 were unjust. Commenting on the use of anti terror laws against the Stansted 15, former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg (who was released without charge) said: “Despite being imprisoned under terrorism laws by both Britain and America, I have no convictions. The Stansted 15 on the other hand are convicted terrorists in Britain today.
“One day, as a nation, Britain will look back and ask itself 'What have we become?' Sadly, that day is not today.”
Dr Rhetta Moran, of RAPAR, said it was “intensely ironic” that all the refugee people on the Stansted 15 plane were being removed to one of three former British colonies – Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
“As our refugee members often remark: 'We are here because You were there',” she said.
Dr Moran added: “This conviction is the latest attempt to criminalise public protest that RAPAR first detected - and successfully resisted - in 2010 in Bolton.
“Then, the State sought to prosecute anti-fascists for exposing and stopping the English Defence League from running amok in Bolton.
“Now, their use of anti-terror laws to criminalise young British citizens who take peaceful, direct, solidarity action with Refugees is the latest in a long line of backward and cynical moves on the part of the prevailing politico-legal elite.
“It demonstrates an abject failure to confront the fact that young British people are deeply and increasingly concerned about what the British State is doing in the name of its people.
“It is not the Protesters or the Refugees who are the dangerous ones here.”
Video by Mark Krantz for Stand Up To Racism
Yesterday, demonstrations were held in cities up and down the country in protest against Donald Trump's visit to the UK.
At the Manchester rally, RAPAR's Rhetta Moran spoke out against Trump and his policies.
Moran highlighted the systematic abuse faced by migrants in the UK.
"Former refugee Farheen Raja got the biggest cheer at the Stand Up To Racism Summit in Manchester."
RAPAR member, Farheen, who has just recently won her right to remain in the UK spoke out against racism and Trump's policy of family separation in the USA.
Hello there, I am Farheen Raja the Mancunian. originally from Pakistan. Here today representing the human rights organisation RAPAR where I have been a member for 10 years.
Three weeks ago , after fighting for my very survival in this country for those 10 years, I secured 5 years leave to remain - the government said I can live here for the next five years.
Today we all are gathered here against racism which is continuously spreading everywhere around the world specially against Migrants.
I had tears of rage when I heard about Trump's recent action in separating children from their parents. That happened in USA But unfortunately the same thing has been happening here in Britain. Trump does these brutal acts openly whereas In Britain they do it undercover.
The Government treat Migrants worse than Criminals. They treat them like they have no right to be on earth! for Migrants they have a life but they are in an open prison, faceless dying slowly slowly & this is completely unacceptable! If you don't feel that pain, that hate, that hurt, imagine being in a situation where you live but die everyday. There's nothing in this world more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscious stupidity.
And but I’m glad that we have here this incredible opportunity where we have been taught that it does not matter where you're from, it does not matter your color. your race or your religion. it's about the content of your character. it's about your values. we should do something that unites people rather than that divides us.
I'm here speaking behalf of so many young people who are suffering. Their rights have been taken away from them. it's their life but they have no rights in their own lives. Moreover, it's very easy for us to say that we live in multicultural society and so called everyone has equal opportunities but no. A poor migrant is a migrant that's how the government discriminate people & show the innocents that they are inferior.
Listen everyone, it's not just enough to make legislation and lean back against racism, we have to fight against racism everyday, in practice. We have to tackle and expose the racists until we secure peace. Until then, this struggle won’t stop.
We all must continue to do things that help people who are surviving racism everyday to fight together foster in comprehensive ways and that is only possible by achieving economic equality, education and creating understanding that we do not need to fear differences but to embrace them to teach the people here to love each other and have empathy. We should celebrate diversity instead to ignore it.
This only comes when you and I engage with people at both a social and community level. It will only come when u and I raise a voice with young people who put their faith in you. Remember we could save generations and generations because how we act teaches our new generation our lessons. It's time to stand up with all those innocents in the river in which they cried we need to take a ladder and build up a bridge to climb out and away from that river of tears.
Finally no matter where we are from, no matter we are Asian black or white We are all here - this is our home we have to save it.
We are all one.
Farheen finished her address with one of her poems written during her time in the asylum system.
See the full video below.