On 25th March 1981, 25,000(!) people of African descent from all over the UK marched through the streets of London (imagine this) on Black Liberation Day as a staggering response to the deaths of 13 young people in who attended a birthday party in New Cross today in 1981.
The circumstances of the New Cross Fire lean toward arson rooted in racism but the investigation was/is/has been blocked and frustrated in the usual fashion black death’s under suspicious racist circumstances are.
This outpouring of grief, fury and call for justice (and healing*) was and will never become a myth, or a once upon a time story if we do not forget these young people.
RiP Andrew Gooding (18.02.1962 – 18.01.1981)
Owen Thompson (11.09.1964 – 18.01.1981)
Patricia Johnson(16.05.1965 – 18.01.1981)
Patrick Cummings(21.09.1964 – 18.01.1981)
Steve Collins (2.05.1963 – 18.01.1981)
Lloyd Hall (28.11.1960 – 18.01.1981)
Humphrey Geoffrey Brown (4.07.1962 – 18.01.1981)
Roseline Henry (23.09.1964 – 18.01.1981)
Peter Campbell (23.02.1962 – 18.01.1981)
Gerry Paul Francis (21.08.1963 – 18.01.1981)
Glenton Powell (18.01.1966 – 25.01.1981)
Paul Ruddock (19.11.1960 – 09.02.1981)
Yvonne Ruddock (17.01.1965 – 24.01.1981)
Anthony Berbeck (17.08.1962 – 09.07.1983) a fire survivor, who took his own life traumatized by the loss of his friends in the blaze.
The George Padmore Institute holds the archives of the New Cross Massacre Action Committee which was the group supporting the parents at the time and agitating for a proper police investigation. They organised the Black Peoples Day of Action when 20,000 people marched in protest about the lack of action. It was the biggest march of black people in the country. This fire and its tragic consequences led to some of the most impressive community organisation, protest and action and we need to know such history.” – Sharmilla Beezmohun