Blair Peach: thirty years on, we remember

April 23, 2009 at 7:30 pm (anti-fascism, Anti-Racism, good people, history, Jim D, thuggery)

On 23 April 1979 the anti-fascist campaigner, socialist and dedicated teacher, Blair Peach, was murdered by the cops at an anti-racist demonstration in Southall.

A witness, local resident Parminder Atwal, described what happened:

“As the police rushed past him, one of them hit him on the head with the stick. I was in my garden and I saw this quite clearly.

“When they all rushed past, he was left sitting against the wall. He tried to get up, but he was shivering and looked very strange. He couldn’t stand. Then the police came back and told him this: ‘Move! Come on, move!’

“They were very rough with him and I was shocked because it was clear he was seriously hurt.

“His tongue seemed stuck to the top of his mouth and his eyes were rolled up to the top of his head. But they started pushing him and told him to move and he managed to get to his feet.

“He staggered across the road and came to where I was in the garden. I tried to sit him down. He was in a very bad state and he couldn’t speak. Then he just dropped down. I got a glass of water for him, but he couldn’t hold it and it dropped out of his hand.”

All the above is from this excellent tribute in today’s Morning Star, by Chris Searle, their best writer.

As Hak Mao points out, the cops are still killers and liars.


  1. Euripides Trousers said,

    Does Chris Searle still write on cricket anywhere? I found a collection of his essays second hand last year and enjoyed them.

  2. Jim Denham said,

    I’ve no idea: he usually writes about jazz in the ‘Star’: about the only stuff in that rag that I agree with (apart from his approval of Atzmon’s obnoxious opinions).

  3. Jim Denham said,

    Subject: FW: Asian Dub Foundation join London Rally to Unite Against the Fascist BNP:next Wed 29 April – leaflet attached
    Importance: High

    COLLEAGUES – Anything you can do even at this last minute to persuade members and activists to attend Wednesday’s important rally against the BNP (see below for details) would be much appreciated. – JERRY.


    From: unite [mailto:unite@UCU.ORG.UK]
    Sent: 24 April 2009 18:25
    To: unite
    Subject: Asian Dub Foundation join London Rallly to Unite Against the Fascist BNP:next Wed 29 April – leaflet attached
    Importance: High

    Please circulate widely- apologies for cross posting
    ******Asian Dub Foundation join London Rally to unite against the BNP*******

    London united against the fascist BNP
    public rally, Wednesday 29 April, 7pm
    Conway Hall, Red Lion Square , London WC1R 4RL , (nearest tube Holborn)

    Speakers include: Christine Blower (National Union of Teachers), Jerry Bartlett (NASUWT), Jo Lang (Friends of Blair Peach Committee), Steve Hart (Unite the union), Glyn Ford MEP, Dr Abdul Bari (MCB), Laurie Kay ( Stonewall), Weyman Bennett (UAF), Chandrasonic (Asian Dub Foundation) and Martin Smith (LMHR)

    Remembering Blair Peach
    Blair Peach was a teacher, an NUT member and a committed anti-fascist who campaigned against the National Front in the 1970s. He was on a demonstration in Southall against the NF on 23 April 1979 when he was killed by a blow to the head from a police officer. Thirty years on we still remember him – but we also have to continue his fight by campaigning against the BNP, today’s equivalent of the Nazi NF.

    London is a BNP target
    The BNP is trying to get its first MEPs elected on Thursday 4 June. There is a real danger that the BNP could grab enough votes to grab a London MEP at the European elections on Thursday 4 June. They could get in with as little as 8 percent of the vote. This would gain them public resources, a veneer of “respectability” and access to other far right and fascist parties in Europe .

    London is a multiracial city and the vast majority of Londoners are opposed to the fascist politics of the BNP. We can come together to stop the prospect of a BNP MEP in London . But we need to act now. Come to the rally on Wednesday next week, bring your friends and workmates — and find out how you can help stop the fascist BNP.

    Unite Against Fascism — — tel 020 7801 2782

    Six ways YOU can help stop the BNP…

    1. Come to the rally on Wednesday 29 April.

    2. JOIN the MAY DAY! MAY DAY! MAY DAY! weekend of action against the BNP –

    Pledge to leaflet your tube or train station on Friday 1 May. We are asking hundreds of our supporters to mass leafleting against the BNP and also join the leafleting taking place at Waterloo , Liverpool Street and Victoria Stations.

    There is a weekend of activity organised to take place May Bank Holiday weekend Friday 1 to Monday 4 April. To get involved in activity in your area or to put on your own event call 020 7801 2782/ email

    Vigil to mark ten years since

    3. Join UAF or donate to the financial appeal online or phone 020 7801 2782.

    4. Order an activist’s pack to leaflet your street, workplace or town centre.

    5. Tell your friends and workmates about the BNP threat – and make sure they are registered to vote by Tuesday 19 May.

    6. Vote on Thursday 4 June. Every vote against the BNP counts towards stopping them

    If you would like us to send you any flyers for this event or election material please call Hanif on 020 7833 4916, email

    If you can bring a delegation from your workplace, college etc or can bring your union or organisation banner to the rally please call Donna on 020 7833 4916, email

    Unite Against Fascism – or tel 020 7833 4916

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