Britain’s Black History
In 1970, a group of black radicals were committed to stand trial on charges arising from violent clashes between the police during a protest march. From the outset, this was a political trial in which the police, Special Branch and the Home Office sought to discredit the leadership of the growing British black power movement. After 55 days at the Old Bailey, the Mangrove Nine were acquitted and forced the first judicial acknowledgment that there was “evidence of racial hatred” in the Metropolitan police
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Darcus Howe, who worked at the Mangrove, urged Frank Crichlow to look to the community for support. Together with the Black Panther Movement, they organised a demonstration. On 9 August 1970, 150 protesters marched to local police stations demanding the police get their “hands off the Mangrove”. Police preparation for the march was extensive. More than 700 officers were available. Special Branch’s “black power desk” was also mobilised to monitor the protest. Heavy-handed policing prompted violence and the authorities started to build a case against the demonstration’s leaders. Home Office documents reveal this was a deliberate strategy to target and decapitate the emerging black power movement.
Playing The Race Card
Documentary series taking a look at the history of race relations since the 1950s and influences of this on the politics of race as well as on government policy
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