David Rosenberg speech at the Windrush Generation demonstration

Windrush Generation demonstration, 5th May 2018

David Rosenberg’s speech on behalf of the Jewish Socialists’ Group and Jewish Voice for Labour at the Windrush Generation demonstration today, 5th May 2018

“One large Group was positively welcomed in by the Tories this week…”

Greetings from Jewish Socialists’ Group and on behalf of Jewish Voice for Labour.  We are here today because we always stand against injustice,  because we know that an attack on one minority is an attack on all and that minorities must stand together to resist. But for once the minorities of this country really know that we do not stand alone. We know that the majority of British society is as outraged as any of us at the disgraceful, cruel and heartless treatment of the Windrush generation, and that is what is making the government become scared.

The inhuman rules and regulations of the Home Office with regard to incomers go all the way back to 1905 when my grandparents came as Jewish migrants and refugees. The key principle established by the Aliens Act in 1905 was to divide people into two groups: not black and white, not Jewish and non Jewish, but “desirable” and “undesirable”. After 1905 pauperised Jews from the Russian Empire were put in the “undesirable” category.

In the 1950s the Windrush generation were positively welcomed as desirable. How cruel is it that after they have worked their whole lives contributed, so much paid their taxes they are now treated as undesirable?

While years and years of such cruelty towards Commonwealth citizens has been exposed in recent weeks, people losing their livelihoods, their rights and benfits, held in detention centres, one large group has been positively welcomed in by the Tories this week: they have welcomed hundreds of thousands of UKIP voters and UKIP supporters.

Do we even need to ask ourselves why the Tories are their main destination of choice.

Some people have hopes that Sajid Javid will be better on this issue with Sajid javid in post. But one of the first things he did this week was vote to keep the government’s Windrush papers hidden from scrutiny.

What else are they hiding?

When the Tories try to take the moral high ground on opposition to racism by throwing its voice behind what are almost entirely manufactured allegations of antisemitisn against Jeremy Corbyn and Labour, as a Jewish anti-racist I feel sick.

I say to Theresa May: “Anti-racism is not a pick and choose activity. If you are an anti-racist you are against all racism.”IMG_5578

I will not hear lectures on opposing antisemitism from a Tory government that is allied in Europe through the Conservative and Reformists groups to the most openly antisemitic, Islamophobic, anti-Roma, anti-refugee  parties in Poland, Latvia, Bulgaria, Denmark and others.

I say to Theresa May: “Get your own house in order!”

And you can start doing that by scrapping the appalling racist laws that are mistreating and oppressing the Windrush generation victims.