Crowds gathered in Birmingham City Centre in protest of the treatment of those known as the ‘Windrush generation’.
Campaign group ‘Children of the Windrush Movement’ organised the rally in High Street on Saturday with guest speakers such as Birmingham City University Professor Dr. Kehinde Andrews, anti-racism campaigner Maxie Hayles and community activist Desmond Jaddoo.
People waved Jamaican flags and placards that read: ‘Windrush generation here to stay’.
Rev. Desmond Jaddoo led prayers calling on people to ‘rejoice for the contributions of our elders’ while remembering those who had been ‘stripped of their jobs’ and whose ‘families had been ripped apart’.
Mr Jaddoo said: “Nobody wants to talk about our contribution. There are those who want to belittle our contributions to this country. We are here today to say enough is enough.
“Unless we unite and start looking out for one another, who’s going to look out for us. We have seen for many years that people are not looking out for us. Until we get proper black representation we will never get the justice we deserve.”
The Home Office has recently come under fire after it was revealed that Commonwealth citizens who have lived in the UK for the last 50 years have been detained, made homeless, sacked or denied health care because they have struggled to prove they are British.
The Prime Minister earlier this week issued a statement that she was “genuinely sorry” for the pain caused to victims while Home Secretary, Amber Rudd apologised for the ‘appalling actions of her own department’.
Dr. Kehinde Andrews, founder of the Organisation of Black Unity (OBU) and co-chair of the Black Studies Association, said: “We need to send a message to Theresa May, a message of amnesty and reparation. There are plenty of people that can’t come back to this country because of what this government has done.
“When we were invited here, we were invited not as citizens but as subjects. They only let us in because they were desperate. The country was gone. It was run-down. They had no people to build it. So, they asked our parents and grandparents to come from the colony and to rebuild the NHS, the housing, the drains – the whole country.
“For the last 50 years they’ve been trying to get rid of us and this is just the latest example of that.”
He added: “I was born and raised in Birmingham and I’m still a subject – subject to police brutality, subject to poverty, subject to racial discrimination but it’s not going anywhere.”
“Racism is as British as a cup of tea. It is what this country is built on.”
Maxi Hayles, said: “We must put pressure on this government. Who is next to be deported and denied rights? Are they going to turn on my daughter who was born in Worcester? Are they going to turn on my son who was born in Birmingham?”
“This government has endeavoured to murder and humiliate our people. We cannot allow this atrocity to continue.”