Opposing Racist Attacks and Violence

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2008 National Black Members' Conference
15 September 2007

Conference notes that rising racism creates an increasingly dangerous climate for all Black, Jewish and other minority communities.

Despite the most common form of racist crime being harassment and verbal abuse, some Black people tragically are victim to violent attack. Between 2002-2005 government figures show 23 racially motivated murders in Britain. And yet, many racist crimes go unreported and unsolved. There have been over 70 racist murders since the death of Stephen Lawrence in 1993.

Young people are often the most threatened by racist attacks and violence. In August 2005, 18-year-old Anthony Walker was murdered in a brutal racist attack. Last year, 18-year-old Christopher Alaneme was murdered in a racist attack in Kent.

Every racist attack is an attack on all our communities and should be condemned.

Conference believes that too often, as in the cases of Stephen Lawrence, Ricky Reel, Jay Abatan and others, the families of victims of racist murders are denied the justice they deserve.

It is welcome that UNISON has supported the Roger Sylvester Family Campaign to get justice following his death in racist circumstances.

UNISON has set up a national race hate reporting hotline so that members can report any racism they experience. Reporting racism is important to ensure that the union can use the evidence to demand that the government and police give tackling it the resources and prioritisation it needs.

Conference instructs the National Black Members Committee (NBMC) to work with the National Executive Council (NEC) to:

1.Continue to support victims of racist attacks and the families of victims of racist murders;

2.Work with the Anthony Walker Foundation to raise awareness of the impact of racism on young people;

3.Initiate a campaign to encourage branches and regions to promote UNISON’s national race hate reporting phoneline to Black members.