Resistance to rebellion
in Race and riots in Thatcher’s Britain
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This chapter addresses the history of black and minority ethnic people in Britain following increased colonial migration after the Second World War, and subsequent relationship with an often-hostile society, experiencing widespread discrimination, racial violence and a political consensus to depoliticise and marginalise racial issues. It examines the development of activism, militancy and black mobilisation, considering the build-up of antipathy towards the police due to their policies, actions and general criticism, illustrating the gradual building of discontent towards a British state offering minority ethnic groups little support. The chapter’s title ‘Resistance to rebellion’, inspired by Ambalavaner Sivanandan, itself provides a basic overview of the change demonstrated through these years; discussion, in effect, acts as a ‘roadmap to 1980–81’.


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