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30 years since Blair Peach died in Southall anti-fascist demo

PUBLISHED: 22:54 06 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:09 05 October 2010

Blair Peach... anti-fascist protester

Blair Peach... anti-fascist protester

IT IS 30 years in April since special needs teacher Blair Peach was killed while on a demo against the far right National Front at Southall. I am appealing for people who knew him or were at Southall on the day in 1979 to contact Friends of Blair Peach

Dear Ed,

IT IS 30 years in April since special needs teacher Blair Peach was killed by a still-unidentified police officer while on a demonstration against the far right National Front at Southall in west London.

The East London Advertiser reported last year that his friends had a plaque erected to him at the Phoenix school at Bow in the East End where he taught for all of the 10 years he was in London after arriving from his native New Zealand.

He lived in Hackney and was a committed community activist devoting his spare time to causes including picketing of a pub at Mile End which had refused to serve black people, which was where I met him in 1974.

His friends want to remember his death and I am appealing for people who knew him or were at Southall on the day of his death in April, 1979, to contact Friends of Blair Peach.

His death is relevant today for a number of reasons. The coroner’s decision of death by misadventure’ is important for anyone who takes part in a peaceful demonstration—things that we take for granted in Britain.

But as the law stands, a person can die at the hands of the police and it is their own fault for being where they were.

We are also faced with the threat of the BNP taking seats in the EU Parliament in June.

This anniversary should be a reminder that we still confront the same threat from organised racism and fascism for which Blair lost his life opposing.

Terry Fitzpatrick

Friends of Blair Peach

Victoria Park Road, South Hackney


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