CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE CARIBBEAN

Hurricanes Irma and Maria signal the emergence of a new climate regime in the Caribbean. At no point in the historical records dating back to the 1880s have two category five storms struck the eastern Caribbean in a single year. The Caribbean is seeing repeated and prolonged droughts, an increase in the number of very hot days, intense rainfall events causing repeated localised flooding, and rising sea levels.
Caribbean economies are built on industries and sectors that are extremely sensitive to climate variations, such as tourism and agriculture. The ferocity of Irma and Maria brought devastation of catastrophic proportions. Without global action, it is predicted that by the end of the current century the Caribbean region will warm a further 2-3oC over the 1oC already seen in the last century.… Read on ...

ACCLAIMED JAZZ TRUMPETER ETIENNE CHARLES RETURNS TO LONDON

Caribbean history and culture will be interpreted through music when acclaimed Jazz trumpeter Etienne Charles returns to London on June 3.

The Trinidadian musician, who has played for sold out audiences in his homeland as well as in Japan and the US, will take his London audience on a musical journey to discover and appreciate the cultural roots of the Caribbean.

Charles last played in London in 2012. Since then, he has released five albums – Kaiso, Creole Soul, Creole Christmas, San Jose Suite and Carnival, the Sound of a People.

He is eagerly awaiting his return.

“When I think of London, I think of the significant contributions of some great pioneers from our shores here in the West Indies: people like Lord Kitchener, Mighty Terror, Edric Connor, Russ Henderson, Fitzroy Coleman, Rupert Nurse, Sterling Betancourt, Boscoe Holder, VS Naipaul, Errol Ince, Shake Keane, Cy Grant and so many others.

Read on ...

Deportations Crisis – One step forward, much more needed

The Home Secretary’s statement in Parliament yesterday is good as far as it goes. She promises:

  • A new taskforce dedicated to helping those affected
  • Plans to work with departments across government to gather evidence on behalf of immigrants – documentation for every year is usually expected, such as bank statements or payslips
  • A pledge that all cases will be resolved in two weeks
  • All fees for new documentation waived so people are not “out of pocket” – normally £229
  • A new website will be set up with information and a direct contact point

This is the very least they could do.… Read on ...

Stop the Deportations

Petition Amnesty for anyone who was a minor that arrived In Britain between 1948 to 1971
Windrush Generation were invited as settlers and as British subjects. Minors also had the right to stay.We call on the government to stop all deportations, change the burden of proof and establish an amnesty for anyone who was a minor.The government should also provide compensation for loss & hurt.
Sign this petition…

50,000 people from the Caribbean are being threatened with deportation from England. Many of them came to Britain before 1971 in answer to a call from the motherland to come and assist with the Labour shortage here in Britain.Read on ...

Austerity and Policing

Since the 2010, the government have been making cuts in police funding. First it was called “efficiency”, then it was called “saving resources”. The Neighbourhood  police teams were reduced and  the desk sergeants removed in order to to save £260m. After the Conservative  government was elected, they changed the 6% savings into 23% cuts. This meant no more Community Patrol Officers, cuts in admin staff and cut in station police officers. They pushed for  another £450m by selling off police hostels and section houses.
Overall there has been a loss of nearly 20,000 police staff. When she was Home Secretary, Theresa May was asked what she would do about the deaths of young people from knife and gun crime, she told the Police Federation to stop scaremongering.
Read on ...

A modest success…

… but one that proves the value of solidarity – so thanks to all of you who signed the petition

Deportation-threat academics allowed to stay in UK

Two Durham University academics, members of UCU, and their daughter who were ordered to leave the UK within 14 days have been told they can stay in the UK.
Dr Ernesto Schwartz-Marin, Dr Arely Cruz-Santiago and 11-year-old Camila faced leaving the country by Saturday 24 March.
The Home Office said the couple breached rules by spending too much time abroad during their visa period.
But it halted proceedings following the intervention of their local MP.… Read on ...

‘Indefensible’ that Londoner living in UK for 44 years was told to pay upfront for treatment

Albert Thompson, 63, arrived in the UK from Jamaica as a teenager in 1973, and has lived here continuously ever since. He is currently not receiving the radiotherapy treatment he needs for prostate cancer because the London hospital where he was due to be treated told him he needed to provide proof of residency or pay upfront for treatment.

Politicians, doctors and cancer charities have responded with outrage to the case of a Londoner asked to pay £54,000 for cancer treatment because he was unable to provide evidence of residency, despite having lived here for 44 years.

Read the full story….Read on ...

A revolutionary legacy Haiti and Toussaint Louverture

The Asahi Shimbun Displays
A revolutionary legacy: Haiti and Toussaint Louverture, a temporary spotlight display at the British Museum, opening on February 22nd (until April 22nd).

The display highlights the history and legacy of the Haitian Revolution, and the man who emerged as its foremost leader: Toussaint Louverture (1743-1803). At its heart is a newly-acquired portrait of Louverture by the African American artist Jacob Lawrence (printed in 1986 after a painting first made in 1938). Paired with this imposing, boldly-coloured image is a Haitian Vodou boula drum, on show for the first time since entering the Museum’s collection in 1930.… Read on ...

NGO crimes go far beyond Oxfam

In 2008 some of us had written to Barbara Stocking, then Oxfam chief executive, objecting to a report that it sponsored, Rule of Rapists in Haiti, which labelled Haitians as rapists while hiding rapes by occupying UN forces. The year before, 114 soldiers had been sent home for raping women and girls, some as young as 11. No one was prosecuted. We wrote: “NGOs like Oxfam have known about rapes by UN forces, as well as by aid and charity workers, for decades. It’s the pressure of victims, women and [children] in the most impoverished communities, who had the courage to speak out that finally won … public acknowledgement.” There was no reply.… Read on ...