'Police out of Brixton' leaflet, 1981
South London Workers Against Racism
However, during my listening I came across a fascinating interview with Alex Wheatle. Wheatle is a prominent British author, who has written many novels including Young Adult fiction drawing on his own life experience. He participated in the Brixton uprisings and was sent to prison because of this. The interview is rich in his experiences, thoughts and emotional responses to the Brixton uprisings. It became a starting point for me to reflect on my own memories of Black resistance in London during my lifetime. I am a 22 year old mixed race woman, specifically white and Black Caribbean, based in Balham, South London, where I have always lived. Throughout my life I have spent a lot of time in different areas of South London, and I currently work at the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton. The main uprisings by the Black community I have witnessed are the 2011 uprisings, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests in 2013 and their resurgence this year (2020). An interesting point of connection between Wheatle’s experiences and my own is that of the physical damage caused by the uprisings. I have witnessed the lingering physical effects on neighbourhoods and how they affect communities long after the uprisings are over. But the nature of where this physical damage happens, and why, has changed between 1981 and 2020, shifting from the destruction of local areas to statues and places that embody power and oppression.