Flyers were an important medium for publicising Indian Workers Association campaigns. Many were quite unsophisticated in appearance due to the limited printing resources and technology available to the organisation. What they lacked in visual impact they made up for in language, hence the dramatic statements which acted as rallying cries for action against British authorities.
'Black People Against State Brutality' was a national demonstration organised by the Black People's Committee Against State Brutality and was supported by the Indian Workers Association (GB), Awaz and Brixton Black Women's group. The demonstration came as a response to increasing dissatisfaction amongst black communities with the police and with the harassment individuals suffered as a result of immigration legislation. Many families were divided as a result of conditions imposed by the immigration acts and much distress and hardship was caused as husbands and wives, parents and children were separated. Relatives were denied reunions, even in cases of illness or disability, and many were subjected to humiliating tests to prove the validity of their relationships. Women, in particular, were forced to undergo invasive and degrading tests by immigration officials in order to determine the legitimacy of their immigration status.
The demonstration called on black people to show their solidarity with each other in the face of the new Conservative government, led by Margaret Thatcher, which was likely to further restrict right of entry to the dependents of migrant workers.
The demonstration took place at Hyde Park on 3rd June 1979. The day is remembered as a significant point in IWA history because tragically it was the event during which General Secretary Jagmohan Joshi suffered a fatal heart attack.
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Birmingham City Archives: MS 2141/A/5/3/4
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