This unprecedented demonstration assembled in New Cross and, over the course of eight hours, made its way to Hyde Park. The decision was taken to march on a Monday to maximise the impact on London.
As the marchers passed through the streets of south London, workers walked out of their offices to join in, and children and young people scaled the fences of their schools to take part. Young women and men defied police as they crossed the river at Blackfriars to take the protest directly to the home of the British print media in Fleet Street. A delegation headed by John La Rose delivered ‘The Declaration of New Cross’ to 10 Downing Street, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, and the Houses of Parliament. Other prominent activists in the black community were present, including Linton Kwesi Johnson, Sybil Phoenix, Darcus Howe, Alex Pascall and Menelik Shabazz.
Ware captured the demonstrators up close and personal, paying attention to the to the signs and placards, many of which express the marchers’ palpable anger at public indifference to the tragic loss of young black people’s lives.
These images now form part of Autograph ABP’s permanent archive, acquired for the collection by Renée Mussai in close collaboration with Vron Ware since 2012.
“Over 30 years later and hitherto unpublished, Vron Ware's defiant photographs offer insight into decisive moments of cultural resistance in post-war Britain's anti-fascist and community campaigning” - Renée Mussai, Curator / Head of Archive
The following people lost their lives in the fire:
Humphrey Brown (b. 4 Jul 1962); Peter Campbell (b. 23 Feb 1962); Steve Collins (b. 2 May 1963); Patrick Cummings (b. 24 Sep 1964); Gerry Paul Francis (b. 21 Aug 1963); Andrew Gooding (b. 18 Feb 1966); Lloyd Hall (b. 29 Nov 1960); Lillian Rosalind Henry (b. 23 Aug 1964); Patricia Johnson (b. 16 May 1965); Glen Powell (b. 19 Jan 1965); Paul Ruddock (b. 19 Nov 1958); Yvonne Ruddock (b. 17 Jan 1965); Owen Wesley Thompson (b. 11 Sep 1964). A fourteenth person, Anthony Berbeck, caught up in the fire, was believed to have committed suicide following the trauma of the event, in Jul 1983.