A video from 1979 has been released showing Sikhs being manhandled by police for protesting against the National Front who had a killed a member of the Sikh Community 3 years prior.
This is a small news clip covering the clash between the police and the predominantly asian community in Southall, London. The National Front had chosen to hold an election meeting in the town hall.
Coming during a period of when race relations were at a low, the local community were incensed that an outwardly racist group chose to hold a meeting in their locale.
It should be noted that three years previously Gurdip Singh Chaggar had been murdered in Southall in a racist attack.
In 1978, Judge McKinnon ruled that the National [Front] leader Kingsley Reads pronouncement on Chaggars murder — one down, one million to go — did not constitute incitement to racial hatred.
This confrontation achieved notoriety with the death of Clement Blair Peach a teacher from New Zealand. Peach was knocked unconcious by a police officer down a side street and died the following day.
Nobody was ever charged with his murder and the jury at the inquest investigating his death returned a verdict of death by misadventure.
It is undeniable that confrontations such as this and that at Lewisham laid the groundwork for the riots in Brixton, Toxteth, Tottenham and so many other places in the eighties.
In December 2009, the Crown Prosecution Service stated that they would be considering whether to conduct further investigations into Blair Peach’s death. This statement comes following the decision by the Metropolitan Police to publish the original internal enquiry.