Monitor: London Bombings
Reaction to the bombings of multi-ethnic markets in Brixton and Brick Lane
Saturday 01 May 1999
THE BOMBINGS of Brixton and Brick Lane have sent shockwaves through the country. Immediate reaction was one of horror and frustration. But at we do not regard ourselves as whingers. We believe that Britain is a shining example of how multi-culturalism can be a success - probably more than any other country. Things have improved so much for us in the last 10 years. Let's not let a few evil racist terrorists spoil it.
ON TWO successive weekends powerful but crude nail bombs have been set off in street markets in London. Police have little doubt that they were racist attacks. Electoral frustration is probably a factor in the current nail-bomb attacks. The far right has been so marginalised in British politics that its most extreme elements will have nothing left but violence. Senior officers warn that, if the bombing has been perpetrated by a very small group, it could take a long time before the culprits are caught. The combination of the war in Serbia, the Dando murder and the nail bombs have created a curiously febrile atmosphere in Britain.
RACIST VIOLENCE is frightening. From the streets of Hackney to the bomb explosions in Brixton and Brick Lane, there is reason to know the dangers inherent in racism. But British society has little appreciation of the strengths of character rampant racism is building in its minority communities. To exist in the face of danger and still apply yourself to building a community is a formidable collective act of courage and will. You haven't seen what the Asian and black minorities are truly capable of yet. (Ziauddin Sardar)
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