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Windrush – Past, Present and Future

BY BEO | 21/06/2023

Marking 75 years since Empire Windrush docked

Thursday 22nd June marks 75 years since HMT Empire Windrush arrived in Britain on 22 June 1948.

Windrush Day is a key symbolic moment in the story of the Black British contribution to the UK and post-war migration from across the Commonwealth that helped create this country.

Our Windrush generation has helped build this country, yet they continue to face a hostile environment with threats of deportation, income loss, unfulfilled compensation and more from this current government. Today we should celebrate our Windrush brothers and sisters and campaign for them to receive the justice they deserve.

However, the Windrush generation have faced obstacle after obstacle with more scandal breaking in the news in recent weeks.

Responding to concerns by Leigh Day solicitors representing Windrush victims in their Home Office compensation claims, Black Equity Organisation Chief Executive Dr Wanda Wyporska said:

“The Government was prepared to gamble with the wellbeing of the Windrush victims by handing the management of the compensation scheme to the very department that criminalised them.

“It brushed away the concerns of survivors, Black communities, charities, and campaigners, who all said the Home Office was not fit to administer the scheme, and that ultimately it would be the victims who’d suffer if their gamble failed, and that has proved to be the case.

“The best thing the Government can do to mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush is to hand the administration of the compensation scheme to an independent body focused on putting victims first.”

The anniversary of the arrival of Empire Windrush is a time of celebration, but also a time of reflection, frustration and anger as we still have a long way to go before migrants are recognised for their contributions to this country. Today we think about our own parents and loved ones who travelled to the UK in search of a better life, and those who are still trying to do so.