Asian Youth Movements

A BBC Radio 4 documentary from 2012 looking at Asian resistance to racism in the late 70s and early 80s. They were particularly strong, and needed, in Bradford, Southall and east London.
The Bradford 12 case is discussed and ‘Asian Youth’ by Asian punk band Alien Kulture is played in the background quite a bit.

You can hear it here

Kenan Malik writes in his book From Fatwa To Jihad: ‘Most of us were workers and sons of workers’, Tariq Mehmood recalls. ‘For us race and class were inseparable’. Yet he, like many AYM members, was deeply suspicious of what he called the ‘white left’ and stressed ‘the need for our own organisation’. Indeed, the very ‘formation of the Asian Youth Movement in Bradford’, Anandi Ramamurthy, a historian of the AYM, suggests, ‘was also an expression of the failure of “white” left organizations in Britain to effectively address the issues that affected Asian communities.’ Despite the racist hostility they had faced from white trade unionists, the strikers at Imperial Typewriters rejected the idea of a separate black union. Their children, who formed the backbone of the Asian Youth Movements, rejected the idea that they should work within organizations they saw as racist. ‘We had to put our own house in order’, Mehmood observes, before it was possible to ‘unite as equals’ with the ‘white left’.



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