Brixton’s African Caribbean war memorial in Windrush Square will be the scene of a VE (Victory in Europe) Day celebration tomorrow (8 May) that has even more significance than usual.
It comes as the government’s “hostile environment” policy for people it does not want in the country, and its effect on the Windrush generation and their children, continues to make headlines. Windrush Square was the setting for a recent protest against the policy with speakers including shadow home secretary Diane Abbott.
Tomorrow’s ceremony, which is due to begin at noon, is organised by the Nubian Jak Community Trust (NJCT), whose chief executive Jak Beula was the driving force behind the long process of getting the memorial on to Windrush Square.
Tomorrow’s VE Day will mark the 74th anniversary of the Allied victory over fascism in Europe.
Speakers will include Lambeth mayor Marcia Cameron, NJCT patron Baroness Howells of St Davids and Dawn Hill CBE, chair of the Black Cultural Archives on Windrush Square.
Tributes to the Caribbeans and Africans who helped to defeat fascism will come from WWII veterans Allan Wilmot and Neil Flanigan.
Speeches from the Retired Caribbean Nurses Association and Ministry of Defence are also expected, as well as from activists Marc Wadsworth and Lee Jasper. Dr Velma McClymont, former director of the Caribbean and African Learning and Heritage Centre, is also due to speak.
There will be performances from poet and writer Nairobi Thompson, calypsonian Alexander D Great and Raoul Dero – The Universal Poet.