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Raise the Windrush anchor – and make it a statue to modern Britain

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Almost a decade ago I started the campaign for a national Windrush Day, alongside a range of individuals and race equality organisations. It was conceived as a day to recognise and celebrate the achievements of the postwar migrants who first arrived aboard the Empire Windrush – a generation that made a significant contribution to the society we take for granted today. After years of lobbying, petitions, events, letter-writing, debates in parliament – and last year’s Windrush scandal, which put the government on the wrong side of history – Theresa May agreed to this annual commemoration.

Yet today, on Britain’s first national Windrush Day, the government’s announcement that there is to be a new memorial statue in London raises a fundamental question about what sort of permanent marker we want to commemorate multicultural Britain as we head towards Brexit.

I believe the Empire Windrush could be a source of soul-searching and inspiration for generations of black, brown and white people in Britain seeking to understand racism, white privilege, and trying to establish a society where citizenship and belonging is for all.

The ship itself was originally called the MV Monte Rosa, and was launched in 1930. It was originally used as a........

© The Guardian