Yesterday saw the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March held in Brixton, London. The annual event commemorates the passing of the Abolition of Slavery Act 1833 and calls for reparations for African nations and descendants of slaves. By the Slave Compensation Act 1837, slave owners were paid large sums of money, however, nothing was offered to the newly liberated people.
Brixton’s Windrush Square was full of energy, in spite of warnings for people not to attend, and the police imposing restrictions in the area. Nearly every time I go out to photograph events these strange days, there seems to be a sense of change in the air.
During this year’s Reparations March, a newly formed group called Forever Family Force (FF Force) made a spectacular entrance onto Brixton Road. They arrived in military-style uniforms with insignia, stab vests and performed a well-rehearsed drill. The group had clearly been in training, they were accompanied by an escort of motorbikes who revved their engines, and hundreds of supporters.