Greens of Colour chair Tyrone Scott speaking at Green Party Conference

Members of the Green Party of England and Wales are meeting in Brighton this weekend for their autumn conference. At the event, one of the keynote speeches was given by Tyrone Scott, the chair of Greens of Colour.

Speaking to the conference hall, Scott argued that colonialism and ‘exploitation’ were the driver of both the climate crisis and the ‘crisis of inequality’. He told attendees: “Centuries of colonialism and exploitation have seen Global North countries, like the UK, and our corporations become rich, by extracting massive amounts of wealth from countries in the Global South. It is this same very model of exploitation that has caused the climate crisis, that has caused this crisis of inequality – and that has caused these rhythms of injustice.”

Scott went on to say that colonialism’s legacy manifests in modern Britain. He said: “But this legacy of colonialism is not at all limited to the Global South. It is seen here in the UK every single day. It is seen with the Windrush generation, a generation who came – who were invited  to this country to help rebuild this economy only to be treated like second class citizens, prevented from accessing healthcare, work and housing after the Home Office failed to keep their records like they didn’t matter. With many threatened for deportation, and many wrongfully sent back and sent away from their home.

“It is seen through the treatment of people of colour from our authorities and institutions that we are supposed to trust, with countless examples of disproportionate policing of black and brown communities. 

“It is seen through our ‘hostile environment’, where just this week Suella Braverman compared the arrival of migrants to hurricanes and promised, to once again, somehow go tougher on migration – even though the 2018 Windrush Inquiry clearly called for an urgent review of the hostile environment.

“And it is seen through our housing system, with analysis from Shelter that found that black households are 11 times more likely to be living in temporary accommodation than white households. It is seen through further analysis that Every eight minutes, a person of colour becomes homeless or is threatened with homelessness. People ­­­­­of colour are more likely to be homeless, live in deprived neighbourhoods, and be living in poor quality homes.

“We need to have an honest conversation about why this is. And to do this, we must understand the complex history, structures, policies, and practices that have contributed to racial inequality – and why this is all linked to our colonial past.”

Alongside this, Scott implored his fellow party members to challenge themselves to ‘always strive to be better’ at challenging institutional racism and the legacy of colonialism. He said: “But we can’t, for one moment, think that this legacy of institutional racism, this legacy of colonialism, inequity for people of colour, suddenly stops when we are in this space – we must always be vigilant. We cannot think that we do not work to do too, or we will never create the real change that we need and we’ll never have real representation of the communities we are seeking to lead. We must challenge ourselves daily and always strive to be better.”

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This article is jointly published with Left Foot Forward