Harrow Council for Justice
a campaigning national organisation - promoting the principle of 'different but equal'

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    Our positions
  • people are not blind to colour in a colour conscious society
  • racism affects black and white people both but differently
  • racial harassment is anti human rights - more than hate crime
  • equal opportunity is to practise 'different but equal'
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Harrow Council for Justice was formally launched in June 1992 at the Civic Centre, Harrow. The launch was very well attended by the Members and officers of Harrow Borough and by the representatives of the local and national community organisations. The following guest speakers made valuable inputs:
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Gerry German, a Principal Officer of the Commission for Racial Equality, highlighted "growing bureaucracy" within the key race related institutions which seriously limits their ability to help victims of discrimination. He appreciated the community process and commitments which led to the formation of the HCJ.

Balraj Purewal, spokesperson of the Indian Workers' Association (IWA), stressed on the need for community rather than institutionally defined initiatives for tackling the issues which affect the community. He said that government hand-outs (grants) to the organisations, were to exercise state control on the community and therefore advised the council to keep away from grants as there was too much to lose.

Paul Tyler, Head of finance at the Christian Aid, spoke on "Third World Debt" and rationalised why people should care about this serious issue and address it through the collectives like the HCJ.
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The Harrow Council for Justice has evolved in response to our experience over a period of many years. The HCJ is therefore essentially an umbrella body, launched and established in 1992, whose aims and work are based upon a rigorous structural analysis of unjust situations which adversely affect disadvantaged people, black and white both.

The HCJ is a cumulative, cooperative and collective response signifying the community's experience, their learning, their thinking and above all their solidarity. The HCJ is, therefore, not funded by any external bodies and is by definition, constituted to work for social justice for vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the community, using individual, collective and communal resources to support the HCJ work. The HCJ strongly believes in uniting people on the basis of 'different but equal' and deplores any actions that harm communal cohesion.

The HCJ has been proactive since its inception: for example, House of Commons acknowledged the HCJ's written observations as early as in 1993 (Hansard Debates for 8 June 1993). The HCJ has made substantial contributions towards developing criminal justice system, community consultations, youth and community service, community care and education for all (most recently, a major submission to the Education and Skills Select Committee regarding the work of Ofsted). The HCJ was a key organisation to assist Harrow Council to develop the community consultation model. The HCJ has been active in holding public meetings, doing the case work, supporting members of the public at appeals and reviews and representing them at the industrial tribunals, all by volunteers and at no cost to the tax/rate payers.

The HCRJ has been inspirational: it is good to see that organisations have started adopting the HCJ-promoted theme “different but equal” in their ‘equality’ work, as indicated by some leaflets produced locally. The HCJ has also thanked the Harrow Council for putting in practice the following aspects of the HCJ campaign:
“The Harrow Council for Racial Justice will also campaign for meaningful ways for the people to influence the decisions which affect them”, and therefore the “local government meetings to have a slot for the members of public to raise questions” as well as to see that “all the councillors participating in such meetings are available for lobbying before the meetings”: HCJ leaflet:1992

Our aims & organisation

HCJ aims

  • to work towards creating a better society based on justice and equality
  • to work towards improving the quality of life for vulnerable and disadvantaged people
  • to work, within the overall context of Human Rights, towards removing the overt and covert barriers based on the hierarchy of culture, language, sex, religion, colour and class which systematically stop the vulnerable and disadvantaged people from equal access to the public or private services or from power sharing in socio-political and conomic fields
  • the HCJ recognises racism as a significant barrier and has taken the position that racism affects Black and White people both, but differently (Black & White are political colours based on colonial experiences)
  • to rigorously promote the practice of ‘different but equal’ in all aspects which impact the quality of life
 

HCJ furthers these aims by

  • electing a voluntary executive board, on a five years basis, to implement the HCJ aims.
  • addressing social injustice, including racism, and intervening in overt and covert unjust situations
  • campaigning for effective ways and meaningful opportunities for disadvantaged people to influence the decisions that affect them, particularly in areas such as local government services, policing, the criminal justice system, health and community care and education
  • advising, helping, supporting and counselling the victims of injustice and representing them where possible
  • analysing social, political and economic policies and institutional practices and educating public opinion accordingly
  • holding public meetings to address the issues which are of public interest

HCJ priorities

* to raise public awareness of why inequalities which lead to various forms of discrimination

* to evaluate and present the analysis of the state policies and practices and their differential impact on the groups of people

* to rigorously campaign for the authorities to practise the principle of 'different but equal’ in dealing with people & their needs

eMembership:  applications from any bona fide community organisations with a track public record of standing for truth and justice may be considered by the 2016 eAGM. Apply by email only, giving details of the organisation, including when it was formed, its objectives, land line telephone number and econtact (only UK based well known server) and explaining why do you wish to join HCJ and enclosing evidence of 6 very recent telling examples of intervention into situations of injustice and disadvantage.

Contact

Chairperson: Jaiya Shah  Deputy Chairperson: Dev Mahadevaiah   General & Legal Secretary: Pravin Shah   Political Analyst: Husain Akhtar (since 1/9/2014)
We are based in Harrow UK:    Emergency phone: 07931794809    Emails: admin@hcrj.org.uk


Please include your name, postal address and telephone number if you write to us - we encourage communication through email for swift and efficient working - but we do not publish readers' comments/ letters!

** All communications to/ from us are public **

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