Remembering the New Cross Fire – 30 Years On

Remembering the New Cross Fire – 30 Years On

Remembering the New Cross FireAlmost exactly 30 years ago an event took place in New Cross that was, by its very nature, meant to be memorable for it was a birthday party.

Hundreds of individuals converged at 439 New Cross Road and it was a memorable occasion but for all the wrong reasons.  For what started out as a celebration ended up as a tragedy as 13 black teenagers lost their lives in what is remembered as “The New Cross Fire”.  And, two years later, another youth was so traumatized by the event that he committed suicide.

To make matters worse, the cause of the fire has never been determined even though arson was suspected and no one has ever been charged of causing this event accidentally or otherwise.  Hence, family members and friends have struggled to lay this matter to rest for while an explanation cannot bring back loved ones, it would at least answer some of the questions that keep repeating themselves, like a stuck record…

How did this happen?

How could this happen?

The police were heavily criticized for the manner in which they handled the investigation.  The victims said they were treated like suspects with no sympathy shown for the ordeal they experienced.  The black community accused the police of covering up a suspected arson attack motivated by racism.  The handling of the investigation led many protests and the mobilization of black political activity.

It is with this backdrop that a special event will be held at The Albany in Deptford on Friday 14 January 2011 titled “Remembering the New Cross Fire – 30 Years On“.

The event will be hosted by Kwame Kwei-Armah and guests/artists include Alex Pascall OBE, Professor Gus John, Menelik Shabazz (Burning an Illusion), Courttia Newland, El Crisis and Albany Associate Artist Zena Edwards plus the Queens of Lovers Rock – Carroll Thompson and Janet Kay.  It will incorporate music, film, spoken word and discussion to remember the young lives lost and the impact the New Cross Fire has had on the lives of Britons today.

Remembering the New Cross Fire – 30 Years On will be an inspiring and uplifting remembrance.  We do hope that you can attend this event to commemorate what took place on Sunday 18 January 1981.

The organizers of this event have generously offered to grant the proceeds from this event to IRIE! dance theatre in support of the charity’s work in the field of African and Caribbean dance and music with young people but please do not attend just for this reason.  It’s events like the New Cross Fire that remind you how tenuous life is and how, if you are still here, you have a destiny to fulfill.

So we hope that, if you’re able to attend this event, it will provide you with the inspiration to fulfill that destiny.

Please click the link below for further information and or to book your ticket(s).

Remembering the New Cross Fire