40th Anniversary of the Murder of Blair Peach

On this day in 1979 a teacher from New Zealand named Blair Peach was killed after a blow to the head by police at an anti-racism demonstration in Southall.

Peach had moved to London ten years prior and had been active in the Socialist Worker's Party, the Socialist Teachers' Association and the East London Teachers' Association as well as in campaigns against neo-Nazi and other far right groups.

On 23 April 1979 while the National front held a meeting inside Southall Town Hall, Blair Peach was among approximately 3,000 who attended an Anti- Nazi League demonstration outside the building. As the demonsration turned violent and he attempted to get away from it, Peach was hit on his head by an officer and died from his injuries later that night at Ealing Hospital. His death was a tragic loss not only for his family, but for those communities to whom he had given his support through his anti-racist activism over several years. His funeral in June 1979 was attended by 10,000 people and after many years of campaigning led by his partner Celia Stubbs, the report into an inquiry of Blair Peach's murder was finally made available in April 2010.

Further reading:

Casciani, Dominic. “Blair Peach Report: What the Investigation Uncovered.” BBC News. Last modified 17th April 2010, accessed 12th April 2016. Available at  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8646829.stm  

Editorial.”Death of Blair Peach: The Truth at Last.” The Guardian. Last modified 28th April 2010, accessed 12th April 2016. Available at  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/apr/28/death-of-blair-peach-editorial





Blair Peach