Blair Peach in the press: “door opened on trial of the Southall 342” (26 September 1979)



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In the aftermath of the demonstration at Southall, 342 people, overwhelming, young, local and Asian, were charged with various offences. As the above report in the Morning Star explains, by autumn 1979, 85 percent of the cases had resulted in convictions.

One of those who had helped the arrested on the night of 23 April 1979 was Caroline O’Reilly, who describes driving between Southall and Slough in the hope of locating young men who the police had left, alone and helpless in the middle of nowhere: “Many of the Asian kids that the police arrested, they beat them up for a bit, and then they took them out of London. They dropped them in the middle of nowhere, on the side of motorways, nowhere near telephones or anything. These young kids were confused, crying. The police just wanted to humiliate them.”

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