- Created: Wednesday, 12 October 2011 10:32
- Written by FRFI
The Revolutionary Communist Group has always emphasised the link between fighting racism in Britain and fighting imperialism internationally. In 1984, when one of our own members, Viraj Mendis, was threatened with deportation to Sri Lanka, we set up the Viraj Mendis Defence Campaign (VMDC). Over the next four and a half years, the campaign brought together communists, anarchists, Christians, liberals and others, and was supported by thousands of individuals, hundreds of organisations and, eventually, the majority of the parliamentary Labour Party. In 1986 the campaign organised a march from Manchester, where Viraj was based, to the Home Office in London, drawing in support from all the cities in between as it went. Later the same year, having lost his legal appeals against deportation, Viraj went into sanctuary in the Church of the Ascension in Hulme, Manchester. Over the next two years the church became a focus for anti-racist and anti-deportation campaigning and VMDC hosted major conferences and demonstrations.