The Day They Took Away Our Pagoda

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Since 2010, much damage has been done to fabric of the UK’s culture, since the coming to power of the Tory Party and LibDem Party. This has not only resulted in the death of thousands due to the ideologically led ‘Austerity’ programme that has seen the privatisation of the NHS and Welfare System, (which resulted in the UK being found Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity by the UN in 2016), but also in a tremendous rise in racism, racist policies, and race-hate attacks. This is not to say that anti-Chinese racism is new – it definitely is not. The British Government – acting upon common sentiments among the population – has ethnically ‘cleansed’ the UK Chinese populations twice during the 20th century, once in 1919, and again in 1946 (the latter case under the Labour Party). Even when Labour’s Ken Livingstone was the Mayor of London, he nearly buckled to big business and suggested the pagoda be demolished and Chinese businesses be re-located to remote areas of East London (effectively ‘hiding’ and ‘isolating’ the Chinese presence in London). It was only extensive campaigning on behalf of the Chinese community – together with non-Chinese supporters – that called a halt to this new attempt at ethnic cleansing. The stay of execution, however, was only short-lived, as when the Tory Boris Johnson was elected Mayor of London, he initiated a vicious campaign which has seen the mass ‘eviction’ of Chinese-owned businesses forcibly removed from the areas around Gerrard Street, their old premises demolished, and redeveloped for trans-national corporations to take-over and eradicate the ‘Chinese’ presence from the area. With the election of the Labour Blairite Mayor of London – Sadiq Khan – the continuation of cleansing the Chinese presence from London’s Chinatown was not only affirmed – but intensified as a consequence.

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London’s Muslim Mayor – despite being asked to intercede on behalf of the Chinese community- refused to support another of London’s ethnic minorities, and ordered the demolishing of the Pagoda that once stood near the entrance to Gerrard Street. This barbarous act has had a tremendously negative effect upon the psychology of the Chinese community in London (and beyond), and is tantamount in experience to a racial attack, or a hate-crime, but as usual, the mainstream UK remains indifferent to a prominent section of its population.

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English Language Reference:

http://ciac.co.uk/2016/11/17/the-pagoda-as-one-of-landmarks-in-chinatown-was-demolished/

 

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