12 September

'September '77 _ Port Elizabeth weather fine _ It was business as usual _ In police room 619' _ Peter Gabriel, Biko

September 12, 2009 · 1 min read

‘Biko’s death leaves me cold’, said South African Minister of Police, Jimmy Kruger, today 1977, on hearing of Steve Biko’s death while held in the custody by the South African police. The government claimed that Biko’s death was caused by a hunger-strike However, the official autopsy concluded that it was due to a brain lesion caused by the ‘application of force to the head’.

Now we who witnessed the greatness

Sing and dance to his legacy,

We who muse his intelligence

Spread the good news in Reggae, Soul, Marabi

And the theatre of liberation,

Knowing that nobody dies until they’re forgotten

We chant Biko today

Biko tomorrow

Biko forever.

Wickedness tried to kill greatness

Now wickedness is dead

And greatness lives

In Islington

As he lives in Cape Town.

Benjamin Zephaniah, Biko the Greatness


The NHS has become complicit in the exploitation of migrant workers

As a wave of strikes is planned across London, Petros Elia – an organiser with the United Voices of the World Union, outlines racist outsourcing practices that implicate some of our biggest ‘socially responsible’ employers

Global Justice Rebellion activists

It’s time to add global justice to XR’s demands

Extinction Rebellion must recognise the impacts of colonialism and capitalism, and demand a just transition for all, argues Aranyo Aarjan

Pride in an Irish border town

This summer, Irish LGBTQ campaigner Joseph Healy joined the Pride march in his home town of Newry. Here, he explains how life on the border has changed - and the stakes of Brexit installing a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic


Are community land trusts a way out of the system?

People are taking charge of land and housing across the UK, posing an alternative to the commercial market. But is it enough? Hazel Sheffield reports

Real Zero

2019 has seen climate consciousness reshape the political conversation around the world, but for this new awareness to make a difference, we need to get real about targets and timescale, write Souparna Lahiri, Niclas Hällström and Rachel Rose Jackson. 

The great British land sell

Austerity and neoliberal policy-making has led to the loss of some of our greatest assets and restricted the potential for social housing. Samir Jeraj explores how this has happened and ideas of how to stop it


Radical Roots – Corbyn and the Tradition of English Radicalism

The ideas underpinning Corbynism are deeply embedded in the English radical tradition. Reclaiming this tradition can play a key part in reinvigorating our ambitions for the future. By MICHAEL CALDERBANK with HILARY WAINWRIGHT