North Kensington Workers Fighting Racism!

Part of the successful mass lobby outside the Duke of Wellington pub in North Kensington on Saturday evening

FRIENDS and family, concerned members of the North Kensington community and local campaigners joined forces on Saturday evening to demand justice for El, a university student and young worker at the Duke of Wellington pub who suffered a racist attack.

On Saturday February 15th at 11.15pm inside The Duke of Wellington pub on Portobello Road, west London, six racist thugs pushed El into a secluded room at the back of the pub and racially attacked him and verbally racially abused him.

This was the second Saturday in a row that the furious community marched on the pub from Portobello Green.

They vowed to march every Saturday evening until justice was secured.

The angry crowd shouted: ‘Duke of Wellington shame on you! Do we tolerate racism? NO!’

As the protest neared the pub the shouts of ‘Justice for El!’ got louder.

Outside the pub, El’s mum Eunicia Harding addressed the demonstration.

She said: ‘I am disgusted to see the amount of security on the door tonight.’

Addressing the security, she said: ‘Where were you on the night my son was racially attacked?’

She said: ‘El is my son, born in 1999 to me. He is 20 years old. He goes to university and had got a job to pay his way.

‘Young’s Brewery failed to look after my son. I am devastated and heart broken.

‘As a mother, if you have children of your own you will know how I feel. It is a disgrace what happened to him.

‘I feel hurt that the pub is still open. I will keep fighting for my son until my last drop of blood.’

A statement was read out from the Justice for El campaign: ‘Young’s Brewery made a public statement on February 22nd. We do not agree with that statement.

‘The matter is now in the hands of our legal team.

‘There was no extra staff on the night of the attack. There was a lack of compassion, no empathy.

‘We are waiting for the police to launch criminal proceedings where the pub will be investigated for a crime and disorder breach, under public safety, duty of care to staff.

‘This has to be considered when the licence comes up for renewal.

‘Please remember the main reason we are here today. We are here for justice for El. The racists must be caught by the police, they must be brought to trial.

‘On the night in question the Duke of Wellington did not uphold their duty of care to their employee when after El was attacked the manager did not call the police or ambulance service.

‘The manager did not show any compassion or consideration and was only concerned about when El would be returning to work. She then asked for a sick note. Shame on you.

‘Thank you for your ongoing support.’

The crowd shouted: ‘We’re going to get up and stand up and stand up for our rights!’ and ‘no justice, no peace!’

Labour councillor Pat Mason, Golborne Ward said: ‘We well not tolerate racism, we never had and we never will.

‘And let this be a lesson to all businesses in the community, if you act in this way the community will stand up and give you the same treatment as we have done to the Duke of Wellington.’