Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


VIRTUAL: US Human Rights Violations and the Soweto Uprisings

16 June 2021, 6:30 pm–8:30 pm

US Human Rights Violations

On the anniversary of the Soweto Uprisings we link Human Rights abuses in the USA to Apartheid South Africa

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Sarah Parker Remond Centre / Black History Walks

This is an online event. Zoom link will be sent 30 minutes before the start.

This event is organised by Black History Walks in collaboration with UCL's Sarah Parker Remond Centre

On 16th June 1976 thousands of Black schoolchildren took to the streets to demonstrate against racism in South Africa. The state response was to shoot the children with automatic weapons and imprison those who did not die.

On 13 May 1985 the Philadelphia police department dropped a bomb on the roof of the Black power activist organisation known as MOVE. The bomb caused the deaths of six adults and five children. 61 homes in the largely African-American area were destroyed in the resulting fire while nearby firefighters stood by and watched on the orders of the Police Commissioner.

In March 2014 the report on human rights violations inside the United States released by the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee listed “excessive use of force by law enforcement officials” as a grave problem across America. “The Committee is concerned about the still high number of fatal shootings by certain police forces…and reports of excessive use of force by certain law enforcement officers…”“The Obama Justice Department had ignored repeated pleas and petitions to investigate Philadelphia Police Department fatal shootings and brutality.”

In 2021, there have been multiple video examples of Black deaths in police custody and a legal system which offers no sanction. What is the history behind these situations and what can be done to challenge them? Are there parallels in the UK and how is foreign policy affected?

About the Speaker:

Linn Washington, Jr is co-founder of the award-winning news website: ThisCantBeHappening!. Washington is Professor of Journalism at Temple, where he co-directs the Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab that sends J-students into neighbourhoods in search of stories the local establishment media ignore. In addition to his Temple degrees, Washington holds a law degree from the Yale University.