Haringey Community Press

Haringey Community Press

The battle of Wood Green

Fighting racism through art and activism

Hero for The battle of Wood Green
Students Ruth Reid (left) and Melissa De Melo (right) with their artwork

Fighting racism through art and activism

By Melissa De Melo, student at Commerce House, Haringey Learning Partnership

The Battle of Wood Green took place on 23rd April 1977. It saw the National Front (NF) be confronted and stopped from marching through Haringey by 3000 demonstrators. The NF were a racist political party.

The community organised themselves to stand up to them and it was successful. Our art project helps to remind everyone about that moment in our history.

The battle against racism goes on today. We only need to think of George Floyd, Stephen Lawrence and Breonna Taylor. Our project reminds everyone that we can fight racism and we can win.

My artwork is a picture of how my life is to me. It is a powerful image as it shows that on the inside I am going through stuff, but on the outside, I fake a smile and don’t let anyone think anything other than that I smile a lot; but deep down I am not happy. I know I am not the only one who feels like that.

I am really proud that I created something with the help of my art teacher, Ms Robinson and artist, Carleen De Sozer. My friend Ruth Reid, who also took part in the project is proud of her painting too, saying: “I felt proud because I was representing my area and my countries.”

It was great to see our artwork being unveiled: I would like to thank Sarah Jones and Tony Healey from Haringey Parks who made that really special for us.

What me and the other students made will stay on display in Ducketts Common for many years. I hope that any young women who walk past my painting see it and realise that it is not just them that feel that way. Maybe it will help them not to feel so alone.

Maybe all our paintings will remind everyone that Haringey is a great place to live and we are strong because we welcome everyone in our community.

Head to Ducketts Common to see the outdoor art displayed on an electricity substation located in the south of the play area.