Presentation on theme: "British History The Bristol Bus Boycott. Bristol Bus Boycott 1963 The Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 arose from the refusal of the Bristol Omnibus Company."— Presentation transcript:
British History The Bristol Bus Boycott
Bristol Bus Boycott 1963 The Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 arose from the refusal of the Bristol Omnibus Company to employ Black or Asian bus crews in Bristol. The local union for the bus crews (TGWU) had also passed a resolution that Black and Asian workers should not be employed. There were no laws against racial discrimination in Britain.
The Boycott The boycott was led by a Bristol youth worker Paul Stephenson and the West Indian Development Council. They decided on a test case to challenge the ban. A man called Guy Bailey volunteered to apply for a job with the bus company. Paul Stephenson telephoned the bus company and checked that there were bus crew vacancies and that Guy had the right experience and qualifications. Guy was then offered an interview. An hour later, when Guy arrived for the interview, he was told that there was no longer a vacancy. Paul Stephenson then met with the General Manager of the bus company who confirmed that they would not employ black people to work on the buses. Paul Stephenson, Guy Bailey and others then organised the people of Bristol to boycott the buses.
Paul Stephenson Paul Stephenson in RAF uniform. Paul Stephensons book about the bus boycott Paul Stephenson receiving his OBE The boycott 50 years on
They contacted local and national newspapers. National politicians got involved. The campaign drew attention to racism in Bristol and in Britain. Within six months the Bristol campaign was successful and the ban on Black and Asian bus crews was lifted. On 28 August 1963 the bus company announced that there would be no more discrimination when employing bus crews. This was the same day that Martin Luther King made his famous I Have a Dream speech.
What happened after the boycott On 17 September, Raghbir Singh, a Sikh, became Bristol's first Asian bus conductor. The Bristol Bus Boycott was influential in the passing of the Race Relations Act 1965 which made "racial discrimination unlawful in public places" and the Race Relations Act 1968, which extended the provisions to employment and housing. Unite, the successor to the Transport and General Workers Union, issued an apology in February 2013 for the unions stance at the time, "It was completely unacceptable. I can well accept the sense of injustice and pain that has been felt because [of] what happened in Bristol all those years ago."
Film Clips (Excerpt from I have a Dream Speech Martin Luther King) (BBC News Report about the Bristol Bus Boycott) To open these film clips – right click on the link and scroll down to Open Hyperlink.