Listen to all the interviews so far below

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Linda Bellos, the second black woman to lead a local authority.

by Interviewed by Aviah | The GLC Story


Linda Bellos worked as an officer for the GLC’s Women’s Committee in the early 80s. She was a prominent part of Labour’s black sections and in 1986 she became leader of Lambeth council – the second black woman to lead a local authority. She is also one of the co-founders of Black History Month. She has worked as an equalities consultant since the 1990s.


Aviah is a member of the feminist direct action group Sisters Uncut,  taking direct action against cuts to domestic violence services. She is also a PhD student at The University of Essex working on a collaborative ESRC studentship with the charity Standing Together Against Domestic Violence.



Tony Bunyan is a writer and investigative journalist, who specialises in EU justice and home affairs, civil liberties, the state and freedom of information in the EU. He was deputy and then acting head of the GLC’s Police Monitoring and Research Unit in the 1980s, where his work included supporting community monitoring groups to get funding, and reporting on how the miners strikes were being policed. He has been the Director of Statewatch since 1990 and edits Statewatch News online. Tony is the author of The history and practice of the Political Police in Britain (1977), Secrecy and openness in the EU (1999) and The Shape of Things to Come (2009) and edited The War on Freedom and Democracy (2005). In November 2011 Statewatch/Tony were given a Liberty “Long Walk” Human Rights Award (alongside Private Eye). He is a Visiting Research Fellow at London Metropolitan University, University of Bristol and University of Dundee.


Zak Suffee is a researcher focusing on race and migration.




Peter Dawe on being a GLC Labour Councillor in Waltham Forest.

by Interviewed By Debs Grayson | The GLC Story


Peter Dawe was a Labour GLC councillor from 1981-86, and was part of the Ethnic Minorities and Transport Committees. He also worked full time as a teacher and has been a Methodist lay preacher for fifty years.


Debs Grayson is completing her PhD at Goldsmiths and is one of the coordinators for GLC Story.

Farrukh Dhondy talks about ‘ethnic minority arts’ in the 1980s

by Interviewed by Zahra Dalilah | The GLC Story


Farrukh Dhondy is an Indian-born British writer and playwright and one of the founders of the Black Theatre Coop. He was active in debates about ‘ethnic minority arts’ in the 1980s and talks here about the GLC’s abortive plan to turn the Round House into a black theatre.


Zahra Dalilah is a Black feminist writer and activist from South London currently researching and campaigning on Black British fatherhood, building community power and safe spaces for women in the music industry and music events more generally.

Bernadine Evaristo discusses Theatre of Black Women

by Interviewed By Jay Bernard | The GLC Story


Bernardine Evaristo MBE FRSL FRSA is an award-winning author and Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London. Bernardine has been instrumental in founding key arts organisations such as Spread the Word, The Brunel International African Poetry Prize and The Complete Works development course for Black and Asian writers. She was also one of the founders of Theatre of Black Women, which received GLC funding for a number of its performances.


Jay Bernard is a writer and film programmer from London.

Nadine Finch, talks about her work on policing

by Interviewed By Ayeisha Thomas-Smith | The GLC Story


Nadine Finch worked in the Programme Office at the GLC liaising on policy with the Policing, Race and Women’s Committees. She then worked at the London Strategic Policy Unit in the Policing Monitoring Unit researching into the Policing of the Irish Community


Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is Training Organiser at the New Economy Organisers Network. She has previously worked on political strategy and campaigns with Compass, on peace and dialogue in Israel/Palestine with the Oxford Research Group, and coordinated migration campaigns and projects with Itinerant Works and Migrants Rights Network. Ayeisha is an advisor for Take Back the City and Red Pepper, and has an MA in Postcolonial Culture and Global Policy from Goldsmiths UoL.

Neil Fletcher on education policies under the Inner London Education Authority

by Interviewed By Vwede Okorefe | The GLC Story


Neil was nominated to the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) a ‘Special Committee of the GLC’ that pushed forward significant educational policies. He was an elected member from 1979, chaired the Further and Higher Education Committee for 6 years and became Leader in 1987 for 3 years until its abolition by the Tories in 1990.


Vwede Okorefe

Queer Black British woman of Nigerian descent. Works with the renewable energy charity 1010. Vwede is currently investing in becoming a more informed and involved citizen. Vwede really loves her bike and making music.

Brenda Kirsch talks about the Police Monitoring and Support Unit

by Interviewed by Joshua VIrasami | The GLC Story


Brenda Kirsch is a researcher and journalist. In the 1980s, she worked for the GLC-funded magazine City Limits and then for the Police Committee and Support Unit where she edited the unit’s publication, Policing London. Alongside this, she also worked for the Communist Party newspaper 7 Days and was heavily involved with Lambeth Trade Union Council.


Joshua Virasami is a Londoner of Mauritian origin, his time is spent thinking, writing, performing and organising toward revolutionary upheaval at local and international level. His work can be found on various online outlets and you can follow him @KingKreol on Twitter.

Loraine Leeson, artist and academic, discusses art in the 80s

by Interviewed By Tanya Denhere | The GLC Story


Loraine Leeson is an artist and academic who has worked with communities through the visual arts for over thirty years. In the 1980s she cofounded the Docklands Community Poster Project which was funded by the GLC. She is a member of the GLC Story Management Committee.


Tanya is a writer from London who believes in the power of art to foster radical change in the public and private sphere. In this interview with Loraine, the pair discuss the role that creative campaigning played in the Greater London Council, and the future of arts activism.

Paul Marris on working in arts and the recreation department.

by Interviewed by Lucy McFadzean | The GLC Story


Paul Marris was Film and Video Officer for the GLC within the Arts and Recreation Department between 1983-1986. He now lives in Cambridge and works as a university lecturer in Media Arts.


Lucy McFadzean works with archive film and video in London. She has a particular interest in community video projects from the period, and has been putting on screenings of GLC funded films alongside the project.

Femi Otitoju talks about her work with the GLC's Women's Support Unit and lesbian and gay movements

by Interviewed by Natasha Nkonde | The GLC Story


Femi Otitoju joined the Women’s Committee Support Unit of the GLC in 1984, where she worked as an Outreach Worker supporting community based women’s groups. After abolition Femi started her own equality and diversity training company, Challenge Consultancy ,which she still runs today. She also served on the management committees of the Lesbian and Gay switchboard and the Black Lesbian and Gay Centre, which both received GLC funding.



Natasha Nkonde is co-founder of The GLC Story and Regional Organiser at Edge Fund,  and has been involved in political organising with groups such as Take Back the City, Sisters Uncut and Black Lives Matter UK. Natasha is a Zambian immigrant, interested in oral histories as a form of direct action and a tool for intergenerational dialogue.

Di Parkin, a revolutionary socialist on her work in the Women’s Committee Support Unit.

by Interviewed By Josie Wales | The GLC Story


Di Parkin was born in London and attended the University of Kent before completing a PhD at the London School of Economics. A revolutionary socialist and activist from the age of 16, Di joined the GLC in 1981, expressing her political beliefs through her work as an equality practitioner with the Women’s Committee Support Unit and Programme Office.


Josie Wales studied History at University and now works as an archivist. A volunteer at the Feminist Library in London, Josie is involved in various projects to collect and preserve stories of political and social movements.

Ndaizivei Paul on founding the Haringey Women’s Training and Education Centre

by Interviewed By Sekai Makoni | The GLC Story


Ndaizivei Paul is now retired but worked as an Electronics Engineer. She is originally from ZImbabwe and moved with her young family to the UK in the 1960s . They were political exiles escaping persecution from (what was then) Southern Rhodesia and its colour bar and white minority rule. She helped found the Haringey Women’s Training and Education Centre which received seed funding from the GLC.


Sekai Makoni is Ndaizivei Paul’s grandaughter . She is a Black feminist researcher and podcaster who enjoys eating sadza and talking to her Gogo about her past!

Devon Thomas discusses his rich political organising in Brixton

by Interviewed by Zena Edwards | The GLC Story


Devon was chair of the Brixton Defence Committee after the 1981 uprisings in Brixton, which received funding from the GLC police committee. He was chief executive of the London Strategic Policy Unit that was set up after the GLC/ILEA was abolished by the London Labour boroughs to continue its policies. He is involved in various projects that collect oral histories in the community and was instrumental in the establishment of the Black Cultural Archives.


Zena Edwards raised in Tottenham, North London, Zena Edwards graduated from Middlesex University in Drama and Communication Studies, has been involved in writing for  performance for 20 years. She has toured international performing her work and delivering training  and mentoring session in art, creative campaigning and community engagement as well as facilitating workshops and masterclasses in poetry and live literature on such themes as environmental justice, inter-generational dialogue spaces and transformational learning and the arts, race and diversity, and is now exploring digital justice, online spaces and oral history. She is the co-founder, core project developer and facilitator for radical youth arts education project, ‘Voices That Shake’, was an associate artist and facilitator for English Pen International and as Creative and Education Director of the independent company Verse In Dialogue (©ViD), an umbrella company focused on cross art collaboration for social change.

Hilary Wainwright on the work of the Popular Planning Unit

by Interviewed by Claire Perrault | The GLC Story


Hilary is a sociologist and activist, and editor of Red Pepper magazine. In the 1980s she worked for the Greater London Enterprise Board, part of the GLC. She set up the Popular Planning Unit which funded the People’s Plan for the Royal Docks, an alternative plan for the area which is now Canary Wharf and City Airport.


Claire Perrault works as a media archivist (currently at the Tate) with an interest in exploring, facilitating and activating historical narratives that hold the potential to empower and reeducate. She specialises in the digitisation and preservation of film-based content.

Ansel Wong discussing race relations in the 1980s.

by Interviewed by Zahra Dalilah | The GLC Story


Ansel was a Race Relations Adviser to the GLC in the Ethnic Minorities Unit from 1981 to 86. He migrated to the UK from Trinidad and Tobago in 1965, becoming involved in radical black organising in London via the West Indian Students’ Centre in Earls Court and becoming a member of the Black Liberation Front.


Zahra Dalilah is a Black feminist writer and activist from South London currently researching and campaigning on Black British fatherhood, building community power and safe spaces for women in the music industry and music events more generally.