Home Badge - New Cross Massacre

Badge - New Cross Massacre



Production date


Object number


Physical Description

A badge worn by people demonstrating against the New Cross Fire, 1981

Associated Event

New Cross Fire


metal alloy


Diameter (front): 55mm

Exhibition Label

"On 18 January 1981, a fire broke out at a birthday party in New Cross. Thirteen black teenagers were killed. Police initially believed it was a racist attack, but quickly changed their line of enquiry. 10,000 people from across London took part in a protest march against police brutality and incompetence. The cause of the fire was never established.

This was 11 years before I was born and 29 years before I moved to New Cross. The badge highlights the important work that Hackney Museum does in remembering events that some people would prefer were forgotten and reminds me why I am proud to work here."

Josie Stevens, Museum Assistant
Black People’s Day of Action
An estimated 15,000 people marched from New Cross to central London on 2 March 1981.

They wanted to draw attention to the perceived failure of the police to fully investigate the circumstances surrounding a house fire in New Cross in which 13 young people had died a few weeks earlier on 18 January. Some of the organisations leading the calls for answers were based in Hackney.

Similar to Hackney, there was a high degree of racial tension in New Cross and far-right groups were active locally including the National Front.

People Power: Black British Arts & Activism in Hackney 1960s - 2000s

On display?



Come what may we are here to stay
New Cross Massacre January 18 1981