We were now at war and none of us knew the outcome. We had to stick together as a family and fight- it was the only way. Suddenly a brick smashed through the living room window followed by a torrent of rocks. The entire living room bay was smashed and the sound was terrifying, glass littered the living room. My brothers were now throwing bottles onto the pavement below to push the gang back away from our house and the gang were retreating for their own safety. My father opened the front door and ran down the short path at the front of our home with a large piece of wood summoning them to fight in the hope that he would frighten them into leaving us alone. He was fighting for his family and taking an unprecedented risk. He knew that the Police could not protect him, his wife or children. It was up to him as a man, a husband and a father to protect us. It seemed to go on for hours although in reality it was probably minutes. The gang retreated slowly while chanting racial abuse.
I couldn’t sit in the living room and watch Television without having repercussions of the loud bang and the bricks coming through that window- I knew it was just a matter of time. My mother had now moved my baby sister’s chair into the kitchen where she could watch her and no one was allowed to sit adjacent to the bay window. While I sat on the couch watching television with my brothers I could hear the window smashing constantly inside my head over and over, each time enacting a different scenario- sometimes the brick would hit my sister and sometimes me or my brother. That thought never went away- it haunts me to this day.
At that time in Liverpool it was accepted that people who looked “foreign” were attacked and beaten if they did not accept “the system” and the abuse. Over the coming months things would get much worse as this was just the beginning of our families new life in Liverpool. Our windows would continue to get smashed, our car would continue to get vandalised and we as a family continued our night time vigil taking turns on the night watch until the early hours. I and my brothers would continue to take turns on the watch from the front bedroom window- it would begin in the early evening and continue into the early hours. We would sit at that bedroom window watching and waiting for the racist gangs to come and attack our home. They would always come at night and the winters were the worse with darkness coming much earlier. We knew we could never rely on the Police as they had failed us so many times before- we knew the only way to defend ourselves was to retaliate. I was just twelve years old and I never thought at that time that I would be spending the remainder of my childhood at war.
I and my brothers would attend school exhausted having been up most of the night watching and waiting- too terrified to sleep. The gangs would come often- sometimes three or four times a week. Much worse was to come. Both I and my brothers would face vicious assaults, my sister at just a couple of years old will have a brick thrown at her and our family car will be destroyed during an explosion.
I just stood there and watched silently. I was just eleven years old at the time. The racist walked towards my brother and said “you were tough with your dad the other day Paki- let’s see how tough you are now”. With that he threw the hardest punch I have ever seen and it landed on the left side of my brother’s face- directly onto his cheek bone. My brother had been standing close to the boundary wall which was constructed of solid brick. As the punch landed onto his face, the force pushed his head sideways smashing it into the wall. He fell to the floor holding his head and screaming in agony. The racist and his three friends were laughing hysterically and turned to walk away. They were all chanting as they walked- “die Paki die!” At that point my two brothers helped my injured brother to his feet. They half carried him back to the house. I and my friend were in deep shock. When we got home I knocked on our front door and a few seconds later my mother- who heard all the screaming opened the door. She fell to her knees in shock. The entire side of my brothers face was now green like one huge bruise. The skin on his jawbone had parted and the bone was exposed. It was like one huge bloody bruise covering his entire face and his eye was now also closed shut and caked in blood.
The violence would continue and the effect on us as a family was unimaginable- soon we would be turning on each other, unsure as to why we were being subjected to the constant torture from these racists. My mother would turn on my father, blaming him for retaliating and we as children would blame each other. In later life my brothers would have their own battle with the scars of the war that would leave behind damage in the form of mental illness, attempted suicide and paranoia.