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Rescue the Rescuers – Awareness Raising

Tue, 10/16/2018 - 06:22

An awareness-raising event in solidarity with Humanitarian activists Seán Binder, Sarah Mardini and Nasso Karakitsos who have been detained, while doing voluntary work, saving lives in Lesvos, Greece.

  • Saturday 20 October, 1pm – 4pm
  • London King’s Cross Station, N1C 4TB, London – exact location to be confirmed.

This event will link up with demonstrations in Berlin, Boston, Dublin and Stockholm, which will be happening simultaneously.

 

Related Links:

Free Humanitarians website 

Free Humanitarians campaign Facebook page

 

 

Calendar of racism and resistance (25 September – 10 October)

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 03:45

A fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe.

Asylum and migration

25 September: A court in Boulogne finds 21-year-old Loan Torondel, a worker for L’Auberge des Migrants, guilty of criminal libel for an ironic tweet about police harassment of migrants, a conviction described by Human Rights Watch as setting a dangerous precedent in the official harassment of groups providing crucial aid to migrants in Calais. (Human Rights Watch, 27 September 2018)

26 September: The European anti-fraud agency launches an inquiry into misuse of EU funds after the Fileleftheros newspaper reports that companies closely linked to the Greek defence minister ‘routinely inflate’ charges for catering services at the Moria refugee camp in Lesbos. The minister sues three journalists, including the editor, for defamation. (Guardian, 26 September 2018)

29 September: Tens of thousands of people march in Hamburg, Germany, calling for protection of asylum seekers, safe migration routes, an end to deportations and more action against right-wing extremism. (Deutsche Welle, 29 September 2018)

1 October: As the trial of the Stansted 15 on charges of endangering airport security opens at Chelmsford crown court, Amnesty International announces it is sending observers to the trial, due to concerns that the use of such serious charges could deter non-violent direct action aimed at defending human rights. (Guardian, 3 October 2018)

2 October: Domenico Lucano, mayor of the southern Italian town of Riace, who has been widely praised for his integration policies which have kept the town alive, is placed under house arrest, together with his partner, on suspicion of abetting illegal migration. (Guardian, 2 October 2018)

3 October: In an action brought by Help Refugees, the Court of Appeal rules that the Home Office acted unlawfully and unfairly in its treatment of ‘Dubs’ children seeking to come to the UK from France. (UK Human Rights Blog, 4 October 2018)

3 October: In the aftermath of the Windrush scandal, the Guardian reports that grandchildren of Chagos islanders evicted from the islands to make way for a US airbase in Diego Garcia are now under threat of deportation from the UK, despite their mother holding British citizenship. The Conservative MP for Crawley has put forward a private member’s bill to enable everyone of Chagossian descent to claim British citizenship. (Guardian, 3 October 2018)

4 October: The Court of Appeal rules that thousands of asylum seekers may have been unlawfully detained since 2013 pending their return under the Dublin regulation, as UK law does not comply with stricter criteria and time limits for detention under EU law. (Guardian, 4 October 2018)

4 October: Mare Jonio, an Italian-flagged rescue boat funded and created by the platform Operation Mediterranean, sets sail for waters off Libya, in direct defiance of Italy’s interior minister who has closed all Italian ports to NGO search and rescue missions. (Guardian, 4 October 2018) 

6 October: Thousands of people rally in Marseille, Paris, Calais, Brussels, Berlin, Madrid and Palermo to show support for the SOS Mediterranée migrant rescue ship Aquarius, stuck in port in Marseille after Panama revoked its registration, while in Riace, southern Italy, protesters rally to support their mayor, under house arrest for supposedly aiding illegal immigration. (The Local, 6 October 2018)

8 October: The Residential Landlords Association warns the home secretary that another Windrush scandal will result if EU citizens are not provided with documentary evidence of their right to be in the UK. (Guardian, 8 October 2018)

Policing and criminal justice

1 October: Liberty warns that the law enforcement data service (LEDS), the largest ever database built for British law enforcement, due to become operational later this year, represents a grave risk to civil liberties. (Guardian, 1 October 2018)

2 October: Data obtained by the Guardian under a freedom of information request shows that a stun gun was used at least 107 times on mental health patients since 1 April 2017, when forces were required to keep data. Only half of the UK’s police forces supplied data. (Guardian, 2 October 2018)

3 October: Scotland’s chief prosecutor confirms that no charges will be brought against police officers over the death of Sheku Bayoh, who died in custody three years ago after police used CS gas, pepper spray, batons and leg and arm restraints to arrest him. (Inquest, 3 October 2018)

6 October: Footage posted on social media shows up to six Metropolitan Police officers using allegedly excessive force to restrain a man in Harlesden, London, spraying him with CS gas and kicking him while holding him down, prompting community organisations to demand an investigation into police malpractice. (Independent, 6 October 2018)

8 October: A Guardian analysis of police data reveals that the Metropolitan police’s use of force (handcuffing, stun guns, CS spray, batons and guns) has risen 79 per cent in the last year, with  39 per cent of the 41,329 incidents that occurred between April to August directed at black people. (Guardian, 8 October 2018)

8 October: A disciplinary hearing begins in Stevenage against four Bedfordshire police officers accused of lying to paramedics called to treat Julian Cole, who was left paralysed and brain-dead following his arrest outside a Bedford night club five years ago. (Guardian, 8 October 2018)

Anti-fascism and the far Right

28 September: A Finnish appeal court upholds the decision to ban the Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (PVL), as well as its regional chapters and the PVL-linked Pohjoinen Perinne or Nordic Tradition group. (YLE News, 28 September 2018)

28 September: In Germany, journalist Klaus-Peter Krummling is stabbed in Naumburg, Saxony-Anhalt, by three youths, one of whom performed a Nazi salute. (The Independent, 2 October 2018)

2 October: Raids by over 100 German police lead to the arrests of six men on suspicion of belonging to Revolution Chemnitz, a far-right terrorist group linked to attacks on ‘foreigners’ in Chemnitz and a plot to attack Germany’s Unity Day. (Guardian, 2 October 2018)

5 October: The mayor of Utrecht city, Netherlands, orders the dispersal of an anti-Muslim demonstration organised by Pegida in front of the Ulu Mosque after violence erupts, leaving a student injured. (Utrecht Central, 5 October 2018)

© Almen Modstand

6 October: Hundreds of people march in Copenhagen, Arhus and Odense, in opposition to the Danish government’s Islamophobic-tainted ‘ghetto package’ and in opposition to attempts to privatise social housing. (Communication from Almed Modstand)  

Electoral politics

8 October: Czech president Miloš Zeman refuses to apologise to the Roma community after asserting that most Roma do not work. His remarks sparked criticism, including from Roma people, who posted hundreds of pictures of themselves working on social media. (Euractiv, 8 October 2018) 

9 October: European Parliament posters promoting the upcoming European elections are branded ‘Islamophobic’ by Brussels and Strasbourg and pulled down. Part of the ‘this time I’m voting’ campaign, they depict a woman wearing a headscarf with the wording ‘because we need to work together to manage migration’. (The Drum, 9 October 2018) 

Employment and labour exploitation

27 September: An NHS Digital analysis of 750,000 NHS staff salaries reveals that Black male doctors are paid on average nearly £10,000 less than white colleagues. (Guardian, 27 September 2018)

1 October: Lambeth Black Workers, a group of around twenty council workers ranging from junior to senior staff, write to Lambeth council accusing it of institutional racism. Complaints made by staff centre on racist comments and slurs, and inequality of access to jobs and flexible working. (Guardian, 1 October 2018)

Media and culture

30 September: Campaigners complain that local authorities are destroying the meaning and purpose of Black History Month, celebrated for over thirty years, by turning it into a celebration of ‘diversity’. (Guardian, 30 September 2018)

2 October: Ida Marie Muller, daughter of AfD politician Nicole Hochst, performs a poem widely condemned as racist to a 100-strong audience in Speyer, south-western Germany, as part of Speyer Youth council’s anti-racism initiative. (BBC, 2 October 2018) 

2 October:  An installation intended to throw a spotlight on migration, whose title reflects the numbers migrating (10,142,926 on the opening day), opens at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. (Frieze, 2 October 2018)

Violence and harassment: attacks on people

27 September: Police appeal for information after a man and a woman were racially abused, threatened with attack by two large dogs, punched and kicked, by a gang of five men and two women after leaving a supermarket in Gateshead, leaving both needing medical attention. (The Northern Echo, 27 September 2018)

2 October: Police appeal for information after two men were racially abused and assaulted, leaving one with minor injuries, by a man at a supermarket in Cambridge. (CambridgeLive, 2 October 2018)

10 October: Police appeal for information after a black woman in her forties allegedly racially abused and repeatedly hit an 18-year-old Asian teenager and tried to grab her headscarf in Bethnal Green. (East London advertiser, 10 October 2018)  

Violence and harassment: convictions

1 October: Jason Downs, 46, is convicted of racially aggravated assault and receives a community order and an order for compensation after racially abusing and spitting in the face of a supermarket worker who caught him stealing alcohol at a supermarket in Newcastle. (ChronicleLive, 1 October 2018)

3 October: Zack Boakye-Yiadom, 22, and Connor Ian James Maher, 22, are each fined for criminal assault after punching and kicking a man who had pushed and shouted racial abuse at them at the Weighbridge, Jersey. (Jersey Evening Post, 3 October 2018)

4 October: Lewis Carl Tolson, 27, pleads guilty to racially aggravated assault after racially abusing and assaulting a doorman who had escorted him out of a club in York for harassing women. (York Press, 4 October 2018)

5 October: Barbara Fielding-Morriss, 79, who was convicted of three counts of stirring up racial hatred in June after making racist and anti-Semitic blog posts between September 2016 and September 2017, is jailed for twelve months. She stood as an independent candidate for the city central constituency of Stoke-On-Trent during the 2017 election. (BBC News, 5 October 2018)

Violence and harassment: charges

28 September: Alan Merry, 33, is charged with ten offences, including racially aggravated assault, after two women report incidents that took place on 17 August in Colchester. (Daily Gazette, 28 September 2018)

Violence and harassment: attacks on property

26 September: Police appeal for information after a car with Polish number plates was set alight by a man in his 20s in Taunton, Somerset. Police are treating the alleged arson as racially motivated. (Somerset County Gazette, 26 September 2018)

Violence and harassment: online racism

3 October: For the second time in 24 hours, the UK Black History Month website is brought down by hackers. (Guardian, 3 October 2018)

Violence and harassment: research and statistics

2 October: A report by the Safer Newcastle Board reveals a 17 per cent increase in hate crimes, with three-quarters of the victims from black or Asian backgrounds. Newcastle City Council’s third party hate-crime reporting system came under heavy criticism for being outdated. (Chronicle Live, 2 October 2018)

8 October: A report published by The Executive Office shows that the number of racially motivated hate crimes has overtaken the number of sectarian hate crimes in Northern Ireland for the first time. Figures from the report reveal that 609 racially motivated hate crimes were recorded in 2017, compared with 576 sectarian hate crimes. (BelfastLive, 8 October 2018)

 

Thanks to Rajesh Bhattarcherjee and Ifhat Shaheen-Smith for helping compile this calendar.

Stealing C. L. R James

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 05:34

The October 2018 issue of Race & Class brings together pieces on racialising domestic violence, #Grime4Corybyn, the rebranding of C.L.R. James for a neoliberal era and memorial tributes to A. Sivanandan.

Jessica Perera, who is currently assisting research at the Institute of Race Relations, explores how Grime artists in the 2017 UK general election came out in support of Jeremy Corbyn, revealing how Grime is a more than a music genre and more a way of life giving cultural meaning. Chloe Patton, a lecturer in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University, Australia critically examines media coverage of the forced marriage debate in Australia, a discourse that overwhelmingly understands forced marriages as a problem of Islam, and that marginalises the experiences of women and service providers. And in a daring lead article, New York college teacher Jonathan Scott takes issue with the way that C. L. R. James is now being reinterpreted, and de-Marxified by some in the US academy.

Articles

Commentary 

Review article

Reviews

  • Urban rage: the revolt of the excluded by Mustafa DikeÇ (Parastou Saberi)
  • Incarcerating the Crisis: freedom struggles and the rise of the neoliberal state by Jordan Camp (Arun Kundnani)
  • The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale (Jasbinder S. Nijjar)
  • Lights in the Distance: Exile and refuge at the borders of Europe by Daniel Trilling (Frances Webber)
  • Voices from the ‘Jungle’: stories from the Calais refugee camp, edited by Marie Godin (Anya Edmond-Pettitt)
  • Kitch: a fictional biography of a calypso icon by Anthony Joseph (Chris Searle)

 

Related links

Follow Race & Class on Twitter and Facebook

Read What’s in name? Criminalising the unworthy

Read Stealing C. L. R. James

 

State racism, collusion and resistance

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 04:18

A two-day conference discussing the pervasive nature of racism, injustice and austerity in contemporary Britain and their impact on working class communities.

  • Saturday 13 October 2018, 9:45am – 5:15pm
  • Sunday 14 October 2018, 9:45am – 4:45pm

Speakers include:

  • Professor Gus John (Award winning writer, campaigner and consultant)
  • Liz Fekete (Director, Institute of Race Relations)
  • Stafford Scott (The Monitoring Group): The Government’s bogus war on gangs
  • Dr Omar Khan (Runnymede Trust): The May review on race disparity
  • David Lammy MP: The Lammy review
Related Links

Register for the event here

 

Web developer/designer needed

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 03:41

The IRR is looking for someone to help create a section of the website on the work of A. Sivanandan, who died in January.

To meet the renewed interest in learning about the life and works and method of anti-imperialist, anti-racist thinker/activist A. Sivanandan, the IRR is devoting a section of the website to his output from 1960s to 2010s. To date little of his contribution to the struggle has been digitised. This will make speeches, writings, audio and video from his many interventions available for the first time.

We are seeking someone or someones with experience of web design and/or development  to  work with IRR to create an exciting and welcoming site which would introduce him and his life’s work  – on colonialism, ‘blackness’, anti-racism, anti-fascism, technological change, globalisation, Sri Lanka, Tamil struggles – to new audiences.

If you have web creation experience and would be interested in such a project, please email: jenny@irr.org.uk

Calendar of racism and resistance (13 – 26 September)

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 03:38

A fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe.

Asylum and migration

6 September: The Spanish Congress of Deputies reinstalls access to healthcare for undocumented migrants, regardless of status. (ECRE, 14 September 2018)

12 September: Despite the efforts of British Conservative MEPs, the European parliament votes to trigger an article 7 procedure (the EU’s most serious disciplinary procedure) against Hungary, whose leader Victor Orbán claims that Hungary’s MEPs are being targeted for choosing not to be ‘a country of migrants’. (Guardian, 12 September 2018)

12 September: Aid agencies say that since 26 August and the clampdown on NGO vessels in central the Mediterranean, thousands of migrants and refugees risk dying as a result of no rescue ships operating on the main migration routes between north Africa and southern Europe. (Guardian, 12 September 2018)

12 September: David Lammy MP accuses the Home Office of reverting to type following the Windrush scandal, letting victims wait for four months for residence cards, suitable accommodation and the right to open a bank account. (Guardian, 12 September 2018)

13 September: The government announces it will give ‘Calais leave’ to children brought to the UK after the clearance of the Calais camp in October 2016 who did not qualify for refugee status. (Guardian, 13 September 2018)

13 September: Home Office statistics reveal that the average waiting time for an immigration appeal is ten months, and that between April and June 2018 the Home Office lost 52 per cent of them. (Free Movement, 13 September 2018)

13 September: The European Commission announces plans to increase the funding and powers of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (aka Frontex), which will increase the number of staff from 1,300 to 10,000 by 2020. (Ekathimerini, 13 September 2018)

14 September: The Ile-de-France area of France, which includes Paris, announces the creation of 1,200 accommodation places before the end of September for displaced people to stay whilst their applications are processed. (Info Migrants, 14 September 2018)

15 September: Speaking at a talk, Czech prime minister Andrej Babiz says that the Czech Republic will not take any refugees, without exceptions even in humanitarian cases. (N1, 15 September 2018)

15 September: At a conference on migration between the EU and several African countries, the interior ministers of Austria and Italy, Herbert Kickl and Matteo Salvini, present a plan in which displaced people crossing the Mediterranean would have to remain aboard the ships whilst their asylum claims and refugee status are processed. (Deutsche Welle, 15 September 2018)

16 September: German chancellor Angela Merkel and Austrian leader Sebastian Kurz agree to support a 10,000-man EU border force and to cooperate with African states to ‘stem migration flows’. (euobser, 17 September 2018)

16 September: More than 12,000 people in the German cities of Cologne, Dortmund and Gelsenkirchen protest for humane asylum and refugee policies and demand that the government ends deportations to Iraq and Afghanistan. (Deutsche Welle, WDR, 16 September 2018)

Migrants’ graveyard, Myteline, Lesbos, September 2016

17 September: As MSF calls for the emergency evacuation of all refugees at the Moria camp in Lesbos to the Greek mainland, a psychiatric expert  tells of unprecedented suffering due to mental health at the camp, with multiple cases of teenagers attempting suicide each week. (MSF press release, 17 September 2018)

17 September: Kweku Adoboli, sentenced in 2012 to seven years for a £1.8bn fraud, wins a last-minute stay on his deportation to Ghana, which he left at the age of 4. (Guardian, 17 September 2018)

19 September: Pew Research Center publishes survey results that show that the majority of Europeans favour taking in refugees and most disapprove of the way the EU has handled the issue. (FactTank, 19 September 2018)

19 September: The EU Rights Clinic accuses Sweden’s Migration Agency of breaking the law on family reunification, under which permits should be issued within six months, as Sweden’s enforced wait is closer to two years. (The Local, 19 September 2018)

20 September: Two French officials, Madjid Messaoudene (for Saint-Denis) and Thomas Portes (for Tarn-et-Garonne) are being sued by Generation Identity (GI) for comments made during the GI blockade of the Alps in April 2018, that include calling the group ‘Nazis’. (Liberation, 20 September, The Local, 21 April 2018)

21 September: An estimated 400 children, some as young as 10, have been refused citizenship for failing a ‘good character’ test, according to figures obtained through a freedom of information request. (Guardian, 21 September 2018)

24 September: Cabinet ministers agree a post-Brexit visa system based on wealth and skills, in which EU and non-EU workers would be treated the same. (Guardian, 24 September 2018)

24 September: The Soros Foundation sues the Hungarian Government at the European Court of Human Rights over the law that makes it illegal to assist asylum seekers. (Independent, 24 September 2018)

25 September: After Panama revokes the registration license of the Aquarius, the last private rescue ship operating in the Mediterranean, the French government refuses permission for fifty-eight migrants to disembark at Marseilles. (Guardian, 25 September 2018)

Police and criminal justice

13 September: The Crown Prosecution Service says that a number of Bedfordshire police officers and a member of police staff will not face prosecution for the death of Leon Briggs, who died after being restrained by police in 2013. (The Guardian, 13 September 2018)

14 September: The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) places ten Greater Manchester police officers under investigation in relation to the death in police custody of Andre Moura, a 30-year-old man originally from Portugal, found unresponsive in a police van after being sprayed with CS gas in July. (BBC News, 14 September 2018)

17 September: An investigation is launched into the death of 30-year-old Mesut Olgun, who died in hospital a week after he was injured whilst in custody at HMP Hewell in Worcestershire in June 2018. (BristolLive, 17 September 2018)

20 September: A Thames Valley police officer receives a written warning at a misconduct meeting after being found guilty of failing to properly observe Leroy Junior Medford, 43, who died in custody last year from an overdose of heroin. (Guardian, 20 September 2018)

21 September: The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirms that a 30-year-old man died in the custody of police after officers were called to a home in Bexeley Heath by those concerned about his welfare. (News Shopper, 21 September 2018)

23 September: The family of Sheku Bayoh, who died in police custody in Kircaldy, Scotland in 2015, express disbelief, after the Mail on Sunday suggests that an official investigation due to report next month will recommend that no police officers should face prosecution. (The Courier, 24 September 2018)

 

Anti-fascism and the far Right

12 September: The Italian prosecutor investigating deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini for the illegal detention of migrants, receives an envelope containing a bullet stamped with the symbol of a Gladius sword, a mark often used often by military groups close to far-right movements. (Guardian, 12 September 2018)

14 September: A court in Paris convicts two men described as ‘former skinheads’ for the murder of the 18-year-old anti-fascist activist Clement Méric in June 2013, sentencing Esteban Morillo to eleven years in prison and Samuel Dufour to seven years. (Guardian, 14 September 2018)

15 September: The far-right Football Lads Alliance attend a demonstration organised by Justice for Women and Children in Sunderland, against the local authority’s alleged lack of action against rape and child sexual offences, and are met by hundreds of counter-protesters. (Press TV, 15 September 2018)

16 September: UKIP leader Gerard Batten addresses a Democratic Football Lads Alliance rally in Sunderland, which later turned violent, telling them that the ‘political and media establishment’ has covered up the issue of ‘Muslim child grooming gangs’. (Sky News, 18 September 2018)

18 September: Journalists on the Greek island of Lesbos strike in protest at the harassment and threats they receive from far-right groups as they attempt to report fairly on the plight of refugees and migrants. (The Globe Post, 13 September 2018)

18 September: Hans-Georg Maaßen is removed from his post as head of Germany’s intelligence services, following his attempts to downplay the violence of the far Right at Chemnitz and revelations about meetings with Alternative for Germany. (Guardian, 19 September 2018)

 

Education

13 September: Fulham Boys School in London has conceded that its strict uniform policy amounts to indirect discrimination and has readmitted 12-year-old Chikayzea Flanders who was told on his first day that his dreadlocked hair had to be cut off or he would face suspension. (Guardian, 13 September 2018)

13 September: A French art college apologises for digitally manipulating a photograph of white students to make them look more diverse, to promote the college in the US. (Guardian, 13 September 2018)

21 September: Unicef research finds that all UK regions are failing in their duty to provide education for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in their care, with a quarter of secondary and further education students waiting more than three months for a place, and some up to a year. (Guardian, 21 September 2018)

22 September: Glasgow University launches a ‘reparative justice programme’ after a report shows that it benefitted to the tune of £200 million (in today’s money) from the proceeds of slavery. (Guardian, 22 January 2018)

Media and culture

18 September: Denmark’s public service broadcasting’s new contract with the Danish Ministry of Culture states that programming must make clear that Danish society has its ‘roots in Christianity’. (The Local, 18 September 2018)

Discrimination and equalities

14 September: A report by BrexitLawNI warns of the risks Brexit poses to human rights and equality protections in Northern Ireland and suggests that dividing British and Irish citizens will increase racial profiling. Read the report here.

17 September: Local authority ‘predictive analytics’ algorithmic systems designed to predict child abuse risk are ‘accidentally incorporating and perpetuating discrimination against minorities’, the Guardian warns. (Guardian, 17 September 2018)

21 September: Several Danish mayors say that if a new citizenship bill, denying citizenship to anyone who does not shake the mayor’s hand at a naturalisation ceremony, passes into law they will defy it, as it targets Muslims and violates freedom of religion, a constitutional right. (Guardian, 20 September 2018)

23 September: The Swiss region of St Gallen votes in favour of prohibiting all face-covering garments in public places, a decision that local Islamic organisations have called Islamophobic. (Al jazeera, 23 September 2018)

Health

13 September: Campaigners from the North East London Save Our NHS group protest against plans by Barts Health, the biggest NHS trust in London, to introduce identity checks on all patients that are unable to assure staff that they have lived in the UK for the past twelve months. (Evening Standard, 13 September 2018)

 

Counter-terrorism

13 September: Home Office statistics reveal that white suspects account for 38 per cent of terror-related arrests, followed by those of Asian appearance at 37 per cent. While ‘Islamists’ make up 82 per cent of terrorist prisoners, the next largest category at 13 per cent is of far-right prisoners, with the number increasing from ten to twenty-eight in the last year. (The Independent, 13 September 2018)

20 September: A 19-year-old man is arrested by counter-terrorism police after far-right graffiti and fly-posters were daubed on buildings in Cardiff. (BBC News, 20 September 2018)

20 September: Counter-terrorism police confirm that two 15-year-old boys arrested at their homes in Kent are suspected of preparing far-right inspired terrorist acts. (BBC News, 21 September 2018)

22 September: Counter-terrorism police carry out raids on the homes of pro-Khalistani British Sikhs around the UK, seizing cash and electronic devices, as part of a coordinated operation targeting suspects accused of  involvement in ‘extremist activity in India and money laundering’. (Huffington Post, 22 September 2018)

Sport

21 September: Adam Gough, 25, is fined £300 and banned from attending football games for three years after admitting to racially abusing Southampton Football Club vice-captain Ryan Bertrand as they played Arsenal last season. (Basingstoke Gazette, 21 September 2018)

Electoral politics

12 September: Jewish and Muslim groups criticise Tory MEPs for voting with Victor Orbán’s government against a vote of censure by the European Parliament, for Hungary’s policies weakening constitutional democracy and violating the human rights of Roma, asylum seekers and refugees. (Guardian, 13 September 2018)

20 September: Italy’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, sues black MEP Cécile Kyenge for defamation after she calls his League party racist in response to a photograph posted on social media by a League politician that depicted her as an orangutan. (Guardian, 20 September 2018).

Violence and harassment: attacks

17 September: An 18-year-old man and two boys aged 16 and 17 are arrested after a man in his 30s was injured in an alleged racist attack in East Belfast. (BelfastLive, 17 September 2018)

19 September: Police appeal for information after two men (who had later to be hospitalised) and a woman were racially abused, punched, kicked and attacked with bottles by a group of up to six men in their late 30s to early 40s, when passing by Turbo Island in Stokes Croft, Bristol. (Bristol Post, 19 September 2018)

18 September: A 22-year-old Asian man is racially abused and attacked by three men, suffering cuts and bruises to his face, whilst walking along College Street in Aberdeen. (Evening Express, 18 September 2018)

18 September: Police appeal for information after a man racially abused, punched and threw furniture at a member of staff in a pub in Northampton. (Northants Telegraph, 18 September 2018)

19 September: Three people are injured by a car, which ploughed into a crowd outside Al-Majlis Al-Hussaini centre in north London ‘in a deliberate attempt to hurt or kill people in Islamic dress’, after volunteers and stewards at the centre were allegedly subjected to racist and Islamophobic abuse. (Guardian, 19 September 2018)

23 September: Paul Sande, a Malawian student at Dorset College, was hospitalised with a fractured skull after being punched in an alleged racist attack on the Luas in Dublin. His sister has started a GoFundMe  page to help pay for her brother’s hospital bills and rent whilst he recovers. (Independent.ie, 23 September 2018)

Violence and harassment: convictions

10 September: A 41-year-old man, is jailed for multiple offences, including racially aggravated assault, for abusing and attacking a security guard and passerby after being caught stealing in a shop in Gloucester. (GloucesterLive, 10 September 2018)

11 September: A 47-year-old woman , is fined and given a community order after admitting to carrying out a racially aggravated assault. (News and Star, 11 September 2018)

17 September: Stephen Bracher, a 56-year-old man with racist and homophobic views, is sentenced to over three years in jail for making bombs and stockpiling weapons, including crossbows and knives in his home in Bishop’s Tawton. (Guardian, 18 September 2018)

 

Thanks to Rajesh Bhattarcherjee and Ifhat Shaheen-Smith for helping compile this calendar.

 

What is in a name? Criminalising the unworthy

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 03:07

How labels serve to justify and normalise the worst of the EU’s migration practices.

The expansive catalogue of terminologies – refugees, displaced, migrants, asylum seekers, expelled, stateless, repatriated, returned, illegal, unauthorised, undocumented, irregular – has not, according to Tazreena Sajjad at the Global Governance, Politics and Security Program at the American University in Washington, DC, indicated a broadening of the humanitarian safety-net to recognise drivers of displacement. It has instead ‘reinforced the power of the state to create systems of hierarchy, making hyper-visible those who have transgressed a range of boundaries, and violated the natural order of the state-citizen relationship’.

 The politics of labelling and the concomitant criminalisation and securitisation of migration in Europe undermines the protection framework for the globally displaced, and assists in their dehumanisation and legitimates actions against them. Narratives which hierarchise ‘worthiness’, are limited in their reflection of the complex realities that force people to seek refuge. Simultaneously, the labels, and the discourse of which they are part, make it possible for Europe to deny asylum claims and expedite deportations while being globally accepted as a human rights champion.

In ‘What’s in a name? “Refugees”, “migrants” and the politics of labelling’ published in the October issue of Race & Class, the author warns against the naturalisation of violent border practices by states, which depend on the presumed ‘guilt’ of the outsider being ‘inferred from punishment’ – a matter which is becoming increasingly accepted and acceptable as the norm.  The politics of labels, and Orientalist ‘othering’ in EU migration policy, in the past used to legitimise colonisation and domination, are now used to legitimise incarceration and deportation.

 

Related links

Read ‘What’s in a name? “Refugees”, “migrants” and the politics of labelling’ here.

Solidarity with the Stansted Defendants

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 07:23

Day of action at Chelmsford Crown Court to express solidarity with the ‘Stansted 15’ who grounded a deportation charter flight and have been charged with a terrorism related offence.

  • Monday 1 October 2018, 8.30am
  • At Chelmsford Crown Court, New Street, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1EL

 

Related links

Solidarity with Stansted defendants

Donate to trial-related costs here

 

Empire Windrush, Notting Hill and the importance of archives

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 09:06

The coordinator of the IRR’s Black History Collection digs deep into the archive and shows how public opinion is constructed

For reasons that are deeply contradictory, the Caribbean community in Britain has been at the forefront in media and parliamentary debate this summer. Its contribution to British society was rightly highlighted and praised in the many 70th anniversary celebrations of the Empire Windrush exhibitions and talks. One of which, the exhibition at the British Library, was heavily informed by the Institute of Race Relations’ Black History Collection. But it was also revealed that  the governments’ hostile environment immigration policies have led to unemployment, homelessness, deportation and even death amongst the Windrush generation, who, because of the  Home Office’s relentless pursuit of ‘illegals’ were placed in the precarious position of having to ‘prove’ their  status.

From Empire Windrush to the Notting Hill ‘race riots’

What this summer and the celebrations of the Empire Windrush have shown is that there is much of the Caribbean British story that is known and just as much that is unknown. There have been articles exploring how the very term ‘Windrush’ has not been commonly used to describe the community until this year and this scandal.  It has been known that the Empire Windrush docked in ’48 but it was unknown that Beryl Gilroy (mother of historian and cultural studies analyst Paul Gilroy) was the first black head teacher in London. Similarly, Notting Hill Carnival is famous, for right-wing commentators infamous, but how much today’s festival links to the horrendous events that gave birth to it is most usually absent from discussion, in the mainstream media at least.

The Notting Hill riots occurred in London at the end of August 1958, just ten years after the Empire Windrush docked. The ‘riots’ occurred over a few weeks in a few streets in west London after self-styled ‘Teddy Boys’ attacked members of the newly settled West Indian community and although they weren’t the only riots to happen that summer, there were also riots in Nottingham, nor the first anti-black riots, they are certainly the ones that has gone down in history.

This history, the media representations of events at the time and community activism can all be seen in the Institute of Race Relations’ Black History Collection that has a unique collection of posters, leaflets, flyers, newspaper cuttings, campaign materials and more than 160 journals from black community and grassroots groups in the anti-racist struggle from the 1950s to 1980s.

Investigating mainstream media attitudes

In here you can see newspaper cuttings from the days following the riots in both Notting Hill and Nottingham that occurred in late summer 1958 showing those who were arrested and charged as well as ‘public opinion’, or at least the mainstream media’s interpretation. There are articles from the Times on 25 August that speak of black men ‘running wild’ in Nottingham and attacking white couples returning from an evening out. In the article no black people have been interviewed. It is only white couples and predominantly white women and it is not until the end of the article that the hostility of the white population to the ‘many coloured people in the area’ is even mentioned.

There is also a short article in the same newspaper on 26 August that describes the charging of ‘nine young men’ in London with ‘unlawfully and maliciously wounding a coloured man with intent to cause grievous bodily harm’. No bail was set due to the serious injuries sustained by those they attacked. But this incident, which does not refer to the young perpetrators’ colour,  is one that is remembered today as the acts of a group of white working class ‘Teddy Boys’ who went on a rampage, ‘n**ger hunting’ that evening. The reserve and restraint with which their actions are described in the Times goes a long way to showing the reader the common feelings in the immediate aftermath of events.

On the other hand, there are also newspaper clippings from the Daily Express and the News Chronicle that show mug shots of the white men charged with the violent attacks in Notting Hill, in which the Judge presiding over the case calls the actions ‘grave and brutal crimes’ and a ‘cruel and vicious manhunt’. At a time when society is beginning to re-examine itself, through the re-emergence of disregarded histories and sustained critical interrogation of the media, the Black History Collection and other such archives are so important. For they give the younger generation, my generation, an opportunity to discover what we didn’t know, see how things were and learn from them.

Calendar of racism and resistance (30 August – 12 September)

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 03:17

A fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe.

Asylum and migration

21, 28 August: Three volunteers with the Emergency Response Center International (ECRI), including German-based Syrian refugee Sarah Mardini, are arrested on Lesbos and in Athens on charges of facilitating illegal entry for profit, having advance notice of smuggler routes and illegal monitoring of coastguard traffic. (InfoMigrants, 30 August 2018)

29 August: The Joint Committee on Human Rights reveals that the Home Office contract with Capita for removals included a bonus of 2.5 per cent for exceeding the target; the bonus rose to 12.5 per cent if removals exceeded the target by 10 per cent. (Guardian, 29 August 2018)

29 August: The House of Commons Library publishes a briefing on Immigration detention: an overview, read the summary and report here. (House of Commons Library, 29 August 2018)

29 August: The House of Commons Library publishes a report on The Right to Rent: private landlords’ duty to carry out immigration status checks. Read the summary and report here. (House of Commons Library, 29 August 2018)

2 September: Around 20,000 people march through Berlin and Hamburg under the banner of the Sea Bridge rights group, demanding that Germany’s ports are opened to stranded migrant refugee ships in the Mediterranean. (Deutsche Welle, 2 September 2018)

3 September: The proportion of refugees and displaced people dying in the voyage across the Mediterranean has risen sharply, according to a report from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. From January to July 2018, over 1,600 people died, at least 1,000 of them in the Central Mediterranean, equating to one death for every 18 arrivals, compared with one death to 42 arrivals in 2017. (UNHCR, 3 September 2018)

3 September: A Freedom of Information response reveals that the Home Office loses three-quarters of its final appeals against judicial decisions granting migrants permission to stay on asylum or human rights grounds. (Guardian, 3 September 2018)

4 September: Information disclosed in a judicial review shows that Home Office ministers vetoed a pay rise for immigration detainees doing menial work to £1.15 an hour from £1 an hour, a rate which has remained unchanged for ten years. (Guardian, 4 September 2018)

4 September: Families of three Windrush immigrants who died in Jamaica after being wrongly deported from the UK will be able to claim compensation, immigration minister Caroline Nokes tells the House of Commons. (Guardian, 4 September 2018)

5 September: The Tunisian Fishermen Association of Zarzis protests to the Italian embassy in Tunis after six Tunisian fishermen are arrested and imprisoned in Sicily after towing a vessel in distress with fourteen migrants on board to safety, twenty-three miles from the coast of Italian island Lampedusa. (Guardian, 5 September 2018)

6 September: Some Windrush victims are still homeless, destitute, unable to open a bank account, draw a pension or work, five months after the government apology for their plight, they tell officials at a fact-finding ‘roadshow’. (Guardian, 6 September 2018)

6 September: A two-year pilot government scheme to grant visas to 2,500 agricultural workers a year from spring 2019 is criticised as not enough to bridge the Brexit gap by farmers and fruit growers, who employ 60,000 workers a year, mostly from eastern Europe. (Guardian, 6 September 2018)

6 September: The first human-trafficking case in Belgium, of twelve Belgians including two journalists charged with human trafficking, begins in Brussels. A solidarity protest attracts 150 people. (RTBF, 6 September 2018)

10 September: Damien Carême, the mayor of Grande-Synthe, France, writes to the prime minister asking for the opening of several small reception centres along the coast in the wake of yet another failed ‘removal’ of refugees. The Dunkirk ‘Jungle’ was cleared on 6 September but refugees are congregating again. Carême says if nothing is done before winter, he will assume the responsibility as mayor. (France Bleu, 10 September 2018)

10 September: The United Nations is sending human rights teams to Italy to investigate the sharp increase in acts of violence and racism against migrants, people of African descent and Roma people. (The Local, 10 September 2018) 

11 September: The crew of Sea-Watch 3 writes an open letter to the prime minister of Malta holding him and the government responsible for detaining their vessel for two months ‘without legal justification and rather on a merely political basis’. (Sea Watch, 11 September 2018)

Policing and criminal justice

28 August: A report by the centre-right think-tank Centre for Social Justice calls for an increase in the use of stop-and-search to curb the ‘toxic cycle of violence’ in London. (BBC News, 28 August 2018)

Anti-fascism and the far Right 

30 August: A far-right demonstration in the German city of Chemnitz draws an estimated 2,000 people. AfD and Pegida say they are marching to ‘mourn Daniel H and the others killed by Germany’s forced multiculturalism’. (Reuters, 31 August 2018)

31 August: In Worcester, anti-fascist counter-protesters far outnumber members of the English Defence League which called its second demonstration in the city against plans  to build a mosque. (Worcester News, 1 September 2018)

31 August: Far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders cancels his ‘Muhammed cartoons’ competition so as, he say, ‘to avoid the risk of victims of Islamic violence’. (Guardian, 31 August 2018)

1 September: Police use water cannon to disperse an AfD/Pegida anti-migrant rally and a ‘Show a Heart Not Hatred’ pro-refugee counter-rally in Chemnitz, Germany.  (Deutsche Welle, 2 September 2018)

4 September: The trial of three men accused of the 2013 killing of French anti-fascist student Clément Méric begins in Paris, with the defence arguing that the accused acted in self-defence and are no longer members of any far-right group. (Guardian, 4 September 2018)

5 September: Czech and Slovakian intelligence services warn of the risks posed by armed anti-migrant militias after a paramilitary base with tanks and armoured personnel carriers is discovered in Slovakia. (euobserver, 5 September 2018)

7 September: The Belgian national broadcaster VRT reveals that the Flemish nationalist group Schild en Vreinden has closed online discussion groups rife with anti-Semitic hate speech and is planning to take over the Flemish Youth Council and stand in local elections for the New Flemish Alliance, Belgium’s most popular party. (The Telegraph, 7 September 2018)

8 September: Le Monde reveals that the far-right Operational Forces Action Group (OFA) in France, the subject of an undercover police operation, was planning to attack mosques with grenades and poison halal meat, before police made thirteen arrests, with some of the suspects, including its leader, from a police or military background. (The National, 8 September 2018)

10 September: Several investigations into incitement to hatred are launched after far-right protesters at a rally to mark the death of a German man in a street fight with Afghans in Köthen, Saxony-Anhalt, chant neo-Nazi slogans. One speaker said, ‘we must defend ourselves in the race war against the German people’. (Guardian, 11 September 2018)

Media and culture

7 September: The official summary issued by Tower Hamlets of the final judgement in the so-called ‘Muslim fostering’ case reveals distortions and omissions in the Times’ coverage of the placing of a young girl with Muslim foster parents in Tower Hamlets in August 2017. Read the official summary here. (Byline, 7 September 2018)

7 September: At the Venice film festival post-screening conference, documentary-maker Errol Morris’ new film American Dharma is widely condemned for giving an uncritical platform to Donald Trump’s former alt-right advisor Steve Bannon and for normalising the far Right. (Geo TV, 7 September 2018) 

9 September: After Belgium’s only black TV presenter Cécile Djunga posts an emotional recording on Facebook describing the racist abuse and colonial attitudes thrown at her by the public, Le Soir and RTVB promise to do more to increase diversity and ethnic minority representation. (Guardian, 9 September 2018)

Electoral politics

7 September: Allen Keyte, chairman of the Conservative Party branch in Bishop’s Cleeve and former county councillor, is suspended after sharing posts made by Britain First on Facebook. (GloucestershireLive, 7 September 2018)

9 September: In the Swedish general election, the far-right Sweden Democrats emerge as the third largest party, with 17.6 per cent of the vote. (Guardian, 10 September 2018)

Violence and harassment: attacks on people

29 August: In the east German town of Wismar, a 20-year-old migrant is beaten with an iron chain by three attackers in violence linked to events in Chemnitz. (Reuters, 30 August 2018)

30 August: Police appeal for information after a 34-year-old man is arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated assault and affray after allegedly punching one man in the face and hitting another with a piece of wood in Bury St Edmunds. (Bury Free Press, 30 August 2018)

31 August: Madekah Simpson, 23, launches a petition calling for transport firms to keep CCTV footage for thirty days, attracting 140,000 signatures, after she alleges that police dropped their investigation into a racist attack that took place against her in central London in March due to lack of CCTV evidence. (BBC News, 29 August 2018)

Violence and harassment: attacks on property

31 August: Anti-Semitic graffiti and swastikas are daubed on a towpath between Chiswick Bridge and Kew Bridge in Richmond. (Richmond & Twickenham Times, 31 August 2018)

9 September: In the third act of vandalism on The List, the words ‘invaders not refugees’ are daubed on the memorial in Liverpool to the 34,361 migrants and refugees who have died since 1993. (The Independent, 9 September 2018)

9 September: The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany reveals that neo-Nazis attacked a kosher restaurant in Chemnitz, eastern Germany in August and condemns the ‘obvious efforts of constitutional authorities to trivialise these incidents’. (Deutsche Welle, 9 September 2018)

Violence and harassment: convictions

30 August: Mark Warren, 42, is jailed for eight months for racially abusing, physically assaulting and threatening to stab a shop manager after being confronted for stealing at a hardware shop in Dundee. (Evening Telegraph, 30 August 2018)

31 August: Richard Wheeldon, 18, is given a suspended jail sentence and ordered to carry out community service and pay compensation after racially abusing, punching and kicking staff at a pub in Wisbech, Peterborough when confronted for stealing a pint of beer. (Peterborough Today, 31 August 2018)

3 September: Samuel Cook, 41, is jailed for ten months after racially abusing and grabbing a 16-year-old boy by the throat in a kebab shop in Edenbridge, Kent in March 2018. (KentOnline, 3 September 2018)

5 September: Darren Maddocks, 43, pleads guilty to racially aggravated public order offences and is given a suspended sentence for racially abusing and threatening his neighbours in Doncaster, resulting in them having to move house. (Doncaster Free Press, 5 September 2018)

6 September: Rita Heaton, 62, is given an injunction order for racially abusing and threatening to kill her neighbour’s children. (24 Housing, 6 September 2018)

7 September: John Mark, 37, is fined and ordered to pay compensation for racially abusing and threatening to stab a British Asian man inside a supermarket in Newcastle. (ChronicleLive, 7 September 2018)

 

Society in black and white

Wed, 09/12/2018 - 06:18

A review of a publication on The Stars Campaign for Interracial Friendship, which arose to combat racism after the 1958 anti-black ‘riots’.

What a welcome job of historical recovery this pamphlet is. The community resistance to the Notting Hill and Nottingham anti-black race riots of August 1958 are well known. Much, much less well known is The Stars Campaign for Interracial Friendship (SCIF). But this brief little-acknowledged  struggle deserves a place in the history of resistance to British racism.

Who now remembers that Cleo Laine and her late husband, John Dankworth, were both founding members of SCIF? Who knows that many famous people in the music and entertainment business supported SCIF? For that matter, how many people knew about SCIF in the late 1950s? As Blackman explains, he couldn’t ‘find massive SCIF gigs in 1958 or 1959, not because they didn’t happen, but because they couldn’t happen … not only was the television in black and white, but so was society.’

While British racism of the 1950s had, like today, a violent street manifestation and an institutional component, both were much more accepted then. In the ten years between the ship The Windrush arriving in 1948 and 1958, an estimated 125,000 West Indians arrived in England and faced overt discrimination over housing and jobs. Every-day insults and street attacks in areas such as Notting Hill in London where people lived, were common. As Blackman reminds us, in the course of the 1950s, attempts by fascist movements to reinvigorate themselves through promoting and organising such hostility and attacks, grew. What is new about his account is locating the SCIF in the midst of such overt  racism.

‘The music industry in Britain had, soon after the end of World War Two, given voice to anti-racism.’ As early as 1947 the Musicians’ Union (MU) resolved that it would oppose the colour bar wherever it appeared, and was one of the first organisations to demand a boycott of apartheid in South Africa. Partly through MU initiatives over racism in dance halls, and ‘after a sustained campaign, the colour bar was lifted in Mecca ballrooms in: Nottingham, Birmingham, Streatham and Sheffield on 16th Oct 1958’.

The MU had influenced the earlier prompt reaction to the August Bank Holiday riots from the music industry. Just a day after the trouble had finally subsided, a statement signed by twenty-seven entertainment industry celebrities appeared on the front page of Melody Maker 5 September 1958:

At a time when reason has given way to violence in parts of Britain, we, the people of all races in the world of entertainment, appeal to the public to reject racial discrimination in any shape of form. Violence will settle nothing: it will only cause suffering to innocent people and create fresh grievances. We appeal to our audiences everywhere to join us in opposing any and every aspect of colour prejudice wherever it may appear.

Later that month Stars Campaign for Interracial Friendship was formed as a loose association, with support from a wide range of performers from Lawrence Olivier and Ronnie Scott to Tommy Steele. One of its first actions was the distribution in jazz clubs in the West End and Notting Hill area of an illustrated broadsheet, What The Stars Say.  The ‘strategy would be to organise around the single issue of racism and use the ‘celebrity’ of its members to promote racial harmony’.

By early 1959, even as the far Right continued to build, regular social /musical gatherings were being organised through ‘The Harmony Club’ and ‘Skiffle Cellar’. ‘However tame these events may now seem, for 1959 it was ground-breaking. The colour bar was being openly challenged and music was at the heart of it.’ In addition, through its celebrity links, SCIF was able to reach and influence not only musical paper readers but millions of TV viewers too, as they sought to make ‘racism unattractive and unpopular by suggestion’. Despite its small size, Blackman sees SCIF’s public opposition to racism as having a widespread influence like no other organisation at the time.

Though SCIF didn’t survive long as an organisation, Blackman sees its immediate legacy in the first Carnival, in January 1959 in St Pancras Town Hall. The famous left-wing Black activist, Claudia Jones, was both a leading member of SCIF and was a key organiser of that Carnival. She remains a key historical figure prominent for founding the pioneering West Indian Gazette in 1958, and much more. By drawing attention to her as a link between the SCIF and anti-racist campaigning and Carnival, this book provides yet another insight into this neglected episode in the history of anti-racism in Britain.

Stealing C. L. R. James

Wed, 09/12/2018 - 06:06

One of the most influential black Marxist thinkers of the twentieth century is now being rebranded for the neoliberal era.

In a very daring article in Race & Class (October 2018) New York college teacher Johnathan Scott, author of Socialist Joy in the writing of Langston Hughes, takes issue with the way that C. L. R. James is now being reinterpreted, and de-Marxified by some in the US academy. In ‘The Americanisation of C. L. R. James’ Scott sees how

the sudden and surprising embrace and canonisation of James during the 1980s and 1990s by the US academy, in the newly founded disciplines of Africana Studies, cultural studies and postcolonial studies, [is] a standard case of anti-Marxist Americanisation … Its hallmark is the argument that there is no such thing as US imperialism and that American capitalism provides people an exciting new world of unlimited possibility.

The author shows how seminal The Black Jacobins (1938) and Beyond a Boundary (1963) were for key figures in the decolonisation movement such as George Padmore, Eric Williams and Jomo Kenyatta and how they went on to open the door for Walter Rodney’s and Eduardo Galeano’s theorising and the conceptualising of self-determination.

He reminds us that though James made it clear how much he owed to Trotsky’s The History of the Russian Revolution and Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire, the new James scholar ‘repudiate Marxism, social democratic politics and Left Hegelian critique’ and the Enlightenment as Eurocentric in their rebranding exercise. Textuality has replaced wide-ranging analysis, Marxist theorising is being posed as contradictory to Pan-Africanist theory – when of course it was not so for its founding practitioners.

In critiquing a wide range of influential theoretical approaches to James’ work, the author relates current interpretations of it to the wider political and cultural climate engendered by neoliberalism, with its emphasis on the individual not as a historical agent, but as primarily concerned with self-fashioning and cultural identity.

 

Related links:

Read the ‘Americanisation of C. L. R. James’ now for free.

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Anti-racism and progressive values

Fri, 09/07/2018 - 04:12

Below we reproduce the speech given by human rights lawyer Frances Webber to the meeting ‘Confronting Racism in the UK: a return to collective principles’, organised by the Monitoring Group at Conway Hall on 6 September.

I very much welcome the opportunity to speak here today, because there has been a long history of progressive anti-racist, anti-imperial struggle in this country – in which, it goes without saying, Jewish organisations and people have played a very full role, with their (our) long experience of fighting anti-Semitism woven into the struggle.

The way that the media and politicians are discussing issues of racism today divorces anti-racism from the progressive fight based on the expansion of justice among all oppressed groups, and in doing so, makes a mockery of that history and the principles we fought for.

In a small way, I have been connected to that history, through my involvement since the late 1960s, not just with the IRR and through my work as a lawyer, but with legal defence campaigns, such as the Bradford 12 defence campaign and the Southall 342; with refugee and migrant organisations such as the Commission for Filipino Migrant Workers and the Refugee Forum; in Women in Black, a group of Jewish women protesting the killings of Palestinian children; Women Against Racism and Fascism – and as a proud member of the CARF collective.

How we built unity in the fight against racism

It took thirty years to convince the establishment that racism was not a matter of individual prejudice or xenophobia, but an issue of structural and institutional racism. As is by now well known, the acknowledgement finally came with the Macpherson inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence and the Met police investigation of it, but many, many campaigns against racist violence and deaths in police custody preceded that. In all those campaigns we strove to build unity in the fight against racism. But in doing so we accepted that not everyone’s experience of racism was the same – colour, class, gender, sexuality, religion mark you out in different ways as more vulnerable to racism. So Sivanandan’s saying that there were two racisms, ‘the racism that discriminates, and the racism that kills’ was a very important organising principle.

In the 1980s and ‘90s, in the face of refugee movements and the ‘Fortress Europe’ policies designed to keep them out of Europe, the experience of refugees and exiles became more central to the anti racist movement. They were the most vulnerable communities, not only rightless and precarious, prey to politicians playing the race card, but also with no common language and only the commonality of their experience to unite them  An understanding of the experience of refugees and exiles has been vital to the anti-racist movement, and the Palestinian refugee issue is one of the burning issues of our times. Perhaps no more so than now.

Manipulating issues of anti-racism

In our fight, politicians from mainstream political parties, with a few notable exceptions, have seldom allied themselves with what used to be the progressive cause of anti racism. For the most part, politicians only joined us when causes were ‘winnable’.  The Labour  party has not been sympathetic to the anti-racist cause – quite the reverse, from its Commonwealth Immigrants Act of 1968, which removed settlement rights from UK citizens from Asia, to New Labour which sowed the seeds of the ‘hostile environment’ by cracking down on asylum seekers, building more immigration prisons, and overseeing more deportations. New Labour’s anti-terrorism provisions established in effect a separate criminal justice system for Muslims based on suspicion and risk, rather than guilt, and its punitive criminal justice legislation further criminalised young Black people – even while the Macpherson inquiry acknowledged institutional racism in the police.

What we face today is a media circus, where politicians are manipulating issues of anti-racism, speaking out as though they were anti-racists, when over the years they have been responsible for the structures and the laws that now imprison, demonise and stigmatise BAME communities.

Lessons ignored, struggle debased

The debate over the IHRA definition in the media and within the political establishment completely ignores the lessons from the struggle against racism. And that is what the IRR sought to draw attention to in its evidence to the Chakrabarti inquiry – the debasing of the anti-racist progressive struggle.

Ironically, it was Macpherson’s definition of a racist incident as one perceived as racist by the victim – a definition which sought to address and remedy the institutional racism of police who refused to take racist violence seriously, which has compounded the confusion. Of course Macpherson meant that the perception of the victim was the starting point of any investigation into a crime. What he did not mean was to allow anyone who claimed the status of victim, to define a crime and to refuse all investigation, insisting that as victim, they have the last word. That is not justice.

Racism impacts on different communities at different times in different ways. But anti-racism, the fight against injustice, cannot be differential, exclusive or sectional. It must be inclusive, opening people out to others’ oppression. Above all, it cannot create further injustice.

Still The Heart of the Race, thirty years on

Thu, 09/06/2018 - 06:46

A seminal radical black feminist text, first published in 1985, which tells the story of black women’s experiences in Britain, has now been republished by Verso, at a time when we need it more than ever.

Born out of anti-colonial, feminist politics and black solidarity, young generations of activists have much to learn from The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain – about our history of anti-racism, the praxis of organising and a commitment to working collectively against racism and sexism.

From 1985 to 2018

Reading the book more than thirty years after it was first published, it is still (depressingly) as relevant as ever. As Lola Okolsie reminds us in the opening foreward to this new edition, ‘the struggles succinctly captured in The Heart of the Race continue to plague black communities in the twenty-first century’:

‘Black Caribbean and mixed white/black Caribbean pupils are three times more likely to face permanent exclusion from school…three quarters of young black men… have their DNA profiles in the Police’s national DNA database…unemployment rates among black women have continued to be consistently higher than for their white counterparts…most of the children living above the forth floor of England’s tower blocks are black or Asian.’

© New Beacon Books

But at the book launch at New Beacon Books last week, there was a sense of hope, urgency and a feeling of having the collective power to change the world. All three authors, Beverly Bryan, Stella Dadzie and Suzanne Scafe were leading the discussion, chaired by Michelle Asantewa, co-founder of Way Wive Wordz, with a packed audience of both young and old, including Althea LeCointe, who was a leader of the British Black Panther Movement.

The collective ‘we’

Organised into five chapters on women and work, women in education, women in health and housing, the history of women’s organising and questions of identity, the structure of the book is born out of discussions held by the Organisation of Women of Asian and African Descent (OWAAD), which all three authors were part of.

OWAAD was an umbrella organisation that campaigned from 1978-1982 on issues including immigration, domestic violence, policing, and health. The voices of many of the women involved with OWAAD and other community organisations such as Brixton Black Women’s Group were part of the collective effort to create the book – ‘the voices of Black women who have suffered because of racist and discriminatory practices in this country speak on every page’.

Images of OWAAD’s newsletter from IRR’s Black History Collection.

The Heart of the Race did not set out to be a seminal text, it was written by and for a community of women to tell their own story, ‘to give black women a voice when we had no voice’. The collective ‘we’ that speaks throughout the book is not only the voices of the authors and the women interviewed, but, as Suzanne Scafe noted at the book launch, ‘all the women that the book speaks to are also part of the book’.

Making clear the politics of solidarity that was rooted in an anti-colonial, anti-imperialist framework, the book shows how the commonality of experiences of imperialism and colonialism brought people together to fight a common cause. Racism comes in many forms, whether it be being subjected to virginity testing, as was the case for Asian women on arrival to the UK in the 1970s, or the administration of the contraceptive Depo-Provera (which can have serious long-term side-effects) to black women in the UK, the US and Third World countries ‘in the interests of controlling the numbers of “unwanted” black babies’, Asian and black women were united (and continue to unite) in the fight against racism and sexism.

‘It wasn’t about the individual, it was about working together’, academic Heidi Safia Mirza notes in the afterword of the new edition. Beverly Bryan echoed this at the book launch, ‘it’s not about the personal, it’s about the issue’.

 

‘Gains made are always momentary’

The issues the book raises are very much alive, and in many cases, the impact of state racism has intensified. But what has changed, as Stella Dadzie notes in an interview with the authors printed in the new edition, is that ‘you’ve got more visibility at the other end of the spectrum… more black women who are deemed to have made it’:

‘It’s as if people have lost sight of the class struggle. Yet if you look at women who are at the bottom of society, they’re still there, they’re still predominately black, they’re still dispossessed and they’re still…coping with the same old issues.’

What struck me when reading the book is the extent to which the conditions of oppression for people ‘on the margins’ – but who are fundamental to the working of society – have stayed the same. ‘Black women are still in unregulated jobs, still working in the caring stream without permanent contracts. Many of them are undocumented workers on zero-hour contracts they have no rights at all’, notes Suzanne. In many ways the conditions remain the same in 2018, but have shifted to affect an expanded group of people, mainly migrant women.

The chapter, ‘The Uncaring Arm of the State’ reveals the historical origins of racism in health and welfare systems. ‘We are today witnessing a growing erosion of our individual right to confidentiality’ in terms of health records, welfare and social security data, ‘hospitals now record our medical history and our immigration status’’ It’s chilling reading this now, when data sharing has intensified through ‘hostile environment’ policies, which are increasingly turning doctors into border guards.

@aaamall via Twitter

As state racism intensifies, so does the resistance, and the countless campaigns that have developed since the book’s genesis sprung to mind as I read it. The chapter ‘Learning to Resist’ exposes institutional racism in schools and particularly school exclusions that ‘entrench our position at the bottom of the ladder of employability’. The same structures exist today, but resistance has sprung up in new forms. Education not Exclusion put up ‘school to prison line’ posters on the Northern line on GCSE results day, a recent ad-hack which demonstrates the different ways young people are harnessing powers of design and social media to affect change.

© New Beacon Books

The Heart of the Race gives a huge amount of insight into black women’s agency and activism in British history, and what we as young activists can learn from it. It underscores how black feminism must look beyond our own backyard and connect to global issues impacting black and brown women across the world. The anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist grounding is still urgent today. As Stella Dadzie notes in the closing chapter to the new edition:

‘In these crucial times we need to remember who we are, remember what we’ve come from, remember what we’ve achieved, and never let that be forgotten, because it gives us power, strength and vision. This is what feeds the enthusiasm and the energies of the next generation.’

 

Related links

The Heart of the Race, £6.00 special offer until the end of September

Find out more about the history of OWAD

Consult the Black History Collection

Urgent alert – solidarity with the victims of far-right violence in Saxony

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 05:53

German anti-fascists are asking for support and international protest around events in Chemnitz.

On 27/28 August, in scenes reminiscent of the 1991 pogroms in Rostock and Hoyerswerda, police in the east German state of Saxony all but lost control of the streets to the far Right in the former industrial city of Chemnitz, once a Communist stronghold. Far-right protests against immigrants and crime quickly turned into anti-foreigner riots, with many describing the current situation in Chemnitz, where the electoral far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) is strong, as a pre-pogrom situation. As concerns mount that sections of Saxony’s police force are colluding with the far Right, Germany’s well-organised anti-fascist committees are mobilising. They are asking politicians, NGOs, anti-fascist committees and all concerned individuals in the UK to closely follow events in Chemnitz and, if possible, write to top state officials and the police in Saxony, as well as the federal interior minister, demanding action. As Ulli Jentsch, from the Anti-Fascist Press Archive (Apabiz) in Berlin, told IRR News: ‘Many thousands of anti-fascists and democrats have stood up against the Nazis in Chemnitz. They are in real danger in the days, and weeks to come, as the police, even if they wanted to, are unable to protect everyone. Every report from abroad is helpful.’

Chain of events

An English-language timeline of the violence in Chemnitz, can be found on the website of the newspaper Deutsche Welle and an even more complete version of events will be published on the websites of Apabiz and NSU Watch in the days to come. To summarise, the far Right started to mobilise after a fight at a local town festival on 23 August left a Cuban-German man, named only as Daniel H.,  dead from knife wounds and several others injured, with an arrest warrant issued for two men – one Syrian, one Iraqi. The first far-right mobilisation came after an online call from neo-nazis and  a local far-Right football hooligan association, Kaotic. Taking advantage of the tragic events during the street fight, they claimed that a German man

DW article 29.98.18

had been stabbed to death because he was protecting women and that a second man had been killed. Let’s show the people ‘who is in the driver’s seat in the city’ they  boasted  on social media. The next day, 25 August,  the far-right anti-Muslim organisation Pro Chemnitz organised an official demonstration, with an estimated 8,000  far-right supporters met by 1,500 counter-protesters. During this demonstration, far-right groups broke into smaller mobs, with many masked men hunting down foreigners, with some shouting ‘For every dead German, a dead foreigner’ and making the Hitler salute. Security experts say there is evidence that the rioters had been mobilised from different groups around the country and probably elsewhere in Europe.

Criticisms of police grow

Initially, the police responded to allegations that they were unprepared for dealing with the violence because of cuts in police staff numbers, by stressing that although only 591 police officers were mobilised they had responded magnificently in the face of far-right violence and leftwing counter-protests. But their claims were quickly rebuked by Saxony’s Office for Protection of the Constitution which said that they had warned the police in advance that large numbers of extremists from across Germany, as well as football hooligans and martial arts fanatics with a known far right background, were expected in the city in the ‘low to medium four-figure realm’.

Then, on 29 August, the scandal involving police inaction escalated. The authorities announced that a judicial investigation for official secrets violations had been opened because the arrest warrant for the Iraqi man wanted in connection with Daniel H.’s murder had been leaked to the far Right  and tweeted by Lutz Bachmann, the founding member of Pegida. The photograph quickly circulated online via a WhatsApp group of the far-right movement Pro Chemnitz, which originally called the demonstration.

Saxony – a neo-Nazi stronghold

The neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) has always had a base in Saxony and it was in another Saxon city, Zwickau, close to the Czech border, that the terrorist cell, responsible for ten murders, the National Socialist Underground first went underground in the 1990s. The far-right movement Pegida began in Dresden, the capital of Saxony, and it was in Dresden, too, that the Egyptian pharmacist Marwa El Sherbini, who was three months pregnant, was murdered in 2009 by a neo-Nazi in a courtroom.

Police officers in Saxony are largely drawn from a region of the former GDR that, until recently, was largely white and monocultural and there has long been concern that sections of the police have been colluding with fascists. After the NSU case, in 2017, more allegations of police collusion emerged during the trial of ‘The Freital Group’, an anti-migrant vigilante and terror group linked to a number of attacks on refugee accommodation, leftwing centres and politicians. Amid disquiet about soft-peddling from the local prosecutor’s office and allegations that the Saxony police not only knew about the group but failed to intervene, it emerged that at least one police officer tipped off its members about police operations. A federal prosecutor was called in to take over the investigation .

While institutional racism in the police has never been formally acknowledged in Germany, the signs are that Chancellor Merkel, who has indicated that she wants more involvement of the federal police in Saxony, recognises that Saxony’s police force is in urgent need of reform. But when will she take action, and what will happen in the meantime? Pegida have called yet another demonstration for the first weekend of September.  Ulli Jentsch implores us to ‘Ask questions of the police, ask questions of the government of Saxony. Ask them what they will do to stop this racist outrage and protect foreigners and refugees in this country.’

My thanks to Heike Kleffner for her help in preparing this article

Please register your protests to the  following: 

Roland Wöller, Minister of the Interior for the State of Saxony

Sächsisches Staatsministerium des Innern

Wilhelm-Buck-Straße 2-4

01097 Dresden

info@smi.sachsen.de

 

Petric Kleine,

President, State Office of Criminal Investigation, Saxony

Landeskriminalamt Sachsen

poststelle.lka@polizei.sachsen.de

 

Ralph Schreiber

Government spokesperson for the State of Saxony

Archivstraße 1
01097 Dresden

E-Mail: ralph.schreiber@sk.sachsen.de

 

Horst Seehofer, Federal Minister of the Interior

Bundesministerium des Innern, für Bau und Heimat

Alt-Moabit 140

10557 Berlin

Tel: +49 3018681-0

Fax: +49 3018681-12926

POSTSTELLE@BMI.BUND.DE

 

Related Links:

Read another article from Apabiz  here.

‘We are more’

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 05:53

An appeal from German anti-fascists, received via Apaziz

‘We are more’ – and we need your help to prevent more racist mobilizations and violence and Chemnitz and elsewhere in Saxony.

Chemnitz and Saxony is not only home to the largest militant and organised neo-Nazi and racist movement in Germany, it is also home to an active network of anti-racist and anti-fascist groups which have been supporting refugees, migrants and other victims of racist and right-wing violence for the past twenty years. Together with refugee and migrant groups and a cross section of civil society we have countered the attempts of the extreme Right to dominate social and political structures throughout the state of Saxony.

We now need your support.

Please, contact the Federal German Minister of the Interior as well as the Department of the interior of the State of Saxony via social media and demand:

  1. that the State takes adequate measures to protect refugees and migrants against racist violence in Germany
  2. that the State authorities, the police and the judiciary act appropriately and immediately if Hitler salutes and other symbols of National Socialism are shown in public.

Please use the following #Chemnitz #c2708 #c2608

You can reach the Federal Minister of Interior via twitter: @BMI_Bund

You can reach the Saxonian Minister of Interior via twitter:

@SMIsachsen

We are well aware that racist mobilisations are escalating  all over Europe – but we believe, just as the extreme Right is thriving on every international success, that together ‘we are more’.

If you want to get in contact  with local anti-racists:

@_C_Nazifrei @RAASachsen @apabiz

 

Calendar of racism and resistance (16-29 August)

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 05:51

A fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe.

Asylum and migration 

August: Frontex publishes its risk assessment of the west Balkans route taken by refugees, download Western Balkans annual risk assessment 2018 here

15 August: London mayor Sadiq Khan and the victims’ commissioner call on the home secretary to protect victims of crime with insecure immigration status, after revelations of arrest and deportation for those reporting crime to police. (The Voice, 15 August 2018)

15 August: Six hundred people gather at Manneken Pis in central Brussels to protest the detention of a family, including young children, at the detention centre 127bis in Steenokkerzeel, just outside Brussels. (Brussels Times, 16 August 2018)

15 August: An Afghani teenager who said he feared persecution in his home country for being gay, is refused asylum in Austria because he does not ‘walk, act or dress’ like a gay man, according to the immigration officer. (Guardian, 15 August 2018)

16 August: It is revealed that the refusal rate for spouses seeking to stay in the UK following domestic violence doubled between 2012 and 2016. (Guardian, 16 August 2018)

16 August: The European Court of Human Rights grants its third injunction ordering the Hungarian government to give food to refused asylum seekers, expelled to a ‘transit zone’ at the border and denied food under a new law in effect since 1 July. Food distribution in the transit zone is resumed on 23 August. (Hungarian Helsinki Committee, 17, 23 August 2018)

17 August: The German government admits to illegally deporting five asylum seekers in 2018 whilst their claims were being processed. (Deutche Welle, 17 August 2018)

17 August: Home Office delays of up to twenty years in dealing with asylum claims are revealed by freedom of information requests. (Guardian, 17 August 2018)

17 August: Women refugees claim they were beaten, stripped naked, sexually assaulted and subjected to Islamophobic abuse by Croatian border guards as they tried to cross from Bosnia. (AYS, 17 August 2018)

20 August: The government calls for submissions to the ‘Lessons Learned’ review it has commissioned into the Windrush scandal, including from NGOs and researchers as well as Home Office staff and those affected. See the call for evidence here.

21 August: It is announced that the home secretary is to give a formal apology to eighteen of the 164 members of the Windrush generation who were wrongly removed or detained. (BBC, 21 August 2018)

21 August: The Court of Appeal rules that the Home Office must allow a seriously ill migrant to work and to have NHS treatment while she challenges the decision to refuse her further leave to remain. (Guardian, 21 August 2018)

22 August: Campaign group Global Justice Now reports that 100 MPs have signed the pledge not to report migrants seeking help from them to the Home Office since the launch of the campaign ‘MPs not border guards’ with Migrants Organise, in July. See the details and write to your MP here. (Global Justice Now, 22 August 2018)

22 August: A hundred sub-Saharan migrants force their way over razor wire fences into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, in Morocco, with many injured. (Reuters, 22 August 2018)

22 August: The parliamentary joint committee on human rights’ inquiry into immigration detention is still accepting written submissions, until the deadline of 7 September, the committee tweets. (Joint Committee on Human Rights, 22 August 2018)

23 August: Crew members of the NGO search-and-rescue ships MV Lifeline and Sea Watch 3 carry a coffin draped in an EU flag to symbolically mark the ‘death of human rights’ to the court in Valetta, Malta, where captain Claus-Peter Reisch faces charges for using the Lifeline for rescue work while it is registered as a pleasure boat. Watch a video here. (Malta Today, 23 August 2018)

25 August: After being placed under formal investigation by a chief prosecutor for possible illegal detention and kidnapping, Italy’s deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini allows the remaining 134 migrants on board the Diciotti, stranded at the port of Catania, Sicily since 15 August, to disembark. (Guardian, 25 August 2018)

26 August: A study finds that major cuts to English language and other projects to help integration are fuelling local tensions in poor areas in the UK. (Observer, 26 August 2018)

27 August: A Guardian investigation reveals that since 2010, the Home Office has made over 5,700 changes to the immigration rules, which have more than doubled in length to 373,000 words. (Guardian, 27 August 2018)

27 August: Around 100 migrants and refugees camped in eastern Attica stage a road block on the Athens-Lamia national highway to protest living conditions at the Malakasa hotspot, flooded due to heavy rainfall. (Greek City Times, 27 August)

28 August: The family of Dexter Bristol, a Windrush citizen who died after being told he was in the UK illegally and sacked from his job, walk out of an inquest after the coroner refuses to join the Home Office as an interested party. (Guardian, 28 August 2018)

 

Policing and criminal justice

15 August: The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) clears the police officer who arrested and detained Rashan Charles of misconduct, stating that the officer’s restraint technique, although ‘unorthodox’, may not have contributed to his death in east London last year. (Guardian, 15 August 2018)

21 August: The five Metropolitan police officers facing gross misconduct charges over the death of Sean Rigg in police custody will not face a hearing until January 2019 at the earliest, over a decade after Sean’s death, it is reported. (Guardian, 21 August 2018)

25 August: Scotland Yard drops the use of facial recognition technology at the Notting Hill Carnival following widespread complaints about the disproportionate targeting of BAME communities. (Guardian, 25 August 2018)

Anti-fascism and the far Right 

15 August: Former members of the Anti-Nazi League and Rock Against Racism write to the Guardian, saying that the threat from the far Right is now so great that an ANL-type cultural and political campaign needs to be launched. (Guardian, 15 August 2018)

16 August: After hundreds of far-right PEGIDA and AfD supporters, chanting ‘enemy of the people’, protest against Chancellor Merkel’s visit to Dresden, Merkel promises to speed up deportations. (Deutsche Welle, 16 August 2018)

17 August: A court in Gothenburg, Sweden rules that the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement, standing in the general election for the first time, can hold two election rallies in Kungälv on the grounds that ‘freedom of association is protected under the Swedish constitution’. (The Local, 17 August 2018)

17 August: In Oxford town centre, the Carfax stall of activists campaigning against Boris Johnson-linked racist attacks on Muslim women, is attacked by two men who throw the books on the floor, tear up newspapers, attempt to kick the stall over, shove campaigners and shout at passersby that the campaigners are ‘known paedophiles’. (The Oxford Student, 23August 2018)

18 August: Mark Rowley, former head of the Metropolitan police’s counter-terrorism unit, says it is time to acknowledge the threat of far-right groups, citing National Action as the first domestic neo-Nazi white supremacist group. (Guardian, 18 August 2018)

18 August: In the Finnish town of Turku, one thousand anti-fascists outnumber 300 members of the Nordic Resistance Movement commemorating the one-year anniversary of a knife attack by a Moroccan asylum seeker claiming to represent Islamic State. (Reuters, 18 August 2018)

19 August: Elisabeth Peterson, election candidate for the far-right Sweden Democrats in Växjö, is reported to have shared a song on Facebook with the chorus ‘Swedes are white and the country is ours’. (The Local, 19 August 2018)

21 August: Pakistan formally protests to the Dutch government after Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom party, announces a new Mohammed cartoon contest and claims that he has already received 200 entries. (Dutch News, 21 August 2018).

23 August: A debate about the growth in far-right attitudes amongst state officials in Germany erupts after it emerges that an off-duty police officer attended the anti-Islam PEGIDA rally in Dresden on 16 August and tried to stop a TV crew filming it, even managing to detain journalists for forty-five minutes. The incident was filmed and went viral on YouTube. (Guardian, 23 August 2018)

24 August: Pro-Franco demonstrations are held after the Spanish cabinet agree to exhume the remains of the dictator, which have lain in the Valley of the Fallen, north of Madrid since 1976. (Guardian, 25 August 2018)

25 August: Ten supporters of Britain First, including party leader Paul Golding, stage a demonstration in Huddersfield town centre demanding ‘action against grooming gangs’ but are immediately outnumbered by anti-racism protestors who say they have no place in the town. (The Huddersfield Examiner, 25 August 2018)

27 August: German chancellor Angela Merkel condemns the ‘hunting down’ of foreigners as police in Saxony lose control of the streets in the eastern city of Chemnitz. After a German man dies in a street brawl with immigrants, far-right group PEGIDA calls a demonstration that descends into rioting, with protesters using bottles to attack anyone ‘foreign-looking’. (Guardian, 27 August 2018)

29 August: In Germany, a judicial investigation is opened after Saxony police admit that the arrest warrant for an Iraqi man wanted in connection with a German man’s murder in Chemnitz was leaked to the far Right and tweeted by Lutz Bachmann, a founding member of PEGIDA, quickly circulating online. (Guardian, 29 August 2018)

Education 

20 August: New data shows that the number of racism-related exclusions in Staffordshire schools has recently increased by 55%. (Staffordshire live, 20 August 2018)

23 August: In Germany, the women’s rights group Terre des Femmes is accused of discrimination after it launches a petition calling for a headscarf ban for children in schools and day-care centres on the grounds that the headscarf is a symbol of religion, sexualisation and discrimination. (Deutsche Welle, 23 August 2018)

Housing

(Credit: Daniel Renwick)

19 August: With no bids for new asylum housing contracts, fourteen Yorkshire local authority heads write to the home secretary threatening to pull out of the dispersal scheme, which they say is not working properly. (Guardian, 19 August 2018)

19 August: The Equalities and Human Rights Commission warns the government that it is violating human rights obligations to protect life by failing to act over combustible cladding despite the Grenfell Tower fire. (Observer, 19 August 2018)

Sport

15 August: Following complaints of ‘racially inappropriate language’, Manchester City FC opens an investigation into a scouting manager accused of describing black footballers as ‘big, black, and quick’. (ESPN, 5 August)

Media and culture

17 August: The Big Brother reality TV franchise issues a formal warning to contestant Rodrigo Alves for his use of ‘highly offensive’ racial slurs, after Ofcom receives 1,038 complaints. (New magazine, 17 August 2018)

17 August: BBC broadcaster Nathalie Haynes ends her patronage of the Classics for All charity in response to fellow patron Boris Johnson’s ‘dog-whistling racist and misogynist’ comments. (Politics Home, 17 August 2018)

19 August: Layton Williams, 23, a West End performer, claims to have been kicked out of an Edinburgh Fringe venue for looking ‘suspicious’, prompting accusations of racial profiling. (Edinburgh Evening News, 19 August)

Electoral politics

17 August: Eighty-four Black, ethnic minority and migrant groups write to the Independent arguing for the right of Palestinian people to articulate their history, which they say would be prohibited by Labour’s adoption of all the examples of anti-Semitism appended to the IHRA definition. (Independent, 17 August 2018)

Violence and harassment: attacks on people

24 August: British Transport Police appeal for information after a taxi driver is racially abused, kicked in the head and robbed of his money and mobile phone at Shipley railway station. (Pulse1, 24 August 2018)

Violence and harassment: attacks on religious centres

15 August: The Masjid Qamarul Islam mosque and Al-Hijrah mosque in the Small Heath area of Birmingham are subjected to catapult attacks, shortly after the leaders of Birmingham Central Mosque report increasing Islamophobia in the wake of the arrest of Birmingham man Salih Khater for driving his car into barriers outside Westminster. (Independent, 15 August 2018)

28 August: Police investigate a suspected arson attack on the Guru Nanak Gurdwara, a Sikh temple in Edinburgh, causing extensive smoke damage but no injuries. The Scottish justice secretary claims the incident involved a petrol-bomb. (Independent, 28 August)

Violence and harassment: abuse

17 August: Northumbria Police investigate an unprovoked Islamophobic attack in Gateshead town centre after a woman was subject to verbal abuse in front of her family. (Chronicle Live, 17 August).

 Violence and harassment: convictions

16 August: A Scottish court sentences far-right activist Peter Morgan, 35, to twelve years for terrorist offences including preparing an improvised bomb from ball bearings. (Guardian, 16 August 2018)

18 August: Dundee Sheriff Court places Joel Justice, 27, on a community payback order for shouting anti-Semitic and Islamophobic abuse and for assaulting a police officer. (Evening Telegraph, 18 August)

21 August: Austin Ross, who previously set fire to a Masonic school and distributed Nazi graffiti and posters, is jailed for six years after pleading guilty to fifteen counts of racially aggravated harassment, damage to property, and arson. (BBC News, 21 August)

 

Deport, Deprive, Extradite Night

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 07:29

A night of panel discussions, short films, dramatic monologues, poetry, and probing questions exploring the racial state under the War on Terror.

Speakers include: 

Nisha Kapoor

Liz Fekete

Ken Ferro

Suhaiymah Manzooh-Khan

Hamja Ahsan

  • Saturday 8 September 2018
  • RichMix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
Related Links

Tickets for event

Show map

Black and Banned

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 07:18

BFI launches Black and Banned season. Showing a wide range of film, TV documentary and drama that deserve screening in their own right, as well as for the questions they provoke about yesterday and today. The films you weren’t allowed to see: drama and documentaries that offer unique and challenging perspectives.

  • Tuesday 4 September – Wednesday 3 October 2018
  • BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 8XT
Related Links

BFI Black and Banned season

How to get to BFI

Calendar of racism and resistance (20 July – 15 August 2018)

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 04:22

A fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe.

Asylum and migration 

18 July: Liverpool City Council passes a cross-party motion calling on the government to end the indefinite detention of asylum seekers, saying the system is ‘inhumane’ and ‘not fit for purpose’. (These Walls Must Fall, 19 July 2018)

18 July: Hungary’s right-wing government withdraws from the United Nations Global Compact for Migration, a pact approved by 191 UN member nations that lays out objectives to open up migration and manage flows of people, claiming that the document goes ‘entirely against Hungary’s security interests’. (Al jazeera, 18 July 2018)

19 July: EU commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and the interior minister for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Oliver Spasovski, initial an agreement to allow EU border guards to be deployed in Macedonia. (Ekathimerini, 19 July 2018)

19 July: Berlin’s migration policy comes under scrutiny as a 23-year-old Afghani man is deported despite an ongoing legal appeal. (The Local, 19 July 2018) 

19 July: Refugee Action finds that asylum seekers are at risk due to lack of access to legal advice. Download Tipping the Scales of Justice: Access to Justice in the asylum system, here. (Guardian, 19 July 2018) 

19 July: The Home Office admits that the lawful basis of taking DNA swabs from asylum seekers to prove their origins, as part of a pilot scheme that operated until March 2011, is ‘dubious’. The practice emerged during a legal challenge by an unaccompanied asylum seeker in France seeking reunification with his brother in the UK. (Guardian, 19 July 2018)

19 July: The Home Office announces that victims of the Windrush scandal could have compensation payments capped so that no one receives a ‘disproportionately’ high payment. (Guardian, 19 July 2018)

19 July: The EU Commission takes Hungary to the EU’s Court of Justice over its treatment of migrants and begins infringement proceedings on its new laws attacking those supporting them (the ‘Stop Soros’ package). (Politico, 19 July 2018)

19 July: Members of the Italian coastguard, including an admiral, speak out against Italy’s new hardline policy of closing ports to rescue ships. (Digital Journal, 20 July 2018)

22 July: Thousands gather in Munich to protest right-wing populism and the immigration policies of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU). (Deutsche Welle, 22 July 2018)

23 July: Twenty UK medical staff awarded medals for helping to tackle the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone hand back their medals in protest at undocumented migrants being denied free NHS care. (Guardian, 23 July 2018)

24 July: An HM Chief Inspector of Prisons report into deportations finds that restraint belts are routinely used with little or no justification, and that people were restrained for up to seventeen hours. Download the report, Detainees under escort: Inspection of a Third Country Unit removal to France and Bulgaria, here. (Independent, 24 July 2018)

24 July: A mass walkout takes place in London’s Chinatown in protest at immigration rules restricting the numbers of chefs allowed into the UK and at increasing immigration raids, including one in which an elderly woman was injured after lying in front of an immigration van. (Guardian, 21, 24 July 2018; Migrants’ Rights Network, 31 July 2018)

24 July: The Home Office publishes: Assessment of government progress in implementing the report on the welfare in detention of vulnerable persons: a follow-up report to the Home Office by Stephen Shaw. Download it here.

24 July: The European Commission publishes a proposal to pay EU member states €6,000 per migrant to encourage governments to take in more migrants, after Italy closed its ports to recue vessels. Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini says it is not enough. (Al jazeera, 24 July 2018)

25 July: Student Elin Ersson, 21, stops the deportation of an Afghan asylum seeker from Gothenburg, Sweden, by refusing to take her seat until the man is removed from the flight.  (Guardian, 26 July 2018)

26 July: In north-west Bosnian border-towns Sarajevo and Velika Kladusa, mayors and around fifty councillors stage a protest against the state’s abandonment of migrants in makeshift camps, demanding ‘humanity for migrants and safety for citizens’. (Reuters, 26 July 2018)

26 July: Six hundred people from sub-Saharan Africa storm the barrier between Morocco and the Spanish territory of Ceuta in at attempt to reach Europe. (The Local, 26 July 2018)

28 July: An Italian prosecutor launches an investigation into twenty-two people for allegedly ‘favouring illegal immigration’ into Italy by conducting rescue operations on the Iuventa ship in the Mediterranean. The charge carries a sentence of up to fifteen years in prison. (Solidarity at Sea, 29 July 2018) 

31 July: The Court of Appeal rules that the government ‘materially misled’ the High Court on the ‘unfair and unlawful’ screening process for 2,000 children seeking to enter the UK from France before and after the demolition of the Calais refugee camp in 2016, which amounted to ‘a serious breach of the duty of candour and cooperation’. (Guardian, 1 August 2018)

31 July: The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, says that an Italian operation rescuing 108 people and returning them to Libya the previous day would be a violation of international law if, as NGOs claim, it happened in international waters, as the EU and the UN recognise that Libya is not safe. The Italian coastguard claim the rescue occurred in Libyan waters. (Guardian, 1 August 2018)

31 July: Musicians including Peter Gabriel and festival organisers warn that performers will refuse UK gigs after several are denied visas and are unable to perform at Womad and the Edinburgh Festival. (Guardian, 31 July 2018)

1 August: The Ministry of Justice publishes Legal aid for unaccompanied and separated children, view it here.

1 August: Bavaria opens its first ‘Ankerzentrum’, a controlled centre for holding and fast-track processing of asylum seekers who will be kept there until their right to stay is determined.  (Deutsche Welle, 1 August 2018)

2 August: No Name Kitchen, an NGO that helps migrants at the Bosnian border with Croatia, publishes a picture of a severely injured migrant who they say was beaten with plastic batons by Croatian police and kicked in the face with their boots. (Balkan Insight, 2 August 2018)

2 August: LGBT rights campaigners, performers and MPs call on British Airways, a sponsor of Brighton Pride, to stop accepting Home Office contracts for deportations, and over 50,000 people sign a petition. (Morning Star, 3 August 2018)

4 August: The Independent reveals that the Home Office is imposing non-disclosure agreements on Windrush victims in return for fast-tracking compensation payments, three weeks after home secretary Sajid Javid assures MPs no such deals will be sought. (Independent, 4 August 2018)

5 August: In the wake of widespread criticism of Donald Trump’s policies which see children separated from their parents, an Observer report reveals that, according to the charity Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID), 322 children were separated from their parents by the Home Office in the year to the end of July. (Observer, 5 August 2018)

6 August: The government of Gibraltar notifies the search and rescue ship Aquarius (operated by Médecins sans Frontières and SOS Mediterranée), stranded between Italy and Malta with 141 rescued people on board, that the ship will be stripped of its Gibraltar registration on 20 August, as its registration as a survey vessel does not permit search and rescue. Italy meanwhile demands that Britain take responsibility for the rescued migrants as the ship flies the flag of a British territory.  (Sky News, 6 August 2018)

7 August: Four refugee support charities release a report, Calais, the police harassment of volunteers, revealing over 600 incidents of harassment of volunteers in the eight months to July 2018. Download the report here. (Guardian, 8 August 2018)

8 August: A new Amnesty International (AI) report blames EU policies, particularly those of Italy and Malta, for the deaths of 721 people at sea in June and July. View the report, Between the devil and the deep blue sea, here. (Guardian, 8 August 2018)

13 August: The bodies of two Syrian refugees are recovered from a forest in Croatia. Doctors Without Borders say that more than eighty migrants have died along the Balkans Route since the start of the year. (The New Arab, 13 August 2018)

Policing and criminal justice

22 July: The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) announces an investigation into the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) unit after allegations of ‘serious corruption and malpractice’ including racial discrimination. Three officers are served with gross misconduct notices. (Guardian, 22 July 2018)

25 July: The IOPC releases figures on deaths in police custody revealing that at least twenty-three people died in 2017, seventeen of whom were restrained, which is the highest number in a decade. Download the IOPC report and statistics here. (Guardian, 25 July 2018)

26 July: Torson Sharp, a former police officer from Hitchin, Hertfordshire is dismissed for airing ‘racist, sexist and homophobic views’ on Facebook. He had received a verbal warning for his ‘extreme right-wing views’ when he served as a PCSO, before becoming a PC. (BBC News, 26 July 2018)

27 July: Met police officer PC Joshua Savage is cleared of assault and possession of a bladed article for an attack on Leon Fontana as he sat in his car in Kentish Town in September 2016, which was filmed and posted on social media. The officer now faces a police misconduct hearing. (Ham & High, 27 July 2018)

Anti-fascism and the far Right 

21 July: The Scottish Defence League holds a ‘free speech rally’ in Glasgow with forty supporters who are met with a large counter-protest. (Glasgow Live, 21 July 2018)

26 July: The Met police release images of nine people wanted in connection with violence at a protest in support of Tommy Robinson, aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, in June, in which police officers were attacked. (Independent, 26 July 2018)

26 July: Seventeen members of the far-right ‘Identitarian Movement’ (IBÖ) in Austria are found not guilty of criminal association and hate speech in connection with several of the group’s stunts in recent years. (The Local, 26 July 2018)

28 July: A counter-protest is held in Ards as Britain First members gather for their first meeting in Northern Ireland. It is also announced that independent Belfast City councillor Jolene Bunting has left the far-right group and has been ‘proscribed’. Party leader Paul Golding is in attendance after recently being released from prison. (Belfast Telegraph, 28 July 2018)

28 July: Anti-fascists hold a counter demonstration against a rally organised by Gays Against Sharia UK and Standing for Britain in Stockton-on-Tees. (Teesside Live, 28 July 2018)

29 July: In Menton, France, on the Italian border, the youth wing of National Rally (formerly National Front) and Italy’s League hold a joint anti-immigration protest to oppose migrants ‘overwhelming’ Europe. (RFI, 29 July 2018)

30 July: In Graz, Austria, a judge acquits seventeen people connected to the far-right Identitarian movement, including co-leader Martin Sellner, of belonging to a criminal organisation and hate speech. (Vice News, 30 July 2018)

1 August: Stephen Yaxley Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, wins his appeal against a conviction for contempt of court and is released from Onley Prison pending a retrial. (Guardian, 1 August 2018)

4 August: A dozen far-right protesters, some masked or with ‘Make Britain Great Again’ caps, attack the socialist bookshop Bookmarks in central London, wrecking displays and ripping up books and magazines while chanting far-right slogans. It appears they had been attending a free speech protest. (Guardian, 5 August 2018)

10 August: The German interior ministry admits that at least 360 crimes related to glorifying the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground (NSU) terror cell have been detected since 2011, but none have resulted in a conviction. (Deutsche Welle, 10 August 2018)

11 August: In Sweden, a member of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) is arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder two journalists working for Mittmedia. (The Local, 11 August 2018)

Education 

19 July: Students at Manchester University paint over a Rudyard Kipling mural depicting the poem ‘If’ and replace it with a poem by Maya Angelou, arguing that Kipling ‘dehumanised people of colour’. (Guardian, 19 July 2018)

19 July: The Department for Education publishes data on Permanent and fixed-period exclusions in England: 2016 to 2017, view here.

27 July: Wolverhampton University is criticised for a ‘racist’ poster advertising a BSc in Public Health, with academics claiming ‘the concept is disrespectful and has undertones of colonialism, patriotism and racism’. (The Tab, 27 July 2018)

30 July: Parents at Lipson Co-operative Academy, Plymouth, claim that racism at the school is forcing children to leave; one mother claims her 11-year-old was called a ‘n****r’ almost every day at the school and another has moved her daughter because of racist bullying. (Plymouth Herald, 30 July 2018)

1 August: A father claims that a Swindon school has failed to act after his son was racially bullied, a claim which the school denies. (This is Wiltshire, 1 August 2018)

Employment and labour exploitation

21 July: Richard Hastings wins his employment tribunal against King’s College Hospital for racial discrimination and unfair dismissal. The IT expert was sacked following an incident in the hospital car park in which he was subjected to a racist attack. (The Voice, 21 July 2018)

6 August: The High Court grants permission for the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB), a union representing many migrant workers, to challenge a refusal to allow it to negotiate directly with the University of London over outsourced workers’ pay and conditions.  The university refuses to recognise the IWGB, saying it negotiates with Unison. The government is an interested party in the case, arguing that human rights law relied on by the IWGB has no application. (Independent, 7 August 2018)

6 August: Cleaners, mostly migrant workers, picket the Ministry of Justice and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea at the beginning of a three-day strike demanding that outsourced contractors are obliged to pay them the London living wage of £10.20 per hour. (Guardian, 7 August 2018)

Discrimination

23 July: The Government Equalities Unit publishes the results of its consultation: Caste in Great Britain and equality law, here

4 August: In Denmark, a 28-year-old Muslim woman is the first person fined under a new law banning the wearing of full-face Islamic veils in public places. Police issue the fine after responding to an incident in a shopping centre in the region of Nordsjaelland involving another woman trying to tear the niqab off. (Guardian, 4 August 2018)

 

Housing

27 July: Italian authorities defy the European Court of Human Rights by evicting over 300 Roma from a camp on the outskirts of Rome, with no offers to rehouse them. Media reports claim some are still outside the gates of the camp with all their belongings and nowhere to go. (The Local, 27 July 2018)

27 July: Security firm and asylum housing contractor Serco announces its decision to evict up to 300 refused asylum seekers from accommodation in Glasgow on just one week’s notice, under a programme code-named Move On. (Glasgow Herald, 30 July 2018)

30 July: Research finds that homes for asylum seekers in Belfast fall below basic living standards, with reports of water leaks, damp and infestations. Read the report by the Participation and Practice of Human Rights Project: “We came here for sanctuary”: Syrian refugee familiesexperience of racism and substandard housing conditions in West Belfast here. (BBC News, 31 July 2018)

31 July: The residents of Longton’s Stockwell Grove and Kendrick Street in Stoke join together to form a residents’ association after complaints that their housing estates were rife with anti-social behaviour, with residents afraid to leave their home due to racism.  (Stoke Sentinel, 31 July 2018)

1 August: Glasgow council establishes a task force to deal with a potential humanitarian crisis if Serco makes homeless hundreds of asylum seekers in the city, while two men from Afghanistan go on hunger strike outside Home Office offices in Glasgow in protest at their impending eviction. (Guardian, BBC News, 1 August 2018)

4 August:  Following a week of protests against its proposed evictions, involving politicians, religious and civic leaders, housing associations, social workers, teachers and others and the launch of a legal challenge, Serco agrees not to evict families with children, to extend the notice period on the first six evictions and to pause further evictions. (Serco, 1 August, Politics blog, 8 August 2018)

Sport

30 July: The Football Association begins an investigation after a brawl between Mansfield Town and Sheffield Wednesday players, with the Mansfield captain Krystian Pearce claiming he was racially abused in their pre-season friendly. (BBC News, 30 July 2018)

Media and culture

17 July: New research by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) finds that only 1 per cent of British children’s books feature a BAME main character. View the study here. (Guardian, 17 July 2018)

25 July: The Bradford Telegraph & Argus stops readers commenting on its website after ‘hate-filled, racist, anti-Semitic or Islamophobic tirades’ were added to articles, and the paper accuses extremists of using the comments function to ‘sow the seeds of division’. (Guardian, 25 July 2018)

26 July: The play Trojan Horse, based on interviews with ninety witnesses and seeking to explore the effects on teachers, pupils and parents of the allegations of radicalisation in Birmingham schools, opens in South London before a run at the Edinburgh Festival. (Guardian, 23 July 2018)

28 July: A pantomime being held at Bedworth Civic Hall is forced to changes the names of characters in Aladdin after allegations of racism. (Birmingham Mail, 28 July 2018)

1 August: Two YouTube vloggers remove a video after allegations of racism for claiming that Lewisham is dangerous and that people there made them feel ‘uncomfortable’. (Evening Standard, 1 August 2018) 

6 August: The Daily Mail removes a report claiming that the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis (population 110,000) has been ‘devastated’ by drug dealing, crime and poverty because of 300,000 undocumented migrants, after many inaccuracies are challenged. (Guardian, 6 August 2018) 

Electoral politics

17 July: Richard Alderman, an independent councillor at Rutland County Council, is referred to Leicestershire police over comments made on social media about Diane Abbott MP. (Rutland & Stamford Mercury, 18 July 2018)

30 July: Stephen Ardley, a district and county councillor, is expelled from the Conservative Party after posting offensive comments about London mayor Sadiq Khan. (Eastern Daily Press, 1 August 2018)

July/ August: Labour’s row over anti-Semitism continues, with Jewish groups, MPs and three union leaders urging the NEC to concede on adopting the full text of the International Holocaust Remembrance Association, and eminent Palestinians, lawyers and other Jewish groups fearing that its adoption would lead to the curtailment of freedom of information and of expression. (Guardian, 27, 31 July, 11 August 2018; Independent, 14 August 2018)

13 August: The Muslim Council of Britain urges the prime minister to set up a public inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative party, a week after Boris Johnson compares Muslim women wearing burqas to letter-boxes and bank robbers in a Daily Telegraph article and subsequently refuses to apologise despite dozens of complaints. (Guardian, 13 August 2018) 

Violence and harassment: attacks on people

20 July: A bus driver in his 40s suffers an injury to his arm and broken glasses after he is attacked at Nuneaton bus station. (Coventry Telegraph, 23 July 2018)

23 July: Police appeal for information after a 19-year-old Polish man is ‘seriously injured’ when he is attacked and racially abused by a gang of more than ten youths in Davidson’s Mains, Edinburgh. (Edinburgh Evening News, 23 July 2018)

25 July: Police appeal for information after a man is racially abused and spat at while in his car by another driver in Andover. (Andover Advertiser, 26 July 2018)

3 August: Italian anti-racist groups record twelve shootings, two murders and thirty-three assaults since far-right League party politician Matteo Salvini became interior minister. On 29 July, a Moroccan man was beaten to death Aprilia, near Rome, and in another incident in July a 13-month Roma girl is shot in the back with an airgun pellet. (Guardian, 3 August 2018)

8 August: A 50-year-old man has come forward to police following a photo appeal after a taxi driver in his 40s is allegedly racially abused and assaulted in Poole, Dorest. (Bournemouth Echo, 8 August 2018)

13 August: Police appeal for information after a man in his 40s is racially abused and assaulted inside the toilets of a pub in Hagley, Worcestershire, by a group of men aged between 20 and 24. (Express and Star, 13 August 2018)

Violence and harassment: attacks on property 

21 July: Sion Tomos Owen paints over Britain First graffiti that he spots on a watchman’s hut while driving near the Rhigos Mountain. (ITV, 23 July 2018)

23 July: Racist graffiti and swastikas are daubed on an underpass in Brighton. (The Argus, 23 July 2018)

24 July: Racist graffiti are sprayed on children’s play equipment in Tyttenhanger Green, St Albans. (Herts Advertiser, 27 July 2018)

29 Jul: A man living in East Belfast who has racist graffiti daubed on his home believes he has been wrongly targeted as Romanian families also live in the area. (Belfast Live, 29 July 2018)

29 July: A Lithuanian woman who had to rebuild her East Belfast beauty salon after a racially motivated arson attack is targeted again with racist graffiti. (Belfast Telegraph, 31 July 2018)

4 August: In north-west Romania, the home of the late Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel is defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti. (Guardian, 4 August 2018)

8 August: ‘No blacks’ and ‘no n******’ are among racist graffiti sprayed onto the home of a family who had just moved to Milnow, Rochdale. They say they are leaving as they don’t feel safe. (Guardian, 8 August 2018)

 

15 August: The List, a piece of artwork that lists the names of the 34,361 refugees and migrants who have lost their lives trying to reach Europe, has been destroyed twice in Liverpool. The artist has decided not to install it for a third time, ‘as a reminder of this systemic violence exercised against people’. (Guardian, 1, 15 August 2018)

Violence and harassment: abuse

20 July: British Transport Police release a picture of a man wanted in connection with the racial abuse of an Asian family on a train between Leeds and Manchester on 10 June. (Yorkshire Evening Post, 20 July 2018)

20 July: A Czech family in Wigan say they have suffered constant racial abuse over the ten years they have lived there. (Wigan Today, 20 July 2018)

23 July: Police appeal for information after a have-a-go hero is racially abused after chasing a suspected shoplifter in Plymouth. (Plymouth Herald, 1 August 2018)

24 July: In a video posted online of a man and woman racially abusing a woman on a Sunderland bus is posted online, they are heard saying ‘don’t underestimate the whites’. (Chronicle Live, 24 July 2018)

27 July: In footage posted on Facebook, a man in Barnsley is filmed racially abusing a woman. (Daily Mirror, 30 July 2018)

Violence and harassment: charges

25 July: Louis Cairns, 31, is charged with causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm and distress and criminal damage after the Chabad Student Centre in Cowley Road was attacked on 19 May. (Oxford Mail, 25 July 2018)

1 August: Neil Froggatt, 48, faces six counts of racially aggravated damage to property after allegedly posting racist stickers across London. He will face trial in November. (Court News, 1 August 2018)

Violence and harassment: convictions

18 July: Sunderland man Calvin White, 25, is given a twelve month community order after pleading guilty to racially aggravated harassment for sending a racist tweet to footballer Ivan Toney. (BBC News, 18 July 2018)

19 July: Sean Gormna, 18, admits the racially aggravated attempted murder of a 25-year-old Syrian asylum seeker, who was stabbed after intervening in a row involving his female cousin in an Edinburgh hostel. Sentencing is adjourned until 17 August. (Guardian, 19 July 2018)

20 July: A judge orders 70-year-old Barbara Fielding-Morriss, who twice stood as an independent candidate in Stoke-on-Trent elections, to undergo a psychiatric assessment after she was convicted of three counts of stirring up racial hatred for publishing pro-Hitler material on her website. (Guardian, 20 July 2018)

27 July: Levi Eastwood, 26, who racially abused, chased and threatened a man with a hammer in Strood, Kent, in May 2018, pleads guilty to racially aggravated common assault and is jailed for five years and three months. (Kent Online, 27 July 2018)

27 July: David Hickman, 28, and Liam Hawes, 21, who racially abused and attacked a Bangladeshi taxi driver on Boxing Day 2017 in Wallasey, Merseyside leaving him with a fractured eye, are given custodial sentences of four years and twelve months respectively. (Liverpool Echo, 27 July 2018)

1 August: Andrew Dobbin, 30, who racially abused and spat at a police officer in a ‘shocking and disgraceful’ attack in Dumbarton, January 2018, is given a one year community payback order, 180 hours of unpaid work and ordered to attend for alcohol treatment after. (Dumbarton Reporter, 1  August 2018)

7 August: Olivia Sian Harris, 22, pleads guilty to grievous bodily harm and is given a suspended forty-week sentence for throwing a glass at a man and racially abusing him at a nightclub in Swansea. (WalesOnline, 7 August 2018)

8 August: Andrew Lewis, arrested for multiple racially aggravated offences in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, is released the following day after being ordered to pay a fine of £350. (The Star, 8 August 2018)

8 August: Ryan Steer, 18, pleads guilty to racially aggravated assaults on two 16-year-old boys in Corsham, Wiltshire and is given a suspended twelve-month sentence. (Gazette and Herald, 8 August 2018)

9 August: Jonathan Jennings, 34, admits online threats intended to stir up racial hatred and is jailed for sixteen months after using a social media profile to threaten to kill ‘Muslims, Jews and members of the Labour Party’. (BBC News, 9 August 2018)

10 August: A father and son of 48 and 23, both named Jason Deathridge, admit racially abusing and attacking a taxi driver in Halesowen, West Midlands, and are given suspended jail sentences and unpaid community work. (Halesowen News, 10 August 2018)

Violence and harassment: research and statistics 

20 July: Tell Mama finds that Islamophobic attacks have increased by 26 per cent from 2016-2017, with more women being targeted. (Guardian, 20 July 2018)

25 July: Figures from the Community Security Trust reveal 727 anti-Semitic incidents in the first six months of 2018, many linked to political events. (Guardian, 26 July 2018)

30 July: Greater Manchester Combined Authority publishes a report on racial violence following the Manchester Arena bombing, finding that two-thirds of people in Manchester experienced hateful behaviour. Download the report, A Shared Future: a report of the Greater Manchester Tackling Hateful Extremism and Promoting Social Cohesion Commission, here. (Guardian, 30 July 2018)

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