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Defending the rights of migrant staff & students • Decolonising education • Challenging institutional racism • Kick the far right off campus • Opposing islamophobia and Prevent
The University College Union (UCU) and Stand Up to Racism are launching a #NoRacismOnCampus tour of university campuses in the autumn term. … Read the rest
Last Saturday at the BBC, in central London, the state of the British far right was clear for all to see.
Only around 100 fascists gathered to support the key figurehead of the British far right, Stephen Yaxley Lennon aka Tommy Robinson. … Read the rest
If Boris Johnson’s government survives, the chaos of the immigration system it plans to impose will lead to untold misery.
During the Tory leadership campaign, Boris Johnson set out his approach to immigration policy: to make it easier for highly skilled migrants to enter, and tougher for those who ‘abuse our hospitality’ – the usual bipartisan ‘good immigrant, bad immigrant’ dichotomy espoused by leaders from Tony Blair on. But in his first appearance in the House of Commons as prime minister, what caught the eye of the media was his signalling of support for an amnesty for undocumented migrants. The expulsion of up to half a million people living and working here for many years, without having committed any criminal offence, was a legal anomaly, he said, in response to a question by MP Rupa Huq, and ‘we need to look at … the economic advantages and disadvantages’ of granting legal status and allowing them to pay taxes. Johnson first expressed support for an amnesty as London mayor, but when he raised it as a minister, he said, Theresa May opposed the idea.
The suggestion provoked predictable ire from anti-migration groups such as Migration Watch. But they have nothing to fear from Johnson. As Karma Hickman explained on the Free Movement blog, and as Johnson himself acknowledged, the Home Office has provided regularisation schemes and rules for decades, to clear asylum backlogs or recognise ties built up over lengthy residence, and the criteria he has most recently set out for an amnesty – fifteen years’ residence and a ‘squeaky clean’ record – are comparatively tough.
As he made clear in his response, Johnson’s concern is not with the human, but the economic cost of undocumented work. Perhaps the unspoken rationale is to signal to employers his intention to retain the large number of (undocumented) migrant workers in the low-pay, low-skill areas of the economy – care, construction, agriculture, food processing, hospitality and catering, at least for long enough to find an alternative low-skilled labour source after Brexit drives out the low-paid, low-skilled EU migrant workers. After all, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) had already warned of a 20 per cent shortfall in agricultural workers because of existing immigration restrictions, and dire warnings about labour shortages in many other fields have been circulating.
Johnson’s speech was, of course, mainly about delivering Brexit. But he did say that he intended a ‘radical rewriting’ of the immigration system. This ‘radical rewriting’, though, had nothing in common with the reforms called for by Amnesty International, among others, to repair a ‘broken and inhumane’ immigration system. All Johnson proposed was an ‘Australian-style points system’ awarding points for professional and personal attributes such as experience, earnings, age and qualifications – a system to which the UK’s points-based system for work visas, set up by Labour in 2009, bears a strong resemblance. His scrapping of the May/ Cameron pledge to reduce immigration to the ‘tens of thousands’, confirmed by a spokesman, was probably done not with the intention of increasing immigration levels, but because it was a permanent hostage to fortune, never achieved, a constant reminder of the folly of unfeasible pledges.
Not so much a radical rewrite, then, as a lot of bluster and no real change. And nothing said or done since gives cause for hope. To the boat people crossing the Channel in dinghies, he has said ‘we will send you back’. ‘You are an illegal migrant and I’m afraid the law will treat you as such.’ Never mind that anyone seeking asylum must be treated as a refugee first, unless proved otherwise.
Dream team – or nightmare?
The direction of Johnson’s thinking can be seen most clearly through his appointment of Priti Patel as home secretary. The daughter of immigrants from Uganda who set up a corner shop which developed into a chain of businesses, she was forced to resign as international development minister under Theresa May over secret meetings with senior Israeli politicians about using UK aid to fund Israeli ‘humanitarian’ operations in the occupied Golan Heights. Patel is not human-rights friendly, voting in 2016 to repeal the Human Rights Act and in 2018 against retaining the Charter of Fundamental Rights after Brexit. She also voted against giving asylum seekers the right to work after six months, and in favour of strengthening hostile environment measures by criminalising the provision of housing or banking facilities to undocumented migrants. On her appointment, Patel chose the Mail on Sunday to vow a ‘tough rewrite’ of the immigration system where ‘we decide who comes here based on what they have to offer’, with priority given to ‘brilliant scientists, academics and highly-skilled workers that we want to see more of’.
EU citizens’ rights up in the air
What about everyone else, those who are not brilliant scientists or academics? In particular, and most pressingly, what about all the EU citizens living and working in the UK, and their families? In his 25 July speech, Johnson assured the ‘3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us’ that ‘under this Government they will have the absolute certainty of the right to live and remain’. But less than a month later, on 19 August, Johnson threw that absolute certainty into confusion by saying that free movement from the EU would end on 31 October in the event of no deal, thereby disowning Theresa May’s pledge that, in the absence of a deal, EU nationals would retain free movement rights until the end of 2020. Although no one has spelled out exactly what Johnson’s announcement means, a spokesperson said that tougher criminality checks would be imposed immediately, although ‘nothing will change for the three million EU nationals already in the UK’.
How can these statements sit together? Only for those of the three million who are ‘squeaky clean’, who stay put and/ or can provide evidence of their pre-Brexit working life here, it seems – and perhaps not even for them. Critics pointed out that those EU nationals living here who have not yet applied under the EU settlement scheme (and fewer than one-third have applied) will face similar difficulties as the Windrush generation did when they try to return to the UK following absence abroad, or when they try to change jobs, access NHS hospital care, benefits or housing.
Already in March, a Joint Human Rights Committee report warned that the Immigration and Social Security Coordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill going through parliament stripped EU citizens in the UK of their rights, including to social security, with no legislative protection in place to guarantee those rights, and nothing has been put in place since then. Meanwhile, law centres and advice bodies have reported that many hundreds, perhaps thousands of EU citizens living in the UK are wrongly being refused universal credit under ‘habitual residence’ benefit rules, and although the vast majority win on appeal, the average 40-week wait is rendering them homeless and destitute.
As for those EU nationals who seek to enter the UK after 31 October, Johnson’s announcement suggests that they will immediately be subject to the same rules as non-EU nationals (although as yet, there is nothing on the Home Office website to indicate whether or not this is the case). This would indicate that, from 1 November, skilled workers from the EU will only be able to come here if they have a job offer from an employer registered with the Home Office, and can speak English, while the entry of unskilled workers will be conditional on its impact on the labour market here. It is not clear how much of the 2018 White Paper, with its treatment of EU nationals as ‘low-risk’ nationalities for the purposes of visits, study and work, will survive.
What is clear is that the workload of the Home Office and of immigration officials will be massively increased from 1 November onwards, with the introduction of visas and immigration checks for EU nationals, the administration of the EU settlement scheme, and the enforcement of EU overstaying. From past experience, it is evident that administrative chaos will ensue.
‘Unfit for purpose’
It has been accepted for over a decade, even by ministers, that the Home Office is ‘unfit for purpose’. When ministers used the phrase, they did not mean that it has failed to regulate migration in accordance with so-called ‘British values’ of fairness and respect for human rights – if this was the test, the Home Office has been unfit for purpose since at least the 1960s, which saw racism institutionalised in legislation through the 1962 and 1968 Commonwealth Immigrants Acts. What ministers meant by ‘unfit for purpose’ was lost files, miscommunication, slow and poor decision-making and general inefficiency, resulting in failure to consider foreign offenders for deportation (the 2006 ‘foreign prisoners’ scandal’ that led to home secretary Charles Clarke’s resignation). This inefficiency combined with institutional racism to produce the Windrush and TOIEC (language test) scandals, both exposed in the past year – pensioners branded illegal immigrants, rendered homeless and destitute, sometimes deported, after fifty years’ residence, and as many as 35,000 international students branded cheats and frauds and told to leave the country with no right of appeal.
In fact, of course, the legendary inefficiency of the Home Office is as much a byproduct of institutional racism as is the hostile environment, the exorbitant fees and the ‘culture of disbelief’ permeating official decisions on asylum, family reunion, student visas and residence rights. A lazy contempt for ‘immigrants’ underlies the endemic loss or mislaying of files, the destruction of important evidence, the months, sometimes years-long delays in decision-making in vital areas such as asylum, keeping those affected in a cruel limbo. And it is getting worse. The number of asylum claimants waiting over six months for a decision increased 58 per cent in the past year, to 17,000 in June 2019, while the total number of unresolved immigration and asylum cases has almost doubled in five years to over 100,000. The response of the Home Office to these delays has not been to redouble efforts to improve decision times, but to abandon the six-month target to decide asylum claims. Delays are spreading through the system – now, citizenship applications take over six months to process. Systematic data sharing with HMRC and DWP, trumpeted in the 2018 White Paper as a way of ensuring error-free real-time immigration checks, has been a shambles. So has outsourcing of visa applications to French firm SopraSteria, which has resulted in thousands of complaints from students and medical staff forced to pay hundreds of pounds extra for ‘premium’ document scanning and biometrics services to ensure applications are submitted in time.
Until recently, EU citizens were largely unaffected by this, with the inevitable exception of eastern Europeans, and in particular Roma, who have borne the brunt of xeno-racist regulation (‘right to reside’ tests for social security, brought in to curb alleged ‘benefit tourism’) and practice (the treatment of rough sleeping as an ‘abuse’ of EU freedom of movement justifying detention and deportation – until ruled unlawful by the High Court).
However, since the Brexit vote, as well as the surge in wrongful refusal of benefits mentioned above, there have been increasing reports of EU nationals receiving letters telling them they have no right to be in the UK and must leave. It is likely to get much, much worse – even in the event of a withdrawal agreement and an orderly Brexit, never mind the nightmare no-deal scenario. It is hard to envisage the extent of the likely chaos and misery around the corner for EU citizens who have lived in the UK for years, but have not made settlement applications or whose applications ‘go astray’ in the Home Office, as they too are treated as ‘only immigrants’.
Read a Home Office media factsheet on EU citizens and freedom of movement.
A fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe.ASYLUM AND MIGRATION Asylum and migrant rights
3 August: Italy grants refugee status to Medhanie Tesfamariam Berhe, the Eritrean man who served three years in prison after being mistaken for an international human trafficker. (Guardian, 3 August 2019)
5 August: Law centres and welfare advisers report a surge in cases of wrongful refusal of universal credit to EU citizens on the ground that they have no legal right to reside in the UK, leading to destitution and homelessness. Although almost all appeals succeed, resulting in back payments, the appeal process takes 40 weeks on average. (Guardian, 5 August 2019)
8 August: Visa restrictions are to be eased for top scientists, says the prime minister, to ensure the country will not lose scientific talent post-Brexit. (Guardian, 8 August 2019)
18 August: MPs and lawyers call for a review of outsourcing of immigration services after it is revealed that Home Office profits from visa fees surged to £1.6bn in the five years since it outsourced most overseas visa operations to Dubai-based VFS, a ninefold increase on the previous five years. (Independent, 18 August 2019)
18 August: Campaign group EveryDoctor says dozens of doctors from outside the EU face financial hardship, and patient care is put at risk through delays, because of the privatised visa system. The complaints mirror those received by Universities UK from thousands of students. Delays and lack of capacity at French company SopraSteria force students and doctors to pay hundreds of pounds for ‘premium’ services for document scanning and biometrics in order to submit applications in time, on top of visa fees and NHS health surcharge costs. (Guardian, 29 July, 18 August 2019)Reception and detention
7 August: Eris Petty Stone, a 28-year-old Nigerian woman, dies in a fire at the Metaponto di Bernalda buildings in the southern Italian region of Basilicata, where hundreds of migrant workers live in precarious sanitary conditions, some for many years. (InfoMigrants, 8 August 2019)
8 August: The Court of Appeal rejects a Home Office application to hold the inquiry into abuse at Brook House detention centre in private and to allow the 21 G4S staff involved in the allegations not to give evidence. (Guardian, 8 August 2019)
15 August: Home Office data obtained by the SNP reveals over 3,000 hunger strikes of 48 hours or more in UK immigration detention centres since 2015. Campaigners say the data underestimate the numbers of hunger strikes. (Guardian, 15 August 2019)Borders and internal controls
3 August: Nearly 40 mostly Iranian and Iraqirefugees are detained after crossing the English Channel in small boats. The Home Office says it has returned at least 50 Channel crossers to Europe.(Evening Standard, 5 August 2019)
4 August: Following negotiations by the German government, 40 migrants rescued by Sea Eye’s Alan Kurdi boat land in Malta after Italy refuses landing. (Guardian, 4 August 2019)
5 August: The Returns Network accuses Frontex and national border guards, particularly in Greece, Bulgaria and Hungary, of human rights abuses against migrants and refugees, with some border guards using nightsticks and pepper spray to subdue displaced people, and dogs to chase them through forests. (Deutsche Welle, 5 August 2019)
6 August: David Baker, a white university professor and neuroimmunology specialist, criticises border security databases, saying he has been stopped almost a hundred times at airports over seven years despite having no criminal record. (Guardian, 6 August 2019)
7 August: The UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights condemns the ‘ever more intrusive surveillance system by the UK welfare state’ in a message delivered to a Right to Work, Right to Welfare conference on the impact of surveillance on asylum seekers and benefits claimants. (Guardian, 7 August 2019)
8 August: The Open Arms rescue ship operated by NGO Proactiva Open Arms calls on the French, German and Spanish governments to intervene after nine days in international waters with 121 rescued migrants including 32 children, refused permission to land in Italy or Malta. (Guardian, 8 August 2019)
9 August: Calais Migrant Solidarity reports that a young migrant woman drowned after falling overboard a dinghy whose other occupants were rescued, off the Kent coast near Ramsgate. (Are You Syrious, 13 August 2019)
11 August: Ibiza’s mayor, Rafel Ruiz, tweets Italy’s Salvini, ‘Clean your mouth out, fascist with no soul!’ after Salvini tweets that the 120 migrants on the rescue ship Open Arms to whom he has refused boarding could be taken to the Spanish Balearic island ‘to have fun’. (Diario de Ibiza, 11 August 2019)
13 August: No Borders and Aegean Boat Report say the death by drowning of a 31-year-old man in seas just 600 metres off the Greek island of Chios was a totally preventable and needless death. (Are You Syrious, 14 August 2019)
14 August: Super-sensitive security scanners being developed by Cardiff University scientists will detect migrants hiding in vehicles travelling at up to 100 mph, even if they are hidden inside packing crates, it is reported. (Belfast Telegraph, 14 August 2019)Criminalising solidarity
5 August: The Italian parliament adopts ‘Security Decree B’ which will empower the authorities to confiscate rescue boats and impose fines of up to €1 million on captains landing migrants without authorisation. (The Local, 6 August 2019)
11 August: After actor Richard Gere broadcast an appeal for search and rescue NGO Proactiva Open Arms, Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini tells him to take the refugees back to Hollywood and house them himself. (Guardian, 11 August 2019)The Libyan crisis
31 July: The BBC reports on a Somali man who committed suicide by self-immolation at the Triq al-Sikkadetention centre in Tripoli after hearing that he was not on a UN list of refugees to be evacuated. (BBC News, 31 July 2019)Deportation
11 August: Restraints including shackles, rigid-bar handcuffs and waist-restraint belts were used 447 times during deportations in the year to March 2019, with more than one form of restraint used in three-quarters of cases, despite a presumption against the use of restraints, the Guardian reveals. (Guardian, 11 August 2019)
12 August: The Suddeutsche Zeitung reports that in the first half of 2019, German federal police used shackles and other restraints during deportations more than in the whole of 2018 and more than ten times as often as in the whole of 2015 – a total of 1,289 instances of foot or hand restraints, straps or tape during deportations, usually by plane. (Are You Syrious, 12 August 2019)Citizenship
7 August: The high court refuses the father of Ashraf Islam, a British-born student who disappeared to join ISIL aged 18 in 2015, permission to judicially review the home secretary’s revocation of his citizenship. (UK Human Rights Blog, 19 August 2019)
9 August: Changes to Germany’s immigration and nationality laws come into force, making deportation easier, citizenship harder to obtain and easier to lose, and allowing for data exchange between governmental bodies for residence and asylum purposes. (AYS, ASYL, 8 August 2019)
10 August: Lawyers for Shamima Begum, who is stuck in Syria awaiting an appeal against the decision to revoke her citizenship, say the appeal is being deliberately delayed to give police time to charge her with a terrorism offence. No date has yet been fixed for the appeal, which was lodged six months ago. (Guardian, 10 August 2019)POLICING AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
3 August: People in the French city of Nantes take to the streets to protest police brutality and demand justice for 22-year-old Steve Maia Caniço, who disappeared after the police broke up a free techno concert in June, and whose body was later pulled from the Loire river. The protests are met with tear gas and water cannon. (Independent, 2 August 2019, Al Jazeera, 4 August 2019)
8 August: Liberty denounces as ‘shameful’ a decision by South Wales police to press on with handheld facial recognition systems even as it faces a court challenge over the technology. (Guardian, 8 August 2019)
8 August: The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigates whether the police treated the Somali refugee family of Shukri Yahya Abdi, who drowned in the River Irwell in June, ‘less favourably because of their ethnic background’. Greater Manchester police continue to investigate her death. (Guardian, 9 August 2019)
9 August: The Ministry of Defence apologises and launches an investigation into how two children attending a Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force summer camp in Northumberland were arrested and detained in a cell, and why their mother was not informed of their arrest. Both boys, aged 13 and 14, say they were subjected to repeated racist behaviour at the camp, and were placed in isolation before being formally arrested and handcuffed. (Guardian, 9 August 2018)
11 August: Prime minister Boris Johnson uses the Mail on Sunday to announce plans to extend jail terms, build 10,000 more prison places and give police more stop and search powers, following the plan for 20,000 extra police announced in July. Critics say random stop and search inflames tensions and none of the proposed measures reduces crime. (BBC News, 11 August 2019)
12 August: Johnson pledges £100 million extra for prison security including x-ray scanners and metal detectors. (Guardian, 12 August 2019)
12 August: Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick apologises for telling the Home Affairs Committee that the force met campaigning group Stopwatch ‘really regularly’ after the group said they had never met her and their last meeting with senior officers was three years ago. (Guardian, 12 August 2019)
15 August: The Information Commissioner launches an investigation into the owners of the Kings Cross estate, which surrounds the railway terminus and includes offices, colleges, shops and restaurants, for possible breaches of data protection laws by scanning the public with facial recognition cameras. (Independent, 15 August 2019)
16 August: As Big Brother Watch and Liberty condemn the ‘epidemic’ of facial recognition technology, freedom of information responses show that Kent and West Midlands police, named as collaborating with the Home Office in a pilot of facial recognition technology, deny any such collaboration and are resisting the trials. (Observer, 17 August 2019)
16 August: West Midlands police say they will not implement new powers designed to lower the level of authorisation needed to carry out stop and search, currently being piloted nationwide on the orders of the home secretary, on the ground that it is unnecessary and a ‘pre-election gimmick’. (Guardian, 16 August 2019)Knife crime and related issues
14 August: The Home Office is accused of racism after funding a scheme to send 321,000 chicken boxes with the logo #knifefree to 210 chicken shop outlets to replace the usual boxes, legitimising the ‘age old trope’ that black people love fried chicken. (Guardian, 14 August 2019)
ANTI-FASCISM AND THE FAR RIGHT
3 August: Twenty-four supporters of the jailed Tommy Robinson, as well as anti-fascist counter-protesters, are arrested after congregating in Oxford Circus and attempting to march on Downing Street, in breach of conditions imposed under the Public Order Act. Police draw batons outside the BBC headquarters as pro-Robinson supporters move against anti-fascist counter demonstrators. (Guardian, 3, 4 August 2019)
3 August: After 26 people are shot dead and a further 26 are wounded at El Paso, Texas, Latino Rebels posts the alleged killer’s manifesto, which acknowledges and builds on the Grand Replacement theory of French New Right author Renaud Camus. (Latino Rebels, 3 August 2019)
5 August: Düsseldorf police intervene at the Rheinbad open-air swimming pool after fifty far-right sympathisers from the Bruderschaft Deutschland (Brotherhood Germany), attempting to stage a protest against migration, are denied admission. The fascists moved to the pool after attempting to disrupt the vigil at Düsseldorf’s main train station for an 8-year-old boy who died after being pushed under a train (see electoral politics below). (The Local, 5 August 2019)
5 August: Following the shooting dead of twenty people by a white supremacist at El Paso, Texas, the far-right web-forum 8chan, where the killer spread his manifesto, is forced offline after losing its cyber-security protection provided by Cloudflare. The security firm BitMitigate, which claims to have ‘a proven commitment to liberty’ and stepped in to help the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer when it lost its Cloudfare protection in 2017, is tipped to take over as the new administrator. (BBC News, 5 August 2019)
7 August: Fabrizio Piscitelli, known as Diabolik, former boss of football club Lazio’s far-right ultras, the Irriducibili, is shot dead in a Rome park. (Guardian, 8 August 2019)
8 August: The BBC broadcasts an in-depth report on serious neo-nazi violence, including arson, in Berlin’s Neukölln district where a series of far-right attacks on politicians, bookshops, arts venues and ordinary citizens has gone unprosecuted by police. (BBC, 8 August 2019).
8 August: London Metropolitan University says it is reviewing policies for private hire after a book event at its Holloway Road campus was cancelled at the last moment, following the discovery that the hosts, Vortex Londinium, are an offshoot of the Italian far-right group Casapound. (Islington Gazette, 8 August 2019)
10 August: Online postings express admiration for the massacre at two New Zealand mosques by a far-right activist, shortly before their 21-year-old author allegedly enters an Oslo mosque with several guns and shoots at worshippers before being disarmed. (Guardian, 12 August 2019)
10 August: Anti-fascists demonstrate in Lisbon, heavily outnumbering delegates from European far-right groups attending a conference organised by Portugal’s Nova Ordem Social and addressed by its leader Mario Machado, who spent a decade behind bars for multiple crimes. (Reuters, 10 August 2019)NATIONAL SECURITY
15 August: The trial of Nizar Trabelzi in the United States is suspended after a Brussels appeal court rules that it would breach international human rights law to try Trabelzi for an attempted suicide attack on a US military base in Belgium, for which he was convicted in 2004 and served a sentence in Belgium before his extradition to the US in 2013. (Supermax, 16 August 2019)ELECTORAL POLITICS UK
10 August: Richard Braine is elected to succeed Gerard Batten as leader of UKIP. During the leadership race he argued that some UK towns and cities were no-go areas for non-Muslims. (Guardian, 14 August 2019)ELECTORAL POLITICS EUROPE
1 August: On the eve of Roma Holocaust Remembrance Day, Matteo Salvini tweets ‘dirty Gypsy, the bulldozer is coming’ in response to a Roma woman saying he deserved ‘a bullet in the head’ for his anti-Roma policies. (Independent, 3 August 2019)HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
5 August: The western Swedish town of Eskilstuna introduces an official begging permit costing SEK250 (£21), which the Stads mission charity says will increase opportunities for exploitation, particularly of the Roma, with criminal gangs paying for people’s permit applications and then demanding extortionate repayments. (Guardian, 5 August 2019)
10 August: Chagossian families with young children in Crawley are ‘dumped’ in unsafe or inappropriate accommodation for years, with one nearly three-year-old child ‘temporarily’ housed in a hotel with alcoholics and drug addicts since birth, the Observer reports. (Observer, 10 August 2019)
13 August: Residents of Treves House and Lister House celebrate victory against social cleansing as Tower Hamlets council reverses its decision to demolish the Whitechapel tower blocks and build private housing after a two-year campaign. (Guardian, 14 August 2019)
14 August: A fire risk assessment obtained by Inside Housing on a block of flats in Hortensia Road, Kensington and Chelsea, where Grenfell Tower survivors have been rehoused, shows a high risk of fire. (Inside Housing, 15 August 2019)EDUCATION
11 August: New National Union of Students president Zamzam Ibrahim calls for the Prevent programme to be scrapped in universities, which should do more to tackle racism on campus. (Guardian, 11 August 2019)
EMPLOYMENT AND EXPLOITATION
7 August: The USB agricultural workers’ union in Metaponto, southern Italy, reports that a 28–year-old female migrant agricultural worker, named only as Petty, died in a fire in a makeshift camp in a former industrial area of Felandina, where 500 people live without water or electricity in deplorable conditions compounded by institutional indifference. (Are You Syrious, 7 August 2019)SPORT
1 August: The FA fines Milwall FC £10,000 and orders it to implement an action plan against racist chanting, after complaints at its FA cup match against Everton last season. (Guardian, 1 August 2019)
1 August: German football club Babelsberg announces that next season the team’s jersey will carry the logo of Seebrücke (Sea-bridge). The club, which is based in Potsdam, near Berlin, says it wants ‘to support Seebrücke’s political engagement for the right to flee and against the criminalisation of civilian sea rescue’. (The Hour, 1 August 2019)
1 August: Khadijah Mellah, an 18-year-old from Peckham, becomes the first jockey to ride in a race in Britain wearing a hijab, also making history by riding the winner at the Magnolia charity cup in Goodwood. (Guardian, 1 August 2019)
5 August: Daniel Frahn, captain of German league team Chemnitzer FC, is sacked following his decision, when injured, not to watch a fixture from the bench but to sit with leading members of a far-right hooligan group. (Politico.eu, 5 August 2019)
5 August: Kick It Out calls on the Football Association and clubs to take action after ‘disgraceful’ incidents of racist abuse against Southend, Stoke City and Barnsley players which marred the opening weekend of the season. The sister of Fulham player Cyrus Christie was also subjected to violence and racist abuse from fans, it claims. (Guardian, 5 August 2019)
6 August: Nottingham Forest FC denounces racist social media messages sent to Derby County player Duane Holmes by someone claiming to be a Forest fan, and bars the suspect from matches, as police investigate. (Guardian, 6 August 2019)
7 August: Following an outcry from fans and former players, Clemens Tönnies, the billionaire chairman of the German league club Schalke, temporarily steps down after saying that more power stations should be built in Africa, ‘then Africans would stop felling trees and producing children when it gets dark’. The club says the comments were discriminatory, but not racist. (Guardian, 7 August 2019)
14 August: Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham is subjected to online racist abuse after missing a penalty in a Super Cup match against Liverpool. He vows to ‘silence the haters’. (Sky Sports, 19 August 2019)
15 August: Queens Park Rangers FC reacts angrily to claims by the Spanish club AD Nervión that the racist abuse suffered by one of its players in an under-18 friendly fixture in Seville was caused by the player acting unprofessionally. QPR withdrew its team from the fixture after players complained of being subjected to monkey noises and racist abuse from the Seville-based team. (Guardian, 15 August 2019)DISCRIMINATION
1 August: Dutch police and transport companies signal that they are unwilling to enforce the Partial Ban on Face-Covering Clothing Act (otherwise known as the burqa ban). Police are uncomfortable with the idea that veiled women may be deterred by the law from entering police stations, and transport companies say staff will not take on an enforcement role. (Guardian,1 August 2019)
13 August: Twenty-three signatories prominent in academia, law, politics and the arts sign a letter saying Tower Hamlets’ ban on a charity bike ride for Palestinian children, fearing accusations of anti-Semitism under the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition, bears out fears of bodies such as IRR that freedom of expression on Palestine is being suppressed. (Guardian, 13 August 2019)
14 August: After Citizens Advice BAME Network criticises an internal training document as perpetuating racist stereotypes, it is taken off the organisation’s website and an investigation launched. The document lists ‘common traits’ allegedly found within BAME communities, including a distrust of British authorities, gender bias and discrimination and a cultural focus on honour and shame. (Guardian, 14 August 2019)
15 August: A report by the Runnymede Trust and Leeds University, Class, Race and Inequality in Northern Towns, warns that an obsession with the ‘white working class’ ignores deep racial and ethnic inequalities in the north of England and warps policy. Read the report here. (Guardian, 15 August 2019)MEDIA AND CULTURE
11 August: As bullfighting returns to Mallorca after the supreme court overturned a ban, Jorge Campos, leader of the far-right Vox party, arrives draped in a Spanish flag, as the arena’s sound system plays the fascist anthem Cara al Sol. (Guardian, 11 August 2019)
11 August: London mayor Sadiq Khan backs proposals in a Fabian Society report, Capital Gains, for a slavery museum in the city to address Britain’s role in the slave trade. (Guardian, 11 August 2019)RACIAL VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT
1 August: A new report from the Community Security Trust records 892 anti-Semitic incidents, more of a third of which involved social media, and says it is the third year in a row that reports of anti-Semitic incidents have risen. (Guardian, 1 August 2019)
1 August: A 15-year-old girl wearing traditional Pakistani clothing is shot in the face with an airgun pellet as she plays with her younger siblings in a Ballymena park, and her kitchen window is shot at, in what police are treating as racist attacks. (Belfast Telegraph, 2 August 2019)
8 August: Northumbria police, Sunderland and South Tyneside councils recruit ‘hate crime champions’ to educate local communities to stop hate crimes and to help victims. (Sunderland Echo, 9 August 2019)
8 August: A 49-year-old Spanish woman, originally from the Dominican Republic, is racially abused on a bus in Madrid, spat on, hit and told to ‘go back to your country’. (El Pais, 8 August 2019)
10 August: Philip Manshaus, a 21-year-old Norwegian man with far-right opinions, is overpowered by a worshipper as he opens fire at the al-Noor Islamic centre Bærum, Oslo, injuring one man. He is charged with planning a terrorist attack as well as the murder of his step- sister whose body was discovered at his address. (Guardian, 12 August 2019).
12 August: Windows are smashed at the home of a Syrian family in Armagh which had racist graffiti daubed on it two days before. Local politicians express shock and disgust. (Belfast Telegraph, 13 August 2019)
13 August: Newham Council announces a project whereby victims of racist crimes can report them at twelve local sites including mosques. (Newham Recorder, 13 August 2019)
14 August: A 27-year-old man is sentenced to a hate crime awareness programme, community work and compensation for racially aggravated threatening behaviour in Hull. (Hull Live, 14 August 2019)
14 August: Berlin police investigate after a 55-year-old Jewish man is pushed to the ground in what is being treated as an anti-Semitic attack. (Haaretz, 14 August 2019)
15 August: An expenditure review on direct provision accommodation, carried out by the Irish justice department, concludes that arson attacks on such accommodation may be putting off owners in the hotel and guest house sector whose properties are urgently needed to house asylum seekers. (Irish Times, 15 August 2019)
A fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe.ASYLUM AND MIGRATION Asylum and migrant rights
22 July: Channel 4’s Dispatches exposes the ‘golden visa’ programme, revealing how easy it is for those with £2 million to obtain settlement in the UK with investor visas using criminally obtained funds. (Channel 4 press release, 22 July 2019)
22 July: The Ministry of Justice publishes regulations restoring legal aid for unaccompanied child migrants, a year after announcing legal aid would be restored for this group. (Free Movement, 25 July 2019)
30 July: Over 38 migrant support groups sign an open letter to the new home secretary calling for a fairer and less punitive immigration and asylum system. (JCWI, 30 July 2019)
31 July: Young migrants’ group Let us Learn issues a report, Normality is a luxury, on how rule changes and huge rises in fees for immigration and citizenship applications have forced young people into destitution. Read the report here. (Guardian, 31 July 2019)Reception and detention
16 July: The Court of Appeal rules that the Home Office is still discriminating against immigration detainees with mental health problems and had done nothing to remedy breaches of the Equality Act 17 months after an earlier ruling. (Free Movement, 18 July 2019)
20 July: La Cimade announces that it will no longer provide support at the Mesnil-Amelot detention centre, the largest in France, pointing to several suicide attempts in recent days and saying its workers can no longer cope with working in an environment where people’s mental health problems are not properly assessed. (La Croix, 20 July 2019).
22 July: The National Audit Office reports that G4S made a gross profit of £14.3 million on its six-year contract to run Brook House detention centre near Gatwick airport for the Home Office, which failed to classify as contractual breaches, or to penalise, 84 incidents of physical and verbal abuse identified in a September 2017 Panorama exposé. (Guardian, 22 July 2019)
29 July: After the Labour Exploitation Advisory Group reports that the Home Office illegally detains hundreds of modern slavery survivors, several groups including Anti-Slavery International, Focus on Labour Exploitation (Flex) and Bail for Immigration Detainees form a taskforce to end the detention of survivors of modern slavery. (Independent, 29 July 2019)Borders and internal controls
17 July: A joint investigation by the All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) on Africa, on Malawi and diaspora, and on development and migration finds a ‘broken’ visa system and an ‘insulting’ level of visit visa refusals for Africans, which is doing ‘severe damage’ to UK-African relations. (Guardian, 17 July 2019)
17 July: Local authorities refuse to share personal data of rough sleepers with the Home Office after revelations that its Rough Sleeping Support Service uses such data, passed on from homelessness charities, to deport them. (Guardian, 17 July 2019)
22 July: MSF resumes its search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean after 9 months, citing the ‘criminal inaction of European governments’ and the worsening situation in Libya as reasons for its return. (MSF, 22 July 2019)
22 July: French president Macron announces the agreement between 14 EU countries of a ‘solidarity mechanism’ that will allocate migrants and refugees throughout the bloc. Italy did not take part in the meeting and said that the decision had been ‘solely taken in Paris and Berlin’. (Al Jazeera, 22 July 2019)
24 July: Six Turkish asylum seekers are detained by Turkish police, five of whom are later arrested, after an illegal push-back from Greece by Greek police. (Turkish Minute, 25 July 2019)
25 July: An estimated 150 migrants drown in a shipwreck north of Libya. With no coordinated search and rescue in the Mediterranean, the UN says the journey from Libya is becoming more dangerous, with one in four migrants dying at sea. (Guardian, 25 July 2019)
26 July: Italy’s interior minister blocks entry to the Sicilian port of Augusta for the Bruno Gregoretti, an Italian coastguard ship carrying 140 rescued migrants. (Deutsche Welle in English, 27 July 2019)Criminalising solidarity
21 July: Evangelical pastor Marlies Gampert and her partner Ulrich Gampert are convicted and fined €4,000 for providing refuge to Reza Jafari, a 22-year old Afghan refugee, in their church, in Bavaria Germany, for over a year, to prevent his deportation back to Afghanistan. (Pressenza, 27 July 2019)
25 July: The European Commission takes Hungary to the European Court of Justice for laws criminalising legal assistance to asylum seekers, and issues a formal notice in respect of the non-provision of food to detainees in Hungary’s transit zones. (European Commission press release, 25 July 2019)The Libyan crisis
31 July: The BBC reports on a Somali man who committed suicide by self-immolation at the Triq al-Sikkadetention centre in Tripoli after hearing that he was not on a UN list of refugees to be evacuated. (BBC News, 31 July 2019)Deportation
18 July: The Court of Appeal rules that a foreign offender with six UK-born children, who won a deportation appeal seven years ago, can be deported despite committing no further offences, since the law has become tougher since the original decision. (Free Movement, 24 July 2019)
29 July: Activists from Reclaim the Power, a network fighting for social, economic and environmental justice, blockade the Hallmark Connect coach depot by Heathrow airport, demonstrating the company’s involvement in the transportation of detainees for charter flight deportations. (Vice, 29 July 2019)
30 July: A Freedom of Information request by No Deportations reveals that the Home Office spent £268,000 on deportation charter flights during a period from April to June when no flights took off because of a high court injunction. (Guardian, 30 July 2019)POLICING AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
16 July: As the boy who fatally stabbed 17-year-old Yousef Makki is acquitted of murder and manslaughter at Manchester crown court, Yousef’s sister says the family were treated like criminals while the defendant’s white, middle-class family was given priority seating. (Guardian, 16 July 2019)
18 July: Camden’s chief police officer defends the use of stop and search in the borough as new figures show its use there doubled from March 2018 to March 2019, with fewer than a quarter of stops resulting in further action. (Camden New Journal, 18 July 2019)
18 July: The family of 25-year-old Nuno Cardoso, who died in November 2017 of cardio-respiratory arrest due to combined drug intoxication following arrest by Thames Valley Police, express disappointment after an inquest returns an uncritical narrative verdict. INQUEST says that in too many cases involving black and minority groups police suspect those arrested of feigning illness and therefore respond too late in medical emergencies. (INQUEST media report, 18 July 2019)
25 July: Ministry of Justice figures show record levels of self-harm and assaults in prisons in England and Wales, with incidents of self-harm jumping by a quarter to nearly 58,000 in the year to March. (Guardian, 25 July 2019)KNIFE CRIME
31 July: The Home Affairs Committee publishes its inquiry into serious youth violence following the publication of the Government’s Serious Violence Strategy in April 2018, highlighting the ineffectiveness of the current approach to combating knife crime, gun crime and homicide. (Guardian, 31 July 2019)ANTI-FASCISM AND THE FAR RIGHT
19 July: Birmingham Crown Court jails Daniel Ward for three years for membership of the banned neo-nazi organisation National Action. Weapons were found at the home of Ward, who had briefly served in the army. (BBC News, 19 July 2019)
20 July: Thousands of anti-fascists protest in Kassel, Germany, where pro-migrant politician Walter Lübcke was recently assassinated, after the neo-nazi Die Rechte announce a protest against the ‘disgusting’ way the media have used the killing to present the far Right as extremists. (Deutsche Welle in English, 20 July 2019)
20 July: Around 4,000 far-right and ultra-nationalist football hooligans throw flash bombs, rocks and glasses as they attempt to block Poland’s first-ever Pride LGBTQ equality march in Bialystok, in the conservative region of Podlasie, eastern Poland. Anonymous leaflets say the streets will be ‘contaminated with LGBT bacteria’. (CNN, 21 July 2019)
22 July: Far-right self-styled ‘yellow vest’ James Goddard receives an eight-week suspended prison sentence after he pleads guilty to calling Remain MP Anna Soubry a Nazi and a racially aggravated public order offence against a police officer. (Daily Mirror, 22 July 2019)
28 July: The hashtag #IchbinAntifa (‘I am Antifa’) takes the number one spot on Twitter’s trending list in Germany after US President Donald Trump threatens to label Antifa a terrorist group and labelled anti-fascists ‘gutless radical left wack jobs’. AfD express support for Trump and calls for similar measures in Germany. (Deutsche Welle in English, 28 July 2019)
29 July: The military and paramilitary in France are increasingly voting for Marie Le Pen’s far-Right National Rally, according to a new report by the Jean Jaurès Foundation. The first recommendation of a parliamentary inquiry into the far Right is for greater surveillance of current and former military personnel implicated in far-right groups. (Irish Times, 29 July 2019)
30 July: Police raids take place in four German states as part of an investigation into the violent far-right group ‘Storm Brigade’. (Associated Press, 30 July 2019)
30 July: National Action member Jack Renshaw gives a Nazi salute at the Old Bailey as he is jailed for life for plotting to murder Labour MP Rosie Cooper with a machete and threatening to kill a police officer, in revenge for a child abuse probe against him. (Easton Contributor, 30 July 2019)ELECTORAL POLITICS: UK
19 July: In a speech at the Coin Street Community Centre, London, entitled Confronting Extremism Together, home secretary Sajid Javid says Nigel Farage is not an extremist, warns that he may block some businesses and organisations from sponsoring migrant workers, and says that he will target groups that do not adhere to British values and portray the government as anti-Muslim, such as Cage and the anti-Islamophobia organisation Mend. (Guardian, 20 July 2019, Gov.UK, 19 July 2019)
22 July: Research by the Electoral Commission on the impact of a trial requiring voters to show ID finds evidence to support concerns that the scheme would discriminate against BAME and Gypsy and Traveller communities. (Guardian, 22 July 2019)
22 July: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn unveils plans for tougher rules to deal with anti-Semitic conduct among members, as figures on disciplinary cases revealed by the general secretary show that over half the complaints received were against people who were not current members. (Guardian, 22 July 2019)
23 July: Sir Roger Scruton, previously sacked as chair of a government housing commission over allegations of racist language, is reappointed co-chair by communities secretary James Brokenshire. (Guardian, 23 July 2019)
23 July: Munira Mirza, author of Living Apart Together: British Muslims and the Paradox of Multiculturalism, who has previously argued for the abolition of racial disparities audits for public services, is appointed to head No 10’s policy unit. (Guardian, 23 July 2019)
24 July: Far-right leaders across the world, from president Jair Bolsanaro of Brazil to Pauline Hanson, leader of One Nation in Australia, the leaders of Alternative for Germany and The League in Italy, welcome the appointment of Boris Johnson as British prime minister. (Guardian, 24 July 2019)
25 July: Liberty expresses ‘extreme concern’ about the human rights implications of the appointment of Priti Patel as the new home secretary. Patel has in the past voted for a stricter asylum system, stronger enforcement of immigration rules and against a ban on the immigration detention of pregnant women. She has previously expressed support for the return of the death penalty, although she later retracted this. (Guardian, 25 July 2019).
26 July: It emerges that in 2016 Chloe Westley, the head of Boris Johnson’s social media team who has moved to No. 10 from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, tweeted in support of the far-right anti-Islam politician Anne Marie Waters, who has close links with Tommy Robinson. (Guardian, 26 July 2019)
29 July: New PM Boris Johnson faces calls to honour his commitment to an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative party, made during a Tory leadership campaign TV debate. (Guardian, 29 July 2019)
31 July: Liverpool’s lord mayor Peter Brennan is stripped of his ceremonial position and referred to the Labour party after he shared a racist video in a private WhatsApp group. (Guardian, 31 July 2019)ELECTORAL POLITICS: EU
16 July: Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini orders regional prefects to draw up a report on the country’s Roma, Sinti and Caminanti population with a view to ‘verify the presence of illegal camps to draw up an eviction plan’. (The Globe Post, 16 July 2019)
22 July: Italian gay organisations call for the resignation of Giuseppe Cannata, vice-president of Vercilli city council, after he writes on Facebook ‘kill all these lesbians, gays and paedophiles’. The Brothers of Italy (Fdl) distances itself from Cannata, who was elected three months ago as an independent, though backed by Fdl. (Ansa.it, 22 July 2019)
25 July: The far-right Vlaams Belang politician Tom Van Grieken is appointed as the Belgian government’s representative on the Council of Europe. (newsmonkey.be, 25 July 2019)
31 July: Alternative for Germany is accused of exploiting the death of an eight-year-old boy who died after being pushed, alongside his mother, under a moving train in Frankfurt. They tweet: ‘How many citizens have to be offered up on the altar of this welcome culture which knows no bounds?’ Members of the far Right attempt to demonstrate at a remembrance event organised by the railway’s religious mission. (Guardian, 31 July 2019)EU AND HUMAN RIGHTS
18 July: The European Commission announces an ‘EU-wide rule-of-law mechanism’ that means in future all EU nations will be subjected to annual monitoring. (Guardian, 18 July 2019)NATIONAL SECURITY
23 July: The home secretary announces that in future, for the first time, far-right extremism is to be included in official terror warnings. The change has been recommended by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre after an operational review. (Independent, 24 July 2019)HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
18 July: The House of Commons housing, communities and local government committee warns that safety reforms following the Grenfell Tower disaster are too slow and are putting lives at risk. Potentially dangerous cladding from hundreds of housing blocks has not been removed and the government has taken 23 months to publish proposals for consultation. (Guardian, 18 July 2019)
20 July: As part of the London Plan for developers and local authorities, the Greater London Authority bans segregated play spaces in all future housing developments where there are a mix of tenures in the capital. (Guardian, 20 July 2019)
26 July: Security firm Serco, contracted to provide asylum housing in Scotland, has begun changing locks in Glasgow to evict asylum seekers, it is revealed. Courts have granted 37 injunctions to prevent evictions. (Guardian, 26 July 2019)
27 July: British passport holders who settled in the UK after being evicted from the Chagos Islands in the late 1960s report being told to ‘go home’ to the Seychelles or Mauritius when they seek assistance with housing from their local council in Crawley, west Sussex, which has offered to pay for their flights rather than rehouse them. (Observer, 28 July 2019)EMPLOYMENT
23 July: A taxi firm in Port Talbot, Wales looking for new drivers, posts on Facebook that ‘we do not want Pakistanis’. After a public outcry, Cardy Cabs blames customers’ preferences for ‘white, British drivers’. (Wales Online, 23 July 2019)
31 July: Burger King staff in Barcelona win the right to wear beards following a ruling by the regional government’s labour inspection committee that the ban violated workers’ constitutional rights. (Guardian, 31 July 2019)EDUCATION
29 July: Anti-racists end their 137-day occupation of Goldsmiths college, University of London, saying they had ‘won extensive demands to combat institutional racism at the university’. (Guardian, 29 July 2019)
29 July: The Education Policy Institute warns that while the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their wealthier classmates has widened, pupils from a black Caribbean background have slipped a further 2.2 months behind their white peers since 2011. (Guardian, 29 July 2019)
29 July: Department for Education figures reveal a rise in suspensions and expulsions from schools in Derby in 2018, reflecting a national trend. Most exclusions are for ‘persistent disruptive behaviour’, but a record number in Derby were for physical attacks and racist abuse. (Derby Telegraph, 29 July 2019)HEALTH AND WELFARE
19 July: An inquest finds that neglect and serious failures by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust contributed to the suicide in March 2018 of 27-year-old Kenan Canalp and that the staff’s preoccupation with his potential risk of violence led to lesser consideration of his suicide risk. (Inquest media release, 19 July 2019)
27 July: Over £3.5 million of EU funding for the most deprived children has gone unspent by the government and risks being reclaimed, according to a House of Lords EU subcommittee which says over £500,000 has already been returned unspent. (BBC News, 27 July 2019)
29 July: The Social Metrics Commission finds that of 14.3 million people in the UK living in poverty, 4 million experience deep poverty, meaning their income is at least 50 percent below the official breadline. Extreme poverty (destitution) is experienced by an estimated 1.5 million people as a result of benefit cuts and high rents. (Guardian, 29 July 2019)SPORT
22 July: China’s state-run press agency accuses Manchester City of arrogance and disrespect towards Chinese local media and supporters after the club’s appearance at the Asia Trophy the previous week. (Guardian, 22 July 2019)
22 July: UEFA orders the national Bulgarian side to play their next two home Euro 2020 qualifying matches in a partially-closed stadium because of the racist behaviour of their supporters during qualifiers against Kosovo and the Czech Republic. (Inside World Football, 22 July 2019)
28 July: New Chelsea manager Frank Lampard tells Chelsea fans to drop a chant celebrating his footballing exploits but also containing an offensive reference to Travellers. (Guardian, 28 July 2019)
29 July: The Rugby Football League (RFL) promises an investigation after sports and news reporter Arif Ahmed tweets about racist abuse from Hull and Halifax fans at the Challenge Cup semi-final, which he says is a regular occurrence. (Serious about Rugby League, 29 July 2019)
30 July: Campaigning group Kick It Out praises Chelsea football club for imposing a lifetime ban on a fan who racially abused Raheem Sterling last season. The club imposed bans of 12 months to two years on supporters involved in other incidents in the same match. (Talksport, Kick It Out, 30 July 2019)
31 July: Sheffield Wednesday’s Fernando Forestieri is given a six-match ban by the Football Association (FA) for racist language. (BBC News, 31 July 2019)MEDIA AND CULTURE
23 July: After the Bild newspaper reports that two Leipzig day centres have taken pork off the daily menu out of consideration for two Muslim children, police, fearful of ‘possible dangers’, station patrol cars outside the centre. The hashtag Schweinefleisch (pork) takes the number one trending spot on Twitter and Alternative for Germany describes the move as ‘cultural subjugation’. Such is the outcry that the director puts the plan on hold. (Deutsche Welle in English, 23 July 2019)
29 July: The ‘overwhelming whiteness’ of the Edinburgh fringe festival deters artists and visitors, according to Fringe of Colour founder Jessica Brough, whose campaign has persuaded several venues featuring BAME performers to give out free tickets to local BAME young people. (Guardian, 29 July 2019)
30 July: The activist group Soup du Jour criticises the organisers of the Space is the Place exhibition in Berlin – inspired, in part, by Afrofuturism – for not including a single black artist in the line-up and only one artist of colour. (Guardian, 30 July 2019)
31 July: The BBC Radio 4 Today programme is criticised for interviewing Donald Trump’s former advisor Steve Bannon and not sufficiently challenging his far-right views. (Independent, 31 July 2019)RACIAL VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT
18 July: Camden’s borough police commander, Chief Superintendent Raj Kohli, reveals that he and his family have suffered three ‘hate crimes’ this year. (Camden New Journal, 23 July 2019)
19 July: Former Liverpool player John Durnin is convicted of racially aggravated assault and given a six-month suspended sentence and a community service order, for racially abusing 74-year-old pensioner RajkumarBhalla, grabbing him by the neck and punching him in August 2018. (Click Liverpool, 19 July 2019)
19 July: A 35-year-old woman is given a 12-month community order after pleading guilty to racially aggravated harassment at a supermarket in Burnley, Lancashire, in an incident in which she called a heavily pregnant shopper a ‘p*** immigrant’ and shouted ‘I’m going to kick the baby out of you’. (Daily Mirror, 19 July 2019)
23 July: As new figures reveal an increase in hate crimes to nearly 8,000 in West Yorkshire, and that racist crimes constituted two-thirds of the 2,900 hate crimes recorded by South Yorkshire police in 2018, Leeds-based charity Stop Hate UK launches a 24-hour helpline for young people under 18, Call Hate Out. (Yorkshire Post, 23 July 2019)
23 July: Scunthorpe-based screen actor NajModak reveals that he was subjected to racist abuse three times in three weeks last July. (Yorkshire Post, 23 July 2019)
23 July: A 30-year-old Carlisle man pleads guilty to racially or religiously aggravated assault for an attack on a mother eating with her children in McDonald’s, in which he racially abused and spat on her. He receives a community order and must pay compensation. (Cumberland News and Star, 26 July 2019)
24 July: Hundreds gather to protest racist violence after an Eritrean man is shot in the stomach in Wächtersbach, north-east Frankfurt. Police say he was targeted ‘completely at random and purely because of his skin colour’. The body of the man believed to be the gunman was later found in a car with a bullet wound to his head. (BBC News, 24 July 2019, Al Jazeera, 4 August 2019)
24 July: Police statistics reveal that racist crimes have increased in Greenwich, Bexley and Bromley. (News Shopper, 24 July 2019)
24 July: A 37-year-old man is taken to hospital with a head injury after a racist attack by three men in the Lowerhouses area of Huddersfield, west Yorkshire. (Examiner Live, 24 July 2019)
24 July: Following a number of recent bomb scares at German mosques, the Coordination Council of Muslims call for better police protection.In July alone, bomb threats have been made against mosques in the cities of Iserlohn, Villingen-Schwenningen and Munich, along with Cologne’s Central Mosque, with similar threats made at mosques in Duisburg, Mannheim and Mainz. (Deutsche Welle, 24 July 2019)
25 July: In Foggia, in the Puglia region of Italy, three migrants cycling to work suffer head and eye injuries after a gang throw stones at them. It is the fourth attack in two weeks, including a hit-and-run, and the NGO Intersos expresses concern that death threats against migrants are on the rise. (Foggia Today, 23 July 2019)
25 July: Courthouse News interviews witnesses of a terrifying attack on a Roma community of 20 families from the Albuccione housing estate on the outskirts of Rome, who were attacked by a 100-strong local mob armed with baseball bats, who threw bottles and broke windows as they shouted ‘kill them all’, ‘burn them alive’ and ‘send them all away!’ (Courthouse News Service, 25 July 2019)
29 July: A man who filmed a model of Grenfell Tower being burned on a bonfire appears at Westminster magistrates’ court and denies charges of sending a grossly offensive video and causing it to be uploaded to YouTube. (BBC News, 29 July 2019)
30 July: A former Norfolk magistrate and his son face a retrial on charges of racially aggravated ABH and harassment after the judge discharged the jury at Ipswich Crown Court. The pair allegedly racially abused a former tenant, Anthony Munatswa and attacked him with a hammer and hockey stick when he came to their property to collect his belongings. (Eastern Daily Press, 23, 30 July 2019)
30 July: A Birmingham police dog handler is charged with racially aggravated wounding after his dog bit a Traveller whom he had called a ‘gypo’. (Metro, 30 July 2019)
Counter protest this Sat, 24 August: Oppose fascist friends of ‘Tommy Robinson’, 12 noon, Oxford Circus
Wednesday 21 August
Anti racists will oppose fascist friends of jailed Robinson:
London counter protest back on this Saturday, 24 August On Saturday 3 August, Stand Up To Racism opposed fascist friends of Robinson on a united demonstration alongside other anti fascist organisations, and together outnumbered the far right 800 to 300 in a humiliating defeat for jailed Robinson and his racist, far right and fascist supporters
Stand Up To Racism’s counter demonstration opposing fascist supporters of jailed fascist ‘Tommy Robinson’ (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) for Saturday 24 August is now back on. … Read the rest
Published Wednesday 24 July, 2019
Donald Trump’s racist attack on four black congresswomen highlighted a central plank of “Trumpism”—to normalise a level of racism previously deemed unacceptable.
It seems ludicrous that Trump claimed, “I don’t have a racist bone in my body”. … Read the rest
SPLC, allies sue ICE for ignoring medical, mental health and disability needs of detained immigrants
PRESS RELEASE: Anti racists speak out as supporters of fascist Robinson cancel planned march in disarray
A march by supporters of jailed fascist ‘Tommy Robinson’ (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) planned for this Saturday, 24 August, has been cancelled. Since Robinson was sent to Belmarsh prison, Saturday would have seen the second demonstration by his far right and fascist supporters this month, following events on 3 August when around 800 anti fascist protesters united to outnumber just 300 of them.
Stand Up To Racism had called another counter protest for this Saturday, in opposition to all forms of racism, Islamophobia and Antisemitism, which is now called off as a result of Robinson’s supporters’ cancelled mobilisation. … Read the rest