Institute of Race Relations News

Subscribe to Institute of Race Relations News feed
Updated: 16 hours 35 min ago

Calendar of racism and resistance (19 February – 5 March 2019)

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 03:36

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

ASYLUM, MIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP Asylum and migrant rights

21 February: Humanitarian organisations criticise new parliamentary legislation in Denmark that increases the numbers of people eligible for deportation, a removal of indefinite stay for refugees and a reduction of social welfare given to asylum seekers. (The Local, 21 February 2019)

25 February: Concerns mount over the fate of two Palestinian refugees from Syria who, due to the prohibitive nature of German family reunification laws, opted to return to Syria to reunite with their partners. One disappeared at the Lebanese-Syrian border before being reunited with his wife; the other appears to have been detained by secret services shortly after arrival in Damascus. (InfoMigrants, 25 February 2019)

©_ANGELO_TRANI

25 February: The Institute for International Political Studies says that in Italy over the last four months 1,000 asylum claims submitted by Nigerian women and 1,134 humanitarian protection claims, have been refused, with many women, who are victims of sex-trafficking, disappearing after being thrown out of reception centres under the Salvini decree. (Guardian, 25 February 2019)

28 February: The Danish Government’s Immigration Service publish a report stating that there has been a ‘general improvement of conditions in government-controlled areas’ in Syria, and therefore, refugees to Denmark who come from these areas will no longer be automatically given asylum. (The Local, 28 February 2019)

Borders and externalisation

17 February: The French Defence Ministry announce the purchase of six boats that will be given to the Libyan coast guard in the spring to assist in Libya’s effort to ‘curb clandestine migration’. (Infomigrants, 25 February 2019)

19 February: Italy’s Senate Committee votes 16 – 6 to block an investigation into Interior Minister Salvini for kidnapping over his decision to allow 150 people to be stranded at sea for 5 days in August 2018. (Al jazeera, 19 February 2019)  

20 February: The German municipalities of Kiel, Lübeck, Flensburg, and Sylt, in conjunction with the state of Schleswig-Holstein, declare themselves ‘safe ports’ for people rescued in the Mediterranean. (Borderline Europe, 20 February 2019)

Salvamento Marítimo

21 February: Unnamed sources in the Spanish rescue mission Salvamento Marítimo claim that an agreement reached between Morocco  and Spain, which has come into immediate effect, means that some migrants rescued sea can be disembarked at Moroccan ports. (El País, 21 February 2019)

21 February: ANAFE publishes ‘Persona non grata’ which reveals that between 2016 and 2018, nearly thirty people died at the France-Italy border where dozens of illegal push-backs take place every day. (Read a summary of the report here)

24 February: An African Union ‘common African position paper’, on the EU blueprint for stemming migration by establishing ‘de facto detention centres’ on African soil, is leaked to  the Guardian. Coastal states are urged to resist plans that will ‘lead to the establishment of something like modern-day slave markets’, with the ‘best’ Africans being allowed into Europe and the rest ‘tossed back’. (Guardian, 24 February 2019)

25 February: Channel 4 News broadcasts mobile phone footage showing people being tortured inside camps in Libya where, with EU support, the Libyan authorities detain migrants to prevent them from crossing the Mediterranean to Europe. (Channel 4 News, 25 February; The Times, 1 March)

2 March: The EU’s funding of the Libyan coastguard comes under renewed focus as Al Jazeera reports that around 30 refugees and migrants, including minors, are punished for a revolt at Tripoli’s Triq al Sikka detention centre, by being beaten with sticks and bars, with the leaders taken to an underground cell and allegedly tortured. (Al Jazeeera, 2 March 2019)

3 March: Leaked documents from the European External Action Service and Frontex reveal that the EU knows its Mediterranean naval operations are making sea crossings more dangerous and that the Libyan coastguard that the EU funds, equips and trains collaborate with smuggling networks. (Politico.EU, 2 March 2019)

5 March: Thirty-five people are arrested in Lesvos after they illegally entered state land in order to install a huge metal cross – aimed at intimidating Muslim refugees – on a cliff  that overlooks the Aegean Sea and the Turkish mainland. (The Times, 5 March 2019)

Reception and detention

19 February: The parents of two Iraqi families are denied food by Hungarian officials whilst detained in Hungary’s transit zones, prompting the European Court of Human Rights to intervene. (Al Jazeera, 21 February 2019)

25 February: Following the deadly stabbing of a welfare official in Dornbirn by a rejected Turkish asylum seeker, the Austrian prime minister tables a constitutional amendment to allow for preventative ‘security detention for asylum seekers’ deemed a ‘potential threat’.  Refugee reception centres will be renamed ‘departure centres’. (Deutsche Welle, 25 February 2019)

2 March: Forty-four people are detained in Calais after climbing aboard a cross-channel ferry to try and reach the UK. (Times of Malta, 3 March 2019)

 Deportations

Symaag Demo

19 February: Around 300 people protest outside Vulcan House, the Home Office building in Sheffield, to protest the deportation of asylum seekers to Zimbabwe. (Assist Sheffield, 19 February 2019)

22 February: In Germany, an Air Algerie pilot refuses to deport a family, including an eight-month pregnant woman, to Algeria. The authorities issued the woman with a medical certificate declaring her fit to travel, despite documenting a high-risk pregnancy and the pilot expressing concern about the lack of medical equipment on board. (Hessenschau, 22 February 2019)

Citizenship

25 February: As lawyers acting for Chagos Islanders in the UK warn of the potential for a new ‘Windrush scandal’ affecting their clients, the UN’s International Court of Justice concludes that the Chagos Islands were not lawfully removed from Mauritius’ control in 1965, and urges the UK government to relinquish its continued colonial possessions. (BBC News, 25 February; Telegraph, 1 March 2019)

 HOUSING AND WELFARE

19 February: A Project 17 report on the hostile environment accuses the Home Office of forcing thousands of children into extreme poverty and homelessness because their parents’ immigration status means that they have no recourse to public funds (NRPF), and says that local authorities are avoiding their duty of care under Section 17 of the Children’s Act. Read the report here. (Independent, 19 February 2019)

21 February: The Local Government Association (LGA) says that council spending has risen from £77m to £152m between 2014 and 2018 as a result of increases in the number of asylum-seeking children in care in England. The LGA’s asylum, migration and refugee task group calls on the government to ensure that long-term funding is available for councils to provide adequate care for these children. (Guardian, 21 February 2019)

24 February: Lewisham Council says it will remove the embedded Home Office official who sits in on meetings between the council and vulnerable, often destitute migrants seeking recourse to public funds. (Guardian, 24 February 2019)

1 March: The High Court rules, in a legal challenge brought by JCWI, that the Right to Rent law, which requires private landlords to check the immigration status of tenants and potential tenants, breaches human rights law. The policy leads landlords to discriminate against BAME British citizens and ethnic minorities in general, foreign nationals with the right to rent, and anyone without a British passport. (Guardian, 1 March 2019)

1 March: A homeless Polish man who was unlawfully detained for 38 days as part of Operation Gopik, a policy to deport homeless EEA nationals, is awarded £14,800 in compensatory damages by the High Court. (Metro, 1 March)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

26 February: Protestors clash with riot police in Omonia, Greece following a march in central Athens to protest the death of a Nigerian migrant at a police station. Media reports that the 34 year old was beaten by police prior to his collapse. (Ekathimerini, 26 February 2019)

27 February Following the launch of Inquest’s Legal Aid for Inquest’s campaign on 25 February, shadow lord chancellor Richard Burgon pledges that a future Labour government would provide automatic legal aid for bereaved families at inquests where the relative died in state custody. Read Inquest’s campaign briefing here. (Guardian, 27 February 2019)

27 February: Basingstoke MP Maria Miller calls for more transparency from Hampshire police as it emerges that 16 police officers and 3 members of staff from a specialist team at the Basingstoke Investigation Centre are still under investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct, a year after allegations of  making racist and homophobic comments were made. (The Breeze, 27 February 2019, The News, 25 February 2019)

1 March:  Despite a 2012 inquest ruling that ‘unnecessary’ restraint contributed to Sean Rigg’s death in August 2008, a Metropolitan police panel dismisses misconduct charges against the five Met police officers involved. (Guardian, 1 March 2019)

4 March: To tackle high rates of knife crime, the chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation calls for the nationwide use of emergency stop and search powers under Section 60 of the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act. (Telegraph, 4 March 2019)

ANTI-FASCISM AND THE FAR RIGHT

17 February: Ahead of upcoming May elections, leaders of Spain’s far-right Vox party hold a rally in Torrejon de Ardoz, a town near Madrid, attended by 800 supporters. Four of the towns where the far-right party is holding upcoming rallies are low-income towns with a high percentage of immigrants.  (El Pais, 19 February 2019)

22 February: The far-right Brothers of Italy, which has its roots in fascism, is admitted to the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe in the European parliament, the grouping of the UK Conservative party. (Independent, 22 February 2019)

23 February: In Salford, Manchester, around 4,000 people march to the BBC in support of Tommy Robinson and in protest of an upcoming BBC Panorama investigation into him. A counter-protest is held. (BBC, 23 February 2019)

24 February: As part of an intelligence-led investigation, an unnamed 33-year-old right-wing extremist is arrested in Leeds on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism. (Independent, 24 February 2019)

26 February: Tommy Robinson is permanently banned from Facebook and Instagram for repeatedly breeching hate speech rules. His breeches include public calls for violence against people based on issues of race, hate speech targeted at specific groups and public praise for hate figures. (Guardian, 26 February 2019)

28 February: The Italian intelligence services warn that neo-nazi groups could target migrants in the run-up to the European elections, pointing out that racist attacks have tripled over the past year. (Guardian, 28 February 2019).

26 February: The Cologne administrative court rules that  intelligence services acted disproportionately and in breach of  the constitutional rights of political parties when it classified Alternative for Germany as ‘case to investigate’ for its alleged breach of  constitutional safeguards against extremism. (Reuters, 26 February 2019)

1 March: A Spanish ultraconservative catholic organisation Hazte Oír (Make Yourself Heard) has launched a bus campaign featuring an image of Hitler wearing makeup with the hashtag #StopFeminazis and the caption ‘Gender laws discriminate against men’ written below. The bus will travel through Spanish cities until International Women’s Day on 8 March. (El Pais, 1 March 2019)

3 March: A Guardian investigation suggests that, although membership is well down from the days of Farage, there has been a 50 per cent increase in UKIP party membership since February 2018, and that under the leadership of Gerard Batton, UKIP has shifted decisively towards the far right. (Guardian, 3 March 2019)

5 March: Anti-extremism officials say that far Right groups are attempting to infiltrate child protection charities to further an anti-Islam agenda. A community group for child sexual abuse survivors said it has been approached by senior UKIP figures who offered to fund an open-top bus to raise alarm about so-called ‘grooming gangs’. (Guardian, 5 March 2019)

EMPLOYMENT AND LABOUR EXPLOITATION

20 February: A probe is launched into a livestock farm in Larissa, Greece, after two Pakistani men were physically assaulted for asking to be paid for their work. (Ekathimerini, 20 February 2019)

ELECTORAL POLITICS

credit: @sviki1980

21 February: In the run-up to European parliamentary elections, the Hungarian government launches a poster campaign showing European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker alongside George Soros, with the words ‘You have the right to know what Brussels is doing’. (Guardian, 21 February 2019)

2 March: The Hungarian government launches a new poster campaign, replacing the posters of Juncker with the president of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, which claim to show ‘what kind of pro-migrant plans are under preparation by the Brussels bureaucracy’. (Deutsche Welle, 2 March 2019)

3 March: The anti-immigration Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE) more than doubles its share of the vote in the Estonian general election; with almost 18 per cent of the vote it is the third largest party in the parliament. (Guardian, 3 March 2019)

 

MEDIA AND CULTURE

4 March: After a public outcry, the digital channel BBC One Scotland promise not to air programmes featuring Mark Meechan (also known as Count Dankula), a YouTuber who was fined for training a dog to give a Nazi salute on camera. (Guardian, 4 March 2019)

5 March: Social media is flooded with complaints after grotesque puppets of Orthodox Jews, as well as people wearing KKK outfits and blackface, were displayed on flats at Belgium’s world-famous Aalst Carnival recognised by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. (Sputnik News, 5 March 2019)

19 February: Belgium’s former Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Theo Fracken announces that his book launch at the Veriers Hotel, Belgium, is cancelled after more than 200 people gather in front of the Hotel in protest. (Le Soir, 19 February 2019)

DISCRIMINATION

28 February: The Dutch appeals court rules in favour of Amersfoort city council which suspended a Muslim man’s welfare benefits for a month after he refused on religious grounds to shave his beard while training for a job as an asbestos removal officer. (Guardian, 28 February 2019)

NATIONAL SECURITY

3 March: The Austrian government says that as part of its efforts to preserve the rule of law and stop terror it will by 2020 establish an institution to monitor Islamist associations and organisations, including the spread of patriarchal courts of honour, ‘anti-integration content’  in mosques, and Islamist currents on social media.(Vienna Times, 3 March 2019)

28 February: Two Belgian women, widows of Syrian fighters, are denied the right to return in the Brussels Court of Appeal. The decision overturns the courts previous decision which ordered the government to accept their return. (Brussels Times, 28 February 2019)

 SPORT

22 February: Supporters of The Hague football club ADO, attending a fixture in Amsterdam against Ajax (whose supporters refer to themselves as ‘Joden’), spray-paint anti-Semitic graffiti across the capital, including the letters JHK, or Jews have cancer. (DutchNews.nl, 22 February 2019)

RACIST VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT

20 February: Assault charges are dropped against Gillyon Emmanuel, a black ice-cream parlour owner in Hilversum, the Netherlands. Having suffered months of racial harassment, when three youngsters said ‘climb back into your tree…cancer ape’ and threw oranges at her shop window, she responded by hitting one of them with a mop. (DutchNews.nl, 20 February 2019)

21 February: In Berkshire, a 15-year-old boy suffers a broken jaw after a suspected racist attack in a Bracknell underpass, reportedly by a group of five to six men. (In your area, 21 February 2019)

22 February: A man is jailed for six years after he was convicted of racially aggravated wounding with intent for attacking a doorman in Llandudno in April 2018. (North Wales Live, 22 February 2019)

23 February: A 30-year-old personal trainer from Nottingham who set up a fitness class for Muslim women is bombarded with racist abuse and death threats from Tommy Robinson supporters after Robinson shared her flyer on his Instagram page. Her car tyres are also reportedly slashed. (The Independent, 26 February 2019)

26 February: A women from Sandwell, West Midlands, is given a 12-month community order for racially aggravated assault after she attacked a shop worker wearing a headscarf in Debenhams and told her to ‘Go back to your own country, f****** Muslim’. (Evening Standard, 26 February 2019)

26 February: In Islington, north London, a Jewish man in his 70s is punched in the face and brutally assaulted as he lay on the ground by a shaven-headed assailant who asked him if he was Jewish before attacking him. (Islington Gazette, 26 February 2019)

27 February: A new Scottish government report shows that of the 6,736 hate crimes recorded in 2017/18 by Police Scotland, two thirds are race-related. Of the 5 per cent of crimes with multiple aggravators, race and religion are the most common combination. (Scotsman, 27 February 2019)

2 March: A memorial stone that marks the site of Strasbourg’s old synagogue which was burnt down by the Nazis in 1940 is vandalised. Last month dozens of graves were sprayed with swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans at a nearby Jewish cemetery. (BBC News, 2 March 2019)

4 March: Northern Ireland police are treating an incident in which graffiti was spray painted on to property in Cookstown as a racially motivated hate crime. (Mid-Ulster Mail, 4 March 2019)

 

This calendar was compiled by the IRR News Team, with the help of Zeeshan Ali, Graeme Atkinson, Joseph Maggs and Jamie Wates.

Calendar of racism and resistance (6 – 19 February 2019)

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 03:00

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

Asylum and Migration Asylum and migration rights

7 February: Lawyers and rights groups say increases in funding proposed in a review of legal aid by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), including restoring legal aid for migrant children separated from their parents, is a ‘drop in the ocean’ of need created by the cuts imposed by the 2012 Legal Aid Act. (Guardian, 7 February)

8 February: UK universities are told to ignore the net migration target when recruiting international students. (Times Higher Education (paywall), 8 February 2019)

9 February: The Times reports that hundreds of Commonwealth soldiers enlisted in the British Army are working second jobs to meet minimum income requirements to bring their children to the UK. (The Times (paywall), 9 February 2019)

10 February: In Rome, the mayors of ten Spanish and Italian cities (Barcelona, Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia, Naples, Palermo, Syracuse, Milan, Latina and Bologna), some of whom meet with the Pope, launch a call to ‘Welcome Migrants and Refugees’ and oppose current policies in the Mediterranean, particularly the closure of Italian and Maltese ports to search and rescue NGOs. (il manifesto, 10 February 2019)

15 February: The Institute for International Political Studies releases statistics showing that Italy has rejected a record 24,800 asylum applications in the last four months. Rejections, which coincide with the implementation of the Salvini decree, are up 25 per cent on the previous four months. (Guardian, 15 February 2019)

Borders

8 February: French magistrates open an inquiry into the death of Derman Tamimou, a 29-year-old man from Togo, who was found unconscious on the side of a highway linking the Hautes-Alpes with the northern Italian region of Piedmont. He is believed to have died of hypothermia. (Guardian, 8 February 2019)

16 February: The mayor of the Italian town of Oulx says that since the implementation of the Salvini decree, which has rendered many asylum seekers homeless, more migrants are arriving in the town, hoping to cross over via the Alps into France. (Guardian, 16 February 2019)

Reception and detention

7 February: MPs and peers on the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) recommend a 28-day limit to immigration detention, alongside other measures to improve the ‘prison-like’ conditions endured by detainees in immigration removal centres (IRCs). (Guardian, 7 February 2019)

A protest calling for the closure of Yarl’s Wood detention centre on 12 March 2016. © Nilüfer Erdem

8 February: The Morning Star launches a campaign to end wage slavery in immigration detention centres, estimating that detainees would have earned an additional £27.7m over the last decade on the minimum wage instead of the £1 per hour they receive. (Morning Star, 8, 9 February 2019)

9 February: Government figures reveal that of the 6,300 people in immigration detention identified last year by doctors and social workers as vulnerable and at risk of self-harm, only 364 – or 6 per cent – were subsequently released. (Guardian, 9 February 2019)

13 February: Lawyers and campaigners say the Home Office admission that a Chinese woman showing multiple indications of trafficking was unlawfully detained for six months demonstrates that its Adults at Risk policy fails to protect vulnerable people. (Independent, 13 February 2019)

15 February: The Hungarian Helsinki Committee says that despite being sanctioned by the European Court of Human Rights, the authorities are once again leaving asylum seekers without food for long periods of time in order to convince them to give up asylum claims and leave the country. (InfoMigrants, 15 February 2019)

Enforcement

16 February: The Observer reveals that the Home Office is offering to hire out immigration officials to public services, NHS trusts, local authorities and private companies at around £60 an hour, to attend interviews, perform real-time immigration status checks and encourage undocumented migrants to leave the country. (Observer, 16 February 2019)

17 February: MPs establish an all-party parliamentary group to investigate the fates of the 35,000 people accused of cheating in the Home Office’s official English test, to determine how many have been deported, allowed to stay, or are in detention. (Independent, 17 February 2019)

Deportation

7 February: Detainees, campaigners and politicians demand an apology from home secretary Sajid Javid after he claimed that the people deported by charter flight to Jamaica the previous day were all guilty of ‘very serious crimes’. They also call for an end to deportations of long-term UK residents, which divide families. (Independent, 7 February 2019, Guardian, 9 February 2019)

12 February: Peers, asylum lawyers, charities and a former British ambassador to Zimbabwe condemn the resumption of deportations of refused asylum seekers to the country, described as a ‘human rights-free zone’. (Guardian, 12 February 2019)

14 February: A bot designed by anti-deportation activists in the Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants (LGSM) group is used on Valentine’s Day to raise awareness about deportations using the Tinder dating app. (Guardian, 14 February 2019)

15 February: Following parliamentary questions by Die Linke on police brutality, separation of families and the use of sedatives during deportation flights, the German government admits that physical restraint was used against 300 people on 156 deportation flights in 2017 (until November), but declines to investigate further. (ECRE Newsletter, 15 February 2019)

Citizenship

7 February: Home Office statistics revealed to the Home Affairs Committee by Sajid Javid show that over 3,000 of the Windrush generation have been granted British citizenship since the Windrush scandal. But there is still no accessible compensation scheme or hardship fund for those affected. (Sky News, 7 February 2019)

19 February: Sajid Javid signs an order revoking the British citizenship of 19-year-old Shamima Begum, who travelled to Syria to join ISIS aged 15, making it impossible for her to return to the UK from the refugee camp where she is living with her newborn child. Her family say the order will make her stateless and are to challenge the order. (Guardian, 16, 19 February 2019)

Criminalising solidarity

7 February: A private letter from United Nations human rights experts to the government expressing ‘grave concern’ at the use of terrorism offences against the Stansted 15 is revealed. (Guardian, 7 February 2019)

11 February: Migration and anti-deportation activist groups including End Deportations launch a week of action against the Home Office with a day-long ‘Trial of the Home Office’ outside the ministry, to mark the conviction of the Stansted 15 and the cruelty of Home Office policies. Two activists are arrested. (i, 13 February 2019; End Deportations (facebook) 11 February 2019)

18 February: Swedish student Elin Ersson, who filmed herself preventing the deportation of an Afghan asylum seeker, is fined 3,000 kroner (€287, £352) by a Gothenburg district court. The prosecutor had called for a six-month prison sentence. (Deutsche Welle, 18 February 2019)

Police and criminal justice system

6 February: The home secretary announces that police are to be given ‘greater power to crack down on trespassers’ at ‘illegal’ Traveller sites. (Travellers Times, 6 February 2019)

7 February: The Ministry of Justice rejects INQUEST’s demand for automatic, non-means-tested legal aid for families in inquests where state officials such as police or prison officers are represented. (The Law Gazette, 8 February 2019)

8 February: Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show that in the year to March 2018 knife killings reached their highest level since records began in 1946. A quarter of all victims were black, an increase of 78 per cent for black men aged between 16 and 24. (Independent, 8 February 2019)

11 February: Up to 100 convicted knife crime offenders are to be tagged after leaving prison under a pilot scheme beginning on 18 February in Lewisham, Croydon, Lambeth and Southwark, four boroughs with high knife crime rates. (Guardian, 11 February 2019)

12 February: Liberty publishes Policing the Machine, an exposé of discriminatory police computer programs which highlights the implications of the use of predictive algorithms by 14  UK forces for already over-policed BAME communities. Download the report here. (Liberty press release, 12 February 2019)

12 February: A coroner says that the inquest into the death of 43-year-old Leroy Junior Medford in Thames Valley Police custody in April 2018 will focus on the fifteen hours after his arrest. (BBC News, 12 February 2019)

13 February: Three Met Police officers involved in the death of Sean Rigg in police custody in April 2008 have misconduct charges against them dropped, although they still face other charges relating to their reporting of the death. (BBC News, 13 February 2019)

National security

15 February: Sajid Javid tells The Times that he ‘will not hesitate to prevent’ the return to the UK of British citizens who have supported a terrorist organisation abroad. (Guardian,15 February 2019)

16 February: The Islamic Religious Community of Austria (IGG) welcomes the Vienna Administrative Court’s ruling against a government plan to shut down six mosques belonging to the Arab community as part of its crackdown on ‘political Islam’. (Muslim News, 16 February 2019)

Anti-fascism and the far Right

2 February: Three far-right activists are arrested in Lille in connection with an assault on a young woman filmed by an Al Jazeera undercover reporter for the documentary Generation Hate. The prosecutor does not name the accused, but the media name Remi Falize of Generation Identity’s Flanders branch as one of those arrested. (Al Jazeera, 5 February 2019)

15 February: Fascist Forge, a US website believed to be hosted in the Ukraine but used as a meeting ground for neo-nazis globally, most notably recently in Scotland, to plan race war, share bomb-making manuals and boast about their urges to rape women, has been taken down by the site’s register DreamHost. (Vice, 15 February 2019)

15 February: On the death of 96-year-old anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist Lyndon LaRouche, the Justice for Jeremiah Duggan campaign calls on those who attended the LaRouche conference in March 2003 in Germany, following which 22-year-old Jeremiah Duggan died, to reveal the true circumstances of his death. A court in Frankfurt is considering a fresh application to re-open the case on the ground that previous investigations were deeply flawed (Justice for Jeremiah, 15 February 2019)

17 February: Rape Crisis reports ‘overtly racist’ communications to the police after being bombarded with racist communications from Tommy Robinson supporters, when Robinson drew attention to a pamphlet from the charity aimed at helping black, Asian and minority ethnic women. (Independent, 17 February 2019)

Electoral politics

7 February:  The Bulgarian deputy prime minister announces new measures to ‘integrate’ Roma by curbing welfare, demolishing unauthorised settlements and offering free abortions to Roma mothers who have more than three children. All the measures are included in the government’s ‘Concept for the Integration of the Unsocialised Gypsy (Roma) Ethnicity’. (Balkan Insight, 8 February 2019)

14 February: Mike Whitehead, former Police and Crime Commissioner candidate for Humberside, resigns from UKIP, saying party leader Gerard Batten’s promotion of Tommy Robinson and ‘alliance with right-wing extremists and his fixation with Islam is totally unacceptable’. (Hull Live, 14 February 2019)

15 February: The Austrian far-right interior minister, Herbert Kickl, citing crimes against women, announces a package of tough new measures, stating ‘We observe that very, very often people involved in these violent crimes are not Austrian and are from other countries and other cultures’. (Reuters, 13 February 2019)

18 February: Seven Labour MPs leave the party to form an independent grouping, with some citing ‘institutional anti-Semitism’ as a factor in their decision. One of their number, Angela Smith, is later forced to apologise for apparently describing people from BAME backgrounds as having a ‘funny tinge’. (Politico.euGuardian, 18 February 2019)

Media and Culture

9 February: Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio, leader of the Five Star Movement, attack the ‘radical chic’ judges of the annual televised Sanremo song festival who award the prize to ‘Mahmood’, whose song contains Arabic words. (Guardian, 11 February 2019)

12 February: William Mitchell, a former UKIP candidate, claims that he has appeared in the audience of BBC’s Question Time four times, and that he did not have to go through the process of applying but was personally invited by the BBC. (The Herald, 12 February 2019)

15 February: A group representing British East Asians in the TV and film industry accuse the BBC of racist stereotyping and ‘orientalist cliches’ over a children’s sitcom featuring a British Chinese family. (Guardian, 15 February 2019)

15 February: Eight high-profile French male journalists are suspended or stand down, as it emerges that they formed a ‘club’ called the League of LOL that ran an online harassment campaign against feminists, female journalists, writers of colour and gay people, often using false accounts to spread racist and sexist abuse. (Guardian, 15 February 2019)

Education

6 February: A report by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) finds that the Home Office prioritised immigration status checks on pupils over their eligibility for free school meals. (Schools Week, 6 February 2019)

Employment

8 February: Fijian lance corporal Inoke Momonokaya, who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan with the British Army, wins £490,000 in compensation for sustained racist bullying, including an order in 2011 to dress and act as a Taliban insurgent for a Ministry of Defence (MoD) training video. The racism left him suicidal and unable to serve (Metro, 10 February 2019)

9 February: A Guardian exposé finds that African migrant agricultural workers in Italy are paid as little as €2-3 an hour, 80 per cent of agricultural workers without contracts are migrants, and the Salvini migration decree is accelerating illegalisation and exploitation. (Guardian, 9 February 2019)

Housing

11 February: Politics.co.uk reveals that between December 2016 and July 2018 almost 300 Commonwealth nationals were evicted under the government’s ‘right to rent’ rules, introduced in 2016, which require landlords to end a tenancy if the Home Office notifies them that the tenant does not have permission to be in the UK. (Politics, 11 February 2019)

16 February: Activists, relatives and models representing the 72 people who died in the Grenfell Tower fire stage a protest at the start of London Fashion Week. (Independent, 16 February 2019)

Health

17 February: The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) admits that at least 22 people have been wrongly ordered to pay advance charges before receiving urgent care, violating safeguards in the charging regulations. (Guardian, 17 February 2019)

Discrimination

10 February: More that 55 per cent of voters in Geneva back the introduction of a law that bans elected officials and public employees from wearing visible religious symbols in the city. The law was originally proposed by the right-leaning cantonal parliament in April 2018, but Left, Muslim and feminist groups gathered enough signatures to force a public vote. (The Local, 11 February 2019)

15 February: Hundreds of Spanish citizens of Chinese origin take to the streets of Madrid accusing Spain’s second bank, BBVA, of racism after the bank suspended and closed their bank accounts with no warning or explanation. (The Local, 15 February 2019)

Sport

7 February: The Football Association charges Sheffield United Women forward Sophie Jones with racially abusing Tottenham’s Renee Hector in a match on 6 January. (BBC, 7 February 2019)

18 February: Raheem Sterling meets a young Newport player who has suffered racial abuse and encourages him to ‘always be proud of who you are, and never stay silent’ in a post on social media. (Independent, 16 February 2019)

Racial violence and harassment

7 February: The Community Security Trust reports a record number of antisemitic incidents in 2018. Violent attacks decreased by 17 per cent, and the most common type of incident was verbal abuse. (Guardian, 7 February 2019)

8, 16 February: The home of Jackson Yamba and his ten-year-old son is targeted with ‘No Blacks’ racist graffiti, as are communal doors, days after they move into a small block of flats in Salford, Greater Manchester. The police fail to respond to Yamba’s report, leading the trainee solicitor to take to Twitter, where offers of help and support pour in.(Guardian, 17, 18 February 2019)

8-9 February: A prayer hall at a Jewish cemetery in Whitefield, Bury, is desecrated in what a senior Greater Manchester police officer describes as ‘an abhorrent act of hate’. (Guardian, 10 February 2019)

9 February: In Berlin, two teenage Syrian girls are punched in the face by a man shouting racist abuse, and hours later a woman tries to tear off the hijab of a 12-year-old girl, threatening her with pepper spray before allegedly trying to stab the child with a syringe filled with what appears to be blood. (Deutsche Welle, 10 February 2019)

11 February: A Spanish bar owner is ordered to pay €1,500 (€300 each) to the five people he threw out of his bar saying that he didn’t ‘want black people here’. The judge says his action shows his ‘undisguised contempt’. (El Pais, 11 February 2019)

11 February: A man who was fined £800 nearly a year ago for posting a grossly offensive video featuring a dog doing a Nazi salute, boasts on a radio show that he has refused to pay the fine and taunts the police to come and get him. (Daily Record, 11 February 2019)

12 February: A retired university lecturer in Wilmslow is fined for racially aggravated harassment after twice telling his German neighbour to ‘go home’. (Manchester Evening News, 12 February 2019)

15 February: Official figures show incidents of anti-Semitism rose by 74 per cent in France and over 60 per cent in Germany in 2018. (Guardian, 14 February 2019)

16 February: A shopper was reportedly subjected to racial abuse by a group of 70 young people, who also damaged his car, outside a Tesco in Ingleby Barwick. (Teeside Live, 17 February 2019)

18 February: Police investigate reports of racially aggravated assault after Maajid Nawaz, presenter on LBC radio and founder of the Quilliam foundation, is reportedly attacked and racially abused by a man in Soho, London. (Guardian, 19 February 2019)

 

This calendar was compiled by the IRR News Team with the help of Zeeshan Ali, Graeme Atkinson, Joseph Maggs and Jamie Wates.

 

The London Clearances a background paper on race, housing and policing

Wed, 02/20/2019 - 03:54

New IRR publication provides a fresh take on housing, policing and racism in London.

The moral panic over supposedly dangerous black, urban subcultures in London, emerges at a crucial time, argues the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) in a challenging background paper published today. The impact of financialisation on local authority housing is converging with location-specific intensive and intrusive policing. In The London Clearances: Race Housing and Policing, researcher Jessica Perera traces the overlap between attempts to gentrify so-called ‘sink estates’ and the criminalising of young black men, seen as an obstacle to such ‘regeneration’. She provides historical context to understand the current moment, analysing not just the  Estates Regeneration Programme of the current Conservative government, but the ‘positive gentrification’ policies of New Labour, as well as its creation of ‘ASBO Britain’.

There are thousands of people waiting for housing across the capital, and yet new housing developments are not being built to meet their needs. Instead, the report reveals how ‘regeneration’ projects are being used to actively dispossess working-class and low-income families of their homes. This process, often referred to as ‘social cleansing’, has previously been understood as a class issue. But the fact that BAME families are over-represented in social housing in the capital and highly racialised language was used to describe London’s post-war housing estates in the aftermath of the 2011 riots, would strongly suggest, the IRR argues, that this is also a race issue.

IRR researcher Jessica Perera says, ‘this is a replication of the government’s “hostile environment” policy. Instead of the policy being a prelude to moving people out of the country, it is, at a local level, a prelude to decanting BAME families from local authority land.’ For Perera such localised hostile environments, administered by a range of state institutions (local authorities, housing associations, social services, schools, police) denotes the way policing in London today is being organised around the project of regenerating London and, in turn, gentrifying it.

Related Links

Buy a hard copy here

Download free copy here

The So-Called ‘Migrant Crisis’ Analysed

Tue, 02/19/2019 - 06:51

Seán Binder and Meena Aramish Masood, humanitarian volunteers on the Greek island of Lesvos, are initiators of this wide-ranging panel discussion which will be chaired by the LSE Human Rights Group.

  • Thursday February 28th, 6.30-8pm
  • Institute of Race Relations, 2-6 Leeke Street, Kings Cross Road, London WC1X 9HS

Register for the event here

Related Links

Free Humanitarians

LSE Human Rights Group

Southall Memorial Walk: Black, Anti-Racist and Working Class History

Tue, 02/19/2019 - 06:35
A free and unique historical walk in one of the UK’s vibrant multicultural towns, exploring its political and cultural landmarks as well as its life changing events.
  •  Saturday 23 March, 11am – 2pm
  • 112 The Green, Southall, UB2 4BQ

The special walk is part of a series of events organised by Southall Resists 40, consisting of local community organisations to mark the 40th anniversary of the death of school teacher Blair Peach in April 1979.

Related links

Link to the event

Southall resists 40 

FacebookTwitter and Instagram 

For further information, please contact southallresists40@gmail.com

Southall, April 1979: How to fight the fascists and win (then and now)

Tue, 02/19/2019 - 06:35

University of London, Birkbeck College holds event to discuss how to combat fascism, with a focus on the events that took place in Southall in 1979 and 1981. 

  • Sunday 28 April, 1pm-5:30pm
  • Room B36, Birkbeck, University of London, Torrington Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7JL

This is one of a series of events to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Southall protests. Speakers include Suresh Grover, Sita Balani, Gurminder K Bhambra and David Renton.

Related links

The event is free but please register here

Schedule and list of speakers

Southall resists 40 

FacebookTwitter and Instagram 

For further information, please contact southallresists40@gmail.com

Southall Resists 40: history speaking to the now

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 07:27

A Southall resident describes the community activities in Southall Resists 40, remembering the death of anti-fascist Blair Peach in 1979 and the historic opposition to racism and fascism in Southall.

23 April is mainly seen as England’s national St George’s Day. But, that day also stands out as a moment in British history when nationalist sentiment was supplemented with state racism and police brutality of the deadliest kind. Tuesday 23 April 2019 will mark forty years since the murder of teacher and anti-racist activist, Blair Peach. Peach’s death in 1979 was a consequence of a ruthless display of police violence against Southall’s predominantly South Asian community, with whom Peach was protesting in solidarity against the National Front’s unwanted and provocative presence in the town. It is with a commitment to honouring this salient milestone in British anti-racism, as well as remembering Southall’s wider history of grassroots anti-racist resilience, that Southall Resists 40 (SR40) was formed.

SR40 is a coordinating group comprised of local residents, organisations, activists and artists. Underpinning the project is the collective view that remembering the aggressive policing of Southall’s black and Asian community, and of the wider contingent of anti-fascist protesters, in April 1979 is imperative, not least because Peach’s murder remains ‘unfinished business’ – no police officer was held to account for it. SR40 also represents a collective effort to relate the pivotal moment of 1979 to Southall’s broader history of racist violence and anti-racist resistance, which includes the racially-motivated murder of Gurdip S. Chaggar in 1976, and the community’s successful efforts to defend the town from fascist intruders in 1981. The project also recognises the significance of Southall’s anti-racist history for ongoing struggles against state racism and far-right fascism. That is, SR40 remembers not for the sake of remembering, but rather to draw inspiration from the past for the anti-racist challenges facing us today.

SR40 in practice

In practical terms, SR40 serves as a hub for various projects to work together, support one another and use creativity as a political tool for learning about past anti-racist struggles to mobilise in the present. Some initiatives already underway include the Southall Rising Arts Project, to make the monumental events of 1976, 1979 and 1981 a point of sustained classroom discussion — decolonising the curriculum in action. The project has involved community members working with local primary and secondary schools throughout the year, with students learning about the struggles of Southall’s black and Asian working-class community through art and creative writing. Some of the artwork is, appropriately, on display at the Southall Town Hall. Complementing this, the history walks initiative traces the gradual development of Southall into a proud symbol of multicultural conviviality, while also covering sites like the Dominion Centre, where racist violence and community fightbacks underpinning that development took place.

SR40 events

Upcoming events that will recall Southall’s past anti-racist struggles, while also organising for the present, include ‘An Evening of Culture and Resistance’ on Friday 12 April 2019, which will involve poetry, music and film; a plaque ceremony and vigil in honour of Blair Peach and Gurdip S. Chaggar on Tuesday 23 April 2019; a procession on Saturday 27 April 2019; and a symposium on fighting fascism on the following day at Birkbeck, University of London. Each initiative is special in its own way and makes a unique contribution to the collective endeavour of acknowledging not only Southall’s anti-racist past, but also how it speaks to the now.

Hopefully, the momentum generated from these grassroots projects can be built upon beyond April 2019. The community victory that put paid to the far Right ever stepping foot in the town again, is a proud legacy to remember in radical history, but SR40 suggests how that tradition can be carried forward beyond Southall too.

Blair Peach memorial march following his death on 28th April 1979. Protesters look towards to spot where Blair Peach was killed.

Upcoming Southall Resists 40 events:

23 March: Southall history and memorial walk  (11am, starting from Dominion Centre, Southall)

12 April: An evening of culture and resistance (6.30pm, at Tudor Rose Club, Southall)

23 April: Screening of Southall on Trial, plaque ceremony and vigil (4pm, Southall Town Hall)

27 April: ‘Southall remembers, Southall united’ procession (2pm, starting from Dominion Centre)

28 April: Conference on How to fight fascists and win, (1-5.30pm, Birkbeck, University of London)

4 June: Conference on ‘State Racism and the far Right’ (6.30pm, Dominion centre, Southall)

 

Related links

Southall resists 40 

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram 

For further information, please contact southallresists40@gmail.com

 

Criminalising Dissent: the Stansted 15 and the Hostile Environment

Thu, 02/07/2019 - 03:35

A lecture examining political resistance to the UK’s ‘deport now, appeal later policy’, the value of direct action and what the judgement on the Stansted 15 means for the future of political dissent.

  • Wednesday 20 February, 6pm – 8pm
  • Room 313, School of Law, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End, London, E1 4NS

The event, hosted by the International State Crime Initiative, will feature Ali Tamlit and Helen Brewer – two members of the Stansted 15 – their legal counsel, and experts on policing and protest.

Related links 

Register for the event here

Queen Mary School of Law International State Crime Initiative

 

¡No Pasaran! Confronting the rise of the Far Right

Thu, 02/07/2019 - 03:35

A London conference bringing together activists from across Europe and beyond to discuss and organise against the rise of the far Right. 

  • Saturday 2 March, 9:30am – 5pm
  • Bloomsbury Central, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8EP

Speakers include Diane Abbott MP, Liz Fekete, and more.

Related links

Register for tickets here

More information on No Pasaran

Calendar of racism and resistance (23 January – 6 February 2019)

Thu, 02/07/2019 - 03:33

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

ASYLUM, MIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP Asylum and migrant rights

23 January: After two years of unlawfully refusing his safe passage from the Calais Jungle, the Home Office finalises arrangements for an Eritrean child refugee to join his aunt in the UK. (Independent, 23 January 2019)

28 January: The Labour Party’s last-minute opposition to the government’s post-Brexit Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill proves ineffective as Parliament votes in favour by 297 to 234 votes. (Guardian, 28 January 2019)

28 January: In Genoa, Italy, Prince Jerry, a 25-year-old Nigerian chemistry graduate, who arrived in Italy over two years ago on a boat from Libya, kills himself  by jumping under a train after  becoming deeply depressed after being denied a residence permit. (Naij.com, 31 January, Guardian, 1 February 2019)

30 January: The Dutch government announces that it will allow 630 ‘well-rooted’ child refugees facing deportation to stay but, after that, the amnesty for child refugees will be abolished and the number of refugees the Dutch take from UN resettlement schemes will be cut. (DutchNews, 30 January 2019)

30 January: In The Hague, a 96-day non-stop church service run by 1,000 volunteer pastors and priests from across Europe to protect an Armenian family from deportation comes to an end as the family of five benefits from the amnesty (see above). (New York Times, 30 January 2019)

Borders

24 January: A special tribunal in Catania rules that interior minister Salvini could stand trial for kidnap in relation to his refusal to allow an Italian coast-guard ship carrying migrants to enter Italian waters. (The Local, 25 January 2019)

31 January: After twelve days at sea, the Dutch-flagged Sea Watch 3 is allowed to dock in the Sicilian port of Catania as six European countries agree to accommodate the migrants it carries. Italian interior minister Salvini is threatening legal action against the crew for aiding ‘illegal immigration’. (The Local, 31 January 2019)

February: The impounding of the vessel Sea-Watch 3 for technical irregularities by the authorities in Catania, Sicily, means that there are currently no independent search and rescue missions operating in the Mediterranean. (Euractiv, 5 February 2019)

4 February: A section of the port in Lesvos is named after Kyriakos Papadopoulos, a coastguard who distinguished himself during the peak of the refugee crisis in 2015/16 rescuing more than 5,000 people, but who died last year aged 44 of a heart attack. (Ekathimerini, 4 February 2019)

Immigration enforcement

29 January: French police clear 300 people, many from Africa and Afghanistan, from a makeshift refugee camp by Porte de la Chapelle in northern Paris. La Cimade condemns repeated evictions, saying  that more than 2,400 refugees and migrants, including children, are sleeping rough in camps north of Paris or in Saint-Denis. (Reuters, 29 January 2019)

Reception and detention

23 January: The first mass eviction of refugees since Italy introduced the ‘Salvini’ immigration decree begins, with 500 people forced out of the Castelnuovo di Porto reception centre, near Rome. (Guardian, 23 January 2019)

23 January: Lewisham Council becomes the eighth local council to pass a These Walls Must Fall motion calling for an end to immigration detention. (Detention, 24 January 2019)

25 January: The Inspectorate of Prisons’ final report on Campsfield House immigration removal centre, due to close in May, finds that 41 per cent of detainees felt unsafe in the facility. (BBC News, 25 January 2019)

5 February Government figures, revealed in response to a written question by the Liberal Democrats, show that the government has spent £523.5 million on immigration detention between April 2013 and March 2017. (Independent, 5 February 2019)

Deportations

30 January The Morning Star reveals that following the Stansted 15 action, Stansted Airport refused to allow the Home Office to use its runway for chartered deportation flights. The RAF, whose runways would be used instead, also began labelling anti-deportation activists as ‘enemy forces’. (Morning Star, 30 January 2019)

4 February Two men are earmarked for deportation on a charter flight to Jamaica despite being summoned as key witnesses in the inquest into the death of Carlington Spencer in Morton Hall IRC in 2017. (Guardian, 4 February; Independent, 5 February 2019)

6 February: About 50 people, including many who have lived in the UK with families and children for decades, are deported on a charter flight to Jamaica, believed to be the first such flight to Jamaica since the Windrush scandal. At least 7 people who were given removal directions are understood to have been granted a last-minute reprieve from the flight. (Sky News, 6 February, Guardian, 6 February 2019)

 

Crimes of solidarity

22 January: The Legal Centre Lesvos says that there is no basis for the arrest of human rights activist Bangladeshi asylum seeker, Sohel M, for criminal offences relating to a fire at the Moria detention centre in October 2016, in which no one was hurt. (The Legal Centre Lesvos, 22 January 2019)

The first day of the trial of the Stansted 15.

6 February: As hundreds gather outside Chelmsford Crown Court in support of the Stansted 15, who were awaiting their sentence after being found guilty of endangering an airport for blocking the takeoff of a deportation flight in 2017, a Crown Court judge indicates that all 15 will avoid immediate jail time, with 3 given suspended sentences and 12 given community service. (Guardian, 6 February 2019)

 

ANTI-FASCISM AND THE FAR RIGHT

22 January: A man accused of causing an explosion during a nationalist protest against the Prespes ‘name deal’ between Greece and Macedonia, is linked to the far-right Apella group. Journalist Thomas Jacobi, who co-produced the documentary ‘Golden Dawn: a personal affair’, was also violently attacked during the same demonstration. (Ekathimerini, 22 January 2019, Anti-Fascist Action Greece, 22 January 2019)

25 January: The far Right is believed to be behind the firebombing of the home of Syriza MP Theodora Tzakri in the city of Giannitsa, and linked to the ongoing parliamentary debate on the ratification of the Prespes accord. (Ekathimerini, 25 January 2019)

25 January: Fourteen members of the far-right Austrian ‘Federation of States’, including a former police officer, are convicted of attempting to initiate an army-led coup. (Deutsche Welle, 25 January 2019)

27 January: On International Holocaust Day, around 70-100 neo-Nazis protest outside Auschwitz claiming that only Jews and not Poles who died there are remembered. Alternative for Germany is banned from participating in the commemoration at the Buchenwald camp. (i24news, 26 January 2019, Associated Press, 27 January 2019)

28 January: German bloggers post on netz.politik.org previously unseen classified intelligence on the far-right AfD detailing some members’ links to the Identitarian movement. (Deutsche Welle, 28 January 2019)

29 January: Tommy Robinson is refused a visa by the Australian authorities, derailing a speaking tour in which he was due to speak in five cities alongside Gavin McInnes and Milo Yiannopoulos. (Independent, 29 January 2019)

POLICE AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

23 January: An inquest jury finds that numerous systemic and individual failings contributed to the death from self-inflicted injuries of Tyrone Givans at HMP Pentonville on 26 February 2018, including a failure to recognise and address his profound deafness and vulnerability to alcoholism and substance abuse. (Islington Gazette, 23 January 2019)

25 January: Following a judicial review, the high court orders a new inquest into the death of Windrush citizen Dexter Bristol. The original coroner refused to designate the Home Office an interested party or to consider whether the stress caused by its hostile environment policies was a contributing factor to his death by heart failure.  (Guardian, 25 January 2019)

27 January: Two police officers involved in the death of Sheku Bayoh in May 2015 challenge the Scottish Police Authority’s refusal to grant them early retirement on medical grounds. (Daily Record, 27 January 2019)

28 January: A report by the Inspectorate of Prisons finds that 51 per cent of young boys in young offenders’ institutions and over 40 per cent of those in secure training centres in England and Wales are from black or minority ethnic backgrounds. (Guardian, 29 January 2019)

30 January: A joint inspection report reveals that staff at the MOJ-run Medway secure training centre (STC), a children’s prison for 12- to 18-year-olds, are still restraining inmates who engage in passive non-compliance. (Guardian, 30 January 2019)

31 January: The chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime says that a  government proposal, to amend the offensive weapons bill to introduce ASBO-style knife crime prevention orders, risks criminalising a whole generation of young people. (Guardian, 31 January 2019).

31 January: New Ministry of Justice safety in custody statistics show that 325 people died in prison in 2018, a 10 per cent increase on the year before, and that there were even larger increases in incidents of self-harm, prisoner-on-prisoner and prisoner-on-staff assaults. Read the report here. (Guardian, 31 January 2019)

31 January: Guardian Cities gives the background to last week’s urban disturbances in Lisbon during which a spontaneous demonstration against police brutality is called in the city centre after a video showing police beating up the black residents of the Bairro de Jamaica goes viral. Rubber bullets are fired against the protesters, and disturbances erupt across the capital, with cars set on fire and police stations targeted. (Guardian, 31 January 2019)

Sean Rigg

1 February: Five Metropolitan police officers accused of gross misconduct over the death of Sean Rigg under police restraint in August 2008 lose their bid to have disciplinary charges against them dropped. (Guardian, 1 February 2019)

2 February: Swedish police launch two investigations after a video goes viral showing a heavily-pregnant black women travelling with her daughter being forcibly removed from the Stockholm metro. The security guards are being investigated for potential misconduct and the woman for ‘violent resistance’. (Guardian, 2 February 2019)

ELECTORAL POLITICS

25 January: Over two hundred prominent Austrians, led by authors Elfriede Jelinek and Daniel Kehlman, demand the resignation of the country’s far-right interior minister, Herbert Kickl, after he questioned Europe’s human rights conventions in relation to asylum seekers and said ‘it was up to law to follow politics’. (Deutsche Welle, 25 January 2019)

4 February: Several conservative MPs, including Jacob Rees-Mogg and Priti Patel, tweet support for new right-wing youth group Turning Point UK, an apparent offshoot of a US group accused of anti-Islam views and connections to racism. (Guardian, 4 February 2019)

DISCRIMINATION 

4 February: University and College Union (UCU) research, based on interviews with 20 of the total 25 black women professors in UK universities, finds that black women professors have to overcome bullying, stereotyping, and institutional neglect in order to gain promotion. (Guardian, 4 February 2019)

COUNTER-TERRORISM

22 January: Majed Al-Zeer, a British citizen and chair of the Palestinian Return Centre, wins £13,000 damages after bringing a case against the World-Check risk intelligence database for wrongfully designating him a terrorist threat leading to the closure of three bank accounts belonging to him and the Centre. (Al Jazeera, 22 January 2019)

25 January: The Counter-Terrorism Professional Standards Unit and Redbridge Council launch investigations after the parents of an 8-year-old boy say he was left traumatised after being questioned at school in Ilford by  two counter-terrorism police officers and a social worker about alleged radicalisation. (Muslim News, 25 January 2019)

EDUCATION

5 February: The Vice-Chancellor of Warwick University announces that two undergraduates who discussed women as rape targets in an online group chat, which included racist and homophobic remarks, will not be allowed to return to campus, reversing a recent disciplinary panel decision that drew heavy criticism. (Guardian, 5 February 2019)

SPORT

31 January: Interior minister Matteo Salvini mocks the Italian Football Federation’s new measures to tackle racism in football, claiming they introduce a ‘Richter scale for booing’. (Guardian, 31 January 2019)

RACIAL VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT

23 January: Batley and Spen Labour councillor, Fazila Loonat, links the racial abuse and threats she has received online and on the street to an article written by the owner of a local newspaper who described her as a ‘divisive extremist’ and member of an ‘anti-British’ ‘anti-Semitic’ organisation – a reference to Momentum. (Guardian, 23 January 2019)

24 January: Charlotte Knobloch, the 86-year-old former head of the Central Council for Jews in Germany is targeted for hate mail and threatened by email and telephone ‘almost by the minute’ after describing the far-right AfD, in a speech in the Bavarian parliament, as a threat to democracy. (i24News, 24 January 2019)

25 January: The Bahr Academy, an Islamic school in Newcastle, is attacked and vandalised with graffiti such as ‘Moslem terrorists’ scrawled on the walls. (BBC News, 27 January 2019)

25 January: Oxford hate crime figures may be an underestimate, warns the Oxford Polish Association. 188 racially or religiously aggravated crimes were reported to police in Oxford last year – an increase of over 40 per cent from the previous year. A total of 261 racist incidents were reported in Oxford in 2018, compared to 191 in 2017. (Oxford Mail, 25 January 2019)

25 January: Stockton council’s hate crime statistics for 2018 show that recorded cases in Teesside have doubled since 2014, and that attacks on taxi drivers are now a ‘daily occurrence’. A total of 268 incidents were recorded in 2018, with one in six of all victims aged 17 and under. (Teesside Live, 25 January 2019)

29 January: A man is arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated offence for a racist video posted online. It appears to have been filmed in Bow, east London and shows Muslim school girls while a male voice threatens a Nazi sterilisation programme and makes other racist and derogatory remarks. (inews, 29 January 2019)

30 January: In Xanthi, Greece, a teacher, Thanasis Papastathopous, vows to protect his pupils from racism after graffiti describing him as a ‘leftist mathematician, f****t and rabbit’ appears on the school walls, alongside comments like ‘punches and kicks to the Turkish-friendly teachers’ and ‘we will be back and the earth will tremble’. (efsyn.gr, 30 January 2019)

30 January: The Never Again Association in Poland publishes a report on the targeting on 2017/18 of Muslims, those perceived to be Muslim, Muslim-run restaurants and mosques often accompanied by racially abusive comments like ‘Osama, Osama’, ‘dirtbags’,  ‘terrorists’ ‘your turban’ and ‘to the gas chamber’. (Never Again Association, 30 January 2019)

31 January: A leaflet featuring a cartoon of Sajid Javid with the words ‘Migrants: our country needs you to stay away’ and ‘just get out of England’ written underneath, is delivered to the headquarters of the Nottinghamshire Polish-language newspaper, and is being investigated by the police as a hate crime. (Holdthefrontpage.co.uk, 31 January 2019)

3 February: The family of the 15-year-old Syrian refugee who was filmed being bullied in Almondbury Community School last October say they have moved away from Huddersfield to escape threats of racist violence. (Guardian, 3 February 2019)

3 February: A brutal attack on 29 September 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria on Leon Koffi – a British citizen originally from the Ivory Coast – is not reported on in the mainstream media. Koffi was set upon by neo-Nazis and beaten almost to death, losing his front teeth, suffering a broken jaw and severe concussion. He subsequently received scant support from any official agency, including the British Embassy. (Lee Jasper blog, 2 February

5 February: Police officers in Cumbria report a rise in racist, homophobic and transphobic hate crimes from 2017- 2018, and a decrease in the number of reports of religious hate crime. (News & Star, 5 February 2019)

This calendar was compiled by the IRR News Team with the help of Zeeshan Ali, Graeme Atkinson, Odysseas Grammatikakis, Joseph Maggs and Jamie Wates.

Pages