IRR News (22 May – 4 June 2019)
Institute of Race Relations weekly digest - Against Racism, for Social Justice
Dear IRR News subscriber,
The state visit of the US president, with its army helicopters and security service convoys, promises of trade deals, privatised health and chlorinated chicken, brought out many thousands of protesters, amongst whom were many migrant solidarity activists angered by the proposed border wall, horrified by children’s separation from parents at the border and deaths of children in detention centres. But as our regular readers know, you don’t have to go to Trump’s America to find these. As our calendar of racism and resistance records, a legal submission lodged at the International Criminal Court this week calls for the prosecution of the EU and member states for its deterrence-based policy which, the document argues, deliberately sacrificed the lives of thousands of migrants in distress at sea, and returned many more to torture and murder in Libya, to dissuade others from seeking a safe haven.
This week on IRR News we report that the jury of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal Session on Violations with Impunity of the Rights of Migrant and Refugee Peoples (the PPT) also found ‘violence by design’ in its verdict on the hostile environment policies promoted by Theresa May, as home secretary and then as prime minister, delivered on 3 June to Downing Street. The jury found that the policies facilitate racism and everyday cruelties such as denial of health care, housing and rights to work, create a climate of fear leading to rightlessness, and hand power to unscrupulous employers who exploit insecure status, facilitating violence, abuse and extreme exploitation.
The relationship between hostile immigration policies and trafficking and modern slavery is examined further by Frances Webber in her review of a new book which takes a critical look at the government’s measures to tackle ‘modern slavery’.
Also this week, Colin Prescod recalls the ‘rebel’ history of ‘the Grove’ and the area’s social history as representative of momentous Black British community struggles, which ‘forced anti-racism on to the nation’s change agenda’ with its ‘anti-racist, womanist, internationalist and socialist drivers’. By tracing the history that surrounds the lynch-murder of Kelso Cochrane in 1959 and the transformational resistance in the Grove’s history, the IRR’s chair reminds us of the urgent need to remember this ‘rebel’ history in relation to struggles today.
IRR News Team