IRR News (23 February – 8 March 2018)
Institute of Race Relations weekly digest - Against Racism, for Social Justice
Dear IRR News subscriber,
You can now book for ‘The heart is where the battle is – a celebration of the life of A. Sivanandan’, an event organised by IRR to be held from 1 30pm on 23 June 2018 at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London. Tickets are available from Eventbrite. Writings by Sivanandan, including his interview entitled, ‘The heart is where the battle is’ are now available to download free of charge here and here.
For Sivanandan, building movements and national causes began by the taking on and connecting up of community cases. One such case is the Stansted 15, whose trial begins at Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday, 14 March. The defendants, who prevented a charter flight deportation by chaining themselves to the plane, were originally charged with aggravated trespass, an offence triable in the magistrates’ court, but, at a late stage, charges were added of endangering airport security, a terrorism-related offence carrying a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Luke de Noronha of End Deportations, which has members among the defendants, explains to IRR News this week how their actions expose the cruelty, violence and human impact of deportation, and the particular brutality associated with charter flight deportations, which are conducted away from public scrutiny and often at night. The campaign will hold a picket of the court on the first day of the trial.
Resistance dominates the calendar this week. The Yarl’s Wood hunger strike by around 120 women against indefinite detention in inhumane conditions received massive media and political coverage, in part owing to shadow ministers Diane Abbott and Shami Chakrabarti’s visit, and today, International Women’s Day, sees a ‘Freedom Fast’ called in solidarity with the women. In Belgium, 10,000 marched in a ‘human wave of solidarity and humanity’ in support of migrants and against the criminalisation of shelter. French and Italian NGOs and lawyers issued a successful joint challenge to illegal pushbacks of children at the border; Greek lawyers condemned detention of migrants on the islands, and French NGOs also challenged immigration checks on homeless hostels in France. And in Italy, in the tense climate caused by the Right’s election success, hundreds of Senegalese took to the streets to protest the racist killing of their compatriot Idy Diene.
IRR News Team