IRR News 24 June – 7 July 2016
Institute of Race Relations weekly digest - Against Racism, for Social Justice
Dear IRR News subscriber,
The upsurge in violence against migrants and BAME communities after the EU referendum has been well documented. And this week on IRR News, we record a number of attacks and other incidents of harassment that have taken place across the UK. This overview is not exhaustive. But it does provide an indication of the ‘types’ of attacks that have, and are taking place every day.
Stickers, leaflets, graffiti frequently demand that people ‘go home’ or ‘go back where you came from’. And if this marks one aspect of what has been termed by some as a ‘celebratory racism’, it is echoed in the sheer numbers of reports of physical abuse and harassment where people are shouting similar things on the street and in workplaces. The extreme Right has been emboldened, and at one recent demonstration a banner simply stated ‘Stop immigration start repatriation’.
Whilst many of the incidents that have taken place have been directed at European migrants, it is clear that the racist climate extends further. In Manchester, for example, elderly people had to be evacuated from an African Caribbean Care Group centre recently after threats were made over the phone. And some attacks are brutal and violent. A Polish man in Yeovil has been left with a ‘potentially life changing’ eye injury. A man in Rochdale was stabbed, reportedly in a racist attack, with such force that the knife blade broke off.
On Saturday 9 July, the Monitoring Group is holding an organising meeting in order to forge a common strategy on ‘Brexit, racism and xenophobia’, the details of which are here. Racial violence now may have reached a particular dangerous pitch, but it is not new. In the latest edition of Race & Class: ‘The colour of struggle, 1950s-1980s’, contributors recall fights against racial violence and Powellism decades ago. This volume brings together the voices of unsung political heroes of the time, providing readers with key resources on Britain’s history of black anti-racist activism – especially relating to policing, racial violence, workers exploitation and immigration controls.
Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) is conducting a CrowdJustice campaign to secure funding for their Separated Families Project. Details of how to donate are here. And finally, our regular calendar of racism, resistance and social justice, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe, can be viewed here.
Please note, this will be the last IRR bulletin until after the summer.
IRR News team