Calendar of racism and resistance (13 – 26 March 2015)

March 26, 2015 — News

Written by IRR News Team

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

Extreme-Right politics

16 March: Polish police seize live ammunition and weapons when they arrest thirteen neo-Nazis during coordinated raids across Poland. Connected to Blood & Honour and Combat 18, the neo-Nazis are charged with a variety of offences, such as forming a criminal organisation and conspiring to set fire to the Gdansk mosque. (Gazetta Wyborcza, 16 March 2015)

20 March: Only four people turn up for the first Scottish demonstration by Pegida, which campaigns against what it calls the ‘Islamisation of Europe’. (Edinburgh News21 March 2015)

22 March: Britain First asks its supporters to help deliver ‘major Ukip gains’ at the general election, with letters and leaflets produced by the group effectively endorsing the party. (Independent21 March 2015)

22 March: About a hundred people attend a ‘white man march’ in Newcastle, organised by National Action, during which an Israeli flag is burned and ‘Nazi salutes’ are given, according to onlookers. Nine people are arrested. (Buzz Feed News, 22 March 2015)

Afzal_Amin23 March: Dudley Conservative election candidate Afzal Amin quits after allegations that he plotted with the English Defence League in a row over a new mosque, and pledged to act as the group’s ‘unshakeable ally’ in parliament if they were able to help him. (Guardian23 March 2015)

Asylum and immigration

12 March: The Italian interior minister proposes offshore processing of asylum claims in north Africa. (Irin News, 17 March 2015)

16 March: Twenty-three asylum seekers are having to live in a single house provided by G4S in Leeds. (24 dash, 16 March 2015)

17 March: A 45-year old Iraqi man dies during his deportation on a flight that had not yet taken off from the Stockholm Arlanda airport in Sweden. The man allegedly resisted his deportation, was escorted onto the flight by five security personnel, and was handcuffed with a body-belt placed around his waist. He lost consciousness soon after and died before reaching hospital. (Fria Tidningen, 18 March 2015)

17 March: New immigration rules come into force to prevent ‘abuse’ by Syrian refugees, as statistics show 60 per cent of asylum claims from Syrians were refused in the last three months of 2014. (Free movement, 16 March 2015)

Tailbacks17 March: Imposing exit checks on every passenger going in and out of UK from ports will create tailbacks for five miles on busiest days, operators warn. (Guardian17 March 2015)

17 March: The UK government’s tied visa system whereby domestic workers cannot remain in the UK if they change employers, is turning them into ‘modern-day slaves’, according to academic research. (Guardian17 March 2015)

19 March: A Tamil asylum seeker who alleges he suffered extensive torture before escaping to the UK wins a last minute reprieve just a few hours before he is due to be deported. (Channel 4 News19 March 2015)

22 March: It is revealed that from 30 March asylum seekers anywhere in England, Scotland or Wales will have to travel to Liverpool to put forward further submissions on asylum or human rights applications in person, despite facing legal challenges over the move. (Herald22 March 2015)

23 March: The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee publishes: The work of the Immigration Directorates: Calais. Download the report here (pdf file, 621kb)

23 March: Around 100 migrant workers are rehoused after being found to be living in ‘grossly unsuitable and unsafe premises’ in Flintshire. (BBC News, 23 March 2015)

Harmondsworth24 March: Conditions inside Harmondsworth immigration removal centre are ‘depressing’ and ‘dirty’, according to a new Independent Monitoring Board report, which reveals that one vulnerable asylum-seeker sewed his mouth together in protest at being held there for nine months. (Independent24 March 2015)

DfJ_graphic24 March 2015: A report from the press conference launching the IRR’s Dying for Justice. (Eddie Bruce-Jones’ blog, 24 March 2015)

25 March: Speaking to the Dorset Echo, detainees at The Verne immigration removal centre say that bullying is rife and that frustration is leading detainees to self-harm. One person says, ‘I would rather be looking for water in the desert than be in here.’ (Dorset Echo, 25 March 2015)

26 March: Shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, says Labour intends to introduce new time limits on the detention of people in the asylum and immigration system in a move that would bring Britain into line with most other western countries by banning indefinite detention. (Guardian26 March 2015)

Education

Cambridge

17 March: MPs criticise a ‘worrying lack of coordination’ between inquiries into ‘Trojan Horse’ affair, as series of official investigations conclude claims were groundless. (BBC News, 17 March 2015)

23 March: Cambridge and Oxford Universities are accused of maintaining admissions policies which discriminate against BAME students. (Cambridge News, 25 March 2015)

23 March: Germany’s Constitutional Court reverses its 2003 decision to ban Muslim teachers from wearing the hijab in the classroom, stating that religious symbols can only be banned when they pose ‘not just an abstract but a concrete risk of disruption in schools’. (Guardian, 13 March 2015)

Party politics

15 March: The children of new immigrants coming to Britain should not immediately be allowed to attend state schools, Nigel Farage suggests. The comments are made when he is asked about a policy on Ukip’s website saying immigrants and their dependants would need private education for five years after entering the UK. (Guardian15 March 2015)

Government policy

13 March: The Italian government refers the authorities in Lombardy to the Constitutional Court for its new building regulations (dubbed the ‘anti-mosque law’). (AFP, 13 March 2015)

23 March: The Home Office is drawing up a blacklist of ‘extremist’ individuals and organisations with whom the government and public sector should not engage, Theresa May reveals. (Guardian, 23 March 2015) 

Policing and criminal justice

Police-Stop-and-Search-Lo-00724 March: HM Inspectorate of Constabulary states that police forces have made too little progress on improving their use of stop and search powers, with too many officers lacking any understanding of their impact on the lives of young black people. (Guardian24 March 2015)

24 March: HM Inspectorate of Constabulary publishes: Stop and search powers 2: are the police using them effectively and fairly? Download the report here (pdf file, 600kb).

25 March: The mother of Mark Duggan, who was shot fatally by police in Tottenham in 2011, describes a report from the Independent Police Complaints Commission clearing the officers of any wrongdoing as ‘another slap in the face’ for her family. (Guardian25 March 2015)

25 March: The Central London County Court orders that the Met Police pay £8,200 in damages and £400,000 in legal costs after ‘unreasonably’ using a taser on Daniel Sylvester, who had unlawfully been stopped three times in nine months by police. (BBC News, 25 March 2015)

26 March:  A two-day inquest into death in police custody of Sharmila Ullah concludes Bloxwich police are not to blame despite possible ‘individual failings’ in regards to observations whilst she was in custody. (Express and Star, 26 March 2015)

26 March: A mother organises a march in memory of her son, Aston Mclean Williams, who was killed in a collision with a police car last year. Berkshire Coroner’s Office refuses to release his body as investigations continue. (Reading Chronicle, 26 March 2015)

Violence and harassment

11 March: A former Indian restaurant in Oldham is set on fire and ‘EDL’ is spray-painted on the building. (Oldham Leader11 March 2015)

Alex Peguero Sosa

Alex Peguero Sosa

12 March: Andrew Jefferson, 52, is convicted of attempted murder, with sentencing deferred until 22 April. Jefferson stabbed shopkeeper Hilmi Uludag in the throat last October, in London, after shouting ‘you f*****g foreigners, coming to the UK to poison the British people’. (Independent, 12 March 2015)

21 March: 16-year-old Tyler Gane suffers serious injuries after he is slashed across the chest by an unknown assailant who asked his twin brother where they were from as they walked home from a party in Dilton Marsh, Wiltshire (Western Daily Press, 23 March 2015)

23 March: Lee Dent is found guilty of the racist murder of Plymouth FC youth footballer Alex Peguero Sosa in July last year. (North Devon Journal23 March 2015)

25 March: The Independent Police Complaints Commission has published its investigation into the death of Mark Duggan in August 2011. Download the report and other documents here.

25 March: A former undercover police officer, who spied on family-led campaigns in the 90s, has revealed that he also spied on MPs such as Diane Abbott, the late Bernie Grant, Peter Hain, Jeremy Corbyn and Ken Livingstone. (Guardian, 25 March 2015)

25 March: Police investigate threatening messages sent to anti-Ukip protesters who recently forced the party leader, Nigel Farage, to flee his local pub. It is also reported that Britain First claims to have found the home addresses of some of the protesters and threatened to give them a ‘taste of their own medicine’. (Guardian, 25 March 2015)

Sport

24 March: Queens Park Rangers’ director of football, Les Ferdinand, states that covert racism is rife in the game and preventing people from BAME communities from getting senior jobs in management. (Sky Sports News, 24 March 2015)

The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

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