Calendar of racism and resistance (16 – 29 June 2017)

June 29, 2017 — News

Written by IRR News Team

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

Asylum & migration

June: The Public Interest Law Unit at Lambeth Law Centre, along with NELMA, launch a crowd-funding appeal to bring a judicial review against Home Office policy of removing rough-sleeping EEA Nationals. View the appeal here.

15 June: UNITED publishes an updated list of deaths as a result of the fatal policies of fortress Europe, view and download it here.

17 June: Members of the public film a young man crying and shouting for help during his deportation from London Heathrow to Istanbul, while an immigration official allegedly slapped and pushed him. (Evening Standard, 18 June 2017)

19 June: The family of two Iranian sisters who lived on the 18th floor in Grenfell Tower and died in the fire on 14 June call on the Home Office to grant visas for relatives to attend the funerals. (Guardian, 20 June 2017)

20 June: Concerns are raised about undocumented migrants who were residents of Grenfell Tower who may have died, or have lost relatives and are unable to seek help because of concerns over their status. (Independent, 20 June 2017)

20 June: The British Psychological Society publishes a position paper: The need for psychosocial care and support for refugees and asylum seekers. Download it here. (The British Psychological Society, 20 June 2017)

20 June: FEANTSA, an umbrella body representing homelessness organisations across Europe, lodges a complaint with the EU Commission over the UK government’s policy of detaining and deporting rough sleepers from the European Economic Area. Concerns have been raised about the operation of the policy in Scotland. (Scottish Housing, 16, 20 June 2017)

20 June: A legal challenge is launched against the government decision to close the Dubs scheme, which allowed some asylum seeking children in Calais and elsewhere in Europe to be brought to the UK. (Independent, 20 June 2017) 

20 June: The High Court awards Felix Wamala £48,000 damages, including £10,000 exemplary damages, for an unlawful attempt by Reliance (now Tascor) guards to remove him, during which force was used causing serious physical and psychological injury. The judge condemns as ‘outrageous and utterly unacceptable’ the company’s ‘regular use of painful, dangerous and unlawful restraint techniques’. (Open Democracy, 23 June 2017)

21 June: The trial of 11 men charged with homicide with particular cruelty for the deaths of 71 migrants begins in Austria. The migrants – 59 men, 8 women and 4 children – were found dead inside a poultry refrigerator lorry near the Hungarian border in August 2015. (The Local, 21 June 2017)

22 June: A new study finds that prejudice against migrants from the European Union was a ‘major’ deciding factor in the Brexit referendum. (Independent, 22 June 2017)

23 June: The PM announces a new three-year, £75 million programme aiming to reduce the number of migrants travelling to Europe from Africa via the central Mediterranean through measures including aiding voluntary returns and infrastructure for resettlement in Asia and Latin America. (Gov.uk, 21 June 2017)

23 June: Hundreds of protesters and refugees demonstrate in Athens, with solidarity demonstrations across Europe, against a court ruling to evict city-centre squats, a decision seen as an attack against the refugee solidarity movement which would leave more than 400 residents homeless. (Al Jazeera, 24 June 2017)

25 June: Marcus Knuth, immigration spokesman for the Danish Liberal Party (part of the governing coalition), says state funding should be withdrawn from organisations conducting rescue missions in the Mediterranean, as they provide an incentive for people to cross. His position accords with that of the right-wing Danish People’s Party. (DR.DK, 25 June 2017)

26 June: UK Visas and Immigration publishes updated: Pre-departure accommodation operating standards, view and download here.

27 June: The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees publishes issue no. 19 of its newsletter, download it here (pdf file, 1.9mb).

27 June: The administrative court in Lille orders officials in Calais to provide drinking water, toilets and showers for migrants and refugees within ten days, or face €100-a-day fines. The mayor of Calais plans to appeal the decision. The court rules against opening a new migrants’ shelter in the town. (The Local, 27 June 2017) 

28 June: Ten people detained at immigration detention centres launch a judicial review of the wages paid to them by the Home Office of £1 per hour. (Guardian, 28 June 2017)

Racial violence

12 June: A 16-year-old boy admits four counts of racially aggravated public order offences and three counts of assault on police after his arrest on 9 June in Plumstead; he is due to be sentenced on 19 June. (This is Local London, 14 June 2017

14 June: Two Muslim women in Blackburn report having a bag of vomit thrown at their car as they drive down a street by two men in a white van. (Independent, 14 June 2017)

15 June: A Muslim woman suffering from cancer is racially abused outside Craigavon area hospital. (Portadown Times, 16 June 2017)

15 June: Police release an e-fit of a man who pulled a woman’s hijab from her head and pushed her over as she walked along a Peterborough street with her 2-year-old daughter on 7 June. (Peterborough Today, 15 June 2017)

16 June: A 21-year-old man is racially abused in the early hours of the morning, after the Ramadan fast, by a drunk woman. He films the incident. (Huddersfield Examiner, 16 June 2017)

16 June: Nigel Pelham, 50, of Shoreham, is sentenced to 20 months (to run concurrently) on each of eight counts of publishing threatening material intending to stir up religious hatred against Muslims between 24 February and 16 November 2015. (The Argus, 20 June 2017)

17 June: Police arrest a man on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences after an incident at the Chandos Deli in Exeter. (DevonLive, 18 June 2017)

17 June: A 20-year-old man is injured in a racially motivated attack on Plumstead Road, Woolwich; three men are later charged with racially aggravated offences. (News Shopper, 18 June 2017)

18 June: A man in his 40s is racially abused and attacked by two men in Littleport; he loses three teeth in the attack and is left unable to work. (Ely Standard, 20 June 2017)

18 June: Police investigate reports that Eastern Europeans in Bletchley have been targeted by ‘anti-social’ behaviour. (MKFM, 18 June 2017)

18 June: Pork is smeared on the front door of Al-Quba Masjid mosque in Sherwood, Nottingham, while worshippers pray inside. Two men are arrested. (BBC News, 23 June 2017)

18/19 June: One man is killed and another 11 people are injured when a man drives a hire van into a group of Muslims who have just left prayers at Finsbury Park mosque. Darren Osbourne, 48, from Wales, is arrested at the scene. (Guardian, 19 June 2017)

19 June: Theresa May promises extra police resources to protect mosques as Eid approaches. (Guardian, 19 June 2017)

19 June: Kevin O’Neill appears in Belfast magistrates’ court charged with using an electronic communications network to post grossly offensive material following the Manchester Arena bombing. (BBC News, 19 June 2017)

19 June: Sophia Michelle Boyd, 27, is given a 26-week sentence suspended for 12 months after accusing the doorman of a Rhyl pub of bombing ‘all our people in Manchester’ on 8 June. (Daily Post, 19 June 2017)

19 June: Train guard Matt Litton receives a commendation as frontline employee of the year after intervening to stop a man racially abusing a woman and her son on a train. (LEP, 19 June 2017)

20 June: The son of the man who owned the van hire firm used by Darren Osbourne in his attack in Finsbury Park is arrested after posting on Facebook: ‘It’s my dad’s company I don’t get involved it’s a shame they don’t hire out steam rollers or tanks could have done a tidy job then.’ (BBC News, 20 June 2017)

20 June: Karen O’Malley, 48, is sentenced to 12 weeks in prison after pleading guilty to racially aggravated harassment for racially abusing Tesco staff in Leigh and a police officer who came to deal with her. (Wigan Today, 20 June 2017)

20 June: Police release CCTV footage of three men in a Wood Green pub racially abusing and then launching an unprovoked attack on a 47-year-old man, who suffered multiple injuries. (Evening Standard, 20 June 2017)

20 June: Timothy Alban Wynne-Jones, 55, is fined £2,000 for two counts of racially aggravated harassment towards two Asian Border Force officers at Heathrow airport in January 2016. He told them, ‘Your kind are going to let terrorists into the country’. (Watford Observer, 20 June 2017)

20 June: Ex-EDL member Peter Finch, of Worcester, is jailed for 12 months for assault occasioning actual bodily harm on his ex-girlfriend after she started a new relationship with a Moroccan man. (Daily Mirror, 20 June 2017)

20 June: Kevin Porter is sentenced to 22 months’ prison for the racially aggravated offence of causing fear or provocation of violence and having a knife in public, after attacking a Kidsgrove taxi driver in a row over a fare. (Stoke Sentinel, 20 June 2017)

20 June: Police report a fivefold increase in anti-Muslim hate crime following the Manchester and London Bridge attacks. (Guardian, 20 June 2017)

20 June: A man is arrested after children leaving Hartsdown Academy in Margate are racially abused, a 12-year-old is allegedly slapped and a 15-year-old pushed into a bush. (KentLive, 20 June 2017)

21 June: Jack Thomas, 22, pleads guilty to charges of religiously aggravated harassment and threatening or disorderly behaviour, after going to a Swansea mosque drunk and abusing worshippers as they gathered for Ramadan prayers on 2 June. Thomas is ordered to pay £235 in fines and costs. (Wales Online, 21 June 2017)

21 June: Devon Live reports four racist incidents in Exeter over ten days, including a racially aggravated public order offence at Exeter mosque, racial abuse and racist graffiti. (Devon Live, 21 June 2017)

21 June: Police appeal for information after a Kuwaiti woman is racially abused in Bangor days after the Manchester Arena bombing; a month later on 21 June, the same assailant abuses her again. (Daily Post, 27 June 2017)

21 June: A man is racially abused by two white men as he leaves Milton Keynes train station. (Milton Keynes Citizen, 27 June 2017)

22 June: Thomas Conington, 29, is jailed for at least three years and nine months and given an order for lifelong restriction, for a petrol bomb attack on an Edinburgh mosque last September. (BBC News, 21 June 2017) 

22 June: Greater Manchester Police reveal that Islamophobic attacks have risen over 500 per cent in Manchester after the bombing, with 224 reports of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the month after the attack compared with 37 in the same period in 2016. Additionally, race hate crimes have jumped 61 per cent to 778 incidents, compared with the same four weeks last year. (BBC News, 22 June 2017)

23 June: Police seek information on a gang of youths who have racially abused a woman on four separate occasions in the Front Street area of Hetton-le-Hole, Sunderland. (Chronicle Live, 23 June 2017)

23 June: Toni Pottle, 29, is jailed for six months for assault by beating and racially aggravated assault after she punched and racially abused a train worker at Euston station. (GetWestLondon, 26 June 2017)

24 June: A 13-year-old Syrian boy is racially abused and repeatedly kicked in the head by a gang of six youths in Plant Hill Park, Blackley. (Manchester Evening News, 26 June 2017)

25 June: A Muslim woman in her 30s is racially abused and then knocked unconscious in a racially motivated attack while she celebrates Eid in an Oxford park. (Oxford Mail, 27 June 2017)

25 June: A 42-year-old Muslim man is knocked unconscious at his Heckmondwike home by unknown assailants who leave racist graffiti based on Katie Hopkins tweets at his home: ‘P***s out. We need a final solution #Manchester (sic).’ (Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 25 June 2017)

25 June: Footage is released on social media of a white man attacking a London bus driver and his bus following an argument over an Oyster card in west London. (Metro, 27 June 2017) 

26 June: Swedish police investigate two fires within 48 hours at a refugee centre as possible arson attacks. No injuries have been reported and no arrests made so far. (Are you Syrious, 26 June 2017)

26 June: Two men are re-imprisoned for the death of Henry Huggins in June 2015; Huggins, attacked in August 2013, remained in a coma until his death in June 2015. Stuart Docherty, 42, originally admitted GBH but was recently found guilty of murder and sentenced to 20 years and six months; James Early, 43, was originally convicted of ABH and recently convicted of  manslaughter and sentenced to five years and six months. The judge commented there was an ‘undercurrent’ of racial abuse in the weeks leading up to the assault. (BBC News, 26 June 2017)

26 June: South Wales police arrest a man and woman, both 38, from Rhondda on suspicion of posting or distributing material intended or likely to stir up racial hatred. (WalesOnline, 26 June 2017)

26 June: Police appeal for information after a 24-year-old passenger was punched and racially abused while travelling by train through Birmingham on 3 June. (Birmingham Mail, 26 June 2017)

26 June: Marek Zakrocki, 48, is charged with attempted murder, racially aggravated criminal damage, racially aggravated assault by beating, possession of a weapon in public and racially aggravated public order offences after an incident which took place on 25 June in which a van was allegedly driven into a Harrow restaurant. (GetWestLondon, 26 June 2017)

26 June: Police appeal for information after a Muslim woman living in Basildon had her car set alight on 7 June; she now fears for her safety. (Evening Standard, 26 June 2017)

27 June: The families of two cousins, horrifically burnt in an acid attack in Beckton, east London as they sat in a car, raise concerns that the attack might have been racially motivated (Daily Mirror, 29 June 2017) 

28 June: A Turkish kebab house in Belfast is targeted in race hate attack where graffiti is sprayed onto shutters. Police appeal for information. (Newsletter, 29 June 2017)

Far Right

14 June: A man with a history of neo-nazi activity drives his car into a demonstration of Iraqi refugees outside the Migration Agency in Malmö, Sweden. Police, who also accuse him of carrying a knife and using pepper spray against protesters, say it is a clear hate crime. No one is injured. (The Local, 14 June 2017)

14 June: Britain First leader Paul Golding demonstrates outside East London Mosque and baits worshippers assisting those at Grenfell Tower. (Independent, 15 June 2017)

18 June: With 1.6 million votes (8.8 per cent) in the second round of voting in the French parliamentary elections, the FN now has eight seats in the French parliament, including that of Marine Le Pen who represents the northern constituency of Henin-Beaumont. (Telegraph, 19 June 2017)

19 June: Hours after the Finsbury Park attack, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, former leader of the English Defence League, tweets offensive comments about the local mosque. Britain First posts on its Facebook page ‘glorifying’ the attacks. (Independent, 19, 20, June 2017)

20 June: It is revealed that a third of those monitored under the Channel programme of the government’s Prevent scheme in 2016-17 are far-right extremists. (Independent, 20 June 2017)

23 June: German lawmakers vote to stop the public financing of ‘parties hostile to the constitution’, after Germany’s highest court threw out a government attempt to ban the far-right NDP. (The Local, 23 June 2017)

24 June: European far-right activists, including Polish men Jacek Międlar and Piotr Rybak, and Dutch national Edwin Wagensveld, leader of Netherlands Pegida, are stopped from travelling to a Britain First demonstration in Birmingham. (Guardian, 24 June 2017)

24 June: Around 50 fascists march from Victoria Embankment to Charing Cross Station in London under heavy police guard, while in Birmingham Britain First also hold a demonstration. Both demonstrations are met with strong opposition from anti-fascists. (Independent, 24 June 2017, Anti Fascist Network, 27 June 2017 )

24 June: It is revealed that Stephen Yaxley-Lennon is suing Cambridgeshire police for harassment and discrimination after he was forced to leave a Cambridge pub in August 2016. (IB Times, 23 June 2017)

25 June: Footage is released on social media of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon brawling with another man at Ascot. (Independent, 25 June 2017)

Policing & criminal justice

June: StopWatch publishes: Stop and Search: A Guide for Parents and Children, download it here.

20 June: The Independent Police Complaints Commission reports that it will have to complete an investigation into police corruption during the investigation into Stephen Lawrence’s death before it can begin another investigation into evidence given by officers to the 1998 Lawrence Inquiry. (BBC News, 20 June 2017)

21 June: Michael Blackwood launches a case against West Midlands police for assault, wrongful arrest, unlawful detention and malicious prosecution after officers allegedly entered his Walsall home without a search warrant looking for a relative and attacked him in October 2016. (The Voice, 21 June 2017)

25 June: Protestors gather outside Forest Gate police station to protest the death of Edir Frederico Da Costa, who died after being stopped by police earlier in the week. Riot police are called in. (Guardian, 26 June 2017)

27 June: The family of Jermaine Baker, who was killed by police in December 2015, call on the Crown Prosecution Service to review its decision not to prosecute the police officer who shot him dead. (BBC News, 27 June 2017)

29 June: A barrister, representing the families of five Sri Lankan men who died of drowning at Camber Sands last year, questions a local council official who suggested  the men’s ethnicity played a part in their deaths. (Guardian, 29 June 2017)

29 June: A survey reveals that 74 per cent of BAME people aged 16-30 thought they and their communities were targeted unfairly by stop and search, with 31 per cent disagreeing and 11 per cent strongly disagreeing that police officers exercise stop-and-search powers based on fair and accurate information. (Guardian, 29 June 2017)

Party politics

14 June: In advance of parliamentary elections in October, Austria’s ruling Social Democrats drop their thirty year ban on electoral pacts with the far Right, announcing that they would be prepared to go into coalition government with anyone on certain terms. (Reuters, 14 June 2017)

21 June: Paul Perrrin, a former Ukip candidate for Hove, is being investigated for comments posted on social media in response to a peace event held to coincide with Ramadan. (The Argus, 21 June 2017)

National security

15 June: The Home Office publishes: ‘Operation of police powers under the Terrorism Act 2000, financial year ending March 2017’, view the statistics here.

20 June: CAGE director Muhammad Rabbani pleads not guilty to obstructing a Terrorism Act search at Heathrow on 20 November 2016, when he refused to hand over passwords to enable police to read mobile phone messages, citing confidentiality of torture victims’ testimony on his phone. Rabbani was bailed and a trial will be held on 25 September. (Guardian, 20 June 2017)

22 June: Following a review of counter-terrorism strategy in the Manchester area, mayor Andy Burnham promises to replace the Prevent strategy, as it is ‘too top-down’. (Guardian, 22 June 2017)

Employment

23 June: A Muslim woman is suing her former employer Harvey Dean Estate Agents in Bury after being told to remove her black hijab, which made her ‘look like a terrorist’. (Independent, 2017) 

27 June: Berlin’s labour court orders the state of Berlin to pay a Muslim teacher compensation of €6,900 after her job application was rejected because she wore a headscarf. (The Local, 27 June 2017)

Media

16 June: A MailOnline story about the man whose fridge allegedly started the Grenfell Tower fire results in 1,300 complaints to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Guardian, 16 June 2017)

20 June: ITV’s Good Morning Britain show with Suzanne Reid and Piers Morgan is criticised for inviting Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson onto the show. At least 72 complaints are made about the interview. (Guardian, 20 June 2017)

20 June: The Gap Charity in Birmingham highlights a photographic exhibition by Hassan, a young Afghan asylum seeker, which will be on show in the Gap, Balsall Heath. (BBC News, 20 June 2017)

20 June: An exhibition by young refugees and asylum seekers has been displayed at the Oxo Tower (BBC News, 20 June 2017)

23 June: The chair of Finsbury Park mosque complains to the BBC after the channel’s Question Time fails to cover the Finsbury Park attack. (Guardian, 23 June 2017)

25 June: It is revealed that Edinburgh company Family Advertising Ltd was responsible for the Ukip ‘Breaking point’ advert which generated much controversy in the Brexit campaign last year; the firm was paid £100,000. (Herald, 25 June 2017)

Housing

21 June: The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland finds that Catholics have to wait for social housing and migrant workers are ‘extremely vulnerable to exploitation and discrimination’. (BBC News, 21 June 2017)

21 June: It is revealed that a Sudanese family forced to flee their Belfast home in 2014 because of racial violence are still living in temporary accommodation three years later. (ITV, 21 June 2017)

27 June: Housing campaigner John Grayson examines G4S-provided housing for asylum seekers in Halifax, where tenants fear for their safety and of their families: ‘wiring is faulty, the hallways are blocked, and there’s repeated leaks and flooding.’ (Open Democracy, 27 June 2017)

Discrimination

22 June: The Palestine Solidarity Campaign wins a High Court ruling that the government acted unlawfully in banning divestment campaigns against companies implicated in violations of international law in its guidance on local authority pension schemes. (Law Gazette, 22 June 2017)

25 June: The Trapeze Bar in Shoreditch is criticised for saying that a Grenfell Tower fundraising night of R&B, hip hop and bashment music would attract a ’poor quality demographic.’ (Daily Mirror, 25 June 2017)

27 June: Windsor & Maidenhead Council is criticised for telling a  Sikh couple they cannot adopt because white British or European applicants would be given preference as only white children are in need in the area. (BBC News, 27 June 2017)

Education

14 June: Read about the life of Naseem Khan ‘a pioneering figure in British Arts ‘who recently passed away. (Asian Culture Vulture, 4 June 2017)

22 June: A memorial is unveiled in Brixton for African and Caribbean soldiers who fought for Britain in the first and second world wars. (BBC News, 22 June 2017)

Government policy

26 June: The government publishes its policy paper on: Safeguarding the position of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU, download it here.

Health

20 June: The NHS appeals for more black people to give blood because of an increased demand for Ro blood which is used to treat sickle cell anaemia. (Guardian, 20 June 2017)

Sport

16 June: Ben Turner of Burton Albion loses his appeal against Football Association penalties of a five-match ban and £8,000 fine for racial abuse against an opponent at Brentford FC. (BBC News, 16 June 2017)

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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