Calendar of racism and resistance (16-29 September 2016)

September 29, 2016 — 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 and migration

Corporate_Watch15 September: Corporate Watch publishes: UK Detention Centres Factsheet (September 2016), view here or download here (pdf file, 108kb).

15 September: The Ministry of Justice announces increases of up to 500 per cent in court fees for immigration and asylum cases. (Guardian, 15 September 2016)

16 September: A 14-year-old Afghan boy is killed in a hit and run incident on a motorway leading to a Calais port after he jumped on to a lorry trying to reach his family in UK. Having already started the legal process to join his family, he had been waiting in the Calais migrant camp for more than three months due to delays in the system. (Independent, 19 September 2016)

16 September: A report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) finds that deterrent measures to stop migration to and within Europe are a hugely expensive failure. Download the report here.

19 September: Around 4,000 migrants are evacuated from Moria detention camp on the island of Lesbos, Greece, after a major fire broke out there in the evening following several refugee protests earlier in the day. Migrants and volunteers escaping from the fire are attacked by a racist mob. (No Border Kitchen Lesvos, 21 September 2016)

19 September: German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she will no longer use ‘we can do it’ as her rallying cry to welcome migrants, and admits mistakes in her handling of last year’s ‘refugee crisis’, after her party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) achieves its worst result in party history in Berlin state elections on 17 September, while anti-immigration party ‘Alternative for Germany’ (AfD) wins 15 percent. (Guardian, 19 September 2016)

Theresa May photo19 September: British prime minister Theresa May uses a global summit on refugees called by the UN to call for more controls and less protection, as NGOs condemn the summit as a wasted opportunity. (Newsweek, 20 September 2016)

20 September: Work begins on a 4-metre high wall in Calais, funded by the UK at a cost of £1.9 million, to stop migrants stowing away on lorries bound for the UK. (Guardian, 20 September 2016)

20 September: The UK’s anti-slavery commissioner warns that the government’s slow response to the unaccompanied children in Calais entitled to come to the UK has resulted in them being exposed to risks of exploitation and modern slavery. (Guardian, 20 September 2016)

20 September: The parents’ association of an elementary school in Filippiada, northern Greece, protests against government plans to provide schooling to refugee children, fearing ‘infectious diseases’ and arguing that their children will be unable to ‘coexist with migrant children’ who have not received any schooling for several years. (Ekathimerini, 20 September 2016)

21 September: Two charities working with older and disabled people say that post-Brexit migration policies could massively impact on the care sector in the UK, which is heavily reliant on European workers. (Guardian, 21 September 2016)

21 September: The Herald reports that Serco is seeking to take over the housing provided by Orchard & Shipman, to whom it subcontracts its asylum housing contracts in Scotland. (Herald, 21 September 2016)

28 September: A leaked memo suggests that the EU secretly plans to threaten Afghanistan with a reduction in aid if the country does not accept at least 80,000 deported asylum seekers. (Guardian, 28 September 2016)

29 September: According to research from two EU-based think tanks, asylum seekers in the UK face the longest wait for permission to work in Europe. (Guardian, 29 September 2016)

Policing and criminal justice

15 September: The Guardian reveals that undercover police officer, Carlo Neri, has been accused of inciting anti-racist activists to set fire to a charity shop in 2003. The conduct of undercover police officers is under scrutiny in the ongoing Pitchford Inquiry into undercover policing (Guardian, 15 September 2016)

15 September: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announces that five officers involved in the death of Sean Rigg at Brixton police station in August 2008 will not face prosecution. Rigg’s family are ‘deeply disappointed’ by the decision. (Guardian, 15 September 2016)

17 September: The Met police announce an investigation after a video is released which shows a police officer smashing the windscreen of a car with a baton after a man refuses to get out after being wrongly stopped. The two police officers involved are put on restricted duties. (Guardian, 17 and 18 September 2016)

17 September: A demonstration is held in Telford for Dalian Atkinson, demanding answers about his death after he was tasered by police officers a month ago. (BBC News, 17 September 2016)

19 September: The Dutch public prosecutor announces charges against two police officers involved in the arrest of Mitch Henriquez, an Aruban tourist who died in 2015 after being restrained with pepper spray at close range and held in a choke hold during his arrest at a music festival in The Hague. (Dutch News, 19 September 2016)

21 September: A new report by HM Inspector of Constabulary finds that stop and search still targets black people at ‘eye-watering’ levels. (Guardian, 21 September 2016)

22 September: The Independent Police Complaints Commission announces that a file has been sent to the CPS on three police officers involved in the death of Adrian McDonald, who died in December 2014 after being tasered by Staffordshire police. (Huddersfield Examiner, 22 September 2016)

26 September: The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman launches an investigation into the death of Jamal Hussein, who died two weeks after being found on 1 September hanging in his cell in Strangeways. Prior to his death, Mr Hussein’s family had complained he was being bullied by other inmates. (Manchester Evening News, 26 September 2016)

Violence and harassment

11 September: Two Polish men are attacked on Ashford High Street and one is left unconscious after being hit with a metal bar. (Kent Online, 16 September 2016)

13 September: A group of schoolboys in Edinburgh are filmed attacking an Asian boy, hitting him repeatedly whilst he begs them to leave him alone, with the footage being posted online along with the words ‘smash a P**i’. Two people are later arrested. (Daily Record, 28 September 2016)

16 September: Polish student Bardosz Milewski, 21, who is with three friends, is stabbed in the neck with a bottle in a Telford park after they are told to speak English, in an attack police are treating as racially motivated. (Shropshire Star, 16 September 2016)

16 September: A former soldier is jailed for ten months for racially aggravated harassment of two student neighbours after threatening to ‘slice them up’ and calling them ‘ISIS slags’. (Derby Telegraph, 16 September 2016)

18 September: Edinburgh central mosque suffers minor fire damage after being targeted in the early hours of the morning by a man in his early 30s. (Guardian, 19 September 2016)

19 September: According to figures obtained by the Guardian, European embassies have logged at least 60 incidents of racially motivated violence, with the majority, 31, reported by the Polish embassy. (Guardian, 19 September 2016)

20 September: A woman and three men are jailed for a total of two years for a racist attack on a man who was punched unconscious after asking for a cigarette. (Hull Daily Mail, 20 September 2016)

21 September: The trial of the man accused of the murder of Surjit Chhoker in Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1998, is told that the girlfriend of the accused was asked to hide clothes and knives the morning after the murder. (Daily Record, 22 September 2016)

21 September: A report by the German government finds alarming increases in racist violence in east Germany, as well as increasingly violent demonstrations, that pose a danger to ‘social peace’. (Newsweek, 21 September 2016)

22 September: In Vienna, a Muslim woman wearing the headscarf is attacked from behind, beaten and bitten on her way to work. Police claim the motive is unclear. (Independent, 22 September 2016)

23 September: A 12-year-old girl in Portsmouth is racially abused and assaulted by four youths in an attack which leaves her needing medical treatment. Four people are later arrested and bailed. (Portsmouth News, 25 September 2016)

24 September: A shopkeeper in Hull is threatened by two men, one of whom shouts ‘Why don’t you f****** go back to your country?’ They smash up parts of the shop and later threaten customers with a meat cleaver. (Hull Daily Mail, 25 September 2016)

24 September: Figures released by the Scottish government’s advisory group on hate crime show that hate crimes against Muslims have almost doubled between 2015 and 2016. (Glasgow Live, 24 September 2016)

25 September: A rally is held in solidarity with a woman who lost her unborn twins in a racist attack in Milton Keynes on 6 August. The victim’s lawyer says that it took police five weeks to make a public appeal for information. (MK Citizen, 27 September 2016)

26 September: An officer under investigation by the Metropolitan Police for ‘using discriminatory language’ whilst policing a rally in August claims the investigation is an example of ‘Stalinist thought police’ and the ‘wilful and oppressive political correctness that’s infected the professional standards units’. (PoliceProfessional.com, 26 September 2016)

Sport

21 September: West Bromwich Albion’s Laurie Cunningham, who was England’s first black international player in a competitive match, is honoured with a blue plaque at his London home. (Guardian, 21 September 2016)

27 September: Manchester City midfielder Yaya Touré says players and fans may suffer as a result of a Fifa’s decision to disband its anti-racism taskforce. (BBC News, 27 September 2016)

28 September: Exeter University launches an investigation into one of its sports societies after students are pictured wearing T-shirts bearing anti-semitic and racist slogans during a freshers’ week social event, including ‘don’t talk to me if you’re not white’ and ‘The Holocaust was a good time’. (Guardian, 28 September 2016)

Discrimination

13 September: A Norwegian district court finds Merete Hodne, a hairdresser from the small town of Byrne, guilty of discrimination, after she refused to serve a Muslim woman who wears the headscarf. Hodne is linked, in some reports, to Pegida. (The Local, 13 September 2016)

Far Right

16 September: A 28-year-old Finnish national dies six days after being attacked at a rally by the neo-nazi Finnish Resistance Movement in Helsinki. (Helsinki Times, 19 September 2016)

21 September: Alternative for Germany (AfD) admits that Kay Nersteimer, newly-elected AfD parliamentarian for Berlin’s eastern Lichtenberg district, was a member of the German Defence League until 2012. (The Local, 21 September 2016)

24 September: More than 15,000 people demonstrate in Helsinki against racism, and thousands more in other Finnish towns, following the death of the man assaulted at the Finnish Resistance Movement rally on 10 September. (Guardian, 25 September 2016)

26 September: Police suspect far-Right involvement as two bombs explode at a mosque and a conference centre in Dresden, hours after a PEGIDA march in the town. The imam of the mosque was inside the building with his wife and two children at the time, although no one was injured. (Deutsche Welle, 27 September 2016)

Education

25 September: Research by the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership identifies some 20,000 slave-owners whose role has previously remained obscure, and highlights how some members of the royal family are the descendants of slave-owners. (Guardian, 25 September 2016)

26 September: A Department for Education spokesperson claims that data on pupils’ nationality now being collected by schools will not be passed to immigration officials or the Home Office. (BBC News, 26 September 2016)

29 September: More than 140 academics write an open letter saying that confidential research used by the government, as the basis for identifying radicalisation in the Prevent programme, relies on flawed science. (Guardian, 29 September 2016)

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

Comments

September 29, 2016
Graham Riches:

My younger son, when aged 9 years, who suffered “soft tissue” head injury after fall from school’s play area climbing equipment in September 2015 (shortly before replaced substantially at cost of over £8,000) and seemingly heard his “Headteacher” ask “Is he dead?” and his usual teacher possibly answer “No not quite”, now awaits “Victim Support” representative’s assistance following “post-Brexit” spike in allegedly racially motivated Hate attacks aimed at him; possibly it is surprising that Primary school aged students are so politically aware in Mid Wales.
Such son recently met our Welsh Assembly Member and she, to be fair, did ask what he would like if she could wave “a magic wand” and, as Education Secretary, she has recently been quoted in a “Cardiff News'” report about racism and bullying not being tolerated in schools in Wales. However, as a family we have been reporting, initially on behalf of our elder son since spring 2008 when he aged 5 years, attacks on school related transport and by June 2009 there had even been a threat against our younger son (via his brother) delivered by the younger brother of the initial “bus” attacker of my elder son – the threat maker being one of three boys who jointly attacked my elder son at his designated “Church in Wales” school on what then became his final day at such school.
Both my sons have since been attacked at the Primary switched to, from January 2010, although over 5 miles more distant and a County/Community school (deemed potentially safer for children raised as Roman Catholic), leaving this “nuclear” family asking ourselves (after eight serious “injury-threatening” attacks on our home/cars at different times since 2002) whether “bullying” just “comes with the territory” when of “mixed” ethnic (but all British since May 2005) background and sons born in Wales (always having resided here) but with English father and mother of originally Filipino nationality?
We do understand that “Hate disability crimes” do sadly seemingly far exceed the number of “racially motivated” crimes, but is that surprising given possibility of proportionate self-defence being used by physically fitter intended victims?
It is a pity that the Olympic Games’ proven successes celebrated recently do not seem to produce such seeming absence of racism generally in Britain.
Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute (since 1979) and “Blacklisted” seemingly by mid-1980s even when working for a large financial services organisation founded in Wales in 1800s

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