Calendar of racism and resistance (17-30 October 2014)

October 31, 2014 — News

Written by IRR News Team

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

Policing and criminal justice

October: HM Inspectorate of Constabulary publishes a report: An inspection of undercover policing in England and Wales. Download it here.

17 October: The Guardian reveals the stories behind the statistics and the human toll of the suicide crisis in prisons. (Guardian, 17 October 2014)

22 October: The trial of vicar Nathan Ntege, accused of 492 ‘sham marriages’, collapses after immigration officials ‘lie in court’ and are shown to have accessed racist material on Facebook. (Croydon Advertiser, 23 October 2014)

22 October: A custody sergeant from Clough Road police station in Hull is suspended after a 50-year-old man who spoke little English was held in custody for over six hours with two broken legs (sustained before his arrest in February 2014). Eleven other officers are also under investigation. (Hull Daily Mail, 22 October 2014)

22 October: The National Audit Office publishes a report: Managing and removing foreign national offenders. Download it here.

23 October: New research by Dr Hannah Quirk and Dr Carly Lightowlers, on the excessive sentencing following the 2011 riots is published. Read more about the research and how to get a copy here.

23 October: Migrant support group GISTI warns that a clause added at the last minute to an anti-terrorism bill being rushed through the French parliament is aimed not at terrorists but the poor, most notably the Roma, giving the state power to refuse entry to ‘undesirable’ nationals of EU states and their families if they pose a threat to due to their ‘personal behaviour’. (The Local, 23 October 2014)

23 October: The CPS publishes a report on Hate crimes and crimes against older people. Download it here (pdf file, 1.2mb).

24 October: An inquest records a critical narrative verdict into the death of Mohammed Zaber who was found hanged in HMP Stoke Heath in March 2013. The jury finds that the prison’s mental health team failed to properly monitor him. (BBC News, 24 October 2014)

24 October: Fourteen children are paid over £100,000 compensation by the private companies Serco and G4S after the use of unlawful restraint methods in secure training centres run by the two companies. (Guardian, 24 October 2014)

25 October: The United Families and Friends Campaign marches on Downing Street for its sixteenth annual remembrance procession for those that have died in state custody. (IRR News, 30 October 2014)

27 October: The Prison Reform Trust publishes a report on the rising ageing population in prisons. Download the Bromley Briefings Prison Factfile, Autumn 2014 here (pdf file, 4.4.mb).

27 October: The Guardian reveals that a police officer, known only as ZZ46, who was involved in the shooting of Mark Duggan is under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission for alleged misconduct. (Guardian, 26 October 2014)

28 October: The All Party Parliamentary Group for Children (APPGC) publishes its inquiry into the relationship between children and the police and finds that there is a lack of trust. Download the report here (pdf file, 1.1mb). (Children & Young People Now, 28 October 2014)

Violence and harassment

17 October: A 67-year-old man in Cardiff is left with serious facial injuries after an unprovoked racist attack by two white men. (Wales Online, 17 October 2014)

17 October: Russian student Vladimir Aust is given a two-year prison sentence for making explosives and saying he intended to use peroxide to ‘whiten n*****s’. Aust detonated small chemical explosions on four separate occasions at his halls of residence in Newcastle before his arrest in 2013. (North East Chronicle, 17 October 2014)

17 October: The Home Office publishes a statistical bulletin: Hate Crimes, England and Wales, 2013/14. Download it here.

18 October: The humanitarian organisation Prodein accuses the Spanish Civil Guard of ‘contempt for the law and ethics’ after filming the brutal assault of a Cameroonian migrant trying to scale the security fence from Morocco into Melilla, only to be beaten unconscious and hauled back onto the other side. (AFP, 18 October 2014)

19 October: A man in Liverpool suffers a serious head injury after being assaulted and ‘run down’ by a car in an attack which the police are treating as a racially aggravated assault. (Liverpool Echo, 20 October 2014)

20 October: Two men, aged 23 and 24, are given prison sentences of three years and seven months, and three years, for a racist attack on a nightclub doorman in Newcastle in March. The attack left the victim with a broken leg. (North East Chronicle, 20 October 2014)

20 October: Police officer Christopher Thomas denies a charge of racially aggravated assault on an autistic man earlier this year in Luton. He and his colleague, Christopher Pitts, also deny perverting the cause of justice and two counts of misconduct in public office. A trial date is set for November. (BBC News, 20 October 2014)

22 October: New research by the National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups and Angela Ruskin College reveals that nine out of ten Gypsy, Traveller or Roma children suffer from racial abuse. (Independent, 22 October 2014)

23 October: A man is arrested after a pig’s head is placed outside an Islamic cultural centre in Ellesmere Port. The incident comes a month after another man was given a restraining order for hanging racist bunting outside Ellesmere Port Unemployment and Culture Centre. (Islamophobia Watch, 23 October 2014)

24 October: Berkshire Tory councillor, Alan Mellins, is supended after ‘joking’ at a council meeting that Travellers refusing eviction should be ‘executed’. (BBC News, 24 October 2014)

28 October: Images are released of a man and a woman kicking and punching a 26-year-old Polish woman in an unprovoked racist attack at Goldhawk Road tube station. (Evening Standard, 28 October 2014)

30 October: Ryan Lovell is charged with wounding with intent, possessing a bladed article in a public place, criminal damage and causing racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage after allegedly stabbing a taxi driver in the face who has been left scarred for life. (Manchester Evening News, 29 October 2014 and Rochdale Online, 30 October 2014)

Asylum seekers and refugees

October: The Legal Action Group publishes a report by Fiona Bawdon: Chasing status: If not British, then what am I? Download it here.

18 October: Figures reveal thousands of decisions by the Home Office to refuse asylum seekers and migrants permission to remain in the UK have been withdrawn before a series of appeals. (Guardian, 18 October 2014)

21 October: Members of the Campaign to Close Campsfield meet to oppose plans to expand Campsfield House immigration removal centre and more than double the number of people it can hold. (Oxford Mail, 22 October 2014)

21 October: HM Inspectorate of Prisons publishes its: Annual Report 2013-14. Download it here (pdf file, 1.4mb).

22 October: The European Ombudsman opens an investigation into whether Frontex respects human rights in its joint returns operations and if proper independent monitoring of its operations is taking place.  (European Ombudsman, 22 October 2014)

22 October: The Spanish government introduces amendments to its Citizen Safety Law which, if passed, would make on-the-spot deportations legal at its North African border fences at Ceuta and Melilla. (CEA[R], 22 October 2014)

22 October: Freedom of Information requests reveal that more than £9 million has been paid in compensation following claims for unlawful detention between 2011 and 2013. (Gov.UK, 22 October 2014)

23 October: Lesbian and gay asylum seekers are being stereotyped by Home Office immigration staff, who are asking ‘unnecessarily intrusive’ questions about their sexuality, an inspection by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration finds. (Independent, 23 October 2014)

23 October: The coroner at the inquest into the death of 40-year-old Jamaican woman, Christine Case, at the Serco-run Yarl’s Wood removal centre in March 2014 records a verdict of death by natural causes. (Bedfordshire on Sunday, 26 October 2014)

23 October: The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration publishes three reports: An inspection of the Intelligence Management System, February-April 2014 (download the report here); A short-notice inspection of decision-making quality in the Paris Visa Section 10-13 June 2014 (download the report here); An Investigation into the Home Office’s Handling of Asylum Claims Made on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation, March-June 2014 (download the report here).

27 October: Refugee and human rights organisations protest against a Foreign Office announcement that Britain will not support future search and rescue operations to prevent migrants drowning in the Mediterranean, and that rescue operations act as a ‘pull factor’ for migrants. (Guardian, 27 October 2014)

29 October: The House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts Committee publishes a report: Reforming the UK border and immigration system. Download the report here (pdf file, 164kb)

Managed migration

21 October: Andrew Green, chairman of the think-tank Migrationwatch UK, is made a peer by David Cameron. (Guardian, 22 October 2014)

27 October: Defence Secretary Michael Fallon says that he was ‘a little careless in the words’ he used to claim that British towns are being ‘swamped’ by immigrants and their residents are ‘under siege’. (BBC News, 27 October 2014)

28 October: Former home secretary David Blunkett praises Michael Fallon, for warning that communities in the UK are being ‘swamped’ by migrants from eastern Europe. (Guardian, 28 October 2014)

29 October: The Public Accounts Committee issues a report which finds that the Home Office, despite taking control of the UK Border Agency’s functions a year ago, has yet to resolve 29,000 asylum applications dating back to 2007, of which 11,000 people have not even received an initial ruling. (Independent, 29 October 2014)

30 October: Redbridge Equalities and Community Council publishes a myth busting briefing paper about immigration from Romania and Bulgaria and Roma migrants. Download it here (pdf file, 1.3mb).

Extreme-right politics

17 October: EDL supporter Andrew Edge chants ‘EDL, EDL’ after being convicted of violent disorder, along with two other people, for his part in a demonstration in Birmingham in 2013. (Daily Mirror, 17 October 2014)

18 October: Following Hungarian municipal and county elections, the far-Right Jobbik party takes control of fourteen town halls, with 81 mandates in the 19 county assemblies. (Budapest Times, 18 October 2014)

21 October: Nigel Farage’s Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group in the European Parliament survives after recruiting Polish MEP Robert Iwaszkiewicz, whose Congress of the New Right party is associated with anti-Semitism, racism and mysognism. It had been threatened with collapse after the withdrawal of a Latvian MP and potential loss of €2m in Parliament funding. (Jewish Chronicle, 21 October 2014)

24 October: Right-wing group Britain First urges its members to boycott the Daily Mail and the Sun after the papers accuse the group of using actress Lynda Bellingham’s death to boost support. (Independent, 25 October 2014)

24 October: FN leader Marine Le Pen visits Calais shortly after the interior minister announces that 100 extra police will be sent to the port following violent incidents. A 16-year Eritrean girl, attempting to escape the violence, dies when she is hit by a car running across the motorway. (The Local, 24 October 2014)

25 October: About forty members of the ‘Welsh Alliance’, which claims that ‘Wales have [sic] been swamped with immigrants from all over the world’, demonstrate in Cardiff. (Wales Online, 25 October 2014)

26 October: German police use water cannon, batons and pepper spray  to break up a far-Right demonstration in Cologne against Islam organised by pro-NRW and ‘Hooligans Against Salafists’ who shouted neo-nazi slogans and ‘Foreigners Out’. (Deutsche Welle, 26 October 2014)

28 October: Ukip campaigners pose with Britain First activists for photos whilst campaigning in Rochester. Ukip says that they did so by ‘mistake’ and did not understand ‘the nature of the group’. (Independent, 28 October 2014)

Employment

24 October: Dozens of Asian taxi drivers in Heywood stage a protest after their boss reveals he supplies white drivers to customers on request. The protesters call his actions ‘racist’ and ‘discriminatory’. The owner later reverses his decision. (Manchester Evening News, 24 October 2014)

Media

22 October: Former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read withdraws from sale a Calypso-style song backing Ukip, which he sings with a faux-Jamaican accent, after complaints that the song is racist. (BBC News, 20 October 2014) 

27 October: In a TV interview, Ukip leader Nigel Farage claims that ‘blacking-up’ is not offensive. (Russia Today, 28 October 2014)

Health

21 October: The Care Quality Commission publishes a report: A safer place to be: Findings from our survey of health-based places of safety for people detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act. Download it here.

Housing

29 October: A single mother-of-five who was made homeless by Westminster Council after being told to move fifty miles away to Milton Keynes, applies to the Supreme Court to review her case. Her children have been taken into care. (Independent, 29 October 2014)

Government policy

22 October: The British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly’s Economic and Social Committee publishes a report from Committee D (Environment and Social) on Travellers, Gypsies and Roma: access to public services and community relations. Download the report here (pdf file, 408kb)

Other news sources

Sign up to receive regular newsletters from the Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association (JENGbA) campaign, the latest was published on 16 October and can be download here (pdf file 904kb).

Sign up to receive regular updates from the Migrants’ Rights Network here.

Sign up to receive regular emails from Statewatch, which monitors the state and civil liberties in Europe, here.

Sign up up to receive regular emails from, Kick it Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation, here.

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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