Calendar of racism and resistance (18 May – 1 June 2017)

June 2, 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.

Post-Manchester

22 May: Following a suicide-bomb attack at the Ariana Grande concert in the Manchester arena, which left 22 people dead, many young people, and hundreds injured, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham tells BBC News that Mancunians will not ‘let this attack divide them’, adding that bomber Salman Abedi ‘no more represents Muslims than Jo Cox’s killer represents white people’. (Independent, 22 May 2017)

23 May: EDL members carrying English flags attempt to mount a protest outside the Arndale shopping centre in Manchester, only to clash with police and angry crowds. Footage shows a man in the shopping centre shouting at the EDL that ‘The people of Manchester are going to stick together, no matter what religion you follow, no matter what the colour of the skin is. We’re not going to stand with people like you’. (Metro, 23 May 2017)

23 May: The Jamia Qasmia Zahidia Islamic Centre in Oldham suffers damage after its front doors are set alight in the early hours of the morning, hours after the Manchester bombing. (Asian Image, 24 May 2017)

23 May: The Railway Pub in Ipswich is roundly criticised after its landlord posts on Facebook that people with the name Salmam [sic] should be deported with ‘immediate effect’. The comment is later deleted. (Ipswich Star, 25 May 2017)

23 May: Newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins is reported to the police after calling for a ‘final solution’ in tweets relating to the Manchester bombing. (Guardian, 23 May 2017)

23 May: In Manchester, a Muslim woman is spat on by a stranger on Oxford Road and a man is heard shouting ‘ban Muslims’ outside Harvey Nichols at 10.30am. (The Tab, 23 May 2017)

24 May: Racist graffiti is sprayed on a wall next to a nursery in Ealing, saying ‘Remove Kebab from Europe’ alongside drawings of black people hung from nooses. (GetWestLondon, 26 May 2017)

24 May: A 29-year-old woman driving her car near St Andrew’s is followed along the A915 and then racially abused by the occupant of the other car when he pulls up alongside her. (The Courier, 29 May 2017)

24 May: A member of the public reports two Asian men being racially abused on board a bus travelling from Middlesbrough to Redcar by an older white man. (Gazette Live, 26 May 2017)

25 May: A 40-year-old Muslim woman is racially abused in a Tesco car park in Trowbridge. (Wiltshire Times, 26 May 2017)

25 May: Manchester Muslim doctor, Naveed Yasin, a trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at Salford hospital, is racially abused by a van driver as he travels to work 48 hours after the bombing and after working to assist those injured. (Manchester Evening News, 28 May 2017)

25 May: A mother and her 2-year-old daughter are racially abused in Bromley and told to ‘go and bomb the world’ in an attack that is filmed. (NewsShopper, 26 May 2017)

25 May: Two Muslim women are racially abused as they walk down a Hull street, with the man making comments in reference to the Manchester bombing. (Hull Daily Mail, 27 May 2017)

25 May: A 16-year-old boy is approached from behind, pushed to the floor and attacked with a knife at the Arcadia Sports Centre, Levenshulme, Manchester. Police are treating it as a hate crime and arrest an 18-year-old man. (BBC News, 28 May 2017)

25 May: A man walking on London Road, Luton is abused by three men in a car who later return and throw water at him. (Bedfordshire on Sunday, 30 May 2017)

25 May: The Scottish Defence League announces plans for an ‘anti-terrorist’ demonstration in Edinburgh on 25 June. (Scotsman, 25 May 2017)

25 May: A Romanian man, Calo Carpaci, is fatally stabbed in Limerick after allegedly intervening on hearing a racist remark about the Manchester bombing. (Irish Examiner, 25 May 2017)

25 May: Glasgow Muslims speak about their fears of a backlash following the Manchester attacks, with one 32-year-old man reporting that ‘he was called a “p*** b*****d” and told to “stop blowing people up” as he walked to a newsagent shop in Govan’. (Herald Scotland, 25 May 2017)

25 May: Ryan Burgess, 22, from St Helen’s, Lancashire, is arrested and charged with using racially aggravated words and threatening or abusive, insulting words or behaviour after an offensive tweet (about the Manchester bombings) was posted on Twitter. (St Helen’s Star, 25 May 2017)

26 May: Katie Hopkins leaves her job at LBC Radio with immediate effect following her tweet about a ‘final solution’ after the Manchester bombings. (Guardian, 26 May 2017)

26 May: Police are called to a Jamia Mosque, Gillingham, Kent, after a group of men disturb prayers and demonstrate with a ‘We Love Manchester’ banner, another man carries a Ukip placard; no arrests are made. (KentLive, 26 May 2017)

26 May: A man in his 40s is arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence after a group of men enter McDoodys restaurant in Gillingham and start throwing tables and chairs and racially abusing staff. (Kent Online, 27 May 2017)

26 May: A 20-year-old man has his jaw broken after being repeatedly punched when he intervenes as two female friends are racially abused in Victoria Park, Taunton. (ITV, 28 May 2017)

27 May: The Chief Constable of Manchester Police, Ian Hopkins, reports an increase in racially motivated violence reported to police in the days after the Manchester bombing, including racist graffiti; a bomb threat at a school after pupils were asked if they were Muslim; a child racially abused and followed by a man carrying a crowbar; a bank teller being called a ‘terrorist’ and blamed for the bombing; someone shopping in a supermarket told ‘shame on you for … what you did last night’ and a niqab-wearing woman being told that she should not wear it in public. (BBC News, 27 May 2017)

27 May: Three men stone and racially abuse the congregation of Torbay Islamic Centre. (BBC News, 27 May 2017)

28 May: A London Jewish family on a day trip to the Isle of Sheppey are racially abused and stoned by a gang of teenagers, two boys and three girls. (KentLive, 29 May 2017)

28 May: Derby taxi driver Imran Hussain is racially abused and assaulted by a passenger who makes reference to the Manchester bombing; a man is arrested. (Derby Telegraph, 28 May 2017)

28 May: Essex police arrest two men, a 53-year-old man from Colchester and a 39-year-old man from Chelmsford, on suspicion of posting racially aggravated comments on social media following the Manchester bombing. (East Anglian Daily Times, 28 May 2017)

29 May: Two 42-year-old men are arrested after allegedly racially abusing the staff of a takeaway in Dumbarton in the early hours of the morning. (Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter, 29 May 2017)

31 May: In a Guardian interview, Dan Hett, the brother of Martyn Hett who died in the Manchester bombing, appeals for people to stop using the tragedy to denounce immigration. (Guardian, 31 May 2017)

Violence and harassment

16 May: Pensioner Michael Dew is given a suspended six-month prison sentence and a curfew after admitting 16 criminal damage offences involving racist graffiti in Hounslow between December 2015 and February 2016. (GetWestLondon, 19 May 2017)

19 May: Police appeal for information after a mother of three is forced to leave her North Belfast home after racists break windows, the television and family pictures, and daub the property with racist graffiti. (North Belfast News, 19 May 2017)

21 May: A 37-year-old man is racially abused and then stabbed in Southampton, in an attack police are treating as racially motivated. (Southern Daily Echo, 24 May 2017)

21 May: An Indian restaurant in Belvedere, south east London is forced to close temporarily after all its windows are smashed by a man whom staff had tried to assist as he was drunk; the man returned with up to 15 people who ‘trashed’ the restaurant while racially abusing staff. (This is Local London, 23 May 2017)

David Gallacher

David Gallacher

22 May: David Gallacher is sentenced to nearly four years in prison for kicking a Somali woman in Milton Keynes, causing her to lose her unborn twins, in a racially motivated attack in August 2016. (Milton Keynes Citizen, 22 May 2017)

25 May: Retired businessman Richard Sturdy, of Ripon, north Yorkshire, pleads guilty to racial/ religiously aggravated harassment and malicious communications at Harrogate magistrates’ court, following a years-long campaign against Eric and Philippa Kempson for the help they give to refugees in Lesbos. He is given a community order and ordered not to communicate with them for a year. Read the Kempsons’ statement here

25 May: The Cypriot Attorney General dismisses a complaint made by Kisa (Movement for Equality, Support, Anti-Racism) over possible hate speech by Archbishop Chrysostomos on the grounds that while his speech was ‘intense’ it was not directed at a particular group based on their ethnic background or religion. During a TV interview, the Archbishop had described Turkish settlers in the north of the country as ‘uncouth’ ‘Anatolians’ who ‘will never become European, not even in 100 years’. (Cyprus Mail, 25 May 2017)

26 May: Plymouth man, Ross Luscombe, 27, is jailed for 44 weeks for offences including racially and religiously aggravated threatening behaviour after knocking a man out by throwing a snooker ball at his head. (Plymouth Herald, 26 May 2017)

26 May: Jane Taylor, 51, is given a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for two years for three breaches of an anti-social behaviour order after her ‘vicious and racist’ abuse and harassment forced her victim, a grandmother, to move from her Plymouth home. (Plymouth Herald, 26 May 2017)

29 May: Half a pig’s head, pigs’ feet and entrails are some of the body parts found on nine wooden stakes at the site of the planned mosque in Erfurt, Germany. The criminal police unit are investigating the case. (The Local, 30 May 2017)

Asylum and migration

18 May: A new law passed by the German parliament makes deportation easier for failed asylum seekers, allowing longer detention pending removal, electronic monitoring of those deemed dangerous, and access to and sharing by federal agencies of data read from migrants’ mobile phones. Organisations including Pro Asyl, Caritas and Amnesty International criticise the measure as disproportionate. (Migazin, 22 May 2017)

20 May: The burned body of a 30-year-old migrant is found hidden in a rooftop electrical unit of a train at Cannes station. The man is thought to have boarded a train from Ventimiglia in Italy and was electrocuted whilst trying to remain hidden. (Capital Bay, 20 May 2017)

20 May: 1,500 people gather in Vienna to protest deportations to Afghanistan. (Are You Syrious, 20 May 2017)

22 May: Refugees are removed by Berlin police after protesting the conditions of the Brienner Street 16 camp. The police confiscate all sleeping bags and tents. (Enough is Enough, 22 May 2017)

22 May: The Hungarian foreign minister says that Hungary will not change its laws in response to the European Parliament resolution last week condemning new anti-asylum laws and other measures creating a ‘serious deterioration’ in the rule of law and human rights, in the first move in a process which could strip Hungary of its voting rights in the parliament. (Reuters, 22 May 2017)

22 May: A vote in the Swiss canton of Bern to reject the 105 million franc funding to help asylum seekers is passed at 54.3 per cent. The vote was brought by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP). The funding would have been dedicated to providing accommodation for unaccompanied minors. (The Local, 22 May 2017)

22 May: Holyrood’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee publishes: Hidden Lives – New Beginnings: Destitution, asylum and insecure immigration status in Scotland, download the report here (pdf file, 2.6mb)

24 May: The sit-in to support refugees at Helsinki Railway Square reaches 100 days. Refugees and supporters have been present day and night protesting against deportations of refugees, mainly to Afghanistan and Iraq. (Are you Syrious, 24 May 2017)

24 May: Five Romanians, Marius Zevian, 45, Cucoana Zevian, 49, Gheorghita Radu, 56, Nicoleta-Marinela Florea, 42, and Marcela Sandu, 34, four women and a man, including a husband and wife, are all killed in a crash on the M6, between Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, as they travel to work to pick strawberries; one man survives and is taken to hospital and the driver of the lorry involved in the crash is arrested. (Daily Mirror, 26 May 2017)

25 May: EU citizens are leaving the UK since the Brexit vote, resulting in an 84,000 drop in the net migration figure to Britain to 248,000 – the lowest level for nearly three years. (Guardian, 25 May 2017)

25 May: The Court of Appeal dismisses the government’s appeal against a 2016 ruling that Theresa May acted unlawfully when, as home secretary, she refused to admit a group of Sudanese, Iraqi, Ethiopian and Syrian families rescued from the sea in 1998 and living in condemned buildings on the Dhekelia sovereign British base in Cyprus ever since. The government says it will appeal against the ruling. (Guardian, 25 May 2017)

25 May: According to new statistics, the number of asylum seekers waiting more than six months to receive a decision from the Home Office has risen by 72 per cent in the past year. (Independent, 25 May 2017)

26 May: An MSF rescue vessel carrying 1,400 passengers rescued at sea is denied permission to dock for 48 hours as Sicily’s ports are closed for the G7 summit. It finally docks on 28 May. (Efe, 28 May 2017)

29 May: Leaked correspondence between the Greek and German ministers responsible for migration reveals an agreement to slow the rate of refugees relocated to Germany to join families to 70 per month, from a previous average of 400, meaning that many will have to wait in Greece for years to join loved ones. A petition calls on the German interior minister to allow family reunification. (The Local, 29 May 2017)

30 May: The Supreme Court of Ireland rules unconstitutional the denial of the right to work to asylum seekers, in a decision which will have a major impact. (Irish Times, 30 May 2017)

30 May: Nearly 40 per cent of all refugees in camps on the Greek island of Chios have witnessed a suicide attempt, according to research conducted by the Independent, which showed that 87 per cent of those witnessing a death say it occurred due to self-harm or suicide. (Independent, 30 May 2017)

1 June: New fees of £5.48 for email queries from abroad relating to visas, combined with a reduction in services by the newly privatised customer inquiry service at UK Visas and Immigration, cause anger, as applicants already pay commercial rates for visas. (Law Society Gazette, 31 May 2017)

Policing and criminal justice

Remembering the Victims of the NSU (©Jasper Kettner)

Remembering the Victims of the NSU (©Jasper Kettner)

17 May: As the inquiry into the police shooting in March 2012 of Anthony Grainger, in Culcheth by Greater Manchester police draws to a close, Grainger’s family are critical of the ‘botched’ police operation which led to his death. The findings will be published later in the year (Manchester Evening News, 17 May 2017)

21 May: The People’s Tribunal on the NSU case, held in Cologne between 17-21 May, ends with the publication of an Indictment against the German government. Download the indictment (in German) here. (World Socialist Web Site, 25 May 2017)

25 May: The European Roma Rights Centre releases video evidence of an incident in April in the Roma neighbourhood of Zborov, Slovakia, during which officers, batons drawn, launched a terrifying and indiscriminate attacks on Roma, including children and the elderly, and blocked an ambulance from entering the Roma neighbourhood to treat the victims. (ERRC, 25 May 2017)

Leroy Medford

Leroy Medford

27 May: The family of Leroy Medford who died in police custody at Loddon Valley police station hold a vigil to remember their brother and say that they still don’t know how he died. (Reading Chronicle, 31 May 2017)

29 May: Are you Syrious and the Welcome Initiative publish a report documenting new cases of police violence against refugees at the Croatian-Serbian border. Doctors without Borders also report an increase in injured refugees attending its clinics in Belgrade and Adaševci. Download the report (in Croatian) here.

31 May: It is announced that Sir John Mitford will take over from Lord Pitchford as the chair of the inquiry into the activities of undercover police officers. (Guardian, 31 May 2017)

The People’s Tribunal on the NSU case was held in Cologne between 17-21 May. (© Jasper Kettner)

The People’s Tribunal on the NSU case was held in Cologne between 17-21 May. (© Jasper Kettner)

National security

31 May: Amnesty International condemns France’s strict anti-terrorism measures which it says are being used to curb legitimate protests. The majority of the 639 measures preventing specific individuals from taking part in demonstrations are targeted against people protesting labour law reforms. (The Local, 31 May 2017)

Far right

14 May: Britain First leaders Jayda Fransen and Paul Golding are temporarily banned from five areas in Kent after an arrest earlier in the week for inciting religious hatred in relation to an ongoing rape trial. (KentLive, 14 May 2017)

15 May: Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris is thrown out of the Greek parliamentary chamber after assaulting a New Democracy opponent, throwing water over him. (Politico, 15 May 2017)

17 May: Germany’s national television network ARD alleges that in the 1990s the federal security services attempted to recruit the head of the neo-nazi Blood and Honour as an informant, offering him protection and leniency for past crimes. Left Party MP Andre Hahn says that if this is true, it would mean that the BfV hadn’t been monitoring the group, but ‘steering it itself’. (Deutsche Welle, 17 May 2017)

17 May: Pavel Tenev, of United Patriots, a coalition partner in the new Bulgarian government, resigns his post as deputy regional development minister after the media publish a photo of him giving a Nazi salute. Deputy prime minister Valery Simeonov, also of United Patriots, refuses to resign over photos of him taken at the Buchenwald concentration camp in the 1970s. Also refusing to resign is deputy interior minister Stefan Balabanov. Screenshots of Facebook posts where he calls Roma and refugees ‘scum’ and ‘apes’ have appeared in the media. (Balkan Insight, 19 May 2017)

18 May: Northern League MEP Mario Borghezio, having been stripped of parliamentary immunity, is found guilty of defamation founded on racial insult, and ordered to pay €50,000 damages to Italy’s former minister of integration, Cécile Kyenge. In an April 2013 radio interview, Borghezio said that Kyenge wanted to ‘impose her tribal traditions from the Congo’ on Italians’. (New York Times, 19 May 2017)

19 May: Fifty members of the far-Right Identitarian Movement drive a rental truck towards Berlin’s justice ministry and attempt to climb onto the roof while throwing pyrotechnics, in a protest against plans to introduce new legislation to clampdown on ‘hate crime’ on the internet. (Deutsche Welle, 19 May 2017)

26 May: Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, ex-leader of the EDL and now self-styled ‘journalist’ on Rebel Media, receives a suspended sentence for contempt of court after ‘gatecrashing’ a trial at Canterbury Crown Court of four men for rape. (Kent Online, 26 May 2017)

26 May: Consternation greets the announcement that the new head of Bulgaria’s National Council for Cooperation on Ethnic and Integration Issues is far-right deputy prime minister Valeri Simeonov, who has previously referred to Roma as ‘ferocious humanoids’ whose children ‘play with pigs in the streets’ and whose women ‘have the instincts of street dogs’. (Transitions Online, 26 May 2017)

26 May: Hungarian counter-terrorism police ban former BNP leader Nick Griffin from entering or residing in the country. Two days earlier, James Dowson, founder of Britain First, who had been operating a branch of the Knights Templar International in Budapest, was expelled from Hungary. (AFP, 26 May 2017)

29 May: A protest is held by 15 people outside a takeaway where a girl was raped (a few days after the end of the trial after which four men were convicted). (KentLive, 29 May 2017)

Party politics

16 May: A Ukip candidate for Great Yarmouth, Catherine Blaiklock, brings a picture of her black husband to a talk at a sixth-form college to ‘prove’ her party isn’t racist. (Metro, 17 May 2017)

20 May: The Ukip candidate for north Wiltshire, Paddy Singh, is suspended from the party after it is revealed that he has sent a series of racist tweets. (Guardian, 20 May 2017)

29 May: The Conservative candidate for Batley and Spen, Dr Ann Myatt, the constituency where Jo Cox, MP, was murdered last year, is forced to apologise after saying ‘We’ve not yet shot anybody so that’s wonderful,’ at an election hustings. (Daily Mirror, 29 May 2017)

1 June: Anne Marie Morris, a Conservative candidate for Newton Abbot is forced to distance herself from remarks made by her partner and election agent who claimed at an election hustings ‘that the crisis in education was due entirely to non-British born immigrants and their high birth rates’. (Devon Online, 1 June 2017)
 
Employment

19 May: Brentford company director Martin Gutaj, 44, is found guilty of two breaches of health and safety laws after two Polish employees, Tomasz Procko, 22 and Kyrol Szymanski, 29, died when a balcony collapsed as they tried to lift a sofa into a Knightsbridge flat without proper safety precautions in November 2014. Gutaj will be sentenced in July. (GetWestLondon, 19 May 2017)

Housing

25 May: The Department for Communities and Local Government publishes its: Traveller caravan count: January 2017, view and download it here.

25 May: Housing associations (HAs) are being urged to sign a pledge to demonstrate their support to migrants. Eighteen HAs have already agreed to the three-point promise, which is a platform to provide fair treatment for migrants. (24Housing, 25 May 2017)

Education

26 May: Oxford University announces that history students will have to study and take an exam on non-British, non-European topics, to make the syllabus more diverse and less British-focused. (Guardian, 28 May 2017)

30 May: A hearing at the National College of Teaching and Leadership dismisses the case against five teachers relating to the ‘Trojan Horse’ affair, after government lawyers fail to disclose witnesses’ evidence in what is described as an ‘abuse of justice’. (Guardian, 30 May 2017)

Discrimination

19 May: A petition in France calling the La Chapelle area of Paris a ‘female “no-go” area’, and arguing that the street harassment has become dangerous, receives 1,500 signatures, but many criticise the petition for using sexism to hide racist undertones. (Libération, 19 May 2017)

Jobs

  • Medical Justice is hiring a Finance & Support Manager at a salary of £26,500, view details here (the closing date is 11 June 2017).
  • The Migrants’ Rights Network is seeking a Project Manager for their Routes to your Rights project, view details here (the closing date is 19 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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