Calendar of racism and resistance (19 August – 1 September 2016)

September 1, 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.

Violence & harassment

22 August: Freedom of Information requests reveal that British Transport Police recorded 119 ‘race hate offences’ in the two weeks following the EU referendum, an increase in incidents of 78 per cent over the same period in 2015. (Guardian, 21 August 2016)

25 August: The Police Service of Northern Ireland publishes: Incidents and Crimes with a Hate Motivation Recorded by the Police in Northern Ireland: Quarterly Update to 30 September 2014–30 June 2016. Download the statistics here (pdf file, 635kb).

25 August: A rock is thrown through the window of a Slovakian family’s house in Belfast, and a pipe bomb is later found in the area. The initial incident is treated by police as a hate crime, and the two attacks are believed to be connected. (BBC News, 25 August 2016)

26 August: A man in Essex who confronted two people on 26 July, after reportedly being subjected to an ongoing torrent of racist abuse, is told to put up with it and ‘button his lip’ by magistrates. Bilal Zubair admits two public order offences for disorderly behaviour at Colchester Magistrates’ Court, but says that Essex police did not take seriously the abuse that he had received. (Essex County Standard, 26 August 2016)

hp_CERD_50_EN26 August: British politicians helped fuel a rise in racist hate crimes during and after the EU referendum campaign, a UN body, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination finds. (Guardian, 26 August 2016)

26 August: Seventeen Jewish graves are desecrated in a west Belfast cemetery. (Guardian, 28 August 2016) 

27 August: Police in London says they are treating as a hate crime an incident on 1 July, when a woman’s ankle was broken by a white man who was racially abusing her friend. (West London News, 27 August 2016)

 

Arkadiusz Jóźwik

Arkadiusz Jóźwik

30 August: A murder inquiry is launched and six teenage boys arrested in relation to the killing of a Polish man, Arkadiusz Jóźwik, in Harlow, Essex on 27 August, in a suspected hate crime. (Guardian, 30 August 2016)

 

30 August: Thirteen teenagers are released on bail after being held on suspicion of various racially aggravated offences in relation to an incident on 27 August, in Stoke-on-Trent, during which four people of ‘Pakistani heritage’ were injured. It is believed bricks and pieces of wood were used as weapons. (Stoke Sentinel, 30 August 2016)

Asylum & refugees

Frontex22 August: An analysis by The Intercept into internal un-redacted reports inadvertently released by Frontex suggests that, from May 2014 to December 2015, the European and Greek coastguards used firearms as standard practice to stop boats driven by suspected smugglers, irrespective of the danger this presented to refugees. (The Intercept, 22 August 2016)

22 August: Gyorgy Schopflin, Hungarian MEP for the Christian Democratic European People’s Party, suggests on Twitter to ‘put pig heads on border fences to deter Muslim refugees’. (Independent, 22 August 2016)

22 August: Enrico Ioculano, mayor of the Italian town of Ventimiglia, issues an order prohibiting unauthorised people from providing food to refugees waiting at the French-Italian border. (Diritti Humani Blog, 22 August 2016)

23 August: UK Visas and Immigration and Immigration Enforcement publish: Guidance on adults at risk in immigration detention, download here.

23 August: A 20-year-old Afghan refugee is shot dead by a ‘migrant hunter’ in south-eastern Serbia near the border with Bulgaria. Police arrest the gunman. (Deutsche Welle, 24 August 2016)

24 August: A senior judge in Scotland accuses Theresa May of acting ‘unreasonably’ and being ‘too ready’ to reject the asylum claim of a Sri Lankan man, who can now appeal to the first-tier tribunal. (Herald Scotland, 24 August 2016)

danish refugee council24 August: The Danish government presents a new bill to exclude the Danish Refugee Council from asylum appeals, arguing that its humanitarian mission creates a conflict of interest. The Council is recognised as the body with the greatest expertise on refugees. (Refugees.dk, 24 August 2016)

24 August: The Norwegian government announces plans to erect a steel fence at a remote Arctic border with Russia, after 5,500 mostly Syrian refugees entered at the spot over the past year. The local mayor says ‘I can’t see a need for a fence. There are too many fences going up in Europe today.’ (Reuters, 24 August 2016)

25 August: Six migrants trying to reach the Kent coast in a small boat are rescued from a sandbank in the English Channel, in the eighth rescue of migrants off the Kent and Sussex coast since March. (BBC News, 25 August 2016)

26 August: Maria Sloth and Anne Hegelund, two Danish politicians who were charged with violating Denmark’s immigration laws by housing two African refugees, are found not guilty in Aarhus City Court. (The Local, 26 August 2016)

29 August: As more people use the dangerous Libya-Italy route to Europe following the EU-Turkey agreement, the Italian coastguard perform forty rescues in one day, involving a record 6,500 people, in the central Mediterranean. (Al Jazeera, 29 August 2016)

29 August: German federal police report that 9,000 refugee children and young people have gone missing since the beginning of the year. Most are between 14 and 17, but 900 are under 13. (Deutsche Welle, 29 August 2016)

31 August: Corporate Watch publishes an in-depth investigation into how immigration enforcement works in the UK, read a summary here or download the full report here (pdf file, 212kb). (Corporate Watch, 31 August 2016)

31 August: Dozens of Chechen asylum seekers camp out at the border between Belarus and Poland as Poland refuses to admit them. (World Bulletin, 31 August 2016)

Policing & criminal justice

18 August: Three Muslim sisters are removed from an easyJet flight at Stanstead and questioned by armed police after passengers complain to staff that one of the women was reading ‘ISIS material’. (Guardian, 24 August 2016)

cropped-oj_header_20 August: Following a re-enactment of the death of Oury Jalloh, who police claim set himself alight in a cell in Germany in 2005, the grassroots initiative ‘Break the Silence’ says there are a number of discrepancies between that and the original conditions of the fire in 2005, calling the re-enactment a ‘manipulative fire test’. (Break the Silence Initiative, 20 August 2016)

JENGbA logo22 August: Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association (JENGbA) publishes issue no.39 of its newsletter, download it here (pdf file, 1.5mb).

23 August: Statewatch publishes a report by Chris Jones: The visible hand: the European Union’s Security Industrial Policy, download it here (pdf file, 239kb)

24 August: The inquest opens into the death of former footballer Dalian Atkinson, who died on 15 August after being tasered in Telford. The inquest, which is told police were called in response to a ‘report of concern for safety’, is adjourned till 22 November. (Guardian, 24 August 2016)

25 August: The body of Mzee Mohammed, who died after being arrested by Liverpool police, is released to his family for the funeral to be held; while the inquest is adjourned until 11 November. (Liverpool Echo, 25 August)

KingsleyBurrell26 August: Activists occupy the lobby of the Crown Prosecution Service offices in Birmingham, calling for police officers to be prosecuted over the death of Kingsley Burrell in 2011. (Guardian, 20 August 2016)

30 August: Haroon Shah, the solicitor representing four protesters arrested during a Black Lives Matter demonstration earlier this month, argues that their bail conditions are disproportionately harsh ‘because of the colour of their skin.’ (Guardian, 30 August 2016)

Far Right

19 August: A member of North West Infidels, already serving a prison term, apologises from his cell to the people of Dover after admitting violent disorder after a demonstration in the town in January which led to violence, and is sentenced to a further 18 months. (Kent Online, 19 August 2016)

21 August: The North East Counter Terrorism Unit releases on bail a 43-year-old Plymouth man who allegedly making bomb threats against a Rotherham mosque. (Plymouth Herald, 21 August 2016)

25 August: Kent police deny EDL claims, posted on Facebook, that they are working with its ‘coastal patrol’. The EDL’s post is later deleted. (Kent Online, 25 August 2016)

26 August: Six men receive prison sentences totalling more than fifteen years for their part in the ‘Dover riots’ in January, during which far-right protesters fought with anti-fascists. The men are convicted of a range of offences, and the judge tells them that their chants of ‘Sieg Heil’ and Nazi salutes would have been ‘deeply offensive’ to those who had lived through the Second World War. (Kent Online, 26 August 2016)

National security

15 August: Northampton anti-terrorist police officers remove photoshopped pictures of Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift from their Twitter account after a complaint from Hiddleston over the pictures which suggested Hiddleston supported Prevent – the government counter-extremism strategy. (Middle East Eye, 15 August 2016)

21 August: Justice minister Elizabeth Truss announces that, following a government review of Islamist extremism in prisons, new specialist ‘sealed-off units’, are to be created for prisoners convicted of terrorist and extremist offences. (Guardian, 21 August 2016)

25 August: The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee publishes: Radicalisation: the counter-narrative and identifying the tipping point, download it here (pdf file, 540kb).

Media

ofcom22 August: Ofcom rejects complaints (encouraged by Kelvin MacKenzie in a Sun article) about the inappropriateness of Channel 4 News’s presenter, Fatima Manji wearing a headscarf when reporting on the Nice terrorist attack on Bastille Day. (Guardian, 22 August 2016)

23 August: A Hungarian state honour given to racist and anti-Semitic journalist Zsolt Bayer, who compared Roma to ‘animals’, prompts several dozen recipients of the same award to return theirs in protest. (Guardian, 23 August 2016)

Discrimination

22 August: A local Administrative Court rules against an appeal from a student in the German town of Osnabrück that she should be allowed to wear a niqab in school. The night school had refused the student the right to wear it on the basis that it was ‘essential for open communication that students’ faces are visible’. (Deutsche Welle, 22 August 2016)

25 August: A Palestinian refugee is dismissed from an internship designed to promote integration, at the town hall in Luckenwalde, in Brandenburg, Germany, for wearing the headscarf. (Deutsche Welle, 28 August 2016)

26 August: The prime minister announces an audit of ‘racial disparities’ in public services, saying that it will reveal ‘difficult truths’ about Britain. (Independent, 26 August 2016)

26 August: France’s highest administrative court rules unlawful the ‘burkini ban’ imposed by mayors in at least fifteen beach resorts including Cannes and Nice. Some of the mayors vow to continue the ban in defiance of the ruling, which has divided the French government. (Guardian, 28 August 2016)

31 August: A ‘hidden community’ of 200 Traveller families in Croydon face social exclusion as well as mental health problems and deny their ethnicity to avoid discrimination and abuse, a report finds. (Croydon Advertiser, 31 August 2016)

Employment

22 August: Trades Union Congress research finds that BAME workers are 33 per cent more likely to be underemployed than white workers. (Guardian, 22 August 2016)

Sport

23 August: York City goalkeeper, Scott Flinders, is banned for five matches and fined £1,250 by the Football Association after being found guilty of racial abuse during a match against AFC Wimbledon in March. (BBC News, 23 August 2016)

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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