Calendar of racism and resistance (2 – 15 September 2016)

September 15, 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 and harassment

24 August: Self-defence classes for Muslims and others from BAME communities in Swansea are launched, following concerns about racist violence in the locality. (BBC News, 24 August 2016)

1 September: A man who racially abuses several black people in Swindon is chased away as passers-by turn on him. A 26-year-old man is later arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated provocation. (Swindon Advertiser, 1 September 2016)

2 September: A serial racist abuser is jailed for 26 weeks after breaching the terms of a suspended sentence by repeatedly abusing security guards at two Scunthorpe stores. His appeal against the sentence is rejected. (Scunthorpe Telegraph, 6 September 2016)

4 September: Several thousand Chinese demonstrators in Paris demand ‘Security for all’ and an official recognition of ‘anti-Asian racism’ after a rise in attacks on the community, including the murder of Zhang Chaolin, who was killed by muggers in early August. (Radio France Internationale, 4 September 2016)

5 September: A Sunderland man who told his Polish neighbour to ‘go back to your own country’ has charges of causing racially or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress dismissed when magistrates accept his comments were not racially motivated after he said he would have used the phrase regardless of his victim’s background. (Sunderland Echo, 5 September 2016)

5 September: The Polish Embassy announces that its consuls have intervened fifteen times in the preceding few weeks, in relation to ‘xenophobic incidents’ against Polish communities. The most serious cases, it says, ‘included arson, physical assault, hateful graffiti, and intimidation’. (Plymouth Herald, 5 September 2016)

5 September: Four people from Lithuania are left ‘terrified’ after an incident in Lurgan, Northern Ireland, during which shots are fired at the windows and front door of their house. The attack is treated as a hate crime. (ITV News, 5 September 2016)

6 September: Police investigate allegations of a racially motivated assault on a 10-year-old Asian boy in Bristol by two other children. The two boys allegedly took the victim to a building site, and racially abused and assaulted him, leaving him needing hospital treatment. (Guardian, 6 September 2016)

6 September: The trial of Ronnie Coulter, 48, begins at Glasgow High Court for the murder of Surjit Singh Chhokar in Overtown, north Lanarkshire in 1998. Coulter lodges a defence blaming two other men. (Herald Scotland, 6 September 2016)

6 September: Essex police release CCTV footage of possible witnesses to the murder of Arkadiusz Jóźwik in Harlow, and reveal that he died from a single punch to the head. (Guardian, 6 September 2016)

6 September: Arson is suspected after new migrant accommodation in Forges-les-Bains, south-west of Paris, burns to the ground, the same day that Paris reveals plans for its first official migrant camps. (The Local, 6 September 2016)

7 September: Figures from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) reveal that incidents of hate crime are still high following the EU referendum vote, and remain at higher levels when compared to the same time last year. Despite the increase the NPCC has said it will no longer collate weekly figures. (Guardian, 7 September 2016)

7 September: The Traveller Movement launches a national campaign,  #OperationReportHate, to raise awareness of hate crimes against Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities and the need to report them. (Travellers’ Times, 7 September 2016)

8 September: Mobile phone footage is revealed of a man in Doncaster prison seriously beating another prisoner, reportedly in a racist attack. At one point the victim pleads with his attacker, saying ‘I don’t want to fight. I’ll do what you say.’ (Sheffield Telegraph, 8 September 2016)

8 September: Two football hooligans kick an eight-months pregnant woman in the stomach ‘for wearing a niqab’ in Barcelona, Spain. Hospital checks find no permanent injury to the woman or her unborn child. (Independent, 8 September 2016)

9 September: A 14-year-old Muslim girl is attacked with ‘a sharp object’ outside a school in southern Sweden in what police are investigating as a possible hate crime. (The Local, 9 September 2016)

9 September: A judge gives a man a two-year suspended prison sentence for directing his dog to attack a black man in Cricklewood in July 2015 after calling him a n****r’. The victim suffered 18 bites to his arms and legs, and is still emotionally and physically scarred as a result of the attack. (Evening Standard, 9 September 2016)

9 September: A 28-year-old Polish man is punched unconscious and suffers serious head injuries after a gang attack by up to 20 men in Armley, Leeds. Five days later, four teenage boys are arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated grievous bodily harm and violent disorder in connection with the assault. (ITV, 12 September 2016; Guardian, 14 September 2016)

10 September: The Crown Prosecution Service is to review allegations that Nigel Farage incited racial and religious hatred during the EU referendum after an online petition was signed by over 40,000 people. (Independent, 10 September 2016)

12 September: A 26-year-old firefighter is sentenced to six years in prison after he and his friend set fire to a refugee accommodation in Altena, western Germany last October. Prosecutors argue they were motivated by xenophobia. (The Local, 13 September 2016)

A bag strap discarded at the scene of Stephen Lawrence's murder on 22 April 1993 (© Metropolitan Police)

A bag strap discarded at the scene of Stephen Lawrence’s murder on 22 April 1993 (© Metropolitan Police)

12 September: The Met police appeal for information about a bag-strap which contains female DNA, found at the scene of Stephen Lawrence’s 1993 murder. The strap is similar to one found attached to a hammer in the home of a suspect. (Guardian, 12 September 2016)

13 September: Police in Milton Keynes appeal for information on a man who racially abused and then kicked a pregnant woman on 6 August in Bletchley, causing her to lose her unborn child. A day later, police arrest a 37-year-old Milton Keynes man on suspicion of racially aggravated assault (Guardian, 13 September 2016; BBC News, 14 September 2016 )

14 September: A man loses his appeal against his six month sentence after he pleaded guilty to charges of assault and racially aggravated harassment against two west London hospital workers in July. His appeal is rejected by three judges who say the nature of the abuse, and the fact that he had thrown a punch, justifies the jail term. (getwestlondon, 14 September 2016)

Policing and criminal justice

2 September: The retrial of Ameen Jogee, who was convicted of murder under the controversial joint enterprise legal doctrine, results in his being found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter. He is sentenced to 12 years in prison but will be released shortly because of time served. (Guardian, 12 September 2016)

3 September: Sulaiman Lee says he will sue Brixton police for his arrest after handing out free books in Brixton by officers who sprayed him with CS spray. (BuzzFeed, 3 September 2016)

4 September: Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism indicate that hate crime prosecutions in England and Wales fell by almost 10 per cent last year even though the number of recorded incidents increased. (BBC News, 4 September 2016)

5 September: The Law Commission announces a public consultation on the law of misconduct in public office. Responses should be received by 28 November 2016. View details here.

Aston McLean Williams

Aston McLean Williams

6 September: The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) announces that two police officers will face a gross misconduct hearing after the death of Aston McLean, who was hit by a police car in Reading in August 2014. His family can now hold his funeral after his body was released. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decision not to prosecute the officers involved is to be reviewed under the Victim’s Right to Review scheme. (Get Reading, 6 September 2016; BBC News, 8 September 2016)

8 September: An Equality and Human Rights Commission study finds that black police officers in the Met ‘expect to be victimised and fear reprisals’ if they complain about discrimination. Download the report here. (BBC News, 8 September 2016)

8 September: The families of those who died at Hillsborough launch proposals for a new law to compel public officials to tell the truth at inquiries or inquests in order to address a ‘culture of denial’. (Guardian, 8 September 2016)

11 September: The IPCC seeks a female witness to the events leading to the arrest in Liverpool of Mzee Mohammed in July 2016, who later died. (Guardian, 11 September 2016)

13 September: Victor Olisa, the Met Police’s Diversity Officer, tells the Evening Standard that the Met police routinely discriminates against black people. (Evening Standard, 13 September 2016)

13 September: Alistair Carmichael, a former Scottish Secretary of State, calls on the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) to review the conviction of Michael Ross for the racist murder of Shamsuddin Mahmood in Orkney in 1994. (Herald Scotland, 13 September 2016)

15 September: The IPCC refers the involvement of five police officers into the arrest of Julian Cole to the CPS; Cole was left with a broken neck and in a vegetative state after the arrest outside Bedford nightclub in May 2013. (Guardian, 15 September 2016)Julian Coles - Family Collect

Asylum and refugees

1 September: HM Inspector of Prisons publishes three reports on short-term immigration holding facilities at Edinburgh Airport, Glasgow Airport and Glasgow Festival Court. Download the reports here.

1 September: The European Human Rights Court orders the UK to pay a mentally ill Nigerian refused asylum seeker €3,000, ruling that a six-month delay by the Home Office in considering her fresh claim rendered her detention unlawful. (Statewatch News, 1 September 2016)

2 September: The home secretary is urged to take immediate action over the 387 refugee children in Calais who have a right to come to Britain, in a motion drawn up by charities and endorsed by Labour peer Alf Dubs. (Guardian, 2 September 2016)

4 September: Ten council leaders in the Greater Manchester area call for changes to Home Office dispersal policies and for other councils to take their share of Syrian asylum seekers through the government’s resettlement programme, after it is revealed that one in four asylum seekers is housed in the Greater Manchester area. (Manchester Evening News, 4 September 2016)

5 September: Aid workers in ‘the Jungle’, in Calais, warn that conditions are worsening and that there is an acute shortage of tents and food for the estimated 9,000-plus residents, who receive no official assistance. (BBC News, 5 September 2016)

6 September: Campaigners protest outside the Jamaican high commission over the Jamaican government’s cooperation with a Home Office charter flight to deport Jamaicans, many of whom were brought to the UK as children, have children born here and have committed no offences. (Guardian, 6 September 2016)

6 September: Home Office enforcement statistics are released showing that small businesses have been fined £14 million in the first three months of 2016 for employing unauthorised workers, despite previous criticism by the Independent Inspector that raids on small ‘ethnic businesses’ were unfair. One Chinese takeaway was fined £225,000. (Free Movement, 6 September 2016)

7 September: New figures reveal a 62 per cent increase in the number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children being looked after by councils in the past year. (Local Gov, 7 September 2016)

7 September: The Home Office announces that construction of a UK-funded 4-metre wall, which will run for 1km near the Calais ‘Jungle’, will begin soon. (BBC News, 7 September 2016)

8 September: The Home Office announces that Dungavel immigration removal centre will close at the end of 2017, with a replacement short-term holding centre to be built close to Glasgow airport. (Brechin Advertiser, 8 September 2016)

9 September: It is revealed that Darlington will be allocated as a ‘dispersal area’ for asylum seekers under a new agreement with G4S. (Northern Echo, 9 September 2016) 

9 September: A woman from Uganda and her two-year-old daughter, who had been told to leave the UK, may have starved to death, an inquest hears. Their bodies were found in Gillingham, Kent in March, around a month after they stopped receiving a ‘money pass’ from social services. (Daily Mirror, 9 September 2016)

10 September: The Home Office advertises an £80 million private security contract for border security in Calais and northern France. (Calais Migrant Solidarity, 10 September 2016)

10 September: Campaigners hold a protest at Yarl’s Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire, calling for the centre to be shut down. (Guardian, 10 September 2016)

12 September: The Migrants’ Rights Network publishes a paper by Dr Katie Bales (University of Bristol Law School): Employment and immigration enforcement: The legal limits of what can be required from employers, download it here.

12 September: According to a new report by the Institute of Directors, migrant workers and their businesses boost the UK economy and any post-Brexit policies to restrict or complicate visas would have a damaging long-term effect on the UK economy. Download the report here. (Guardian, 12 September 2016)

12 September: Left party politician and member of the German parliament, Diether Dehm, admits that he smuggled a young African refugee from Italy to Germany at the end of August. The police union DPolG calls for Dehm to be prosecuted for people smuggling. (The Local, 12 September 2016)

12 September: Home secretary Amber Rudd admits that Britons may have to apply and pay for permission to travel to the EU under proposals being considered by the European Commission. (Independent, 11 September 2016)

12 September: New Home Office guidance on the detention of ‘adults at risk’, which is supposed to reduce the number of vulnerable migrants held in detention, comes into force. Migrant rights groups warn that the guidance will not provide protection and is likely to make things worse. Download the policy here.

13 September: The National Audit Office publishes a report: The Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement programme, download it here.

13 September: John Grayson writes for Open Democracy on the provision of housing for asylum seekers by private landlords. (Open Democracy, 13 September 2016)

13 September: The Court of Justice of the EU rules that parents of EU citizen children cannot automatically be deported just because they have criminal convictions. (CJEU, 13 September 2016)

13 September: The CEO of Serco tells a government Home Affairs committee that his company is ‘happy’ to make losses on its asylum housing contract so that other government contracts are not jeopardised. (Independent, 14 September 2016)

Extreme-right politics

1 September: A 44-year-old man accused of a terrorism offence, and of writing a ‘litany’ of racist, Islamophobic, homophobic and anti-Semitic calls to arms on social media, is remanded in custody. At one point, the suspected neo-Nazi reportedly posted a picture of Adolf Hitler along with the message ‘kill the Muslims’. (Daily Mail, 1 September 2016)

5 September: Representatives of a Cardiff mosque inform the police that they have had an ‘uninvited visit’ from Britain First, meaning the group may have breached an injunction banning them from every mosque in England and Wales. (BBC News, 5 September 2016)

12 September: Locals in Lille, France, launch a petition to stop far-right group Generation Identitaire from opening a bar in the city centre, planned mainly to serve as a headquarters for the group’s supporters in the northern city. (The Local, 12 September)

14 September: Eighty far-right supporters clash violently with twenty asylum seekers in Bautzen, Eastern Germany, both parties hurling bottles, wooden slats and stones at each other and the police. In February, a refugee’s home was set on fire. (Deutsche Welle, 15 September 2016)

Discrimination

2 September: The Government Equalities Office publishes details about a ‘Caste discrimination: consultation’ which will examine the issue of caste and the Equality Act 2010. View details here.

6 September: Forty-one organisations sign a letter to the chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights to voice their concerns and call for an inquiry over the private company G4S being awarded the contract to run the Equality and Human Rights Commission helpline. A legal challenge is also launched by SumofUs. (Guardian, 6 September 2016; Migrants Rights Network, 9 September 2016)

8 September: The publisher of an Air China in-flight magazine apologises telling passengers: ‘London is generally a safe place to travel, however precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people.’ (BBC News, 8 September 2016)

Employment

4 September: A study by local Chambers of Commerce, with a sample of 800 firms, reveals that one in ten have EU staff who intend to leave the country as a result of the referendum vote, and one in twenty have already lost workers. (Manchester Evening News, 4 September 2016)

12 September: A project is launched in Nottingham to record the contribution of black miners to the Gedling Colliery in Nottinghamshire, which was known as the Pit of Nations, with workers from 15 different countries in the 1950s. (BBC News, 12 September 2016)

Education

7 September: A Danish secondary school outside the city of Aarhus has been criticised for ‘ethnic quota’ classes, where students are segregated on the basis of whether their name sounds Danish. (The Local, 13 September 2016)

Health

1 September: An inquest finds that a lack of fluid intake contributed to the death of Des Raj Kapur, an 85-year-old man, at a home he went to in Hillingdon for two weeks’ respite care in 2013. The court was told that there were no records of him being given fluids or food. (BBC News, 1 September 2016)

Miscellaneous

6 September: Flights are cancelled at London’s City airport after Black Lives Matter protesters blockade a runway to highlight the environmental impact of air travel on the lives of black people locally and globally. (Guardian, 6 September 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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