Calendar of racism and resistance (21 April – 4 May 2017)

May 4, 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.

Asylum and migration

April: Statewatch publishes a ‘Viewpoint’ by Chris Jones: Hindering humanitarianism: European Commission will not ensure protection for those supporting sans-papiers. Download it here (pdf file,127kb).

20 April: Doctors of the World launches a campaign, #StopSharing, to put pressure on the government to stop the Home Office accessing NHS patients’ personal data for immigration enforcement, which they say is frightening patients away from desperately needed treatment. Read about the campaign and sign the petition here.

20 April: Turkish authorities detain fifteen staff members of a US medical NGO in a crackdown on humanitarian aid. Four foreign nationals are deported, and eleven Syrian workers are detained for deportation to Syria. (Irin News, 27 April 2017)

22 April: The Ventimiglia town council revokes the ordinance that forbids food distribution to refugees, following the announcement of demonstrations against the criminalising of solidarity planned for 30 April. (Are You Syrious, 24 April 2017, Genova Repubblica, 23 April 2017)

24 April: An EU audit highlights terrible conditions at the Greek and Italian ‘hotspot’ camps where there is inadequate water, decent food, security, blankets and medical facilities. Additionally there is widespread child sexual exploitation in the centres, making conditions particularly dangerous for the 23,000 unaccompanied children. But only five children were relocated in 2016. (Guardian, 24 April 2017)

24 April: It is claimed that G4S has issued letters to asylum seeking tenants threatening them with deportation after a G4S housing officer was attacked in Birmingham. (Open Democracy, 24 April 2017)

25 April: The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Refugees finds that once granted asylum, refugees in the UK are consigned to immediate hunger and homelessness. Download the report here (pdf file, 244kb). (Guardian, 25 April 2017)

26 April: Immigration minister Robert Goodwill announces that the UK will accept another 130 asylum seeking children from Europe under the Dubs amendment, admitting that ‘administrative error’ caused an underestimate of the number that could be taken. (Guardian, 26 April 2017)

26 April: Greek Migration Policy chief Yiannis Mouzalas announces a deal with UNHCR, funded by the European Commission, to house asylum seekers in 125 apartments in Crete. (The National Herald, 26 April 2017)

26 April: Eurostat releases figures showing that Germany has taken almost three quarters of all the Syrian refugees given protection in Europe in 2016. (The Local, 27 April 2017

26 April: Fifty organisations working with refugees write to home secretary Amber Rudd, urging her to reconsider the ‘safe return review’ policy, which they say is ‘beyond basic morality’, depriving refugees of any chance of stability. Refugees will be required to return home if their country is deemed safe in a review five years after the grant of refugee status. (BBC News, 26 April 2017)

27 April: Felix Croft, a French activist, is acquitted of aiding illegal immigration by an Italian court, for giving a lift to five members of a Sudanese family from Darfur, from Ventimiglia, Italy to France, across a border that is open under Europe’s Schengen accords. (The Local, 27 April 2017)

2 May: An unidentified man is killed at Gare du Nord after attempting to stow away on a Eurostar train heading for the UK. (Independent, 2 May 2017)

Violence and harassment

April: The Scottish Government launches an ‘Independent review of hate crime legislation’, view details here. The consultation closes on 12 May 2017.

21 April: An 11-year-old boy is racially abused and beaten by a gang of boys in Acocks Green in Birmingham as he plays football with a friend. (Birmingham Mail, 22 April 2017)

24 April: The Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos publishes: Anti-Islamic hate on Twitter, view and download it here.

24 April: Police issue a warrant for the arrest of 37-year-old David Gallacher, who for the second time fails to appear in court to answer charges including racially aggravated assault for allegedly causing a Somali woman to lose her unborn twins in a racist attack in Milton Keynes. (CitiBlog, 24 April 2017)

25 April: Hull police release pictures of a man wanted in connection with a racist attack after a passenger was throttled and pushed over on a train between Sheffield and Hull. (Hull Daily Mail, 25 April 2017)

26 April: A man in his 40s suffers injuries to his head, hand and body in an attack by 2-3 men in Derry, which police are treating as racially motivated. (Derry Now, 26 April 2017)

1 May: The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee publishes a report: Hate crime: abuse, hate and extremism online, download it here (pdf file, 469kb)

2 May: A series of racist attacks on a Sudanese family including a pregnant woman forces the family to flee their Belfast home and go to a hostel. (BBC News, 2 May 2017)

2 May: Thirteen young people have been charged for the attack on Rekar Ahmed, a 17-year-old Kurdish-Iranian refugee on 31 March. All are charged with violent disorder, and two are additionally charged with GBH. The first of the trials is scheduled to start on 4 October. (Inside Croydon, 4 May 2017)

Policing and criminal justice

April: The Zahid Mubarek Trust and the Prison Reform Trust publish: Tackling Discrimination in Prison: still not a fair response, view download it here.

20 April: Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary finds that police forces are being used to fill gaps in services, particularly for people with mental health problems. Download the report here. (Guardian, 20 April 2017)

21 April: The Ministry of Justice unveils new rules to keep ‘extremists’ separated from the general population in prison and the creation of three separation centres. (Guardian, 21 April 2017)

21 April: British Transport Police revoke the caution issued to 20-year-old Ik Aihie after he begins a legal challenge in the high court. The BTP were widely criticised for pinning Aihie to the ground, placing a spit hood on him and detaining him overnight after he argued with his girlfriend at London Bridge station in July 2016. (Guardian, 21 April 2017)

25 April: Strip search guidance is adopted following an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation. View details here.

26 April: A 16-year-old boy who was found unresponsive in a prison cell died of natural causes, a coroner concludes. Daniel Adewole suffered a ‘sudden unexpected death in epilepsy’ at Cookham Wood jail in 2015. (BBC News, 26 April 2017)

27 April: New research finds that female BAME defendants find the legal process ‘confusing and jargon-loaded’. Read the report, Double Disadvantage, here (pdf file, 585kb) (Law Gazette, 27 April 2017)

28 April: PC Graeme Thornhill is sacked from Nottinghamshire Police after a gross misconduct hearing finds him guilty of using excessive and disproportionate force on a man rushing his son to hospital in November 2014. (Nottingham Post, 28 April 2017)

29 April: Detective Sergeant Andrew Mottau is found not guilty of gross misconduct for placing a monkey on a black worker’s desk to signify whose turn it was to make tea. He is instead given ‘management advice’. (Get Reading, 29 April 2017)

29 April: The family of Yassar Yaqub, who was shot dead by police on the M62 motorway in Huddersfield, say that they have been treated with ‘utter contempt’ by the IPCC, and want the investigation taken over. (Guardian, 29 April 2017)

1 May: Police fire tear gas and hand grenades on anti-fascists and other May Day protesters marching against Le Pen for workers’ rights and an end to deportations. A witness says there wasn’t ‘any action or any violence that could have justified the violence of the police’ (Al Jazeera, 2 May 2017)

2 May: The Joint Committee on Human Rights publishes: Mental Health and Deaths in Prison: Interim Report, download the report here (pdf file 205kb)

4 May: The family of 43-year-old Leroy ‘Junior’ Medford, who died in custody at Loddon Valley police station in April, say they will continue to search for ‘answers’ into the circumstances of his death (Reading Chronicle, 3 May 2017)

4 May: The family of 31-year-old died Sheku Bayoh, who died after being restrained by police officers in Kirkcaldy in May 2015, continue to seek answers into his death. A fatal accident inquiry is due to take place and his family intend to launch a civil action against Police Scotland. (BBC News, 4 May 2017)

Far Right

21 April: Paul Golding, leader of Britain First, is criticised for sharing a fake video of Muslims allegedly celebrating the terrorist attack in Paris. (Evening Standard, 21 April 2017)

21 April: A far-right mob armed with Molotov cocktails and rocks attacks the Souda refugee camp in Chios, hours after an angry protest against plans to build a new hospital for both locals and refugees in the town centre. Golden Dawn is believed to be behind the protests. (Are You Syrious, 21 April 2017)

22 April: At the funeral of Jose Utrera Molina, who served under Franco, many mourners raise their hand in a fascist salute. (The Local, 23 April 2017)

23 April: In the first round of the French presidential elections, far-Right candidate Marine Le Pen wins 21.53 per cent of the vote, the highest score for the FN in any presidential election. Through to the second round on 7 May, Le Pen faces the independent centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron. (Guardian, 25 April 2017)

23 April: Cologne is locked down, as around 50,000 anti-fascists gather to protest against Alternative for Germany (AfD) at its party congress. With the election of Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel to the leadership, the party shifts even further to the ultra Right, calling for special measures to combat the growth of the Muslim population as Germans are becoming a ‘minority in their own country’. (Guardian, 22 April 2017, Times, 23 April 2017)

26 April: Robert Menard, the FN-supporting mayor of Beziers in southern France is found guilty of inciting hatred and fined €2,000 for comments on the French news channel LCI about the large number of Muslim schoolchildren in the city’s schools. (BBC News, 26 April 2017)

28 April: The far-right South East Alliance announces a demonstration at Lunar House in Croydon on 6 May. (Croydon Advertiser, 28 April 2017)

Party politics

23 April: The leader of Ukip, Paul Nuttall, claims that the party will ban the burqa and sharia courts. (Guardian, 23 April 2017)

27 April: Ukip is criticised after selecting anti-Islam Pegida activist Anne Marie Waters as its parliamentary candidate for the south London constituency of Lewisham East. She is later deselected. (Guardian, 27 April 2017, Breitbart, 2 May 2017))

29 April: Paul Nuttall, leader of Ukip, announces his intention to stand in the parliamentary seat of Boston and Skegness in the June general election. (Guardian, 28 April 2017)

Trump and Europe

21 April: Donald Trump tacitly endorses Marine Le Pen in the first-round of the French presidential election, describing her as the ‘strongest’ candidate in the field. (Guardian, 21 April 2017)

1 May: The Guardian reports that Donald Trump’s British-Hungarian strategic advisor, Sebastian Gorka is leaving the White House following allegations of links to the Hungarian far Right, including the Order of Heroes (Vitezi Rend). Gorka is a former counterterrorism analyst for Fox News. (Guardian, 1 May 2017)

Media

22 April: HOPE not Hate begins a legal action against Nigel Farage after he accused the organisation of pursuing its aims through ‘violent and undemocratic means’. (Guardian, 22 April 2017)

28 April: It is revealed that Tory MP Philip Davies has complained to the Equality and Human Rights Commission over the Jhalak Prize, which honours BAME authors. (Guardian, 28 April 2017)

3 May: Kelvin MacKenzie could be reported to the police for inciting hatred and violence towards Jeremy Corbyn after saying in a New York Times interview: ‘I think the fake news headline that would give this country the most joy would be: “Jeremy Corbyn knifed to death by an asylum seeker”.’ (Guardian, 3 May 2017)

Discrimination

26 April: Bristol’s largest concert hall is to be renamed following years of protests and boycotts. Colston Hall will no longer be named in recognition of slave trader Edward Colston when it reopens after a refurbishment in 2020. (Guardian, 26 April 2017)

27 April: German lawmakers approve a partial ban on the full-face veil and a package of security measures for public servants, including election officials, military and judicial staff, aimed at preventing extremist attacks. (The Local, 28 April 2017)

National security

22 April: A German-Russian national is arrested, as the investigation into the explosives attack on the Borussia Dortmund football team suggests a plot to collapse the club’s share price for financial gain. Immediately after the attack on 11 April, the far-Right AfD, as well as Nigel Farage, Tommy Robinson and the editor of Infowars, blame Islamists and Muslim refugees, despite a lack of evidence. (Guardian, 22 April 2017)

27 April: A German solider is arrested on suspicion of planning a gun attack. The man had registered as a refugee in the German state of Hesse and planned to blame his attack on refugees. (The Local, 27 April 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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