Calendar of racism and resistance (22 September – 5 October 2017)

October 5, 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 & migration

21 September: From January, banks and building societies will be required to carry out quarterly immigration status checks on all current account holders, not just on applicants for new accounts, according to Home Office proposals to extend the ‘hostile environment’. (Guardian, 21 September 2017)

g4s22 September: Ben Saunders, director of G4S-run Brook House immigration removal centre near Gatwick airport, resigns after being placed on administrative leave following allegations of abuse and bullying at the centre, aired in a BBC Panorama programme. (Guardian, 22 September 2017)

22 September: NGOs respond with anger to the ruling that Turkey is a safe country for the return of refugees, made by the Greek Council of State, the country’s highest court. Amnesty International declares the ruling an ‘ominous precedent’, pointing to Turkey’s illegal deportation of Syrians. (AYS, 22 September 2017)

22 September: A court in Trapani, Sicily refuses the application of Jugend Rettet to release its search and rescue ship, Iuventa, seized in Lampedusa and transferred to Sicily in August on suspicion of collusion with human smugglers. (AYS, 22 September 2017)

23 September: The Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, in a report into the impact of the government’s ‘hostile environment measures’, finds that one in ten people have been wrongfully refused a new bank account because of Home Office mistakes in immigration status checks, and that 250 driving licences have been wrongly revoked for the same reason. (Guardian, 23 September 2017)

25 September: Eight detainees, including a man who was filmed apparently being choked by a G4S guard at Brook House, launch a legal action demanding a public inquiry by the Home Office into their treatment at the centre. (Guardian, 25 September 2017)

27 September: HM Inspectorate of Prisons and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services publish: Report of an announced inspection of Border Force customs custody suites in England and Scotland download here.

28 September: Unicef reports that every 30 minutes a migrant child travelling to Europe is exploited by traffickers or criminal gangs. (BBC News, 28 September 2017)docs-not-cops

30 September: Docs Not Cops hold a demonstration at St Thomas’ hospital to protest against the piloting of new rules requiring hospital patients to produce two forms of ID before being treated, and up-front charging of ineligible patients, due to come into force on 23 October unless parliament votes them down. (Guardian, 30 September 2017)

30 September: The European commission announces that it is investigating the increased detention and deportation of EU citizens by the UK. (Guardian, 30 September 2017)

1 October: Refugee Rights Data Project researchers reveal conditions for refugees in Ventimiglia, Italy, are ‘terrifying’, worse than Calais, and that over half of the 150 destitute male refugees they interviewed there have experienced violence by the French police who are abusing recently imposed anti-terror protocols to send children back illegally from France. (Independent, 1 October 2017

3 October: A 38-year-old unnamed Jamaican man dies in immigration detention at Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre (IRC). (Guardian, 4 October 2017)

4 October: Geraint Davies MP calls for an inquiry into the death of Swansea asylum seeker Eyob Tefera, 27, whose asylum claim had been refused, saying there were ‘institutional failures in the lead up to Eyob’s death’. (ITV, 4 October 2017)

Policing and criminal justice 

21 September: The London mayor orders a review of form 969, a risk assessment tool used by the Met police, after concerns that its use results in disproportionate targeting of music venues playing genres such as grime and garage and events featuring Black and Asian artists. (Guardian, 21 September 2017)

21 September: An unnamed South Yorkshire police inspector receives a final written warning for gross misconduct for repeatedly using discriminatory language involving race, sexual orientation and gender. (Sheffield Telegraph, 22 September 2017)

23 September: The National Alliance of Gypsy, Traveller & Roma women makes an official complaint to the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office against judge Timothy Spencer QC, for comments he made about Travellers when sentencing 11 members of the same family for modern slavery offences. (Guardian, 22 September 2017)

Habib_Ullah25 September: Thames Valley Police issue a public apology and reach an out-of-court settlement with the family of Habib Ullah, who died in police custody in July 2008 after being restrained. (Justice4Paps media release, 25 September 2017)

26 September: A pre-inquest review into the death in August 2016 of Dalian Atkinson, who died in Telford after being tasered by West Mercia police, reveals that further toxicology tests have been ordered by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). (Shropshire Star, 26 September 2017)

4 October: Campaigners from Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association, (JENGbA) claim that new Crown Prosecution Service guidance has ‘completely failed to get to grips’ with the joint enterprise doctrine and will not prevent further miscarriages of justice. (Justice Gap, 4 October 2017)jengba-logo

4 October: The Independent Police Complaints Commission begins an investigation after Andy Cash, a Traveller, was attacked and injured by a police dog on a Traveller site in Northfield, Birmingham on 4 September. (Birmingham Mail, 4 October 2017)

KingsleyBurrell4 October: Three West Midlands police officers, PCs Paul Adey, 37, Mark Fannan, 45, and Paul Greenfield, 51, who were involved in the death of Kingsley Burrell in 2011, are cleared of perjury and perverting the course of justice at Birmingham Crown Court. (Birmingham Mail, 4 October 2017)

5 October: Another formal complaint is made to the IPCC about a video featuring a West Midlands police officer saying to a young black man ‘you would be the first one I’d shoot if I had a gun’. The IPCC will now carry out its own investigation. (Coventry Observer, 5 October 2017)

Education 

22 September: The Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality reports receiving numerous complaints from parents that their children have been targeted with racial abuse. (Ipswich Star, 22 September 2017)

26 September: The Department for Education in Northern Ireland reports receiving no money since August 2016 towards the education of 245 school-age children settled in NI under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme. (BBC News, 26 September 2017)

28 September: The Department for Education publishes statistics on: Schools, pupils and their characteristics: January 2017, download them here.

28 September: The Leicester Civil Rights Movement publishes issue no. 90 of its Insaaf Newsletter, download it here (pdf file, 573kb). 

29 September: The Guardian reports that the title of a speech by Jewish academic and Holocaust survivor Marika Sherwood was banned as ‘unduly provocative’ by officials at Manchester University; the title was changed and certain conditions had to be met before the meeting could be held. (Guardian, 29 September 2017)

4 October: Redland School, Bristol, agrees to take over Luckwell primary school after Ofsted found (amongst other things) that children using racist and homophobic language were not consistently dealt with. (Bristol Post, 4 October 2017)

Media

22 September: A Kickstarter appeal is launched to fund a ‘new literary journal to showcase British writers of colour’. (Guardian, 22 September 2017)

2 October: The Media Fund launches an appeal to create independent media free from right-wing bias. (Guardian, 2 October 2017)

2 October: A hearing at East London family court is told that a young girl who was the subject of a Times article claiming ‘Christian child forced into Muslim foster care’; actually had a ‘warm relationship’ with the family and wants to see them again. (Guardian, 2 October 2017)

National security

25 September: Muhammad Rabbani, 36, the international director of Cage, is convicted of obstruction of a search under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act after refusing to give police the passcode to his mobile phone on his return to the UK after a visit abroad, saying confidential details of torture victims were stored there. He is given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £620 in costs. His lawyers plan to appeal on the grounds that existing police powers do not sufficiently protect privacy or legally privileged material. (Guardian, 25 September 2017) 

26 September: Former Combat 18 member Nigel Bromage is to be on a panel set up by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham to combat extremism and promote community cohesion in the wake of the Manchester Arena terror attack, the Independent reveals. (Independent, 26 September 2017)

27 September: Eleven men, aged 22 to 35, are arrested across England and Wales on suspicion of terrorism offences as part of a counter-terrorism investigation into the banned neo-Nazi group National Action. (Guardian, 27 September 2017)

28 September: Two Scottish far-right neo-Nazi groups, Scottish Dawn and NS131, are proscribed by the Home Office, making membership or inviting support for the organisations a criminal offence. (BBC News, 28 September 2017)

2 October: Four men are released on bail following their arrest under anti-terror laws on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts and of being National Action members. (BBC News, 2 October 2017)

Party politics

24 September: Solihull Conservative Party councillor, Jeff Potts, is suspended by his party after retweeting numerous anti-Muslim tweets. (Birmingham Mail, 24 September 2017)

25 September: Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) secures third place in German parliamentary elections with 13 per cent of the vote, giving it 94 seats in the Bundestag. The re-elected Chancellor Angela Merkel vows to listen to the ‘concerns and anxieties’ of AfD voters, while AfD co-leader Alexander Gauland promises to ‘take back our country and our people’, and ‘hound’ Merkel with a legal investigation into the refugee crisis. (Guardian, 25 September 2017)

29 September: Henry Bolton is elected the new leader of Ukip, beating anti-Islam candidate Anne Marie Waters. (Guardian, 29 September 2017)

29 September: Robert Davies, a Conservative councillor who was suspended over racist tweets but then reinstated, leaves the party after refusing to apologise to Stirling Council; he now sits as an independent. (BBC News, 29 September 2017)

Violence and harassment: attacks on people

15 September: A girl is racially abused and struck in the face by a rock as she walks along a Bristol street. (ITV, 25 September 2017)

22 September: A 14-year-old girl is racially abused and assaulted by a man in his 60s in the Meadows area of Nottingham. (Nottingham Post, 24 September 2017)

24 September: Dr Nasser Kurdy is stabbed in the neck as he arrives for prayers at Altrincham Islamic centre in Manchester. Ian Rook, 28, is later remanded in to custody after being charged with GBH and possession of a lethal weapon. (Guardian, 24 September 2017; BBC News, 26 September 2017)

24 September: A 24-year-old man is racially abused, chased, assaulted, and threatened with a fire extinguisher by a moped rider on Whitehorse Lane, Thornton Heath, causing injuries to his knee. (Croydon Advertiser, 26 September 2017)

26 September: Police release an e-fit following a racially aggravated ABH on a 26-year-old woman in Milton Keynes. A man on a BMX knocked the victim over, cycled over her, and hit the woman on the back of the head, while making racist comments. (Miltonkeynes.co.uk, 27 September 2017)

5 October: Hull police appeal for information after a 22-year-old man suffered serious head injuries in an attack with a metal bar by two men who approached him in a car, racially abused him and knocked him off his bike. (Hull Daily Mail, 5 October 2017)

Violence and harassment: attacks on property

23/24 September: The owner of an Italian cafe in Inverness reports being targeted over two days by a gang who racially abused him and staff and threw tables and chairs at the cafe, (BBC News, 25 September 2017)

23 September: A pig’s head is left at the Inverary Community Centre in east Belfast, and racist graffiti, Nazi swastikas and the phrases ‘no Muslims’ and ‘no blacks’, are daubed there. (Belfast Telegraph, 24 September 2017)

24 September: Racist graffiti is sprayed on a garden wall of the home of a south Armagh woman, targeted at her 14-year-old son. (BBC News, 26 September 2017)

30 September: A Muslim family in Oldham have a pig’s head thrown through their living room window by three men who pull up in a car outside their home. (BBC News, 3 October 2017)

Violence and harassment: abuse

19 September: Police appeal for information after a 14-year-old girl on her way to school is racially abused by two men and a woman near John Mason School in Abingdon. (Oxford Mail, 26 September 2017)

Violence and harassment: attacks on religious institutions

18 September: A site which is to be converted into a mosque in Perth has racist graffiti daubed on it. (The Scottish Sun, 22 September 2017)

Violence and harassment: online racism

27 September: Joanne Wickenden, a British Airways hostess, is sacked after making racist comments about Nigerian passengers in a Snapchat video. (Evening Standard, 27 September 2017)

Violence and harassment: charges

2 October: Dominic Palmer, 29, is charged with the attempted murder of a 15-year-old boy who was stabbed outside a mosque in the Small Heath area of Birmingham. The boy remains in a critical condition. (Guardian, 2 October 2017)

Violence and harassment: convictions

22 September: William Slater, 44, is jailed for six months after being found with a knife in his waistband screaming insults including ‘Taliban’ at worshippers leaving a mosque. (Gazette Live, 22 September 2017)

22 September: Lauren Barker, 19, is given a 22-week suspended sentence for racially abusing two Russian women in Weston-super-Mare, kicking out one woman’s teeth and giving the other a bloody nose. (Somerset Live, 24 September 2017)

26 September: Michelle Sidebottom, a 46-year-old woman from Huddersfield, is found guilty of a racially aggravated attack at a homeless hostel. She is sentenced to a community order with 20 days of rehabilitation activities, and must pay £85 compensation to the victim. (Mirror, 27 September 2017)

27 September: Kevin Friend, 30, is jailed for two years for a ’racist rampage’ after racially abusing children leaving school in Margate and then assaulting a police officer. (KentLive, 29 September 2017)

28 September: Richard Wallace, 43, is sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 16 years, after being found guilty of the murder of Jan Jedrzejewski, a 41-year-old Polish steel worker in January 2017 in Newport. (South Wales Argus, 28 September 2017)

30 September: James Lee, 23, is jailed for six months after admitting causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress after launching into a drunken tirade against a Newcastle Metro worker and spitting at him. (ChronicleLive, 30 September 2017)

Violence and harassment: research and statistics

28 September: A new report from Victim Support Scotland (VSS) finds that a new approach to such crime is needed and that dealing with it should involve collaboration between different organisations to support victims and their communities. Download the report here. (BBC News, 28 September 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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