Calendar of racism and resistance (27 March – 9 April 2015)

April 9, 2015 — News

Written by IRR News Team

A fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe.

Extreme-Right politics

29 March: In the second round of French local elections, the Front National wins 22 per cent of the vote, securing 62 council seats. (In 2011, it won just one.) However it failed to take control of any single council. (Associated Press, 31 March 2015)

30 March: Another witness (identified only as 20-year-old Melissa M), in the ongoing NSU trial in Munich has died a sudden death in contested circumstances. Three weeks prior to her death, a special closed session of the NSU investigation committee in Baden Württemberg had been convened to hear her evidence as she felt her life was under threat. While police say she died of a pulmonary embolism, following an earlier motorbike accident, and say no foul play is suspected, a second autopsy has been requested to discount rumours that she might have been poisoned. (Anadolu Agency, 30 March 2015)

Wyborcza concert30 March: An open letter to the Polish President, signed by fifty Polish NGOs, criticising the police and ABW (internal security agency) for their lax attitude towards a neo-Nazi concert in Gluszyca in south-western Poland on 7 March, has forced the district prosecutor to launch an investigation. Security officers were present at the ‘Night of Terror’ concert where neo-Nazi bands linked to Blood & Honour and Combat 18 from Germany, Hungary and Poland performed, but they failed to intervene. (Gazety Wyborczej, 1 April 2015). The text of the open letter by the Polish NGOs is available here (pdf file, 38kb).

31 March: A member of Britain First is arrested after the group forces its way into a meeting which was being held to discuss a recent cabaret protest against Ukip’s Nigel Farage in Kent. (Independent, 31 March 2015 and Huffington Post, 31 March 2015)

2 April: A press conference announces the launch of Golden Dawn Watch. Modelled on NSU-Watch, it will report daily from the trial of seventy-two Golden Dawn members and supporters which is due to start on 20 April in a special courtroom inside high security Korydallos prison in west Athens. (The Press Project, 3 April 2015)

3 April: The EDL and Britain First have to be kept apart from Muslims holding a demonstration outside Regents park mosque. (Guardian, 3 April 2015)

AntiPegidademo5 April: Anti-fascist campaigners mobilise against a PEGIDA march in London in overwhelming numbers and outnumber the racists. (Anti-Fascist Network, 6 April 2015)

Asylum and immigration

24 March: Aviva Stahl reports on hunger strikes, by hundreds of people detained for immigration purposes in the US and UK, that are taking place demanding change to a system described as ‘abusive and inhumane’. (Vice, 24 March 2015)

25 March: The Supreme Court dismisses the appeal of Minh Quang Pham, who was born in Vietnam, against the removal of his British citizenship, which has rendered him stateless. (Bureau for Investigative Journalism, 25 March 2015)

The Verne25 March: The Dorset Echo investigates the conditions for detainees held at The Verne immigration removal centre (IRC) in Dorset, which was converted from a prison to an IRC in September 2014. (Dorset Echo, 25 March 2015)

26 March: A coroner records an accidental death verdict on two Albanian men (Artur Doda, 24 and Leonard Isufaj, 27), who died after jumping from a passenger ferry near Felixstowe as they were being deported from Harwich in February 2014. (Guardian, 26 March 2015)

26 March: Over 120 Spanish migrants’ and human rights organisations sign open letter protesting a new law authorising summary returns from Ceuta and Melilla to Morocco. See the letter here.

27 March: Doctors of the World UK publishes a report, Experiences of Pregnant Migrant Women receiving Ante/Peri and Postnatal Care in the UK: A Doctors of the World Report on the Experiences of attendees at their London Drop-In Clinic. Download the report here.

Cedars31 March: A report by Barnardo’s (which runs Cedars – the ‘child-friendly’ immigration detention centre in Sussex) finds that children are being separated from their families as a way of dealing with non-compliant behaviour. (Children & Young People Now, 31 March 2015) Download the report here.

31 March: A High Court judge rules that a 36-year-old Nigerian woman known only as GB can bring a case against the Home Office arguing that she was owed a ‘non-delegable’ duty of care by the Home Office if negligence by (privately employed) medical staff could be established. The woman claims severe psychosis was triggered by anti-malaria drugs given to her by staff employed by Serco at Yarl’s Wood detention centre.  (Bedford Today, 31 March 2015)

2 April: BBC News reports on the homeless asylum seekers who ‘live’ on London’s buses. (BBC News Magazine, 2 April 2015)

2 April: Oumar Dansoko, 25, a Guinean man who had been denied asylum, sets fire to himself in the Federal Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (Fedasil) in Brussels, Belgium. He dies of his injuries the following day. On the same day, Benamar Lamri, 42, a Moroccan asylum seeker, dies after hanging himself in the closed Merksplas centre. (Le Soir, 3 April 2015)

Tröglitz Fire4 April: Prosecutors launch an arson investigation after a proposed reception centre for asylum seekers in Tröglitz, Saxony Anhalt, was set on fire weeks before it was due to open. The National Democratic Party of Germany have been demonstrating against the new centre for weeks and when they demonstrated outside the mayor’s home, Markus Nierth resigned, citing fears for the safety of his family. (The Local, 4 April 2015)

6 April: A health surcharge of £200 for migrants, £150 for students comes into effect, with charges for NHS non-emergency hospital treatment for those without indefinite leave to remain who have not paid a levy.  (Smith Stone Walters, 23 March 2015)

Education

30 March: The Association of Teachers and Lecturers’ conference is told by a Southend teacher that the British Values Agenda being promoted in schools is ‘political posturing’ and that teachers should ‘disengage’ from it. (Guardian, 30 March 2015)

2 April: The mother of Tianni Stratton begins legal action against Greenwich council for failing to protect her autistic daughter from physical, verbal and racial abuse, whilst she attended Greenacres Primary School in Eltham. (News Shopper, 8 April 2015)

6 April: The Head of the NUT says that classrooms should reflect society at large and calls for more teachers from BAME communities. (Morning Star, 6 April 2015)

Policing and criminal justice

19 March: The inquest into the death of 37-year-old Jubel Miah finds that he died from cardiac arrest following a search for drugs by two Camden police officers in June 2014. (Camden New Journal, 19 March 2015)

25 March: The Court of Appeal dismisses an appeal by the Law Society and others against the government’s proposals to cut criminal legal aid. (Law Gazette, 25 March 2015)

30 March: Black police officer, Paul Bailey, brands as ‘immoral and unethical’ his bosses at Greater Manchester Police who, after initially accepting the ruling of an employment tribunal that he had been racially discriminated agastop search 3inst during his employment, are now appealing the decision. (Manchester Evening News, 30 March 2015)

31 March: HM Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland calls for a clear code of practice for stop and searches after an investigation found no guidance and a lack of data, and that there is no clear link between stop and searches and a reduction in crime. (BBC News, 31 March 2015)

3 April: A coroner refuses to grant police officers anonymity at the forthcoming inquest into the shooting death of Dean Joseph in Canonbury, London in September 2014. (Islington Tribune, 3 April 2015)

KingsleyBurrell7 April: The inquest into the death of Kingsley Burrell commences in Birmingham. Burrell died in Queen Elizabeth Hospital in March 2011 after being detained under the Mental Health Act. (Birmingham Mail, 8 April 2015)

Violence and harassment

24 March: Two men, Gary Reid, 19, and James Hogg, 24, are sentenced to seven years and eight years and three months respectively, after admitting the attempted murder of Chinese takeaway owner, Jie Yu, in Edinburgh in October 2014. (Reid, who admitted his actions were racially motivated, is the brother of a man jailed for the murder of another Chinese takeaway owner in Edinburgh.) (BBC News, 24 March 2015)

31 March: A 57-year-old woman is questioned by police after racially abusing and then attacking an elderly Polish couple on a bus in Belfast city centre. A Sinn Fein councillor who intervened was also attacked, as was the bus driver. (Belfast Telegraph, 1 April 2015)

29 March: Police launch an investigation after video footage emerges of a Sikh man being punched and kicked in Birmingham city centre as a crowd watches. (Birmingham Mail, 30 March 2015)

31 March: 35-year-old Michael O’Leary is cleared of attempted murder but convicted of two counts of unlawful wounding and robbery after attacking shop worker, Samsul Islam, in Archway, whom he told ‘I’d love to kill a Muslim’. (Islington Gazette, 1 April 2015)

1 April: Stuart Morrison, 44, admits assaulting a 14-year-old boy and two teachers at a school in Aberdeen over a £10 debt. He was heard to say ’Somebody should do something about the Polish.’ (BBC News, 1 April 2015)

1 April: Mark Suthers, 47, is sentenced to two years in prison (suspended for two years) after racially abusing and then threatening to kill a Ghanaian nurse at a care home in Bridlington. (Hull Daily Mail, 1 April 2015)

8 April: Police in York are seeking a gang of five men who attacked a Spanish couple on holiday, the man suffered a broken jaw and chipped teeth and the woman was repeatedly pushed to the floor. (BBC News, 8 April 2015)

8 April: Police in Northern Ireland report that racially motivated crimes have increased 43 per cent in in eight months in the Belfast area. (BBC News, 8 April 2015)

9 April: Thomas Pigford, 24, is jailed for 16 months after admitting racially aggravated ABH after breaking the arm of Jasdeep Lall, a barman at a club in Southampton. (Daily Echo, 9 April 2015)

Education

31 March: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism suggests that three schools in Barnsley, an area with a history of far-right activism, have been singling out BAME pupils ‘in monitoring for signs of radicalisation – while suggesting white children are not at risk due to their skin colour’. (The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 31 March 2015)

Sport

30 March: Black footballer John Barnes is critical of the lack of management opportunities for black managers. (Independent, 30 March 2015)

Party politics

1 April: Alan Harris, a Ukip candidate for Oxford West & Abingdon, is accused of making racist and homophobic comments on his Facebook page. (Huffington Post, 1 April 2015)

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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