Calendar of racism and resistance (28 November – 11 December 2014)

December 11, 2014 — News

Written by IRR News Team

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

Policing & criminal justice

27 November: Judge Richard Hollingworth resigns as district judge after making racist comments about Asians while hearing a harassment case. He does not resign as immigration judge until a few days later. (Guardian, 7 December 2014)

2 December:  Police in Bristol issue an apology to a Sikh man who had his turban ripped off and set alight by a woman in September 2013. The woman was cautioned by police at the time, but was not charged until months later after pressure from campaigners. (Bristol Post, 2 December 2014)

Barry Smith2 December: The family of Barry Smith, a Gypsy murdered in 2013, call for attacks on Gypsies and Travellers to be taken more seriously by the criminal justice system after a judge decided the attack was not racially motivated. Two men and one woman were sentenced earlier this year after being found guilty of Smith’s murder. (Travellers’ Times, 2 December 2014)

2 December: The Irish government announces it will ask the European Court of Human Rights to review a 1978 ruling that ‘five techniques’ used by the British army against internees in Northern Ireland did not constitute ‘torture’ in light of fresh evidence. (The Conversation, 8 December 2014)

4 December: The National Preventive Mechanism publishes its annual report into detention in the UK: Monitoring places of detention. Fifth Annual Report of the United Kingdom’s National Preventive Mechanism 2013–14. Download it here (pdf file, 1.1mb).

Bijan Ebrahimi5 December: Following an Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation, three police officers are charged with misconduct in public office for failing to respond to allegations and calls for help from Bijan Ebrahimi; and a community support officer is charged with misconduct in public office for giving false information to a 999 operator and perverting the course of justice. Bijan Ebrahimi was murdered after a sustained campaign of racial harassment in 2013. (Bristol Post, 5 December 2014)

9 December 2014: The mother of James McDonnell, who died after being restrained by officers in Maghaberry prison near Belfast in 1996, is awarded £8,000 after the European Court of Human Rights finds that there was an excessive delay for the inquest into his death. (Guardian, 9 December 2014)

10 December: A protest takes place at Westfield shopping centre in London in solidarity with protesters in New York following the decision not to prosecute the officer involved in the death of Eric Garner. (IRR News, 11 December 2014)

© IRR News

Die-in at Westfield © IRR News

Violence and harassment

1 December: A man in Durham is given a five-year prison sentence for brandishing a samurai sword and threatening to ‘kill all Polish people’ in July, before slashing a Polish man who tried to flee and hospitalising him. (Teesside Gazette, 1 December 2014)

1 December: Sami Krasniqi, 26, is given an eight-month prison sentence for fracturing a man’s jaw in Plymouth who had racially abused several people, including  Krasniqi’s brother. (Daily Mirror, 1 December 2014)

2 December: Research by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime shows that recorded hate crimes in London have increased by around twenty per cent over the last year, with Roma, Gypsies and ‘new migrant communities’ in particular under-reporting victimisation. (Independent, 2 December 2014)

8 December: A group of Irish Travellers are suing the pub chain J D Wetherspoon for racial discrimination after they were denied entry to a pub in Islington in 2011. (Mail Online, 8 December 2014)

Asylum seekers and refugees

29 November: The Campaign to Close Campsfield reports on allegations that a male detainee with mental health issues has been left in ‘a critical condition’ after allegedly being beaten by guards at Campsfield House immigration removal centre. (Campaign to Close Campsfield, 29 November 2014)

29 November: Around fifty people demonstrate outside Campsfield House immigration removal centre, in Oxford, demanding that it is shut down. (Oxford Mail, 30 November 2014)

1 December: A G4S guard accused of the manslaughter of Jimmy Mubenga, during his deportation from the UK in October 2010, claims he did not hear Mubenga say ‘I can’t breathe’ as he restrained him, despite witnesses claiming the words were audible. (Guardian, 1 December 2014)

2 December: The European Court of Justice rules that refugees who claim asylum on the grounds that they are homosexual should not have to undergo tests to prove it. (BBC News, 2 December 2014)

2 December: Thirteen men, eleven from Syria and two from Afghanistan, are found in a tanker containing plastic granules at Dover. (Guardian, 3 December 2014)

3 December: Campaign group, Open and Humane, is critical of a local government decision to open a hostel for migrants in Calais that will only accept people when temperatures drop below -5C. (Dover Express, 3 December 2014)

4 December: 100 asylum seeker individuals and families living in Glasgow face uncertainty after plans to move them from flats to short-stay rooms are scrapped. (STV, 4 December 2014)

9 December: According to Kent County Council the number of unaccompanied child asylum seekers in Kent has risen to a three-year-high, with a 53 per cent increase from 2011. (Kent Online, 9 December 2014)

9 December: The Independent details the case of an Eritrean teenager, Ahmed Osman, who died under the wheels of a coach in Norfolk after stowing away on it earlier this year in Calais. (Independent, 9 December 2014)

Managed migration

30 November: Around 73 per cent of Swiss voters reject Ecopop’s referendum call to dramatically cut immigration so as to preserve the environment and Switzerland’s Alpine landscape. (Guardian30 November 2014)

Party politics

25 November: The Social Democrat Prime Minister of the Czech Republic calls for the Duchov branch of his own party to be dissolved and its members expelled, after it enters into a coalition with the far-Right, and virulently anti-Roma, Workers Party of Social Justice. But the regional branch of the Social Democrats in Usti refuse to comply, saying the coalition agreement is legitimate. (Radio Prague, 25 November 2014)

29 November: Online posts reveal that top UKIP aide Arthur Thackeray boasted about attending both English and Scottish Defence League marches in 2011 and 2012. (Mirror, 29 November 2014)

1 December: Richard Desmond and executives from the Express arrange to meet with the Ukip leadership, with a view to supporting the party before the general election next year. (Guardian, 1 December 2014)

5 December: Ukip decides to take no action against its candidate in Swansea West, Martyn Ford, who distributed a leaflet earlier this year blaming multiculturalism for terrorism. (South Wales Evening Post, 5 December 2014)

6 December: The Mirror publishes a photo of Nigel Farage posing with Andrew Lovie, a former secretary of the Aberdeen branch of Ukip who has strong Neo-Nazi connections and often contributes to a white supremacist website. (Mirror, 6 December 2014)

Employment

30 November: Research using data from the Office for National Statistics’ Labour Force Survey finds that Muslims face the most acute job discrimination in Britain. (Independent, 30 November 2014)

3 December: Runnymede Trust research finds that racial inequality within the workplace has worsened during the last decade. (Independent, 3 December 2014)

5 December: The Commission for Equality and Human Rights publishes a report: The Invisible Workforce: Employment Practices in the Cleaning Sector. Download the report here.

Government policy

10 December: The Commons Public Accounts Committee warns that the government has become too reliant on a small number of ‘quasi-monopoly’ private sector contractors to provide a swathe of public services. (Independent, 10 December 2014)

Extreme-Right politics

28 November: Ryan McGee, a soldier with far-right sympathies, is given a two-year prison sentence for building a nail bomb. After searching his home in Manchester, police found far-right literature and a plethora of weapons. (Independent28 November 2014) 

1 December: Dorset police reveal that it cost them £130,000 to police an EDL march and its counter protest in Bournemouth on 23 August. (BBC News, 1 December 2014)

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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