Calendar of racism and resistance (3 -16 November 2017)

November 16, 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

27 October: Agnes Callamard, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, and Arbitrary Executions, presents a new report to the UN General Assembly on ‘Unlawful Death of Refugees and Migrants’, download it here. (Der Spiegel, 28 October 2017) 

1 November: The Department for Education publishes two reports: Care of unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery: Statutory guidance for local authorities, download it here; and Safeguarding Strategy: Unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children, download it here.

2 November: The independent chief inspector of borders and immigration publishes two reports: An inspection of the Home Office’s management of non-detained Foreign National Offenders, December 2016 – March 2017, download it here; and An inspection of the Home Office’s Reporting and Offender Management processes, download it here

2 November: The government is urged to find 178 children in Calais who were granted the right to resettle in the UK under the Dubs amendment, but are still missing. (Independent, 2 November 2017)

7 November: The first safe house opens for LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees, created by Micro Rainbow International (MRI). (24Housing, 7 November 2017)

MRN logo9 November: The Migrants’ Rights Network launches a crowd funding appeal to bring a legal challenge against the data-sharing agreement between NHS Digital and the Home Office that targets vulnerable migrants. 

12 November: The Guardian reports on a 27-year-old Syrian asylum seeker whose application is in jeopardy after he was unable to pay a fine for dropping a cigarette butt in the street. (Guardian, 12 November 2017)

13 November: New rules not debated in parliament come into force, which require criminal defendants to give their nationality at their first hearing in the magistrates’ court, to make deportation easier. (Guardian, 9 November 2017)

14 November: Forty-four complaints are made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission over West Midlands police raids on two restaurants, supposedly to rescue trafficking victims; lawyers claim ‘police in riot gear faked a battering-ram break-in for tipped-off media.’ (Coventry Observer, 14 November 2017)

15 November: An HM Inspectorate of Prisons report into Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre finds that the majority of women detained there are later released, and that torture survivors are still detained. Download the report here. (Independent, 15 November 2017)Detention Action

15 November: A new report by Detention Action finds that trafficking victims are being wrongly detained in immigration detention centres, despite police being aware that they are victims of exploitation. Download the report here. (Guardian, 15 November 2017)

Policing and criminal justice

2 November: Cambridge University calls for legal professionals to share their experiences of cases involving the joint enterprise legal doctrine. (Law Gazette, 2 November 2017)

Olaseni Lewis2 November: A private member’s bill introduced by Steve Reed, Labour MP for Croydon, successfully goes through its second reading. The bill — called Seni’s law, after Olaseni Lewis, who died after being restrained in Bethlem hospital in 2010 — would require mental health care providers to keep records about the use of force. Read the bill here. (Guardian, 2 November 2017)

3 November: A police misconduct case involving two officers is dismissed because of the length of time taken to bring the case. The family of Liam Albert, who was killed in a police chase in May 2009 in Surrey, is critical of the decision. (Independent, 3 November 2017)

5 November: Campaigners and politicians in Scotland call for a similar inquiry to the Dame Elish Angiolini QC inquiry into deaths in custody in England, which would examine suspicious deaths in custody in Scotland, such as the death of Sheku Bayoh in May 2015. (Daily Record, 5 November 2017)Sheku Bayoh edit2

6 November: The European Court of Human Rights finds Hungary guilty of violating the human rights of a Romani man. During a four-hour interrogation in 2010, police beat him, whipped the soles of his feet, and said that it would not matter if he died as that would mean ‘one less Gypsy’. (European Roma Rights Centre, 6 November 2017)

7 November: Cleveland police agree to pay ex-police officer Mark Dias ‘substantial compensation’ for racial discrimination and victimisation between 2004 and 2013. (ITV, 7 November 2017)

9 November: Durham police are considering using controversial spit hoods after carrying out a Twitter poll which supported their use, despite condemnation of the tight mesh restraints by human rights groups as degrading and potentially harmful, particularly when used against children and people with mental health problems. (Guardian, 10 November 2017)

10 November: The Met police announce the end of Form 969, a risk assessment form for venues and promoters, which has disproportionately affected hip-hop, grime and drum and bass events. (Guardian, 10 November 2017)

11 November: Oluwatoyin Azeez, 35, receives £25,000 and an apology from West Yorkshire police in her legal action after they entered her Bradford home in April 2014 and a ‘situation developed’. (Telegraph and Argus, 11 November 2017)

9 November: Staffordshire police officer PC Andrew Goodwin is given a final written warning after a gross misconduct hearing found him guilty of unprofessional conduct for using racially offensive language at work. Two other officers have the case against them dropped. (Stoke Sentinel, 7 November 2017, BBC News, 9 November 2017)

14 November: The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) criticises Police Scotland over its policing of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and asks whether the actions of three officers were unlawful and a breach of human rights. Two complaints from the group must now be re-examined by independent officers. (Herald, 14 November 2017)

14 November: Bianca Durrant wins £14,000 compensation for ‘upset and humiliation’ and ‘unconscious racial stereotyping’ from Avon and Somerset Police, for her arrest in Bristol in 2009. (Bristol Post, 14 November 2017)

Anti fascism and the far Right 

31 October: The mayor of Sint-Jans-Molenbeek bans the leaders of the Belgian Flemish Interest (VB) and Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) from holding an ‘Islam safari’ through the Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek, which Felip Dewinter and Geert Wilders claim is ‘occupied by Islam’. (Metro, 31 October 2017)

1 November: Neo-Nazis attack Evgenia Kouniaki, prosecuting lawyer in the Golden Dawn cases, and another woman, as they are on their way to Athens police headquarters, where five protected witnesses are due to testify by video link against Golden Dawn parliamentarians. (Ekathimerini, 1 November 2017)

4 November: Britain First hold a ‘Persecuted Patriots Rally’ outside Bromley police station, which is poorly attended and met by a large counter-protest. (This is Local London, 6 November 2017)

6 November: Four men, Chad Williams-Allen, Dean Lloyd, both 26, Gary Jack, 21, and Alexander Deakin, 22, deny charges of displaying offensive material likely to stir up racial hatred, after allegedly putting up National Action stickers at Aston University. (BBC News, 6 November 2017)

8 November: A former Birmingham BNP organiser, Paul Hickman, is found dead, days before he is due to appear in court charged with race hate offences after putting National Action stickers up at Aston University. (Birmingham Mail, 8 November 2017) 

8 November: Jesse Torniainen, co-founder of the Finnish Resistance Movement, previously convicted for an assault on the anti-fascist Jimi Karttunen which contributed to his death, is found guilty of an attack on security staff at Tampere football stadium in 2015. (YLE, 8 November 2017) 

9 November: A TV documentary, Undercover, shows former UKIP leadership candidate Anne Marie Waters making extreme anti-Muslim comments and reveals that British Generation Identity recruits have attended camps in France for military-style training. (Guardian, 8 November 2017)

9 November: Denmark’s nationalist Danish People’s Party presents a proposal to Parliament that calls for non-Danish citizens to pass an extended Danish language test before being approved to run for elections. (The Local, 8 November 2017) 

12 November: In one of the biggest far-right gatherings in Europe in recent years, 60,000 people march through Warsaw to commemorate Poland’s independence day. Demonstrators chant ‘pure Poland, white Poland’ and carry banners with slogans such as ‘White Europe of brotherly nations’ and ‘Pray for Islamic Holocaust’. Ex-EDL leader Tommy Robinson attends. (Guardian, 13 November 2017)

14 November: The Matthew Martino Benevolent Fund (MMBF) founded by black actor Matthew Martino to support young people with an interest in the film industry, appoints Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, as its goodwill ambassador and announces a Tommy Robinson Award scheme to fund ‘creatives and artists across the UK’. (Your Harlow, 14 November 2017)

16 November: Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, ex-leader of the EDL, loses his Twitter verified tick after the company changes its policy on verified status, which can now be removed from those who promote hate. (BBC News, 16 November 2017)

National security

9 November: Detailed counter-terrorism statistics reveal that schools and colleges referred one-third of the 7,631 people referred to the government’s Prevent programme in 2015-16, and that 2,127 children under 15 were referred. Only 5 per cent of those referred received any specialist help from the programme. (Guardian, 10 November 2017)

Party politics

8 November: The Swedish government announces details of its plans to stop politically motivated crime in the lead up to the 2018 elections, by providing more money and resources to the police and security services. The operation, which will be conducted through intensified surveillance, aims to stop both extreme left-wing and right-wing groups from spreading propaganda and disinformation, as well as tackle violence and harassment. (The Local, 9 November 2017) 

14 November: Nigel Farage is forced to withdraw a claim he made in December 2016, that Hope Not Hate uses ‘violent and undemocratic means’, after the charity launched a libel claim against him. (Guardian, 14 November 2017)

Media

9 November: To mark the anniversary of Kristallnacht, German newspaper Tagesspiegel publishes UNITED’s list of 33,293 migration-related deaths since 1993, ‘to honour [the deceased] and to make it clear that every line tells a story’. See the list here. (Independent, 13 November 2017)

13 November: Tesco receives online abuse for featuring a Muslim family in its Christmas advert, with some customers threatening to boycott the store. (Independent, 13 November 2017)

14 November: Former Conservative cabinet minister Baroness Warsi calls for a parliamentary investigation into Islamophobia and hate speech in the press, which she says has become a plague. (Guardian, 15 November 2017)

14 November: It is revealed that a Twitter account that targeted a young Muslim woman in the aftermath of the Westminster Bridge attack was a fake account set up by a Russian ‘troll factory’. (Independent, 14 November 2017)

Housing

6 November: A letter is circulated from a campaign in Bristol which calls ‘to put all of the Asian landlords in line’. (Bristol Post, 6 November 2017)

6 November: The BBC finds that fewer than a third of the required number of Gypsy and Traveller pitches in England have been built, with some funding going unspent. (BBC News, 6 November 2017)

EHRCLogo8 November: The Equality and Human Rights Commission wins an injunction against buy-to-let landlord Fergus Wilson banning him from discrimination in lettings criteria after he told his letting agent to ban ‘coloured’ tenants because they left curry smells in his properties. (Guardian, 8 November 2017)

14 November: Residents criticise a ‘crass and offensive’ questionnaire sent out by Kensington Conservatives asking them to rate ‘how important to you and your family’ was the Grenfell fire and help for families affected, on a scale of 0-10, alongside issues such as parking and recycling. (BBC News, 14 November 2017)

Education

16 November: A campaign is launched to remove the name of William Gladstone, who defended the interests of slave owners, from a Liverpool university building. (Guardian, 16 November 2017)

Discrimination

6 November: Almost thirty faith leaders come together in an interfaith forum to condemn racist objections made to a planning proposal to change a theatre venue to a mosque in Golders Green. (Guardian, 6 November 2017)

6 November: The Women and Equalities Committee launches an inquiry to examine the findings of the government’s racial disparity audit. Written submissions need to be submitted by Monday 27 November. (Women and Equalities Committee press release, 6 November 2017)

10 November: Halton Council in Merseyside is accused of racism after it uses a picture of two young black men to illustrate a story on the criminal justice system. According to 2011 census data, 0.2 per cent of Halton’s population is classified as black. (Liverpool Echo, 10 November 2017)

Violence and harassment: attacks on people 

3 November: Two friends who were fishing in Southsea, Portsmouth are attacked by two white men who racially abuse them, attack their car and then throw petrol over the pair. The men escape, but return with police officers to find that their car has been set alight. (The News, 10 November 2017)

6 November: Police appeal for information on an attack on 16 October when a man was racially abused and punched in the face several times as he waited at a bus stop at Amwell Hill, Great Amwell, suffering a cut lip and a chipped tooth. (Hertfordshire Mercury, 6 November 2017)

10 November: Manjit Kaur, a street-food trader from Leeds, is asked for hot water by a homeless person, who then throws the water over Kaur and tells her to ‘f*** off back to your own country’; she suffers minor burns in the incident. (Yorkshire Post, 10 November 2017)

Violence and harassment: attacks on property

31 October: A brick is thrown through the window of an east Belfast home; the Belgian occupant, who has lived in Northern Ireland for eleven years, suffers minor head and arm injuries, and believes he was targeted because of his accent. (BBC News, 2 November 2017)

5 November: Fothergill and Harvey Cricket Club in Littleborough, Rochdale is facing closure after its clubhouse is burnt down in an apparent racist attack, a week after a break-in at the club when racist graffiti was daubed on walls. (Manchester Evening News, 6 November 2017)

6 November: Two homes in south Belfast are attacked in crimes that police are treating as racially motivated; in the first, the front door of a house is kicked and in the second, bricks are thrown at a home. (Belfast Live, 7 November 2017)

12 November: A Syrian family is left homeless after their home in Haydock, Saint Helens is targeted in an arson attack. (St Helens Star, 14 November 2017)

Violence and harassment: online racism 

9 November: A video is published online showing a young Asian girl being racially abused and threatened by a group of children outside a school in North Lanarkshire, the video is thought to have been filmed in summer. (Daily Record, 9 November 2017) 

Violence and harassment: charges

3 November: Darren Stone, 28, appears before Plymouth magistrates court charged with racially aggravated assault, after allegedly punching a 15-year-old boy in July. (Devon Live, 3 November 2017)

8 November: A 44-year-old man is charged with aggravated burglary after a woman was attacked in her Ballymena home. Police are treating the attack as racially motivated. (ITV, 8 November 2017) 

Violence and harassment: convictions

3 November: Glyn Kirk, 52, is fined £435 after pleading guilty to racially aggravated harassment and exposure, for verbally abusing his Slovakian neighbours whilst wearing nothing but a coat. (Kent Online, 4 November 2017)

9 November: Three men are convicted of violent disorder for a street brawl in Croydon in the early hours of 1 April, which left Kurdish-Iranian student Reker Ahmed, 17, with a fractured spine, a bleed on the brain and facial fractures. The jury was told that one of the attackers yelled ‘you are asylum seekers, refugees, you have to go back to your country’ during the attack. (Guardian, 10 November 2017)

10 November: Martin Georgeson, 27, is ordered to pay £350 in compensation to a dentist he racially abused at Falkirk Community Hospital, and £100 each to three other staff members. (Falkirk Herald, 13 November 2017)

10 November: Jeffrey Barry, 56, is sentenced to a minimum term of twenty-three years in prison after being found guilty of the murder of Kamil Ahmad, 48, on whom he inflicted over seventy knife injuries after racially abusing his victim for years at the sheltered accommodation in Bristol, where they both lived. Ahmad’s family accuses five agencies of failing him. (Guardian, 10 November 2017)

Violence and harassment: statistics and research

12 November: Police figures show that racially motivated crimes in Northern Ireland now exceed those connected to sectarianism. Of over 1,000 recorded racist incidents in the year from July 2016, 83 per cent resulted in no action against the perpetrators, who are believed to have loyalist paramilitary connections. (Guardian, 13 November 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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