Calendar of Racism and Resistance (5 – 18 September 2014)

September 18, 2014 — News

Written by IRR News Team

A resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key news stories in the UK and Europe over the past fortnight.

Asylum seekers & refugees

5 September: Migrants and activists rally in Calais for human rights and an end to police violence, as Sauvons Calais announce they will rally on 7 September to ‘say no to the invasion of Calais, of France, of Europe’. (Guardian, 5 September 2014)

6 September: Police in Northern Ireland raid an alleged fuel-laundering site in Coalisland as part of a wider investigation into the death of Meet Singh Kapoor from Afghanistan, whose body was found in a container at Tilbury docks in August. (Guardian, 6 September 2014)

7 September: The family of Rubel Ahmed calls for an independent inquiry after his death at Morton Hall immigration removal centre. The family were informed by the Home Office that Ahmed had committed suicide, a claim disputed by detainees. (Guardian, 7 September 2014)

10 September: The Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees reports that it has witnessed asylum seekers routinely forced into destitution after being locked out of their homes by Orchard & Shipman, a housing provider contracted by Serco and the Home Office. (Glasgow Evening Times, 10 September 2014)

11 September: It is reported that approximately thirty detainees have been removed from Morton Hall after their suspected involvement in the disturbances following the death of Rubel Ahmed on 6 September. (Politics.co.uk, 11 September 2014)

Violence and Harassment

4 September Two prisoners have their sentences increased for sending crude explosive devices from a prison segregation unit to Asian solicitors as part of a ‘race-hate campaign’. (Hull Daily Mail, 6 September 2014)

11 September: Figures show that racially motivated crimes have risen by more than 50 per cent in a single year in Northern Ireland, particularly within Belfast. (BBC News, 11 September 2014)

11 September: Police search for two suspects after a black man in his 50s is beaten unconscious in a racist attack in Newham, London, which leaves him with a fractured eye socket. (Newham Recorder, 11 September 2014)

Policing and criminal justice

10 September: An ex-police officer, accused of the murder of Azelle Rodney after shooting him six times in 2005, is granted bail until a hearing in October. In July 2013 a judge ruled that there was ‘no lawful justification’ for the killing. (BBC News, 10 September 2014).

15 September: West Midlands Police is ordered to pay £26,500 compensation to a former security guard from Birmingham, who was tasered and wrongly arrested by officers in 2011. (Birmingham Mail, 15 September 2014)

17 September: Metropolitan police officer Andrew Birks, facing investigation over the death of Sean Rigg in 2008, tells the high court he wants to leave the force to become a minister in the Church of England. (Guardian, 17 September 2014)

17 September: The CPS announces that Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins, who passed on sensitive information about the death of Leon Briggs in 2013, will not be charged with misconduct. (BBC News, 17 September 2014)

Government policy

8 September 2014: The chair of the Public Accounts Committee criticises the ‘shocking complacency’ of the government for allowing G4S and Serco to apply for further contracts while under investigation for the alleged fraud on contracts worth over £200 million. (Guardian, 8 September 2014)

Extreme Right politics

9 September: Two years after proposals were first tabled, the Greek parliament finally approves anti-discrimination legislation which critics say does not go far enough. Neo-nazi Golden Dawn calls the legislation a ‘satanic plot’ and an ‘insult to Greek history’. (ICARE, 12 September 2014)

13 September: English Defence League supporters attack the police during a demonstration in Rotherham against revelations of sexual exploitation in the town. ‘Sporadic outbreaks of disorder’ are reported and a mosque is vandalised. (ITV News, 13 September 2014)

14 September: With 13 per cent of the vote, the far-right Sweden Democrats emerge as the third largest party in the new parliament, doubling their seats to forty-nine. (Election Resources, 14 September 2014)

16 September: Campaign group Respect for the Unemployed & Benefits Claimants reports that its office has been broken into and IT equipment destroyed. Prior to the break-in, far-right slogans were daubed on the building’s walls. (Respect for the Unemployed blog, 16 September 2014)

Media

13 September: Protesters march against a ‘racist’ exhibition, due to open at the Barbican in London later in the month. Exhibit B, inspired by colonial-era ‘human zoos’ in Europe and America, features black actors chained up and put on display. (Independent, 15 September 2014)

National Security

4 September: The ECtHR finds Belgium guilty of violating Article 3 of the Human Rights Convention (ban on torture or inhuman treatment) by extraditing terror suspect Nizar Trabelsi to the prospect of an irreducible life term in the US, and of violating Article 34 (hindering exercise of right of petition to the Court) by extraditing him in breach of the Court’s order and making it impossible for him to pursue his case. (BBC News, 4 September 2014)

9 September: The Belgian Court of Appeal upholds the Belgian state’s duty to help dual national Ali Aarrass, in prison following torture in Morocco. (Free Ali Aarrass, 9 September 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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