Calendar of Racism and Resistance – Incorporating Covid-19 Roundup (6 – 20 May 2020)

May 21, 2020 — News

Written by IRR News Team

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

We have incorporated the Covid-19 roundup of racism, health, policing and civil liberties into the calendar of racism and resistance, which we believe makes developments during this period clearer and easier to understand.

HEALTH AND POLICY

RACE AND CLASS DISPARITIES

7 May: Black people are more than four times more likely to die from Covid-19 than white people, and men from a Bangladeshi and Pakistani background, 1.8 times more likely, according to the Office for National Statistics. Oxford University’s Evidence-Based Medicine Data-Lab also calls for more research into the statistics and occupational risk. (Guardian, 7 May 2020)

10 May: London mayor Sadiq Khan says that the Equality and Human Rights Commission has a ‘moral responsibility’ to carry out a wide-ranging investigation into whether the disproportionate number of Covid-19 deaths of BME people could have been prevented or mitigated, and warns that BME-led businesses and charities may be disproportionately affected. (Guardian, 10 May 2020)

11 May: The Office for National Statistics finds that men in low-paid, low-skilled jobs are four times more likely to die from the virus then men in professional occupations, while women working as carers are twice as likely to die as those in professional and technical roles. Security guards and taxi drivers have some of the highest death rates. (Guardian, 11 May 2020)

13 May: An ITV survey of over 2,000 BME NHS staff finds 50 percent of respondents believe discriminatory behaviour has played a role in disproportionate BME deaths – with one in five claiming they have experienced it in person. (ITV News, 13 May 2020)

Credit: Anna Geyer, New Possibilities

16 May: A study finds that pregnant women from a BME background are four times more likely to be hospitalised with coronavirus than white women. The Royal College of Midwives issues new guidance to midwives and maternity support workers on the increased risks for BME women. (Guardian, 16 May 2020)

17 May: The Filipino Nurses Association says that more Filipino staff have died in Britain’s health and care system during the crisis than in the Philippines, as it emerges that Filipino health and care workers have the highest death rates (13 percent) of NHS staff. (Morning Star, 17 May 2020)

18 May: A Royal College of Physicians survey finds that three-quarters of BME doctors fear contracting Covid-19 at work, because of continuing problems with access to PPE, insufficient training in fitting masks and lengthy delays for testing. (Guardian, 18 May 2020)

INVESTIGATIONS, LEGAL CHALLENGES, TESTS

5 May: Doctors at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust opt to carry out their own urgent investigation into how and why Covid-19 is disproportionately affecting BME people. (Guardian, 5 May 2020)

7 May: Open Democracy and Foxglove launch a legal bid to force the government to publish details of its Covid-19 health data deals with private corporations, which it calls ‘the largest handover of NHS patient data to private corporations’ in history. The Guardian reports that Deloitte, KPMG, Serco, Sodexo, Mitie, Boots and the US AI company Palantir have secured taxpayer-funded contracts to manage drive-in testing centres, purchase PPE and build the Nightingale hospitals. (Open Democracy, 7 May 2020; Guardian, 4 May 2020)

8 May: The Health and Safety Executive, which investigates breaches of workplace laws, is considering launching criminal investigations after receiving 54 formal reports of Covid-19 related deaths in health and care settings. (Guardian, 8 May 2020)

10 May: The Doctors Association UK and the Good Law Project send a pre-legal action letter to the government demanding an independent inquiry into its failure to provide adequate PPE for NHS staff and other frontline workers. (Guardian, 10 May 2020)

11 May: Thirty families of those who have died of Covid-19 form a group, inviting others to join them as they seek advice about appropriate legal and formal proceedings to pursue accountability. (Guardian, 11 May 2020)

POLICING AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

For more information on policing and civil liberties issues follow @NETPOL @BigBrotherWatch @COVIDStateWatch and @libertyhq.

POLICING CORONAVIRUS

10 May: The Police Federation, representing 120,000 rank-and-file officers, talks of ‘impossible policing’ after prime minister Boris Johnson delivers mixed messages to the public about going out and socialising, which is also thought might lead to a second wave of coronavirus infection. (Guardian, 10 May 2020)

11 May: A judge questions the decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to charge a homeless man, Sultan Monsour, with ‘being outside the place he is living, namely no fixed address’, but the CPS opts to proceed with the charge. (Guardian, 11 May 2020)

12 May: London mayor Sadiq Khan writes to the prime minister warning that easing lockdown restrictions without investing in the welfare of communities and resourcing the police could allow ‘violence [to] resurface … this is deeply concerning given the proven link between serious violence and deprivation, poor mental health and poverty’ among young people. (Guardian, 12 May 2020)

12 May: While the Spanish state allows thousands of undocumented female migrant domestic workers to continue working in elderly people’s homes as essential workers, the police threaten these workers with expulsion if seen on the street on their way to work, apparently following coronavirus isolation measures, causing great anxiety, according to El Diario. (El Diario, 12 May 2020)

12 May: A week after prison reform groups expressed concerns about ‘inhumane’ restrictive jail regimes involving segregation, increased time in cells and a ban on all visits, reportedly until April 2021, it emerges that only 55 of the 4,000 eligible prisoners have been released under the early release scheme announced on 4 April. (Guardian, 6 May 2020; Guardian, 12 May 2020)

13 May: The Met Police Commissioner says that despite the streets being far emptier, the number of stop and searches carried out has increased compared with a year ago. In April 2019, Met officers carried out 20,981 stops. This April, with lockdown in place, 30,608 stops were carried out. (Guardian, 13 May 2020)

13 May: The UN rapporteurs on racism and on minority issues call on the Bulgarian authorities to end the over-securitised police operation codenamed ‘Respect’ that targets Roma neighbourhoods during the pandemic, adding that the erection of checkpoints at the entrance of already segregated areas is a violation of human rights. (OHCHR press release, 13 May 2020)

14 May: The European Roma Rights Centre documents police lockdown abuse against Roma and Travellers in Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland. In Romania, a group of nine Roma were punished for having a barbecue outside, with one man having his bare soles whipped. In Belgium and Ireland, armed police have evicted families from caravans and been present at funerals of Irish travellers. (Al Jazeera, 14 May 2020)

14 May: The Metropolitan Police are accused of racial profiling by a school pastoral support worker whose account on Twitter of being handcuffed and searched while waiting in his car for a shop to open prompts questions about the role of officers during London’s lockdown. The support worker says young black men’s negative experiences of police use of stop and search in London have got worse during the pandemic. (Guardian, 16 May 2020)

15 May: A Crown Prosecution Service review of lockdown charging finds that police and prosecutors have wrongly charged and convicted scores of people, with both apologising for errors which they blame on the rushed nature of the laws and pandemic pressures. (Guardian, 15 May 2020)

18 May: France’s highest administrative court, the Conseil d’État, rules that drone surveillance used by the Paris police during lockdown is unlawful in the absence of a law authorising its use. (La Quadrature du Net, 18 May 2020)

POLICING: GENERAL

Protest outside Greater Manchester Police Headquarters. Video credit: @npolicemonitor

9 May: Greater Manchester police refer themselves to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after Desmond Ziggy Mombeyarara is tasered in front of his distraught young son at a petrol station. The IOPC is also investigating three London police officers after a man in his twenties is left with a life-changing injury from being tasered in Haringey on 4 May. Monitoring group Stopwatch urges the Met and Manchester forces to consider urgently the necessity and proportionality of taser use against BME communities. (Independent, 9 May 2020; Guardian, 10 May 2020)

11 May: Idrissa Gueye, former president of the Association of Senegalese Immigrants of Aragon, is convicted of insulting the local Zaragoza police after he accused them of seizing goods from the community of street vendors and selling them at a profit, and of targeting this group specifically because they are Black. (El Diario, 11 May 2020)

13 May: The Supreme Court quashes the conviction of former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams for attempting to escape from prison in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, ruling that his internment without trial as a suspected terrorist was not properly authorised and was unlawful. Adams urges ministers to scrutinise the legality of the detention of scores of suspects interned during the Troubles. (Guardian, 13 May 2020)

15 May: The case of an officer who tasered a suspect in Haringey on 4 May, leaving him paralysed from the waist down, is referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for criminal investigation. (Guardian, 15 May 2020)

16 May: The IOPC opens up a criminal investigation for the alleged offence of grievous bodily harm into a police officer who tasered a young man in Finsbury Park leaving him paralysed from the waist down (Guardian, 16 May 2020)

18 May: A critical study concludes that the legal requirement for defendants to declare their nationality at the start of criminal proceedings ‘racialises’ the system and undermines the impartiality of the justice system and the rule of law. Read the report here. (Guardian, 18 May 2020)

18 May: The man shot with a stun gun by police in front of his five-year-old son is to sue Greater Manchester police. (Guardian, 18 May 2020)

COUNTER-EXTREMISM

20 May: The government publishes a new Counter-Terrorism Bill, which scraps the statutory deadline for an independent review of its Prevent policy after revelations that the deadline would not be met. Other provisions would impose tougher sentences on those convicted of terror-related offences, lower the threshold of suspicion for the imposition of measures such as curfews, electronic tagging and travel bans on those suspected of planning acts of terror, and remove the two-year time limit for such measures. (Guardian, 20 May 2020; Prevent Watch, 8 May 2020)

14 May: CAGE publishes a report, Exploiting a Pandemic: the security industry’s race to infliltrate public health. Read the report here. (CAGE press release, 14 May 2020)

HOUSING

8 May: Labour calls on the government to draw up emergency measures to protect renters beyond June as polling shows up to 1.7 million people in the private sector fear that they will lose their jobs this summer. (Guardian, 8 May 2020)

10 May: Left-wing grassroots campaign group Momentum calls on Labour leader Keir Starmer to back an immediate cancellation of rents for those whose income is affected by the coronavirus crisis. (Guardian, 10 May 2020)

15 May: Charities express fears of a surge in homelessness after a leaked report suggests that the government proposes to end funding for an emergency programme which has housed over 5,400 rough sleepers in hotels, passing the burden to local authorities. (Guardian, 15 May 2020)

EDUCATION

12 May: Government plans to reopen schools in England face a mounting backlash from education unions, who say the proposals are not feasible or safe, and advise teachers and support staff not to ‘engage with’ preparations for a June return for some primary children, part of a phased reopening planned by the Department for Education (DfE), with class sizes limited to 15 and a staggered timetable to limit the number of pupils and risk of transmission. (Guardian, 12 May 2020)

13 May: Osama Rahman, chief scientific adviser to the Department for Education (DfE), throws the DfE’s plans in doubt by suggesting in evidence to the Commons Science and Technology Committee that reopening schools could fuel the spread of coronavirus. (Guardian, 13 May 2020)

The Five Tests proposed by @NEUnion

15 May: After a meeting between teachers’ unions and scientific advisers which unions say left them with ‘more questions than answers’, the British Medical Association says the number of infections remains too high for schools to return safely and the unions are ‘absolutely right’ to prioritise testing and safety, while the Children’s Commissioner calls for a return to the classroom to stop disadvantaged children falling further behind educationally. (Guardian, 15 May 2020)

18 May: The Institute for Fiscal Studies issues a report highlighting the home-schooling advantages enjoyed during lockdown by children from affluent families and warning that prolonged school closure will widen educational inequalities. (Guardian, 18 May 2020)

WELFARE

17 May: A single mother on universal credit brings a legal challenge to the retention of benefit caps and deductions which leave her £123 a month worse off than before chancellor Rishi Sunak introduced the £90-a-month coronavirus ‘bonus’ to help families with increased living costs during the pandemic. (Guardian, 17 May 2020)

EMPLOYMENT AND EXPLOITATION

11 May: Amid rising tensions over governments bringing in migrant agricultural workers and concerns over the conditions in which they are required to live and work, which have caused infections and deaths, MEPs are reported to have written to the EU Ombudsman demanding protection of seasonal workers. (Guardian, 11 May 2020)

13 May: It emerges that it took one month for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), the employer of Belly Mujinga, who died two weeks after being spat and coughed on by a man who said he had Covid-19, to hand video footage over to British Transport Police. GTR failed to report the incident at Victoria Station at the time. Transport union TSSA calls on the government to extend the coronavirus compensation scheme to the families of transport workers who lose their lives. (Guardian, 13 May 2020)

17 May: MPs take up unions’ call for the £60,000 death-in-service payments to be extended to transport workers, and 42 MPs also call for greater PPE for hundreds of thousands of transport workers helping people to return to work, as official statistics suggest they are more at risk than care workers. (Guardian, 17 May 2020)

18 May: An unpublished study by Public Health England revealed in April that agency care staff, generally low-paid and often on zero-hours contracts, spread the virus as they travelled between care homes, but was only shared with care homes last week, the Guardian discloses. (Guardian, 18 May 2020)

ASYLUM, MIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP

ASYLUM AND MIGRANT RIGHTS

7 May: The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants publishes a report, Families on the Frontline, revealing a recent surge of over 7,000 enquiries from families with insecure immigration status, including many key workers, facing fears of separation due to not meeting the Home Office’s income threshold to qualify for the right to a family life in the UK. Read the report here. (Guardian, 7 May 2020)

7 May: In the High Court, lawyers for an eight-year-old boy win a ruling that the imposition of the ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) condition on migrants on the ten-year route to settlement is unlawful, as it increases the risk of families becoming destitute and heightened public health risks by forcing people into overcrowded accommodation or on to the streets. (Guardian; Electronic Immigration Network, 7 May 2020)

11 May: Fifty vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers finally land in Britain from Greece to be reunited with family members, after months of campaigning by refugee rights group Safe Passage, and Lord Dubs, among others. (Ekathimerini; Guardian, 11 May 2020)

12 May: The Portuguese government says it will take 500 unaccompanied children from Greece after Covid-19 restrictions end, and aims to take ten percent of all the unaccompanied migrant children there. It also says it will register as Portuguese citizens all children of migrants living in Portugal for a year. (Are You Syrious, 13 May 2020)

13 May: The Italian government passes legislation granting temporary regularisation to agricultural and domestic migrant workers. Under the regularisation workers will be granted an ‘adequate level of health care’ to face the Covid-19 crisis. (The Local, 14 May 2020)

14 May: A 34-year-old Moroccan woman, homeless since losing her job as a domestic worker after reporting her employer to the authorities, is found dead in a Red Cross homeless shelter in Melilla. (Morocco World News, 15 May 2020)

15 May: The Moroccan Association for the Integration of Immigrants says many Moroccan minors in Spain are suffering from homelessness and separation from families, living on the streets since the start of the lockdown owing to the shortage of places and resources. (Público, 15 May 2020)

16 May: The Home Office comes under increased pressure to abolish the health surcharge, currently £400 per person per year and due to rise to £625 this year. NHS staff organisations, carers and Labour point to the unfairness of charging for health care frontline staff risking their lives, who already pay UK taxes and national insurance. (Guardian, 16 May 2020)

18 May: The Immigration and Social Security (Coordination) Bill, which removes free movement rights from EU citizens and severely restricts the immigration of ‘unskilled’ workers, passes in the House of Commons despite Labour opposition and recognition that the pandemic has changed public attitudes towards those the government considers ‘unskilled’. (Guardian, 18 May 2020; Independent, 19 May 2020)

19 May: Five days after his case was exposed in the national press, Sierra Leonean teacher Osman Bash Taqi is granted settlement rights after a 28-year battle with the Home Office, who lost his passport. (Guardian, 14, 19 May 2020)

20 May: The GMB union describes as an ‘outrageous scandal’ the exclusion of porters, cleaners, social care staff and other low-paid outsourced workers in the NHS from the Home Office bereavement scheme which grants families of NHS workers indefinite leave to remain in the UK if they die of coronavirus. (Independent, 20 May 2020)

RECEPTION AND DETENTION

6 May: The Home Office is accused of trying to undermine the independence of the judiciary by asking immigration judges to provide written reasons for the large numbers of detainees released on bail since 1 January, which resulted in a reduction by three-quarters of the numbers detained. Detention is only authorised when deportation is imminent. (Guardian, 6 May 2020)

10 May: Lockdown measures in Greek refugee camps are extended to 21 May, despite their relaxation on 11 May for the rest of society. The government does not explain why the measures will continue to be enforced only for the camps. (Al Jazeera, 10 May 2020)

Photo Credit: @no_evictions

11 May: A 30-year-old Syrian man is reported to have been found dead on 5 May in a guesthouse in Glasgow after concerns are voiced over the mental health of the 300 asylum seekers moved from self-contained flats to hotels in the city with little notice. Campaigners had warned of the difficulty of physical distancing in the hotels and the implications of the withdrawal of all government financial support for those moved. (Guardian, 11 May 2020)

12 May: Unaccompanied minors held in a closed camp at the Greek/Turkish border set mattresses on fire in protest against the delays in the processing of their asylum claims, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Ekathimerini, 12 May 2020)

13 May: A Madrid judge orders the suspension of a prosecutor’s decision to deem as adult and exclude from the minors’ reception system a 17-year-old Gambian boy who crossed the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain in an inflatable boat a year ago, after the boy spends two months homeless and on the street during the pandemic. (Público, 13 May 2020)

14 May: In a case brought by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee for two asylum seeking families held for over a year in containers at the border, the Court of Justice of the EU rules that asylum seekers in the Hungarian transit zones are illegally detained and denied access to fair asylum procedures. (Hungarian Helsinki Committee, 14 May 2020)

18 May: The German Green party calls for blanket testing for the virus and better protection for asylum seekers after at least 70 people test positive at a refugee centre in Sankt Augustin near Bonn. The week before, a court ruled in favour of a pregnant woman seeking to leave an asylum shelter In the same state as the Sankt Augustin outbreak, on the ground that coronavirus protections were ‘inadequate’ there. (Deutsche Welle, 18 May 2020)

BORDERS AND INTERNAL CONTROLS

Still from The Killing of Muhammad Gulzar report

8 May: Forensic Architecture and Lighthouse Reports, with Der Spiegel, release their investigation into the death of Muhammad Gulzar at the Turkish/Greek border in March, which shows that it was likely that the live rounds that killed Mr Gulzar were fired by Greek security forces. Over 100 MEPs call on the European Commission to investigate the shootings. Watch the video report here. (Bellingcat, 8 May 2020; Are You Syrious, 13 May 2020)

9 May: The 79 people rescued by the ‘Marina St Johns’ container ship are landed in Sicily after the ship’s owner, German company Klingerberg, warns that passengers will die if not allowed to dock soon. waiting at sea for over a week. Another 162 passengers wait to be offered a safe port to disembark from other ships. (InfoMigrants, 7 May 2020; InfoMigrants, 11 May 2020)

10 May: Refugee support groups call for safe and legal routes to asylum in the UK after 145 refugees cross the Channel in small boats on Friday 8 May, with more arriving over the weekend. (Guardian, 10 May 2020)

12 May: The UN calls for an investigation after Croatian police are accused of shaving and spray-painting the heads of asylum seekers in a bid to identify and humiliate those who repeatedly attempt to cross into the country via the Balkan route. No Name Kitchen also expresses concern over a deliberate targeting of Muslim asylum seekers through spraying them with a Christian religious symbol (the Cross). (Guardian, 12 May 2020)

18 May: Commonwealth veteran Taitusi Ratucaucau, who served in the British army for over a decade, is billed £27,000 after an emergency operation to remove a brain tumour, when he is classed as an ‘overseas patient’ and liable to NHS charges. (Guardian, 18 May 2020)

19 May: A report from the EU predicts that the coronavirus pandemic could cause more refugees to flee to Europe. The European Asylum Support Office says that an ISIS resurgence and other conflicts linked to the outbreak may see European countries handling more asylum claims. (Free Movement, 19 May 2020)

CITIZENSHIP AND STATELESSNESS

12 May: The European Court of Human Rights rules that the Hungarian government breached a stateless migrant’s human rights by leaving him without any legal status for 15 years, thus depriving him of basic entitlements to health care and employment. (ECtHR, 12 May 2020)

DEPORTATIONS

7 May: It emerges that the Home Office chartered a private plane to deport 35 EU nationals to Poland on 30 April, after the UK had entered lockdown, when all but essential travel was banned. A woman on the flight said that with 40-50 escorts and crew, it was impossible to observe distancing. (Guardian, 7 May 2020)

14 May: The UN Network on Migration, comprising several UN bodies including the WHO, UNHCR and IOM, expresses concern at states’ use of forced returns in response to Covid-19 and calls on states to suspend all forced removals during the pandemic. (IOM press release, 14 May 2020)

CRIMINALISING SOLIDARITY

13 May: Charges of facilitating unlawful entry against Cedric Herrou, an olive farmer in the south of France who gave lifts, aid and shelter to over 200 refugees and migrants seeking to enter France from Italy, are finally dropped after the Constitutional Council ruled that the ‘principle of fraternity’ applied, and the appeal court quashed his convictions and sent the case back to the Lyon court. (Al Jazeera, 13 May 2020)

ANTI-FASCISM AND THE FAR RIGHT

7 May: Far-right extremist Filip Bednarczyk from Luton is remanded in custody at the Old Bailey after pleading guilty to terror offences and possession of explosives. (BBC News, 7 May 2020)

14 May: In Germany, the far Right infiltrate anti-lockdown protests. Alternative for Germany and the Identitarian movement are both calling for the protests to increase, with some protests organised by the Alternative for Germany (AfD). (Euractiv, 14 May 2020)

14 May: German police in eastern Saxony investigating links between the military and the far Right seize weapons and explosives at the home of a special forces soldier. A total of twenty members of the special forces are under investigation. (BBC News, 14 May 2020)

15 May: UK Freedom Movement flyers announcing around 60 anti-lockdown public picnic events across the UK are linked to Jayda Fransen, former deputy leader of Britain First, and Tommy Robinson supporter Richard Inman of ‘Veterans Against Terrorism’. Fransen says she is launching a ‘free advocacy service’ for ‘my people’ subjected to ‘tyrannical and unlawful policing’ during lockdown. (Guardian, 14 May 2020; Daily Record, 15 May 2020)

ELECTORAL POLITICS

13 May: The newly-announced terms of reference for the Conservative party’s discrimination probe (to look at the ‘nature and extent of complaints’ and how the party has responded) are a ‘facade’ and attempt to distract from Islamophobia, says the Muslim Council of Britain. (Independent, 13 May 2020)

13 May: The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) says that in light of the Conservative party inquiry into discrimination, it would not be ‘proportionate’ to initiate an investigation at this stage, though it will keep the situation under review. (Independent, 13 May 2020)

13 May: Freedom House says that there are ‘fewer democracies’ in eastern Europe ‘than at any point since’ 1995, with coronavirus a key factor in this shift. The Covid-19 emergency law in Hungary that allows indefinite rule by government decree and the Polish Act on Special Solutions Related to the Prevention, Counteracting and Combating of Covid-19 are cited. (Organisation for World Peace, 13 May 2020)

13 May: The UN rapporteurs on racism and on minority issues, in calling on the Bulgarian government to stop hate speech against the Roma minority in its response to Covid-19, point out that government officials have been part of the problem and that a nationalist politician has described some Roma quarters as potential ‘nests of infection’. (OHCHR press release, 13 May 2020)

14 May: Health minister Nadine Dorries and Conservative MPs Lucy Allan and Maria Caulfield share a video from a far-right Twitter account which falsely claimed that the leader of the Labour party obstructed the prosecution of grooming gang members when head of the Crown Prosecution Service. Downing Street says the MPs have been spoken to. None apologises. (Independent, 14 May 2020)

16 May: In Madrid, extreme right-wing parties Vox and Partido Popular join protesters demonstrating against the left-wing coalition government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, despite social distancing and the fact that Madrid is the most affected region in Spain. (Público, 16 May 2020)

18 May: Alternative for Germany expels Andreas Kalbitz, the head of the AfD in Brandenburg, after it emerges that he was formerly a member of the banned neo-nazi group German Youths Loyal to the Fatherland. (Guardian, 18 May 2020)

MEDIA

11 May: Producers of Coronation Street reveal that they have consulted Doreen Lawrence on a plotline about a racism and its impact on a family in the long-running soap. (Voice, 11 May 2020)

11 May: Spanish TV presenter Ana Rosa Quintana is forced to apologise to the Gypsy community on live television following her racist remarks on a programme about the unprovoked murder of a man of Gypsy background in Córdoba, which she suggested was ‘self-defence’. (El Diario, 11 May 2020)

SPORT

18 May: The Professional Footballers’ Association calls on the Premier League to conduct research into the possible effect of Covid-19 on BME players, after players express strong concerns over returning as clubs restart training before a possible resumption of the season in June. (Guardian, 19 May 2020)

VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT

COVID-19 STIGMATISATION AND RELATED VIOLENCE

7 May: A 29-year-old man is jailed for six months for racially aggravated harassment and assault after telling a police officer, called to a Worthing hotel where he was throwing food around and damaging property, that he was suffering from Covid-19 symptoms ‘because you’re Chinese’, pretending to sneeze, spitting at the officer, and spouting racist abuse. (The Argus, 7 May 2020)

13 May: Ministers tell the Home Affairs select committee on online harm that hate crimes against east and south Asian people have gone up by 21 percent since the onset of the pandemic. Police estimate a threefold increase in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period last year. (Guardian, 13 May 2020)

14 May: Deutsche Welle TV reports on anti-Asian racism in Germany in response to Covid-19 and the attempts by the victims to connect and support each other. Watch the video here. (Deutsche Welle, 14 May 2020)

15 May: The Never Again Association in Poland publishes ‘The Virus of Hate: Brown Book of the Epidemic’ which looks at far-right hate speech and conspiracy theories and Covid-19 related assaults on minorities, including Chinese and LGBTQI people, blamed for spreading the virus. Read the report here. (Never Again Association, press release, 15 May 2020)

VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT – GENERAL

For more information on racial violence and related migration issues in Lesvos, please follow the Voices of Freedom blog.

4-5 May: About 150 Greek protesters stop buses carrying 57 asylum seekers brought from Lesvos to an asylum hotel in Panagitsa, Pella region and set fire to a room at the hotel. No arrests are made. When the bus is rerouted to Arnissa village, around 250 protesters set up roadblocks and attack the hotel owners. The asylum seekers are taken to a hotel in Halkidona, Thessaloniki. (InfoMigrants, 7 May 2020)

6 May: A 57-year-old Redditch man who assaulted two paramedics and racially abused one of them when they came to his home on 3 May is given a suspended sentence by Kidderminster magistrates for racially aggravated assault and breaching a criminal behaviour order. (Birmingham Mail, 6 May 2020)

9 May: Sky News reporter Inzaman Rashid tweets that he has received countless ‘racist, vile, hateful’ messages over the past few weeks while reporting on Covid-19. (Guardian, 11 May 2020)

10 May: A scheduled live broadcast by BBC reporter Sima Kotecha is cancelled after she, the crew and guests are subjected to racist and abusive behaviour as she prepares to interview people in Leicester city centre following the prime minister’s statement updating lockdown guidance. (BBC News, 11 May 2020)

10 May: German police release annual crime statistics which suggest that politically motivated antisemitic acts by both the far Right and far Left have increased by 13 percent on the previous year, a total of 2,000 incidents. (Deutsche Welle, 10 May 2020)

11 May: Cheshire Police release a CCTV image to trace the person who racially abused a shop worker in a Widnes convenience store on 2 May. (Chester Standard, 11 May 2020)

13 May: After former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright shares ‘vile racist abuse’ he has received online, and former Aston Villa player Gabriel Agbonlahor says he has received similar abuse, prompting Kick It Out to call for punishment for perpetrators, a teenage boy in Ireland hands himself in to police, admitting sending racist Instagram messages to Wright. (Independent, 12 May 2020; Sky Sports, 13 May 2020)

13 May: Burger King staff at a drive-through in Warrington are spat at, racially abused and subjected to banging on the window by aggressive customers within days of reopening. (Chester Standard, 15 May 2020)

13 May: Kent Police appeal for information after two people wearing face masks racially abused a woman in Folkestone and spat at her as she walked towards the town centre in the early evening of 9 May. (Kent Live, 13 May 2020)

15 May: The Lowestoft branch of Stand Up to Racism holds an emergency socially-distanced demonstration following an assault on 4 May in which a man in his 40s was punched, had a brick thrown at him and was racially abused by a group of teenagers. (Eastern Daily Press, 16 May 2020)

14 May: A 26-year-old man and a 45-year old woman are arrested on suspicion of daubing antisemitic graffiti on several buildings in Hampstead and Belsize Park, including the walls of South Hampstead synagogue, in December. (Hampstead & Highgate Express, 17 May 2020)

12 May: Swindon Police release a CCTV appeal after staff working at a Premier Store were racially abused on 6 May. (Swindon Advertiser, 12 May 2020)

12 May: Hertfordshire Police released a CCTV appeal after a man was racially abused and spat on by two men in Hatfield Co-op on 22 April. (Welwyn and Hatfield Times, 12 May 2020)

The calendar was compiled with the help of Aisha Rana-Deshmukh, Laura Wormington, Jessica Pandian, Graeme Atkinson and Joseph Maggs.

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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