Attacks on asylum housing: from Ireland to Knowsley

Attacks on asylum housing: from Ireland to Knowsley

Fortnightly Bulletin

Written by: IRR News Team

IRR News 17 February – 2 March 2023

Since our last newsletter in which we reported on the eruption of violence in Knowsley, Merseyside, we have seen the spreading of a relentless campaign targeting hotels accommodating asylum seekers across England, with protests in Rotherham, Skegness, Newquay, Long Eaton and Dunstable in the past weeks.

All this, as well as similar far-right mobilisations against asylum seekers in other European countries, is documented in our regular calendar of racism and resistance. To supplement this, on IRR News this week Sophia Siddiqui investigates what is underpinning the violent targeting of asylum seekers in the UK and in Ireland – which has been in the grip of anti-immigration demonstrations since last year – with far-right groups mobilising to gain footholds in local communities by spreading disinformation on violence against women and girls to fuel a moral panic.

Thankfully, the far-Right, in their noisy and nasty attempts to sow division, have been vastly outnumbered by counter-protesters who have mobilised quickly and decisively. Building on the insights and experiences of migrant solidarity groups, feminists, BME women’s refuges, LGBTQ communities, Travellers organisations and trade union activists, Siddiqui explores the harmful impact on minority communities, but also the intersectional solidarity that is now coming to the fore to confront far-right racism and misogyny.

Now, more than ever, unity at home and solidarity abroad is needed to counter the far Right, which, in creating mayhem, is exploiting the hostile environment towards asylum seekers that is built into the very design of state policy. Already we have seen curfews imposed on asylum seekers preventing them from leaving refugee accommodation – one of the ways in which the far-Right attacks have added a violent dimension to the hostile environment.

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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