Calendar of Racism and Resistance (10 – 24 October 2023)

Calendar of Racism and Resistance (10 – 24 October 2023)


Written by: IRR News Team

A fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe. Find these stories and all others since 2014 on our searchable database, the Register of Racism and Resistance.


Asylum and migrant rights  

10 October: Many Afghans eligible for sanctuary in the UK face deportation back to Afghanistan from Pakistan, where 3,000 remain stranded whilst awaiting safe travel to the UK as the Home Office scrambles to find them homes. (Independent, 10 October 2023) 

11 October: Following the home secretary’s comments at the American Enterprise Institute in September, over 200 academics and lawyers who have worked with LGBTIQA+ asylum seekers write to her with criticism of her remarks. (Left Foot Forward, 11 October 2023) 

13 October: A report by Safe Passage International calls on Britain to establish safe routes to the UK for asylum seekers, renew international cooperation and commit to refugee protection, restore the right to seek asylum, and rebuild the asylum system. (Electronic Immigration Network, 13 October 2023)  

16 October: A briefing published by the charity Praxis highlights the negative impact on children and parents of families permitted no recourse to public funds, who are excluded from government childcare support because of their immigration status. (Electronic Immigration Network,16 October 2023) 

22 October: The Scottish government ‘fundamentally opposes’ Home Office plans to use MRI scans to determine the age of asylum seekers. (National,22 October 2023)

Borders and internal controls 

13 October: In Bavaria, Germany, seven people die after a van carrying more than 20 passengers overturns near the border with Austria while attempting to evade police checks. (Deutsche Welle, 13 October 2023) 

13 October: On the island of Leros, Greece, tensions flare as 120 migrants, originally from Syria and Palestine, leave their reception centre hoping to board a ferry and be relocated in Athens. Law enforcement quickly arrives and escorts the majority of the migrants back to the centre. (Ekathimerini, 13 October 2023) 

16 October: In Belgium, the Flemish roads and traffic agency is constructing a 1.5 km fence along the E40 motorway carparks at Westkerke and Mannekensvere to reduce the number of migrants attempting to travel to the UK by climbing inside trucks. (Flanders News, 16 October 2023) 

 18 October: The Italian government reinstates border controls with Slovenia as part of a wider strategy to improve security against terrorist attacks, referencing the attack on Israel as a catalyst for the action. The controls will initially be in place for ten days with the option for extension. (Euroactiv, 19 October 2023) 

20 October: In Brussels, Belgium, the final group of around 20 asylum seekers occupying a building at 91 Rue de la Loi are evicted by police in the early hours, with no access to further asylum accommodation as they were not previously recorded at the address. (Brussels Times, 20 October 2023) 

 Reception and detention 

10 October: Home Office plans to accommodate 241 asylum seekers in the Stradey Park hotel in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, are dropped. (Guardian, 10 October 2023) 

11 October: A High Court challenge by Portland mayor Carralyn Parkes on the use of the Bibby Stockholm barge as asylum accommodation is rejected. Parkes raises a similar challenge to Dorset council, claiming that it ‘erred in law’ by ruling not to take planning enforcement action against the barge’s use in Portland port. (ITV, 11 October 2023; Guardian, 13 October 2023) 

Placard saying safe routes for refugees, no prison barge, on top of a protest mock barge called Bibby Stockholm, at protest in Dorset against refugee barge and in solidarity with refugees.
Protesters in Dorset on 13 May. Credit: Stephen and Helen Jones, Flickr.

18 October 2023: The Derwentside immigration removal centre in Durham, which has been described by the Independent Monitoring Board as unsuitably remote, leading to unfair and inhumane treatment, is to be converted from a women-only to an all-male facility. (North East Bylines,18 October 2023) 

19 October: Male asylum seekers are forced back onto the Bibby Stockholm barge in Portland harbour, with more expected to be moved there in the coming days. (Guardian,19 October 2023) 

22 October: Home Office contractor Serco states it is finding it difficult to move away from hotel asylum accommodation due to a shortage of housing in communities. (inews,22 October 2023) 

23 October 2023: Scottish MSPs demand clarity from the Scottish government about whether unaccompanied children are being placed in Scottish hotels, as they express concern over ‘normalising’ the use of hotel accommodation for all asylum seekers and call for the roll-out of free bus travel for all asylum seekers. (National, 24 October 2023) 

23 October: A report by the Independent Monitoring Board into three Home Office processing centres (Manston, Western Jet Foil and Kent Intake Unit) identifies serious concerns, particularly at Manston, where people were held in conditions described as ‘unsanitary and unacceptable’ and made to sleep in a marquee with only blankets on the floor. (Guardian,23 October 2023) 


10 October: As the Supreme Court hears the home secretary’s appeal against a ruling deeming it illegal to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, a Human Rights Watch report exposes incidents of killings, kidnappings, disappearances, torture and arbitrary detention of Rwandans both inside Rwanda and abroad, and calls on the UK government to rescind the Rwanda migration and economic partnership. (Guardian, 10 October 2023) 

12 October: Germany’s coalition government agrees to measures that would allow federal, state and local authorities to escalate deportations of ‘dangerous’ migrants, criminals and ‘people smugglers’. (Deutsche Welle, 12 October 2023) 

22 October: Civil servants speak of chaos in the Home Office as they struggle to meet a January deadline to commence the Rwanda scheme. Other difficulties include clearing the backlog in asylum claims and delays in training staff, as the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission launches a legal challenge to the Illegal Migration Act. (inews, 22 October 2023) 


As anti-migrant, anti-equalities, anti-abortion, misogynistic and anti-LGBTQI rhetoric in electoral campaigning are increasingly interlinked, we reflect this in the coverage below which also includes information on the influence of the Christian Right as well as the religious Right generally. 

13 October: In Slovakia, after Smer-SD agrees to form a coalition government with the far-right Slovak National Party, three of its MEPs are suspended from the EU parliament’s Socialist and Democrats group. (Euronews, 13 October 2023) 

19 October: The far-right Vox party tables a parliamentary motion to suspend the granting of Spanish nationality and residence permits to people from ‘Islamic culture’. (Euronews, 19 October 2023)

22 October: In federal elections, the anti-immigration Swiss People’s Party (SVP) consolidates its position as the leading political party in Switzerland, winning almost 29 per cent of the vote and 62 seats in the 200-member National Council, nine more than before. (Deutsche Welle, 22 October 2023) 

23 October: Sahra Wagenknecht, one leader of the German party Die Linke, leaves the party because of its pro-environmental and pro-migration positions to set up one of her own. (Guardian, 23 October 2023)   


 16 October: Due to severe prison overcrowding, the justice secretary plans, among other measures, to remove overseas criminals after 6 months. (Guardian, 16 October 2023) 

17 October: In France, the Paris administrative court upholds the appeal, launched by a collection of civil society activists, against the banning of food distribution for the homeless and destitute in Paris. The judge expresses ‘serious doubt’ regarding police chiefs’ claim that the measure was introduced to preserve public order. (Mediapart, 17 October 2023) 

18 October: Footage of a 14-year-old Black boy being held in a headlock and tasered by the police in Birmingham following a ‘civil matter between neighbours’ is widely shared on social media, leading to a public outcry. The boy was arrested. (Independent, 18 October 2023)

18 October: Merseyside police reveal that 44 Serious Violence Reduction Orders were secured during the first six months of a knife crime pilot launched in April 2023. Six arrests have been made for breaches. (Merseyside Police, 18 October 2023)

21 October: Despite having previously referred the issue to the Met, the IOPC opens an investigation into an incident in Hackney in July involving 13-year-old Black boy being rammed off his bike, surrounded by armed police and handcuffed after his water pistol was mistaken for a gun. (BBC News, 21 October 2023) 


13 October: Security around schools is stepped up after schoolteacher Dominique Bernard is killed outside the Gambetta-Carnot high school in Arras, northern France, by Mohammed Moguchkov, who came to France at the age of five from the North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia and was under observation by the intelligence services. (Le Monde, 13 October 2023) 

16 October: After the killing of a schoolteacher in France by a suspected ‘Islamist’ terrorist, Jordan Bardella of the far-right National Rally party says the Arras attacker’s family ‘should not have been on French territory’ and calls for more expulsions. (Guardian, 16 October 2023) 

16 October: A gunman, thought to be of Tunisian origin, who shot dead two Swedish football supporters in Brussels, Belgium, posted on social media that he was inspired by Islamic State, it is revealed. (Guardian, 16 October 2023)  


With anti-migrant, anti-Muslim, anti-equalities, anti-abortion, misogynistic and anti-LGBTQI activities increasingly interlinking, we now incorporate information on the Christian Right as well as the religious Right generally.  

15 October: An investigation by The Ferret reveals that members of Homeland, a far-right splinter group of Patriotic Alternative, are involved in Scottish community councils, with some retaining their posts despite having their activity in neo-Nazi groups exposed. (The Ferret, 15 October 2023)

19 October: Following his extradition to the Netherlands, neo-Nazi Robert Wilson is sentenced to two months in prison for projecting an antisemitic conspiracy theory onto the Anne Frank house on 6 February. (NL Times, 19 October 2023)

21 October: In Greece, Ilias Kasidiaris, a former spokesman for the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, is granted five days leave from the 13-year prison sentence he is serving for his involvement in the group. Kasidiaris continues to play an active role in Greek politics after coming fifth in the running for Athens mayor and is suspected of being involved in the new far-right Spartan party. (Barron’s, 21 October 2023)

21 October: An investigation by Searchlight reveals an international plot by wealthy Holocaust revisionists to financially support planning consent disputes and judicial reviews in order to stop the establishment of a Holocaust Memorial in London. UK-based suspects are said to include Peter Rushton,  deputy editor of Heritage and Destiny, and Michèle Renouf, who is known for her defence of Holocaust deniers. (Searchlight,21 October 2023)


18 October: Misogynist Andrew Tate, under investigation for human trafficking allegations in Romania, buys the domain name in an attempt to move into ‘online education’ and teach ‘real life skills’. (THE, 18 October 2023)


 13 October: Official figures show that councils in England spent £1.7 billion more on temporary accommodation in the year to March 2023 than in the previous year, much of which paid for B&Bs amidst a growing housing crisis. The same period saw a 6.8 per cent increase in households owed housing as homeless or threatened with homelessness. (Independent, 13 October 2023; Independent, 13 October 2023)  

19 October: Since the tragic death of Rochdale infant Awaab Ishak due to damp and mould, it is revealed that complaints to the Housing Ombudsman have skyrocketed, with a 323 per cent increase in the most severe failings where serious maladministration is alleged. (Big Issue, 19 October 2023) 

24 October: A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation finds that over 3.8 million people, including one million children, experienced destitution last year—double the numbers from five years ago. Disabled people, those with chronic ill-health and Black British, Caribbean and African households were disproportionately likely to be destitute. (Guardian, 24 October 2023) 


 22 October: An investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the Independent finds evidence that people on seasonal work visas employed on British farms in 2021 and 2022 faced abuse and exploitation with regard to working hours, living conditions and excessive deductions from wages. Not only were workers’ reports not investigated, but the Home Office has attempted to conceal them, it is claimed. (Independent,22 October 2023)  

23 October: Unseen UK, a charity operating a national helpline for victims of modern slavery, reports a steep rise in reports of overseas workers in the care sector being exploited by unscrupulous employers and agents charging thousands of pounds with interest for sponsorship and travel. (BBC, 23 October 2023) 

23 October: Following concerns from MP Kate Osamor that AI algorithms used by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) caused dozens of Bulgarians to have their benefits suspended, a Guardian investigation finds that government officials continue to use AI without safeguards, which produces discriminatory results. (Guardian, 23 October 2023)


While we cannot cover all incidents of racist abuse on sportspersons or their responses, we provide a summary of the most important incidents. For more information follow Kick it Out. 

18 October: A survey of 100 English Football League players finds that 80 percent feel that not enough is done to keep them safe from physical harm and discrimination on the pitch. (Guardian, 18 October 2023)


21 October: A man is arrested in Oxford on suspicion of inflicting grievous bodily harm after armed police respond to an attack on workers at an Asian supermarket. (Oxford Mail, 21 October 2023)

The calendar was compiled by Sophie Chauhan with the help of  Graeme Atkinson, Margaret McAdam, Louis Ordish , Anne-Ysore Onana-Ateba and Joseph Maggs. Thanks also to ECRE, the Never Again Association and Stopwatch, whose regular updates on asylum, migration, far Right, racial violence, employment and policing issues are an invaluable source of information. Find these stories and all others since 2014 on our searchable database, the Register of Racism and Resistance. 

Feature image: Campaigners from Together with Refugees standing on top of a London Bus saying ‘Scrap the cruel Rwanda Plan’. Credit: Christopher Gunson, Together with Refugees

The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.