Calendar of Racism and Resistance ( 11 – 24 September 2020)

Calendar of Racism and Resistance ( 11 – 24 September 2020)


Written by: IRR News Team


Borders and border vigilantism

8 September: A Facebook group of border vigilantes named “Doček Migranata” (Bosnian for ‘Welcoming migrants’) now has 6,000 members committed to hunting down migrants in the border region with Croatia. (Bento, 8 September 2020)

12 September: Wolverhampton wedding disc jockey Jeremy Davis is behind a vigilante group that carries out covert patrols in the Channel. He claims that his ‘Little Boats’ group is made up of twenty people, including former soldiers and boat owners. (Daily Mirror, 12 September 2020)

16 September:  UNHCR accuses Cyprus of engaging in offshore pushbacks, noting that in recent weeks at least six overcrowded vessels, departing from Lebanon, have been prevented by Cyprus Port and Maritime police from docking or disembarking passengers, with coronavirus regulations cited. An agreement reached with Lebanon for returns is not transparent, critics say. (Deutsche Welle, September 2020)

16 September: The body of a 40-year-old Pakistani man is found in the Bosnian town of Trzac, near the border with Croatia, covered with a blanket and on a makeshift stretcher beside a road. The cause of death is not yet known. (Sarajevo Times, 16 September 2020)

16 September: 38 people are rescued from a refrigerated lorry stopped south of Vienna. Some had lost consciousness as there was no ventilation in the lorry. (Der Standard, 16 September 2020)

16 September: 11 people hidden in the back of a van are injured during a road accident near Agnantia in Greece, in a stretch of road often used by traffickers transporting people to the border region. (Ekathimerini, 16 September 2020)

17 September: The Guardian reports that the government has awarded a contract to deliver a post-Brexit ‘border flow tool’ to US data analytics firm Palantir, notorious for its work in immigration enforcement in the US. The company will have access to HMRC and Home Office data in addition to data on goods and transport. (Guardian, 17 September 2020)

18 September: After ten days on board NGO rescue ship Proactiva Open Arms waiting for authorisation to land, 124 of the 273 rescued refugees jump into the sea off the coast of Palermo, Sicily. They are rescued by the Italian coastguard and brought to the port, and the ship is allowed to land. (Guardian, 18 September 2020)

Open Arms Photo source: Wikimedia commons. Author: Gregor Rom

18 September: A farmer in Evros, on the Greek-Turkish border, who held two refugee families at gunpoint two days ago in a vigilante operation, appears in court, supported by local people. He is convicted of assault, though not racial aggravation, and is sentenced to 26 months imprisonment. (Are You Syrious, 18 September 2020)

20 September: Italian authorities impound the German migrant rescue vessel Sea-Watch 4 in the Sicilian port of Palermo, claiming that saving people was not in accordance with the ship’s registration. This is the fifth time the ship has been impounded. (Deutsche Welle, 20 September 2020)

Reception and detention

16 September: The day after a blaze ignites in a wooded area outside the Vathi camp, which houses 4,600 people in a space designed for 648, on the Greek island of Samos,, 13 migrants are arrested. Ten are released, but 3 remain in detention. (Ekathimerini, 15 September, InfoMigrants, 16 September 2020)

19 September: Organisations working in Calais take a case to the administrative court in Lille to challenge the Calais-wide prefectorial decree prohibiting the distribution of food to displaced people. (Tellerreport, 19 September 2020)

20 September: Five days after local Tenby residents protested at Home Office plans to house 250 asylum seekers at the Penally Training Camp, a former military base in Pembrokeshire, while their claims are processed, 100 campaigners from Stand Up to Racism West Wales hold a peaceful protest outside, saying asylum seekers are welcome in Wales and should be housed safely, and the camp is ‘completely inappropriate for people who have fled terror and suffering’. (BBC News, 20 September 2020)

21 September: As former military barracks outside Folkestone, which have stood empty for years, are made ready for up to 400 Channel-crossing asylum seekers, refugee charities fear they will be targeted by the far Right. Kent Refugee Action Network says the government must ‘ensure that these people are safe and not harassed’ and ‘stomp down on this unacceptable behaviour from the far right.’ (Guardian, 15 September, Guardian, 21 September 2020)

21 September: Glasgow MPs call for a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into the deaths of three asylum seekers, Mercy Baguma, Adnan Walid Elbi and Badreddin Abedlla Adam, who all died in Glasgow in the care of the UK asylum system. Although the deaths are separate, the MPs want common ‘broader social and situational factors’ to be explored. (BBC News, 21 September 2020)

21 September: Following another fire in the Vathi camp in Samos last night, believed to have been started accidentally, which destroyed three containers housing unaccompanied minors, three minors are arrested. (Ekathimerini, 21 September 2020) 

Reception and detention – Moria

10 September: As thousands of refugees sleep on streets and in fields in the aftermath of the Moria fire, and Greek authorities race to locate those who had tested positive for Covid-19, the European home affairs commissioner admits that the EU’s failure to reach a common asylum policy helped create the ‘unacceptable’ conditions in the camp. (Guardian, 11 September, Guardian, 10 September, Guardian, 10 September 2020)

Outskirts of Moria Camp Photo source: Wikimedia Commons. Author: Cathsign

11 September: Mayors of ten German towns write an open letter to the government pledging to take people left destitute after the fire at Moria camp. (The Local, 11 September 2020)

11 September: As Germany and France agree to take lone children made homeless by the Moria fire, the UK government fails to respond to urgent calls to offer support to the children. Charity Safe Passage says there are children stuck on Lesvos despite being approved for transfer to join close family in the UK. (Guardian, 11 September 2020)

12 September: Riot police fire tear gas at refugees in the port town of Mytilene, Lesvos as, made homeless by the Moria fire, they stage protests demanding freedom. (Guardian, 12 September 2020)

13 September: As a temporary 3,000-capacity tent camp for migrants is opened at Kara Tepe, near Mytilene, many made destitute after the Moria fire refuse to enter, demanding asylum to other EU countries or better living conditions. (Deutsche Welle13 September 2020)

15 September: As 400 lone children are evacuated to the Greek mainland for dispersal across Europe and the German government agrees to take 1,500 refugees from Moria, the Greek government says all the refugees currently on Lesvos will leave by Easter. Nearly three-quarters are Afghans who are to be given refugee status, allowing them to travel freely across the EU, according to the civil protection minister. (Guardian, 15 September 2020)

15 September:  Mapping Media Freedom says police prohibited journalists and photographers from documenting the aftermath of the Moria fire. Police say stopping the press entering Moria and Mytilene were necessary because of an unspecified ‘military operation’ as well as citing coronavirus restrictions. (Morning Star, 15 September 2020)

17 September: In a statement designed to persuade destitute refugees to move into the Kara Tepe camp, the Greek authorities say NGOs ‘do not want your good’, until pressure forces them to remove the sentence. At the same time the authorities ban the distribution of food and water to those on the streets, under threat of fines. (Are You Syrious, 17 September 2020)

17 September: Four Afghan migrants are charged with arson and membership of a criminal organisation in connection with the Moria fire, and two more suspects, both minors evacuated from the island, are to be returned and brought before a magistrate. (Ekathimerini, 17 September 2020)

19 September: The day after a police operation forcibly moves Moria refugees into the temporary tent camp in a former firing range overlooking the sea, the Greek government says 214 of the 9,000 people moved into the temporary camp have tested positive for coronavirus. Refugees say the camp is uninhabitable, and aid workers, barred from entering, warn that its proximity to the sea leaves refugees vulnerable to icy conditions. (Guardian, 17 September, Ekathimerini, 19 September, Al Jazeera, 18 September 2020)

22  September: Labour peer and former child refugee Alf Dubs, who masterminded a change in the law forcing the government to give sanctuary to child asylum seekers, calls on the government to follow the lead of other European nations and take in asylum seekers left without shelter by the Moria fire, saying the UK’s inaction is an ‘absolute disgrace’. (Guardian, 22 September 2020)

Enforcement and deportation

13 September: The Sunday Telegraph reports that the government is planning to opt out of parts of the European Convention on Human Rights, to make deportation of migrants and asylum seekers easier. (Guardian, 13 September 2020)

18 September: The public accounts committee accuses the Home Office immigration enforcement department of basing policy on anecdote, assumption and prejudice, with no idea what the £400 million spent on enforcement achieves. It warns that the internal culture that created the hostile environment and the Windrush scandal still remains. (Guardian, 18 September 2020)

19 September: Thousands of refused asylum seekers, housed in hotels during the pandemic, are to be served with 21 days’ notice of eviction and made to leave the UK, according to a Home Office seen by the Independent. (Guardian, 19 September 2020)


15 September: The daughter of Rwandan political dissident Paul Rusesabagina, now a citizen of Belgium, questions the worth of Belgian citizenship as she says the Belgian state has done virtually nothing after Rusesabagina was allegedly forcibly taken from Dubai to the Rwandan capital Kigali, where he faces terrorism-related charges. (Guardian, 15 September 2020)

16 September: The Foreign Office repatriates the first British ‘ISIS orphan’ since last November. With the Home Office arguing that ‘returnees, even children, are a security risk’, an estimated 60 children remain in camps in Syria with their mothers, whom Britain refuses to repatriate. (Guardian, 16 September 2020)

War and forced migration

9 September: The Costs of War Project at Brown University estimates that conflicts with US military involvement have displaced at least 37 million people since the beginning of the ‘war on terror’ nearly two decades ago. (Guardian, 9 September 2020)


For more information on policing and civil liberties issues follow @NETPOL

12 September
: The Monitoring Group, The 4Front Project and Black Lives Matter are among organisations coming together at a protest at New Scotland Yard to demand that Metropolitan police commissioner Cressida Dick resigns for her failure to acknowledge and tackle institutional racism within the force. (Guardian, 12 September 2020)

Marcia Rigg Photo credit: Liam Shrivastava

14 September: Ministers propose to increase stop-and-search powers in England and Wales by allowing police to repeatedly check those previously convicted of carrying a knife, without any requirement for suspicion that they are committing a new offence. (Guardian, 14 September 2020)

16 September: A government White Paper on sentencing, published days after a parliamentary committee says prisons will be full by 2023, proposes tougher sentences including whole-life sentences for teenagers who kill, as well as more GPS tracking of offenders after release.(Independent, 16 September 2020)

15 September: A Kent police misconduct panel gives DC Matthew Wadhams a written warning for gross misconduct, saying he ‘inadvertently’ forwarded a racist meme of an unnamed famous figure to the England police national rugby team WhatsApp group. The panel warns officers about social media use. (BBC News, 15 September 2020)

16 September: Ten police officers accused of distributing racist, antisemitic and sexist WhatsApp messages lose a battle to prevent Police Scotland taking disciplinary action against them. (Guardian, 16 September 2020)

16 September: Following police raids, 29 German police officers, most based in Essen, North-Rhine Westphalia, are suspended pending investigation of suspected involvement in a far-right online chat group which shared images of Hitler and a doctored image of a refugee in a gas chamber. (Deutsche Welle, 16 September, Al Jazeera, 16 September 2020)

16 September: A Belgian parliamentary inquiry into the 2018 death at Charleroi airport of Slovakian Jozef Chovanec takes evidence after footage emerges showing one arresting officer performing a Nazi salute as others laugh, and another kneeling for several minutes on top of Chovanec. A leading federal police officer resigns as the European parliament and the Slovakian government, among others, criticise an alleged cover-up. (Brussels Times, 15, 16 September 2020)

18 September: At the inquest into the death of Kevin Clarke after police restraint in March 2018, a Black Metropolitan police officer says ‘no-one questioned’ the double handcuffing of a mentally ill man, whose breathing, the officer admits, ‘might have been compromised’ by the police hold. (BBC, 18 September 2020)

18 September: As Avon and Somerset police complete their investigation into the toppling of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in June, five people are offered a caution on condition that they explain their reasons to a history commission and pay a fine to a charity supporting BME people in Bristol, while a file on four others has been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service for a decision on charging them. (Guardian, 18 September 2020)

Edward Colston – Empty Pedestal Photo source: Wikimedia Commons. Author: Caitlin Hobbs

18 September: Several Social Democrat-led regional governments in Germany say they will launch independent research into racism in the police and consider disciplinary and legal options, if the federal government persists in its refusal to initiate a nationwide study. (Deutsche Welle, 18 September 2020)

19 September: A mural of Kevin Clarke is unveiled opposite a South London police station. (Huffington Post, 19 September 2020)

19 September: Under an emergency package of coronavirus restrictions announced by the prime minister, police will have increased powers to find people breaching quarantine and fines of up to £10,000 can be imposed for repeat offences. (Observer, 19 September 2020)

21 September: Many thousands of people, disproportionately young men from BME communities, are being fined for breaching coronavirus lockdown rules that are ‘unclear and ambiguous’, warns the parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, finding it ‘unacceptable’ particularly as police do not fully understand their powers. (Sky News, 21 September 2020)

21 September: Two days before the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill receives its second reading in the Commons, Tory former defence secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind says its presumption against prosecution for war crimes including torture after five years risks undermining the rule of law and the UK’s reputation. (Guardian, 21 September 2020)

22 September: In its report on Erlestoke prison, Wiltshire, HM Inspector of Prisons finds a ‘troubling picture’ of a decline in purposeful activity, rising violence and self-harm by prisoners locked in poor-quality cells for most of each day for the past five months, an increased use of force by staff to get them back into cells and degrading treatment in segregation units. (Justice Inspectorate, 22 September 2020)



9 September: The European Roma Rights Centre publishes ‘Roma Rights in the Time of Covid’, a summary of major rights violations, including racist policing, evictions and scapegoating by the far Right, which occurred in 12 European countries in the months from February – June 2020, when most of Europe was under emergency measures. Download the report here. (ERRC press release, 9 September 2020)

17 September: The European parliament adopts a resolution calling on the European Commission to tackle discrimination against Roma, citing in particular inclusive education, early childhood development, an end to segregation, access to affordable healthcare and compensation to the survivors of forced and coercive sterilisation. (EU Political Report, 17 September 2020)

18 September: The European Commission launches a new EU action plan to combat racism, appointing an anti-racism coordinator to strengthen EU anti-discrimination legislation and ensure its implementation by member states. (EU Reporter, 18 September 2020)

22 September: After boxer Tyson Fury shares recent footage from outside the Hurley Flyer pub in Morecambe, in which a doorman refuses entry to two Traveller men, saying ‘the brewery has been instructed by the local authority not to admit Travellers,’ Lancaster city council refutes the allegation of a blanket ban, saying it would be ‘unlawful and unacceptable’. (Lancashire Evening Post22 September 2020)



8 September: The deputy leader of the far-right Hungarian electoral party Jobbik calls a press conference to demand harsher punishment for paedophiles and sex offenders and the introduction of chemical castration, optional for first-time offenders and mandatory for recidivists. (Hungary Today, 8 September  2020)

15 September: Conservative MP Robert Halfon criticises Labour-run Harlow Council for failing to renew an injunction banning unauthorised camps, after travellers in caravans moved into the town. The Gypsy Council points out that its members would happily pay to use stopping places, but they are not provided. (BBC News, 15 September 2020)

18 September: 22 prominent Palestinians write an open letter to the Labour party, expressing concern that it is silencing Palestinian voices by condoning the ‘delegitimisation’ of criticisms of Israel and political Zionism. Read the letter here. (, 18 September 2020)

Palestinian Flag Photo source: Flickr. Photo credit: it is elsa

14 September: A prospective Liberal Democrat candidate for London mayor is suspended after footage from the 1997 election campaign emerges of her urging voters not to vote for Labour’s Jack Straw because he is Jewish. (Guardian, 14 September 2020)

21 September: In elections in seven regions of Italy, Brothers of Italy, descendant of a post-fascist party, gains its second regional seat, in the Marche region. The League fails to gain control of Tuscany, as was predicted, though it gains the small Aosta Valley region, and retains Veneto (with 75.9 percent of the vote) and Liguria, giving it control of nine of Italy’s twenty regions. (Guardian21 September 2020, BBC News, 22 September 2020)


11 September: A former suspected member of the extreme-right terrorist group Nucleos Armado Revolucionario (NAR), which in 1980 detonated a bomb at Bologna railway station, is arrested in Spain after being on the run for eight years. (Olive Press, 11 September 2020)

17 September: Local Tenby residents, 200 of whom protested against a proposed new asylum holding camp outside Tenby, west Wales, complain that their protest has been hijacked by the far Right and delete their Facebook page, ‘Penally Camp Protest’, after Tommy Robinson posts against the camp on social media and a group of fascists travel to the area to exploit the issue. After the residents delete their page, a ‘private group; sets up its own Facebook page, ‘Penally against Illegal Migrant camp’, calling for ‘No Far left Marxist rubbish’. (Western Telegraph, 17 September 2020)

22 September: Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford says ‘hard-right extremists’ were bussed in from around Britain the day after police clashed with protesters attempting to block the entrance to Penally Training Camp repurposed military base. Police remain at the camp. (Tenby Observer, 21 September, BBC News, 22 September 2020)

22 September: Finland’s Supreme Court upholds a ban on the neo-nazi Nordic Resistance Movement. (News Now, 22 September 2020)



16 September: Leeds Gate launches Don’t Be Beat, a report on its project on mental health and suicide in the Gypsy and Traveller community which aimed at increasing support networks in the West Yorkshire area. Download the report here. (Leeds GATE, 16 September 2020)

Don’t be Beat Report

21 September: An annual audit published by the Food Foundation thinktank predicts that if the diets of the UK’s poorest do not improve, more than 50 percent of children born in the UK this year will experience obesity by the time they are 65. (Guardian, 21 September 2020)

20 September: Chaand Nagpaul, the head of the British Medical Association, warns that if the government does not act immediately it will be responsible for a disproportionate number of deaths in BME communities, as it has taken no remedial action since the Public Health England review demonstrated the additional risks in early June. (Guardian, 20 September 2020)

21 September: Bereaved families of Covid-19 victims call for an inquiry into the NHS 111 service, saying many critically ill people were given inadequate advice. Among their complaints is that call handlers worked to scripts inappropriate for BME sufferers. (Guardian, 21 September 2020)

22 September: Health experts say local lockdowns in Greater Manchester, Leicester, Blackburn and other towns where the virus is strong are failing to stop its spread, as the £10 billion test and trace programme fails to reach about half the close contacts of infected people in the worst-hit areas. (Guardian, 22 September 2020)

22 September: Demonstrators protesting in some of the poorest parts of Madrid and the surrounding areas describe as stigmatising, territorially discriminatory and racist the decision to inflict a partial lockdown on their 37 neighbourhoods. The accuse the Madrid region president of ‘spreading fear and hatred’ for blaming the ‘way of life of immigrants in Madrid’ for a rise in infections. (Guardian, 21 September 2020)


10 September: The Trades Union Congress warns the government that four in ten workers cannot afford to live on statutory sick pay if told to self-isolate and will continue working, contributing to the failure of the test-and-trace system for suppressing Covid-19, if the level of sick pay is not increased. (Labour List, 10 September 2020)

15 September: In a victory for domiciliary care workers, the employment tribunal rules that travelling and waiting between appointments must be considered working time. Ten care workers, mostly black or minority ethnic women, are awarded an average of £10,000 each after the employment tribunal rules they were unlawfully paid less than half the minimum wage by companies commissioned by Haringey Council to look after elderly and disabled people in their homes. (Homecare, 15 September 2020)

18 September: Labour’s deputy leader and former care worker Angela Rayner reveals that half of all care workers are paid below the real living wage, set at £9.30 per hour (£10.75 in London), with the average care wage £8.10 an hour, as she calls on the prime minister to ensure all receive at least the real living wage. (Guardian, 18 September 2020)

19 September: The government announces that low-paid workers in receipt of benefits who are forced to self-isolate for two weeks but cannot work from home will be paid £500 for lost earnings, following months of urging by trades unions, public health officials and regional leaders. (Observer, 19 September 2020)

20 September: Migrant workers in Almeria, Spain, picking food for British supermarkets and living in squalid shanty towns reveal systematic labour exploitation and neglect of their health and safety in an Observer investigation. (Observer, 20 September 2020)

22 September: A review by Newcastle Hospitals Foundation Trust finds BME staff are subjected to systematic racial bullying, are less likely to reach top jobs and experience high rates of discrimination by managers. (PSI Hub, 22 September 2020)



14 September: The Grenfell Tower inquiry hears that some emails, documents and design drawings regarding the Grenfell Tower refurbishment appear to have been lost forever after being wiped from a laptop. (ITV, 14 September 2020)

16 September:  London mayor Sadiq Khan tells the government that rents should be frozen in London to prevent a wave of evictions caused by Covid-19 as the freeze on evictions comes to an end. Housing charities call for its extension or for it to be made permanent. (Guardian, 16 September, Guardian, 18 September, Observer, 20 September 2020)

16 September: More than three years after the Grenfell Tower fire that killed seventy-two people, tens of thousands of high-rise residents remain trapped in unsafe and unsellable homes clad in the same combustible material, because of the government’s failure to deliver on promises to fix them, the cross-party public accounts committee says. (Guardian, 16 September 2020)

21 September: The Grenfell inquiry hears that the tower may have been used as a ‘guinea pig’ for new insulation boards, in exchange for contractors getting the insulation at half-price, and that the project manager, the contractor’s son, had no training or qualifications in fire safety, building regulations or industry codes of practice for cladding installations and did not check that the cladding complied with fire or building regulations. (Guardian, 21 September 2020)

Grenfell Tower Photo source: Flickr. Photo credit: Jin Motohashi


14 September: The Trussell Trust predicts that at least 670,000 more people will become destitute in the last three months of the year – a level of poverty leaving them unable to meet basic food, shelter or clothing needs – if the government withdraws Covid support for low-income households. (Guardian, 14 September 2020)

15 September: The social mobility commission, a government advisory body, warns that disadvantaged families in areas of ‘low social mobility’ in England could face generations of inequality. (Guardian, 15 September 2020)



9 September: Pimlico Academy sixth form students say that the school’s new uniform policy which instructs students to come to school in ‘formal business suits’ is racist as its stipulation that hairstyles that ‘block the views of others’ will not be allowed, penalises students with Afro hairstyles. (My London, 9 September 2020)

15 September: More than one in nine state school pupils was absent last week as schools across England reopened, according to Department for Education figures. (Guardian, 15 September 2020).

16 September: The National Audit Office says years of further education funding cuts have cost the Department for Education over £700m in emergency funding to prevent mass closure of FE colleges. (Guardian, 16 September 2020)

18 September: According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, state schools in England have suffered their worst decrease in funding since the 1980s, with secondary schools in the most disadvantaged areas the worst affected. (Guardian, 18 September 2020)

18 September: The mayor of London’s £2.3 million scheme to provide extra support for children who missed out on education during the pandemic focusses on crime prevention, with Violence Reduction Units providing one-to-one mentoring at Pupil Referral Units in all 32 London boroughs, £1.4 million to fund children to stay at school to avoid exploitation by criminal gangs, and money for community groups in high crime areas to reach those at risk of school exclusion. (Evening Standard, 18 September 2020)

19 September: UK universities predict a record student dropout rate because of the loss through the pandemic of thousands of part-time jobs many students rely on to see them through. (Guardian, 19 September 2020)

22 September: According to a poll of 1,000 six to 15-year-olds commissioned by The Diana Award, nearly a third of children have heard racist comments at school. (Guardian, 22 September 2020)



11 September: Grime artist Kano puts a spotlight on deaths in custody in the UK in a new music video which debuts at the GRM Daily Rated Awards. (Inquest, 11 September 2020)

13 September: Oxford’s world-famous ethnological Pitt Rivers museum removes from display its collection of shrunken heads as part of a revamp to address its colonial past. (Guardian, 13 September 2020)

17 September: Ascomplaints to broadcasting regulator Ofcom about a Black Lives Matters-inspired routine for Britain’s Got Talent, by dance troupe Diversity, rises to 24,500, the regulator dismisses the complaints, saying the dance’s central message was ‘a call for social cohesion and unity’. (Guardian, 17 September 2020)

18 September: In response to speculation that she is to become the new presenter of the BBC’s popular panel game A Question of Sport, former England footballer Alex Scott receives racist abuse online. (Guardian, 18 September 2020)

Alex Scott Photo source: Wikimedia commons. Author: James Boyes

21 September: Social media platform Twitter apologises for a ‘racist’ image-cropping algorithm, after users discover the feature automatically focuses on white faces and crops black ones. (Guardian, 21 September 2020)

23 September: Following Black Lives Matter protests and the toppling of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston, Bristol’s Colston Hall venue is renamed The Bristol Beacon. (Guardian, 23 September 2020)



8 September: UK Sport, Sport England and the other Home Country Sports Councils agree to commission the ‘biggest ever’ study into diversity and institutional racism in British sport. (Telegraph, 8 September 2020)

8 September: South-African 800m runner Caster Semenya loses her legal battle in the Swiss courts against her exclusion from professional athletics due to her high testosterone levels. The rules are deemed racist by many for holding the testosterone levels of black athletes to white standards. (Guardian, 8 September 2020)

Caster Semenya Photo source: Flickr. Photo credit: Jon Connell

10 September: It is announced that Premier League footballers will wear ‘No Room For Racism’ sleeve badges for the 2020-21 season and will support those who wish to take a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. (inews, 10 September 2020)

14 September: Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton risks an FIA investigation over breaking political impartiality rules, for wearing a t-shirt highlighting police brutality in America, reading ‘Arrest the cops that killed Breyonna Taylor’. (BBC News, 14 September 2020)

21 September: The only Black director of football in the English game, Les Ferdinand defends his club Queen’s Park Rangers’ decision not to take the knee before their game against Coventry on 18 September, saying the gesture is ‘little more than good PR’, adding, ‘taking the knee will not bring about change in the game – actions will.’ (Guardian, 21 September 2020)


9 September: Two boys, aged 14 and 15, are charged after a video showing a teenager racially abusing a black girl in an Edinburgh classroom is circulated among pupils and parents. (The Scotsman, 9 September 2020)

11 September: A 24-year-old woman is followed, racially abused for wearing a headscarf and physically assaulted in Hampstead. (Ham & High, 15 September 2020)

12 September: Hundreds of people, including Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte, attend the funeral of trainee chef Willy Monteiro Duarte, brutally beaten to death on 6 September after coming to the aid of a school friend in the town of Colleferro, near Rome. Four suspects are arrested. Police are investigating whether there was a racial element to the killing. (Al Jazeera, 12 September, Wanted In Rome, 12 September 2020)

Willy Monteiro Duarte

13 September: A video showing London mayor Sadiq Khan being aggressively heckled, chased and racially abused during a protest by London cab drivers on 10 September, attracts condemnation. (Guardian, 13 September 2020)

14 September: Ashley Banjo states he has received racial abuse and threats since his Black Lives Matter-inspired dance routine was broadcast on Britain’s Got Talent on 5 September. (This is Local London, 14 September 2020)

16 September: A 20-year-old is convicted of racially aggravated crime, fined £600 with £620 costs, and banned from a Wetherspoons pub after ordering a banana in the pub and having it sent to the table of a black customer, who was ‘highly humiliated’ by the incident. (Mirror, 16 September 2020)

17 September: Bridport’s mayor says his town is ‘better than this’ after a group were racially attacked and spat at in the town centre on 11 September, and separately, a man was physically assaulted, and another had homophobic abuse shouted at him. Dorset police have arrested a 38- year old man in connection to the racist attack, and are further investigating the other incidents. (Bridport News, 17 September 2020)

18 September: Dundonians condemn antisemitism in the city after graffiti saying ‘burn the Jews’ appear overnight in the Lochee area of Dundee. Police Scotland is investigating the incident. (Evening Telegraph, 18 September 2020)

19 September: The annual report on Islamophobia of the Belgian Collectif contre l’islamaphobie en Belgique (CCIB) shows that over 90 percent of acts of Islamophobia, including hate crimes and discrimination, were against Muslim women. (Brussels Times, 19 September 2020)

20 September: Police called to a pub in Nottingham arrest a 45-year-old man threatening people with a broken bottle and shouting racist words after he was refused service, on suspicion of racially aggravated threatening behaviour and affray. (Nottingham Post, 21 September 2020)

The calendar was compiled with the help of Aisha Rana-Deshmukh, Laura Wormington, Graeme Atkinson, Joseph Maggs, Kaiisha Kukendra, Sarah Ross and Neal Tank.

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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