Calendar of racism and resistance (12-26 February 2020)


Calendar of racism and resistance (12-26 February 2020)

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

ASYLUM AND MIGRATION

Asylum and migration rights

11 February: Italy’s senate lifts League leader Matteo Salvini’s immunity from prosecution, ensuring he will face trial on charges of false imprisonment arising from the standoff last year when he prevented the disembarkation of 131 migrants from the Gregoretti coastguard ship in Sicily. (Guardian, 14 February 2020)

12 February: Germany’s federal government says it will not recognise asylum claims of people fleeing the negative effects of climate change, arguing that they do not meet the requirements for recognition as refugees under the Geneva convention. (EuroNews, 13 February 2020)

17 February: The Guardian reports on a 95-year-old Italian man, in the UK for 68 years and in receipt of the state pension for 32 years, who has been asked to prove he is resident in the country by the Home Office in order to remain after Brexit. (Guardian, 17 February 2020)

18 February: The three Dutch municipalities of Maasdriel, Deurne, and Zaltbommel draw up integration policies that establish a maximum number of migrant workers who can live in a town or city, with six other municipalities considering the same approach. (NL Times, 18 February 2020)

19 February: Unions and business leaders react with dismay as the government publishes its new points-based immigration policy, which gives no entry rights to unskilled workers, those not speaking English or (with exceptions) those earning under £25,600, while charities warn the policy will create more slavery and trafficking for unskilled migrants. (Guardian, 18, 21 February 2020)

Hunger strike in Sweden

19 February: Iranian asylum seekers start a hunger strike in Gothenburg, Sweden, demanding fair treatment, saying that they have been waiting for years for a decision on their applications and that the state discriminates against Iranian applicants. (Iran Wire, 19 February 2020)

25 February: Academics warn that the Home Office’ aggressive application of immigration rules will put off overseas researchers, after revelations that academics and researchers are being refused settled status for absences from the UK when they perform fieldwork abroad for their research. (Guardian, 25 February 2020)

Reception and detention
Global Detention report

13 February: Global Detention Centre publishes a report on Austria revealing that immigration detention has risen threefold since 2015, even though the number of new arrivals has plummeted since 2016. Read the report here. (ECRE Weekly Bulletin, 14 February 2020)

13 February: Rahman Mahafuzer, a Bangladeshi national who has lived in the UK since May 2019, accuses UK immigration officials of subjecting him and his six-year-old son, Abdullahil, to inhuman and degrading treatment. Both were detained for hours in a Heathrow holding facility after a flight from Bangladesh, during which time the child was vomiting and denied a doctor by the officials. (Guardian, 13 February 2020)

14 February: Figures obtained by the group After Exploitation suggest that more than 1,200 potential victims of slavery and trafficking were held in UK detention centres last year, prompting warnings from charities that vulnerable people are still being locked up. (Care Appointments, 14 February 2020)

18 February: Inmates at the Amygdaleza detention centre in Greece set fire to their mattresses in protest at conditions in the centre. (Are You Syrious, 18 February 2020)

19 February: Two days after the Greek government puts on hold plans to appropriate land for new closed facilities to detain up to 20,000 migrants on the islands of Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Leros and Kos in the face of strong local opposition including the dumping of thousands of rotting life jackets and rubber dinghies on the Lesvos site by west Lesvos municipal trucks, alternate immigration minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos says it will proceed with the plans. (keeptalkinggreece, 15 February, Guardian,  17 February, Ekathimerini, 19 February 2020)

© Lily Fox
Walls of Yarl’s wood © Lily Fox

20 February: Security company Serco, which runs the notorious Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre, in which allegations of abuse are common, as well as Australian facilities on Christmas Island, is awarded an eight-year, £200 million contract to run Brook House and Tinsley House removal centres, near Gatwick airport. (Guardian, 20 February 2020)

20 February: It is reported that at least 25 pregnant asylum seekers, originally from African countries, have disappeared from Dutch reception centres, and the professional association of midwives has been asked to look for signs of trafficking. (Are You Syrious, 20 February 2020)

22 February: The Finnish government announces that it will take 175 asylum seekers from camps in Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta so as to ‘alleviate the humanitarian situation’, focussing on vulnerable asylum seekers such as children and single parent families from countries such as Syria and Afghanistan. (Ekathimerini, 22 February 2020)

24 February: Protesters against the proposed migrant detention centres on the Greek islands, including local politicians and priests, block roads and clash with security forces, who use tear gas and stun guns to disperse them, as unions go on solidarity strikes and migrant rights supporters plan solidarity rallies. (Ekathimerini, 24 February, Guardian, 25 February 2020)

Borders and internal controls

21 February: A fence that Croatian authorities say is designed to ‘curb illegal migration’ is erected in the small village of Ličko Petrovo Selo, close to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Are You Syrious, 21 February 2020)

Deportations

12 February:  A freedom of information request by No Deportations reveals that the Home Office spent an average of almost £12,000 per person for the 37 people deported on charter flights, along with 172 escorts, in the last quarter of 2019. (Guardian, 12 February 2020)

14 February: Up to seven of those deported to Jamaica from the UK on 11 February have gone into hiding in fear for their safety after having received threats from gangs, the Guardian reports. Toufique Hossain of Duncan Lewis solicitors, who issued judicial review proceedings to try to halt Tuesday’s charter flight, says legal action to return the deportees is continuing. (Guardian, 14 February 2020)

Windrush

21 February: The Times reports that the delayed independent report on the Windrush scandal by inspector of constabulary Wendy Williams is being watered down by officials, with the removal of a description of the Home Office as ‘institutionally racist’ and the deletion of a recommendation that offenders in the UK since childhood should not be deported. (Times (£), Guardian, 21 February 2020)

ELECTORAL POLITICS

14 February: Photographs emerge of Dehenna Davison, the newly-elected Conservative MP for Bishop Auckland, alongside two far-right extremists at a Brexit celebration, one of whom, Andrew Foster, is described by Hope Not Hate as a ‘Muslim-hating extremist of the very worst kind’. She says it was a public event and she does not condone the views of either man. (Guardian, 14 February 2020)

17 February: As Andrew Sabisky resigns after widespread criticism of his appointment as a government advisor to the PM’s senior aide Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s spokesperson refuses to answer more than 30 questions from reporters on whether the PM believes in eugenics or that black people have lower IQs. Sabisky has said that black people in America have lower IQs and more likely to have an ‘intellectual disability’, and that ‘enforced contraception’ is needed to avoid the creation of a ‘permanent underclass’. (Guardian, 17 February 2020 (two stories)

23 February: Four days after the racist murders in Hanau (see below), the far-right Alternative for Germany loses ground, scoring 5.2 per cent of the vote in state elections in Hamburg. The Christian Democrats are pushed into third place in a vote widely interpreted as punishment for its open flirting with the AfD. (Guardian, 23 February 2020)

24 February: Labour’s shadow policing minister Louise Haigh calls for a radical change in the law to allow positive discrimination in favour of ethnic minority recruits across police forces. Her comments mark the 21st anniversary of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry report which found the Metropolitan Police to be ‘institutionally racist’. (Guardian, 24 February 2020)

25 February: As the far-right Law and Justice party in Poland increases its rhetoric against LGBT communities, it emerges that around 100 local authorities have adopted anti-homosexual  resolutions creating a hostile environment for the LGBT community. (Balkan Insight,  25 February 2020)

ANTI-FASCISM AND THE FAR RIGHT

14 February: Police raids in 13 locations in six German states lead to the arrests of 12 men, including a police officer, suspected of involvement in a far-right group that allegedly planned attacks on asylum seekers, politicians and Muslims, with the aim of provoking ‘a civil-war type situation’. Arms are seized, including a self-made ‘slam gun’ similar to the one used in the Halle synagogue attack. (Guardian, 14 February 2020)

15 February: An estimated 18,000 people demonstrate in Erfurt, Thuringia, against political parties making deals with the far-right Alternative for Germany, which recently received a €7 million bequest. (Deutsche Welle, Deutsche Welle, 15 February 2020)

17 February: German Muslims call for more police protection after ongoing investigations into 12 detained far-right activists (see above) reveal a ‘shocking’ plan to carry out simultaneous large-scale attacks on mosques, similar to the New Zealand massacre and aimed at creating mass casualties. (Guardian, 17 February 2020)

17 February: Philip Manshaus, who killed his Asian-origin stepsister and then opened fire in a mosque in an Oslo suburb on 10 August 2019, is charged with murder and terrorism and is to stand trial on 7 May. (The Local, 17 February 2020)

21 February: The district prosecutor in Wrocław, western Poland, brings charges of hate crime and Holocaust denial against former priest Jarek Miedlar, who has made repeated anti-Semitic comments, sometimes at nationalist demonstrations. (JNS Syndicate, 21 February 2020)

21 February: Paul Golding, the leader of Britain First, is charged with refusing to comply with a duty under the Terrorism Act in relation to his failure to hand over his phone to police following a trip to the Russian parliament. (BBC News, 21 February 2020)

22 February: The Observer reports that some people expelled from or refused membership of the Labour party for antisemitism have formed an organisation called Keep Talking that has attended meetings addressed by Holocaust deniers.  (Observer, 22 February 2020)

22 February: In the wake of the Hanau massacre (see below), the Bulgarian government bans an annual rally in Sofia attended by neo-Nazis from across Europe. (Al Jazeera, 22 February 2020)

24 February: The neo-Nazi group Sonnenkrieg Division (SKD) is to be banned, with membership punishable by up to ten years in prison, and the group System Resistance Network is recognised as an alias of the already banned neo-Nazi National Action group, the home secretary announces. (Guardian, 24 February 2020)

24 February: In the UK, the home secretary proscribes the far-Right Sonnenkrieg Division (SKD) as a terrorist organisation and issues a further order recognising System Resistance Network as an alias for the already proscribed National Action. (Guardian, 24 February 2020)

Hanau far-right mass shooting

19 February: In the west German town of Hanau, nine people, five of whom were Kurdish and all from an ‘immigrant background’ are shot dead in two shisha bars by a far-right gunman who then goes home and kills his mother before shooting himself dead. In a 24-page online manifesto, uploaded onto his personal website, Tobias Rathjen called for the ‘complete annihilation’ of people from the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The murders are being treated as racially motivated and an act of domestic terrorism. (Guardian, 20 February 2020)

© Protestfotografie.Frankfurt

21 February: Tens of thousands of people participate in candle-lit vigils in up to fifty cities across Germany in memory of the victims of the Hanau attack. When some people interrupt a minute’s silence prior to a Frankfurt Eintracht Red-Bull Salzburg Europa league fixture, football fans chant in unison ‘Nazis Out’. (Guardian, 21 February, Give Me Sport, 21 February 2020)

21 February: The co-leader of the far-right AfD, Jörg Meuthen, says that the shootings were ‘neither right- nor left-wing terrorism’ but the actions of ‘a madman’. As politicians accuse the AfD of helping to fuel the hate that led to the shootings and call for the party to be kept under surveillance, the AfD describes the criticisms as a ‘shabby and disgusting instrumentalisation of the ‘monstrous crime’ of a man who was suffering from ‘paranoid hallucinatory schizophrenia’. (Guardian, 21 February 2020)

21 February: Interior minister Horst Seehofer announces that police protection around mosques and other vulnerable locations will be increased and that other measures will include psychological profiles on those who apply for weapon permits. Rathjen obtained his murder weapons easily, and had his permit renewed. (Guardian, 21 February 2020)

22 February: The government’s integration commissioner, Annette Widmann-Mauz, calls for more state action to combat Islamophobia. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where bomb threats have been made against mosques in Essen, Hagen, Bielefeld and Unna, announces more police patrols. The Central Council of Muslims in Germany condemns the ‘decades of inaction that have emboldened the far Right’ and says it is time that Muslims take their own ‘protective measures for themselves, their families, their places of worship and institutions’. (Deutsche Welle, 21 February 2020)

23 February: Over 6,000 people with banners reading ‘Fascism and racism kill everywhere’ join with families of the victims to remember their loved ones. (Euronews, 23 February 2020)

Photo: © Protestfotografie.Frankfurt

POLICING AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

12 February: The biometrics commissioner rebukes the Metropolitan police for falsely claiming that he supported its use of facial recognition CCTV in an equalities impact assessment published as the force makes its first operational use of the controversial technology. (Guardian, 12 February)

12 February: As the home secretary announces a formal inquiry (which will also act as an inquest) into the circumstances surrounding the shooting dead by a police officer of Jermaine Baker in Wood Green, London, in 2015, the family criticise the government for taking four years to announce the inquiry. (Guardian, 12 February 2020)

14 February: A young man in his 20s, Mehdi, suspected of robbing a Lidl store, is shot dead by police in the 14th arrondissement of Marseille. (Teller Report, 15 February 2020)

15 February: The Guardian reveals that community pressure as well as the scrutiny of the information commissioner has led to more than 370 young people being removed from the Metropolitan police’s Gang Matrix, which disproportionately targets young black men. (Guardian, 15 February 2020)

18 February: As part of president Macron’s bid to tackle what he calls ‘Islamist separatism’ he announces a series of community policing measures for France’s suburbs, which involve an increased police presence on the streets of underprivileged communities. (EuroNews, 18 February 2020)

20 February: A police misconduct hearing collapses against six Bedfordshire police officers involved in the arrest of Leon Briggs, who died after being restrained under the Mental Health Act in 2013. His family declare they have lost all faith in the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). (Morning Star, 20 February 2020)

24 February: A report by the Royal United Services Institute for the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation warns that national guidance is urgently needed to oversee police use of data analytics, AI and algorithms, to prevent errors and intrusion. Read the report here. (Guardian, 24 February 2020)

24 February: Metropolitan police commissioner Cressida Dick attacks critics of facial recognition technology, including Amnesty International, Liberty and Big Brother Watch, for ‘inaccurate and ill-informed’ arguments. (Guardian, 24 February 2020)

24 February: The family of 13-year-old Christopher Kapessa, who drowned in the River Cynon in the July 2019, accuse the CPS and South Wales police of institutional racism for not prosecuting a suspect over his death, after the CPS said there was no ‘public interest’ in bringing a manslaughter case despite ‘sufficient evidence’. (BBC News, 24 February 2020)

Prevent and counter-radicalisation

21 February: FOI requests obtained by Liberty reveal that teachers, doctors and other public-sector workers could unwittingly spark counter-terrorism inquiries into students and patients when they seek advice about the government’s controversial Prevent strategy, indicating that the strategy’s purpose is monitoring potential extremists rather than safeguarding vulnerable people from radicalisation. (Guardian, 21 February 2020)

DISCRIMINATION

17 February: A survey by ITV News finds that almost two-thirds of black, Asian and minority ethnic MPs have experienced some form of racism while working in parliament, with half saying they have faced it from fellow MPs. (Guardian, 17 February 2020)

18 February: Research by ParliREACH suggests that parliament is operating a form of apartheid against ethnic minority staff, who are asked to show security passes more often than their white counterparts and are excluded by a hierarchy of access to restaurants, lavatories and other parts of the parliamentary estate. (Guardian, 18 February 2020)

23 February: People gather in Budapest, Hungary to call for an independent judiciary and respect for Roma rights, as civil rights groups and Roma families demand compensation for the segregation of Roma children in eastern Hungary schools from the supreme court. (Brussels Times, 23 February 2020)

EMPLOYMENT AND EXPLOITATION

17 February: FOI requests by the GMB trade union reveal that over 600 Amazon workers have been seriously injured or narrowly escaped an accident in the past year and that safety at more than 50 UK warehouses has not improved and may be worsening. (Guardian, 17 February 2020)

21 February: A Bristol employment tribunal rules that Caroline Hobbs, the secretary of Avon Care Homes boss, Cristina Bila, was unfairly dismissed when she left her job over Bila’s  refusal to hire a black woman, Paulett Mills, as manager of one of the homes. Mills is also taking a discrimination case to the Tribunal over Bila’s refusal to employ her. (Bristol Post, 21 February 2020)

25 February: Cardiff magistrates order the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to pay £386,000 damages to a Nigerian-Welsh trainee at DWP’s Caerphilly branch for deliberately creating a ‘hostile environment’ of racist abuse and discrimination against her and then dismissing her. (Guardian, 25 February 2020)

EDUCATION

15 February: Freedom of information requests reveal that university students in several universities have had essays investigated by police and faced questioning by staff under Prevent, the government’s counter-radicalisation strategy. (Independent, 15 February 2020)

16 February: Sheffield Hallam University launches an investigation after black psychology lecturer Peter Olusoga finds a whiteboard rubber scrawled with the word ‘n****r’. (The Sheffield Tab, 16 February 2020)

17 February: A survey of university applicants commissioned by vice-chancellors shows that significant numbers of disadvantaged and BAME students are dissatisfied with the system, citing poor careers advice and the system of conditional offers before A level results are published. (Guardian, 17 February 2020)

17 February: A black student is grabbed and physically prevented by a porter from entering St Catherine’s College by a porter, who does not believe that he is a student at the university. (The Tab Cambridge, 21 February 2020)

HOUSING

(Credit: Daniel Renwick)
© Daniel Renwick

23 February: The second phase of the Grenfell inquiry is further delayed for the attorney general to consider corporate witnesses’ demands for guarantees that they will not be prosecuted on the basis of evidence they give, making it likely that its conclusions will not be published until late 2021 or 2022. (Guardian, 23 February 2020)

24 February: As a police investigation is launched after a body is found in the back of a bin lorry in south London, a waste industry report seen by the Guardian shows a surge in homelessness has led to rough sleepers sheltering in bins all year round and a rising number of deaths by crushing and near misses while containers are being emptied. (Guardian24 February 2020 (two stories))

HEALTH AND WELFARE

14 February: The British Medical Association claims that many BAME trainee doctors are experiencing a ‘climate of fear’ as medical schools fail to address widespread racism. Medical schools fail to record complaints and patients are refusing to be treated by BAME staff. (Guardian, 14 February 2020)

24 February: A landmark review by Sir Michael Marmot shows life expectancy has stalled for the first time in more than 100 years and even reversed for the most deprived women in society, indicating that health inequality is worse than it was a decade ago, in large part due to the impact of austerity. (Guardian, 24 February 2020)

MEDIA AND CULTURE

13 February: The Scandinavian airline SAS withdraws, then revises an advertisement drawing attention to the international roots of Scandinavian cuisine and culture, after a storm of outrage on social media by far-right and nationalist groups. (Guardian, 13 February 2020)

17 February: The BBC cuts ties with local radio commentator and former footballer Craig Ramage, whose comments about ‘young black lads’ needing ‘pulling down a peg or two’ provoked anger, with Derby’s Max Lowe saying ‘racial ignorance, stereotyping … creates an unnecessary divide in society’ and expressing disappointment that ‘a public service broadcaster did not step in’ to challenge the remarks. (Independent, 17 February 2020)

18 February: An annual data report published by Arts Council England shows that just 11 percent of staff in England’s national museums, galleries, theatres, orchestras and dance companies are non-white. All arts organisations are required to integrate diversity into programming in order to obtain Arts Council funding. (Guardian, 18 February 2020)

18 February: South Londoner rapper Dave uses his appearance at the 2020 Brit awards to accuse Boris Johnson of being a racist, and to call for support for the Windrush generation and those waiting for new housing at Grenfell. (Guardian, 18 February 2020)

21 February: BBC Question Time is criticised for allowing a member of the audience, allegedly a supporter of Tommy Robinson, to indulge in an anti-immigration rant and then widely tweeting film of her intervention with no contextualising comments. (Independent,  Indy.com, 22 February 2020)

23 February: The Mail on Sunday apologises to Qari Asim MBE who they wrongly accused in April 2019 of supporting the murder of a Glasgow shopkeeper on religious grounds and supporting the proposed hanging of a Christian woman in Pakistan.  (dailymail.co.uk, 23 February 2020)

25 February: A Spanish carnival parade in Campo de Criptana, Castilla-La Mancha is condemned by the Israeli government and the Auschwitz Museum, among others for featuring a dancing troupe dressed as Nazi officers and concentration camp prisoners, with a float bearing a menorah and gas chamber chimneys. (Guardian, 25 February 2020)

SPORT

11 February: Newport FC issues a lifetime ban on a supporter who was convicted of racist abuse after the club’s FA Cup match with Grimsby in November 2019. (BBC News, 11 February 2020)

13 February: Dublin’s Bohemian Football Club unveil their new away kit which carries the words ‘Refugees welcome’ instead of a sponsor. (iNews, 14 February 2020)

15 February: German footballer Leroy Kwadwo describes as ‘incredible’ the support shown by fans at the Preußen Munster stadium who stand up en masse and chant ‘Nazis out’ after Kwadwo is racially abused by a fan. (Metro, 17 February 2020)

15 February: In worldwide condemnation of racial abuse, including monkey chants, which forces FC Porto player Moussa Marega to walk off the pitch, his teammates are criticised for not walking off with him and the referee for giving him a yellow card instead of stopping the game. (Morning Star, 17 February 2020)

15 February: Atherstone Town Football Club manager, coach and secretary all quit over racist abuse from fans in three successive matches. (Coventry Telegraph, 17 February 2020)

22 February: A 24-year-old man from Barcelona is charged with racially aggravated abuse following Espanyol’s Europa League clash with Wolves on 20 February. (Sky Sports, 22 February 2020

23 February: Chelsea’s Antonio Rüdiger claims ‘racism won’ when Spurs fans boo him at Saturday’s Chelsea-Tottenham fixture after the Met police found no evidence to support his claim of monkey chants from Spurs fans at a match in December. (Tellmysport.com, 23 February 2020)

RACIAL VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT

11 February: In Lesvos, a member of Doctors Without Borders is attacked by a small group of residents while driving a car in Moria. (Are You Syrious, 11 February 2020)

16 February: Gangs of drunk teens shoplifting and hurling racist abuse are said to leave the people of Colwyn Bay, North Wales feeling ‘hopeless’. An Asian shopkeeper said he is racially abused by teenagers when he confronts them for shoplifting. (Daily Post, 16 February 2020)

16 February: A 26-year-old man pleads guilty to racially aggravated harassment at Kirklees after attempting to set his dog on police officers and hurling racist and homophobic abuse at them during an arrest in Lockwood, west Yorkshire. (Examiner Live, 16 February 2020)

17 February: A 40-year-old woman pleads guilty to racially aggravated threatening behaviour and resisting a police officer on 16 January in Rotherham. (Doncaster Free Press, 17 February 2020)

17 February: British Transport police appeal for information after a man made racist and homophobic comments towards two women on 25 January, during a late-night train journey between Leeds and Bradford. (Telegraph & Argus, 17 February 2020)

18 February: Two brothers armed with a hammer who racially abused and assaulted a South Asian man in Preston in May 2019 are given suspended sentences. (Lancs Live, 18 February 2020)

18 February: Research by BSC Multicultural Services reveals over 200 cases of unreported hate crime in Ipswich in 2019. The organisation gives training to taxi drivers, restaurant and bar workers, on tackling hate crime in the night-time economy. (Ipswich Star, 18 February 2020)

21 February: Nottinghamshire police put out a TV appeal after a racially aggravated offence involving a young woman at Mansfield McDonald’s on 16 February. (Nottingham Post, 21 February 2020)

21 February: Nottinghamshire police condemn a racist hate crime incident at Morrison’s store in Mansfield, where a group of teenagers targeted an individual on 18 February. (Nottingham Post, 21 February 2020)

22 February: Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary is condemned by the Muslim Council of Britain for his racist claim that terrorists ‘will generally be males of a Muslim persuasion’. (LBC News, 22 February 2020)

Coronavirus
Southampton handout

13 February: An Irish primary school principal speaks out against ‘borderline racism towards children of Chinese origin at school, describing how children engage in prank behaviour and dub the coronavirus as the ‘China virus’. (RTE, 13 February 2020)

15 February: Chinese Christians in the UK report experiencing coronavirus-fueled racism. The vicar of King’s Cross Methodist Church says some churches with majority Chinese congregations have stopped services in the North East and Birmingham, with one minister shouted at ‘you Chinese, go home’. (Christian Today, 15 February 2020)

16 February: An Exeter taxi driver is taunted with racist coronavirus insults and physically assaulted whilst driving. (Devon Live, 17 February 2020)

‘There is an epidemic of ignorance, we must protect ourselves’
@laika_mcmliv via Instagram

18 February: A dossier compiled by the Chinese Association of Southampton documents coronavirus-related hostility in Southampton and Portsmouth, where schoolchildren are abused in the playground and a bus driver tells a man to get off the bus because he is wearing a face mask. Harassment in Southampton includes a stone thrown at a Chinese student who is told to go back to their ‘fucking country’ and a female student described as a ‘fucking virus’ while walking home. (Guardian, 18 February 2020)

18 February: An Al Jazeera investigation reveals a wave of ‘Sinophobia’ in Italy with businesses boycotted and other incidents including: in Bologna, a Chinese-Italian teenager kicked in the face and told ‘Where you doing in Italy?  You’re bringing us disease’; in  Cagliari, a Filipino man hospitalised after he was attacked and asked why is he ‘bringing the virus’ to Italy; in Florence, a young woman, told in an anonymous Instagram message ‘I hope your daughters are raped and raped again so you can learn to stay wherever you came from’. In Como, Brescia and Varese, Forza Nouova put up posters stating ‘Coronavirus? Buy Italian. It’s a moral duty’. (Al Jazeera, 18 February 2020)

23 February: Birmingham police investigate an incident on February 9 when a young Asian woman was punched unconscious by an Asian man for defending a Chinese friend on a night out from racist slurs such as ‘take your f***ing coronavirus back home’. A spokesperson for the Chinese community describes how a student from Birmingham University had his jaw dislocated from a punch in the face for wearing a face mask. (Mirror, 23 February 2020)

 

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

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