Calendar of racism and resistance ( 14 – 28 May 2024)

Calendar of racism and resistance ( 14 – 28 May 2024)


Written by: IRR News Team


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. 

14 May: A court finds Alternative for Germany (AfD) leader Björn Höcke guilty of deliberately using the banned neo-Nazi SA motto, ‘everything for Germany’, at a 2021 rally. (Guardian, 14 May 2024)

 15 May: Belgian political parties denounce the far-right Vlaams Belang’s pro-natalist reproductive agenda, citing commitments in the party’s manifesto to double child benefits for women giving birth under the age of 30, but only if they have held EU nationality for eight years prior to the child’s birth. (Brussels Times, 15 May 2024)

15 May: In Greece, the mayor of Perama posts a video of himself cursing a Roma woman while a municipal truck drenches the tent she is living in with water. When she pleads that her babies are inside the tent, the mayor threatens to put them in care and put her in jail. (Documento News, 15 May 2024)

16 May: In the Netherlands, the new coalition government, led by the Islamophobic PVV, promises to adopt the ‘strictest-ever asylum regime’ and ‘opt out’ of EU migration rules. (Deutsche Welle, 16 May 2024)

16 May: The Green party takes advice from the government’s independent adviser on antisemitism after the Jewish Chronicle claims that three parliamentary candidates shared ‘incendiary material’ online. (BBC, 16 May 2024)

16 May: Dalloul Neder, a Palestinian man who lost five family members in the siege of Gaza and was ejected from a Labour party fundraising event in January, is refused a Subject Access Request to determine what information the party holds on him. (Open Democracy, 17 May 2024)

18 May: During a parliamentary debate in Portugal, Andre Ventura, leader of the far-right Chega Party, mocks Mozambican reparations claims, saying that the world should thank Portugal for spreading its culture during almost six centuries of colonial rule from Brazil to Mozambique. (Bloomberg, 18 May 2024)

19 May: The Vox party hosts the Europa Viva rally in Madrid, Spain, attended by leaders of far-right electoral parties from France, Italy, Hungary, Portugal and Poland, alongside Argentinian president Javier Milei, the Israeli minister for diaspora affairs and the struggle against antisemitism, and the Heritage Foundation, representing Donald Trump. (France 24, 19 May 2024; Jerusalem Post, 19 May 2024; Haaretz, 19 May 2024)

21 May: UNHCR condemns the Finnish government’s deportation bill which, if approved by parliament, would return to Russia most of those seeking to cross the eastern border and deny them the right to claim asylum. (YLE, 21 May 2024)

21  May: The government publishes ‘Protecting our Democracy from Coercion’,  a review by its independent advisor on political violence and disruption. Political intimidation and the incitement of hatred by extremist groups endangers public freedom argues Lord Walney who portrays pro-Palestine groups, amongst others, as a drain on police resources.  (Tribune, 23May 2024)

23 May: Analysis of the May local elections by Democracy Volunteers reveals that 70 percent of those turned away for lack of suitable photo-ID appeared not to be white, leading to serious risks of discrimination in the July general election. (Byline Times, 23 May 2024)

23 May: The European parliament’s Identity and Democracy group expels nine MEPs from Alternative for Germany (AfD) in response to incidents involving Maximilian Krah, head of the party’s European parliament election list, who recently told an Italian newspaper that not all members of the Nazi SS forces were ‘criminals’. (Euronews, 23 May 2024; Deutsche Welle, 22 May 2024)

23 May: After calling a general election for 4 July, the prime minister makes the Rwanda plan an election pledge. (Guardian, 23 May 2024)

Protestors at a demo calling to Scrap the cruel Rwanda scheme last year. Credit: Together with Refugees.

24 May: Lithuanian interior minister Agnė Bilotaitė announces an agreement among the NATO states bordering Russia – Finland, Norway, Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania – for a ‘drone wall’ to protect their borders from threats including ‘instrumentalised migration’. (YLE, 25 May 2024)

24 May: With the announcement of a general election, the government’s controversial anti-boycott bill, the stated aim of which was to shut down campaigns against Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights, is defeated. (PSC, 24 May 2024)

25 May: As German students rally for Palestine, the coalition government in the state of Berlin introduces a draft law to bring back ex-matriculation (disciplinary expulsion from university, used during the Vietnam War) of students accused of a crime. International students whose visas are tied to their enrolment at university could be deported. (Al Jazeera, 25 May 2024)

26 May: In his first interview since the general election was announced, Nigel Farage, honorary president of Reform UK, tells Sky News that a growing number of Muslims do not share British values, and ‘in fact loathe much of what we stand for’. (Guardian, 26 May 2024)

28 May: In county and mayoral elections in Thuringia, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) wins 26 percent of the vote, with nine candidates expected to go through to the second round of voting. (Euronews, 28 May 2024)

28 May: The governments of Spain, Norway and Ireland join over 140 of the United Nations’ 193 member states in recognising Palestine as a state. (inews, 28 May 2024)


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.

16 May: A neo-Nazi is convicted of uploading ‘strategy’ documents relating to the proscribed far-right terrorist group National Action, including a CIA explosives manual and an ‘ethnic cleansing operations’ document. (Mirror, 16 May 2024)

17 May: Andrew Raw becomes the latest Reform parliamentary candidate to be accused of sharing ‘extreme and hateful’ content from Britain’s far right, including Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (Tommy Robinson) and the leaders of Britain First. Raw’s X profile also includes posts attacking migrants and invoking the Great Replacement Theory. (Byline Times, 17 May 2024)

21 May: Far-right leaflets containing misinformation about asylum seekers, published by the group Patriotic Alternative, are delivered to residents of Eyam, a village in the Peak District. (Derbyshire Times, 21 May 2024) 

24 May: German police investigate footage showing people illegally singing a Nazi rendering of ‘L’Amour Toujours’ and giving Nazi salutes at a Whitsun party on the island of Sylt, North Frisia. Similar chants are heard two days later by off-duty police officers at the Bergkirchweih festival in Erlangen, Bavaria. (Guardian, 24 May 2024; Deutsche Welle, 26 May 2024)

 24 May: In Baden-Württemberg, Germany, following the arrest of an older man, a teenager is arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a knife attack on synagogue visitors in Heidelberg. Both suspects are alleged to have planned a ‘martyr’s death’ and a shoot-out with police. (Deutsche Welle, 24 May 2024)

24 May: A 14-year-old boy is arrested in west London on suspicion of possessing far-right material that would likely be used to prepare an act of terrorism. (Standard, 24 May 2024) 


15 May: On Nakba Day, Police Scotland are accused of ‘brutal and idiotic’ tactics in dealing with pro-Palestinian protesters blockading the Thales arms factory in Govan, Glasgow in a ‘people’s arms embargo’, and a journalist covering the protest is threatened with arrest. (Independent, 15 May 2024, Morning Star, 15 May 2024)

17 May: An investigation is opened after French police shot dead an undocumented Algerian man who threw an incendiary device into the prayer room of a synagogue in Rouen. The prosecutor claims the officer followed correct procedures in opening fire as the attacker ran towards him brandishing a knife and ignored an order to stop. (Reuters, 17 May 2024; Le Monde, 18 May 2024; Le Monde, 19 May 2024)

20 May: In Greece, lawyers criticise as ‘arbitrary’ and ‘illegal’ deportation orders against nine EU and British nationals charged with criminal damage and disruption for their part in a pro-Palestine demonstration at the University of Athens. The orders will prevent the defendants, all of whom live and work in Greece, from attending their own trial. (Ekathimerini, 20 May 2024)

21 May: Teacher Marieha Hussain is charged with a racially aggravated public order offence in connection with a placard depicting the prime minister and the former home secretary alongside coconuts under a tree on a beach. (Al Jazeera, 21 May 2024) 

21 May: The High Court rules unlawful the government’s use of secondary legislation to redefine the threshold of ‘serious disruption’ to allow ‘almost unlimited’ police powers to restrict protests, after parliament had rejected the redefinition in primary legislation. The government says it will appeal. (Liberty, 21 May 2024)

25 May: An investigation reveals that least 432 children under the age of criminal responsibility were searched by police forces in England and Wales in 2023, with almost a quarter of the searches conducted on children from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. Kent and Devon and Cornwall police forces record strip-searches on children under the age of ten. (Observer, 25 May 2024)


16 May: Statewatch reveals that EU member states have finalised a set of ‘non-binding’ criteria for assessing who might be labelled a potential terrorist or violent extremist, for use in the Schengen Information System, the European Information System and Europol. (Statewatch, 16 May 2024)


Asylum and migrant rights

 15 May:  A comprehensive report by the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society finds a serious rise in people subject to NRPF since 2020, as figures likely to be a significant underestimate show a 150 percent increase in destitute migrant families accessing Local Authority support in less than a decade. (EIN, 15 May 2024)

17 May: A report by the GMIAU and the Boaz Trust describes a ‘slow violence’ built into the immigration system, which forces people into ‘hidden homelessness’, and calls on the government to stop using destitution as a weapon of immigration control. (EIN, 17 May 2024)

18 May: The Home Office sets a deadline of 31 December 2024 for holders of physical Biometric Residence Permits to switch to a digital e-visa. Lawyers and campaigners warn that thousands will be unable to apply due to ineffective communication around the process, leaving them unable to prove their right to reside, work, rent and claim benefits. (Guardian, 18 May 2024)

22 May: A report from Methoria’s First Rights Project proposes a specialist, child-oriented court, run in accordance with child rights principles, as an alternative to the adversarial processes that children currently have to navigate in order to resolve their immigration status. (EIN, 22 May 2024) 

Borders and internal controls

15 May: The High Court rules unlawful the Home Office’ electronic monitoring of vulnerable asylum seekers and migrant survivors of torture. (EIN, 15 May 2024)

21 May: An investigation by Lighthouse Reports claims that the EU funds, supports and is directly involved in operations racially profiling and dumping tens of thousands of sub-Saharan migrants every year in desert and remote regions of Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia, to stop them coming to Europe, under the guise of ‘migration management’. (ECRE, 21 May 2024)

23 May: As a Greek court dismisses charges of criminal organisation and migrant smuggling against nine Egyptian survivors of the deadly Pylos shipwreck of June 2023 in which up to 600 lives were lost, police re-detain the men, who have claimed asylum, saying they might ‘flee Greece’. (Reuters, 23 May 2024)

Reception and detention

23 May: The brother of 19-year-old Ismael Maolanzadeh, who took his own life in asylum accommodation in December 2023 after fleeing Iran and crossing the Channel months earlier, says the asylum backlog and uncertainty about their fate tipped him into fatal depression. Ismael is one of 27 asylum seekers known to have committed suicide in the past four years. (inews, 23 May 2024)


13 May: A senior Human Rights Watch researcher is denied entry by the Rwandan government, as tens of thousands of asylum seekers whose applications have been refused or deemed ‘withdrawn’ are at risk of being ‘rounded up’ by the Home Office in preparation for a flight in seven to nine weeks. (Guardian, 19 May 2024; Guardian, 15 May 2024)

16 May: The government signs a fast-track deportation agreement to return people to Bangladesh, including refused asylum seekers, those convicted of an offence and people who have ‘overstayed’ their visa. (Info Migrants, 17 May 2024)

19 May: Sudharsan Ithayachandran is found dead in his accommodation in Sri Lanka after being deported there in 2019 and separated from his British wife and two children. Though his right to family life was accepted by the immigration tribunal in November 2023, Home Office delays meant he was forced to remain in Sri Lanka. (Guardian, 27 May 2024)

24 May: The BBC is given access to a secret Home Office training facility where enforcement staff and private contractors are taught how to load unwilling deportees onto aircraft. Reporters are not permitted to watch training involving physical force, cuffs or leg restraints. (BBC, 24 May 2024)

Crimes of solidarity

17 May: Police arrest ten demonstrators for trying to prevent the removal of asylum seekers from their hotel accommodation Driscoll House in Southwark for transfer to the Bibby Stockholm barge. (Standard, 18 May 2024) 


14 May: The High Court rules unlawful and discriminatory a provision in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 increasing from 3 to 12 months the period for which police can ban Travellers from an unauthorised stopping place, saying it is incompatible with human rights. (UK Human Rights Blog, 20 May 2024)

22 May: Days after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announces a crackdown on disability fraud, despite government figures showing such fraud to be almost non-existent, the EHRC announces an investigation into the DWP for disability discrimination, particularly against benefit claimants with learning difficulties and long-term mental health conditions. (EHRC, 22 May 2024, Left Foot Forward, 18 May 2024)

23 May: The Met says it is assessing a new criminal complaint made by the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians against five British government ministers allegedly complicit in Israeli war crimes in Gaza, as well as private British citizens fighting for the Israeli military. (Al Jazeera, 23 May 2024) 


Although we do not cover student protests for Palestine, we do track university administrative measures that deny the right to protest and authorise the use of force, or silence pro-Palestinian voices and display anti-Palestinian bias.

14 May: According to research by FFT Education Datalab into the increase in ‘managed moves’, pupils at risk of exclusion who are transferred to other schools under the procedure are more likely to come from disadvantaged backgrounds and less likely to achieve grade 4 passes in GCSE English and maths than their peers. (TES, 14 May 2024)

14 May: UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s latest data shows that the number of Black principal investigators (PIs) applying for UK research funding has halved in a year. It also shows lower success rates for both Black and Asian applicants, who on average received lower financial awards. (THE, 14 May 2024)

14 May: In response to a survey finding that 70 percent of senior leaders in England oppose the ‘collective worship law’, which requires schools to hold daily acts of worship with ‘a Christian character’, education minister Gillian Keegan says ‘collective religious worship is an important part of school life’. (TES, 14 May 2024)

15 May: Newcastle University is accused of the ‘weaponisation’ of a Nigerian PhD student’s ‘immigration status’ after the university contacted the Home Office over her absence from supervisions. The student, who has suffered kidney failure, launches a formal complaint against her supervisor and a support campaign. (THE, 15 May 2024)

16 May: A survey by the Youth Endowment Fund finds that measures to reduce violence in schools, such as ‘police in corridors and classrooms’ and knife-crime education programmes, ‘currently lack robust evidence to support their effectiveness’. Alternative measures to reduce exclusions and violence are recommended. (TES, 16 May 2024)

19 May: Faced with record absences, some schools ‘are sending police to the homes of children who are persistently absent, or warning them their parents may go to prison if their attendance doesn’t improve’. (Observer, 19 May 2024)

22 May: Teesside University orders its Nigerian students to leave, withdraws sponsorship and informs the Home Office, leaving them vulnerable to deportation, as the crash in the value of the naira leaves students unable to pay fees. (Guardian, 22 May 2024)

22 May: Over  140 Jewish scholars launch the UK Jewish Academic Network and criticise the state and the media for weaponizing antisemitism in the interests of ‘long-standing western political and economic interests in the Middle East.’ (THE, 22 May 2024)

23 May: Sixteen Oxford University students are charged with aggravated trespass after the police break up a Palestine solidarity sit-in at the vice-chancellor’s office. In a statement, students blame the university administration for escalating ‘unprecedented violence’ against them in response to their demands that the university cuts its ties with Israel. (Reuters, 23 May 2024)

23 May: In Berlin, Germany, riot police, allegedly called in by the university on the orders of the Berlin Senate and mayor, clear a pro-Palestine occupation at the Humboldt University, briefly detaining 169 people before making 25 arrests. Students describe the operation as police brutality. A journalist is amongst those injured. (Deutsche Welle, 24 May 2024; Al Jazeera, 25 May 2024)


15 May: A report on race, ethnicity and homelessness by I-SPHERE finds that Black people are almost three times more likely to experience homelessness than their white counterparts. Harmful stereotypes within homelessness services about some ‘ethnic groups’ trying to ‘gain advantage’, and assumptions about certain minority groups’ acceptance of ‘overcrowding’, are linked to ‘direct racism’. (I-SPHERE, 15 May 2024)

17 May: Inside Housing’s new data tracker reveals that in England, more than 35,000 families with children under the age of five were living in temporary accommodation in December 2023 (up 15.6 per cent), with 2,200 in B&Bs. (Inside Housing, 17 May 2024)

20 May: In Portugal, Lisbon’s mayor says that much of the capital’s dramatic increase in homelessness is linked to vulnerable migrants, citing mental health problems, which is a national responsibility, and seeking ‘urgent answers from AIMA’, a new agency for integration, migration and asylum. (Portugal Resident, 20 May 2024)

22 May: Survivors and bereaved family members from the Grenfell Tower fire which killed 72 people in June 2017 are told suspects will not face trial until at least 2027. Police say 58 individuals and organisations could face charges including corporate manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter, fraud, perverting the course of justice and misconduct in public office. (Guardian, 22 May 2024)

Grenfell Tower draped in memorial green heart and text "Grenfell: forever in our hearts".
‘Grenfell: forever in our hearts’ memorial. Credit: Cory Doctorow, Flickr.


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.

17 May: Equity accuses the Arts Council of bowing to ‘political pressure’ as an FOI request reveals that its updated guidance on discussion of the Gaza siege, which suggested that ‘political statements’ could break ‘funding agreements’, followed a meeting with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in December 2023, (Guardian, 17 May 2024)

20 May: A 31-year-old man is charged with racially aggravated harassment of former Rugby international player Ugo Monye after repeatedly using the n-word at a rugby match between Exeter Chiefs and Gloucester last November. (Guardian, 20 May 2024)

22 May: West Brom Football Club suspends an employee and launches an investigation following allegations of racist practices. A ten-point grievance letter details repeated incidents of discrimination against Black players. (Guardian, 22 May 2024)

28 May: Human rights lawyer Sir Geoffrey Bindman criticises as ‘clearly political’ a decision made by the Charity Commission to drop an investigation into Campaign Against Antisemitism initiated four years ago following a complaint by Jewish Voice for Labour, which the regulator rules does not have the legal status to make the application. (Guardian, 28 May 2024)

28 May: In Germany, Munich’s Oktoberfest bans the song L’amour Toujours after it is co-opted by neo-Nazis, who sing the phrase ‘Germany for the Germans, foreigners out’ over the tune. (Guardian, 28 May 2024)


For details of court judgements on racially motivated and other hate crimes, see also POLICING | PRISONS | CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.

13 May: Pro-Israel supporters rip down banners and intimidate protesters at a nightly vigil for Palestine at Oxford University, hurling xenophobic, transphobic and antisemitic slurs  targeting Jewish students at the encampment. (Oxford Mail, 13 May 2024)

14 May: On the anniversary of the first major round-up of French Jews under the Nazis in 1941, red-hand graffiti are painted onto the Wall of the Righteous at the Shoah Memorial in Paris, with 20 other spots, including schools and nurseries in the Marais district, similar tagged. (France 24, 14 May 2024)

14 May: Two men appear in court accused of planning an Islamic State-inspired machine gun attack on Jewish communities in Northwest England. (Guardian, 14 May 2024)

19 May: Rallies in support of the Jewish community in France are held in Rouen and Paris after an undocumented Algerian man, later killed by police, throws an incendiary device into a synagogue in the centre of Rouen. (Le Monde, 19 May 2024)

21 May: In Ireland, a suspected arson attack takes place at a site in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, being developed to accommodate refugees. Several vehicles, including diggers, were previously set on fire and security personnel assaulted, with one man hospitalised. (RTE, 21 May 2024)

This calendar is researched by IRR staff and compiled bySophie Chauhan, with the assistance of Graeme Atkinson, Sam Berkson, Margaret McAdam and Louis Ordish. 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: Student encampment protest for Palestine: Credit: Palestine Solidarity Campaign 

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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