A fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe.
POLICING AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
19 June: The Independent Police Complaints Commission will consider whether the ethnicity or the mental health of a 33-year-old prisoner injured in a cell influenced the actions of six officers involved in his restraint, resulting in the severing of three of the man’s fingertips. (BBC News, 19 June 2015)
22 June: The Daily Mirror reports on allegations from Duwayne Brooks that the police are still withholding information on him that has been collected by police spies since the 1993 murder of Brooks’ best friend Stephen Lawrence. (Daily Mirror, 22 June 2015)
24 June: Anthony Long, 58, a former armed police officer tells the Old Bailey he was ‘absolutely convinced’ that Azelle Rodney was about to shoot when he fired eight shots in rapid succession, two of which hit Rodney in the head. (Guardian, 24 June 2015)
24 June: Figures, issued by the Youth Justice Board (covering young offender institutions, secure detention centres and secure training centres in England and Wales), and analysed by the Guardian, reveal a ‘shocking increase in the proportion of ethnic minority children and young people being held in the youth justice system’. (Guardian, 24 June 2015)
24 June: In an unprecedented judgement, the Court of Appeals in Paris finds the French state guilty of the use of discriminatory stops and identity checks in the cases of five black and Arab complainants. The Court rules that the French state must pay the complainants €1,500 each. A petition calling for the end of ethnic profiling has garnered 11,000 signatures. (Le Monde, 24 June 2015)
25 June: The National Debate Advisory Group has published a report for Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary: Reshaping policing for the public: a discussion paper from the advisory group on the national debate on policing in austerity. Download it here.
26 June: Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association (JENGbA) has published the latest edition of its newsletter. Download it here (pdf file, 1mb).
29 June: Under the Freedom of Information Act the Metropolitan Police releases a redacted copy of the Special Demonstration Squad Tradecraft Manual. Download it here. (pdf file, 3.3mb)
30 June: The man accused of the 1998 murder of Surjit Singh Chhokar will stand trial in February 2016. Ronnie Coulter, 47, from Wishaw, denies killing 32-year-old Mr Chhokar in in Overtown, North Lanarkshire while acting with two other men. (Glasgow Evening Times, 30 June 2015)
1 July: The Citizen Safety Law (dubbed the ‘gagging law’) comes into effect in Spain. Protesting in front of Congress or regional assemblies now carries fines of up to €600,000. Judges will be bypassed by police officers engaged in public order duties who have the power to impose immediate sanctions. Stopping a housing eviction will now be deemed unlawful as police power to sanction extends to those who ‘obstruct any authority, public employee or official corporation in the exercise of administrative or judicial agreements or resolutions’. (El Pais in English, 1 July 2015)
1 July: The Ministry of Justice has published the Harris Review: Changing Prisons, Saving Lives: Report of the Independent Review into Self-inflicted Deaths in Custody of 18-24 year olds. Download it here.
2 July: The German lawyers for the family of Jeremiah Duggan, the British Jewish student who died in Wiesbaden in 2003, and Green Party members of the Bundestag, speak at a press conference in Berlin. A letter has been written to the interior minister of Hesse demanding a far-reaching investigation into Jeremiah’s death including a thorough examination of the dangerous recruiting practice of the LaRouche cult. See the press release, by Justice for Jeremiah, here.
VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT
18 June: Police appeal for witnesses to a racist attack in which two brothers suffered serious injuries. The attack at a pub during Chelsea FC’s victory parade resulted in a 40-year-old man suffering a triple jaw fracture after being punched and kicked in the head. His brother, who confronted the assailants, was also punched and kicked to the ground. (Evening Standard, 18 June 2015)
18 June: Residents of Inverbervie, Scotland contact their local newspaper after racist material is left around the town; this follows an earlier incident where stickers and a flag were also removed. The racist material promotes ’white racial loyalty without compromise’. (Mearns Leader, 18 June 2015)
21 June: The Anthony Walker Foundation highlights recent incidents of hate crime in the Liverpool area; in a racist attack, a man was assaulted with a hammer outside a takeaway, and in another a disabled man was forced to eat a maggot and excrement sandwich by two teenagers. (Liverpool Echo, 21 June 2015)
21 June: An unnamed 18-year-old Muslim man is racially abused and attacked as he leaves a mosque in Coventry. In the hours before the attack the mosque was targeted by people throwing stones and shouting racist abuse. (Coventry Telegraph, 22 June 2015)
25 June: Ahead of a far-right demonstration proposed in Golders Green, an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor says far-right activists turn up at his home in the area, tell him that London will soon be ‘Jew-free’, perform a Nazi salute and hand him the message ‘Jew go home’. (Jewish Chronicle, 25 June 2015)
ASYLUM AND IMMIGRATION
18 June: The body of a 24-year-old man is found on the roof of a building in Richmond, west London after apparently falling from a plane arriving from South Africa; while another 24-year-old man is found in the undercarriage of the plane and taken to hospital where he remains in a critical condition. (Guardian, 22 June 2015)
20 June: To mark International Refugee Day, UNITED for Intercultural Action publishes an updated List of deaths of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants due to the restrictive policies of Fortress Europe, a new website and an interactive map.
21 June: Immigration officers carrying out an immigration raid in Walworth, south London, are met with fierce resistance from campaigners and local people who stop a Home Office van leaving the area until police reinforcements arrive. (Rabble, 21 June 2015)
23 June: Hungary’s far-right government, which is building a 13-foot fence on its southern border to stop refugees entering from Serbia, announces it will not accept the return of asylum seekers under the Dublin regulation (under which EU member states return asylum seekers to the first EU country they entered). After the EU summit, on 29 June, it retracts the threat. (Telegraph, 30 June 2015)
23 June: Proposals to detain and expel more undocumented migrants contained in France’s new immigration law are condemned by the Immigration Detention Observatory. These measures traduce the government’s assurances of ‘strict respect for the rights of those forced onto paths of exile’, it argues, contributing to the further growth of immigration detention already running at 50,000 people annually (in metropolitan France and its overseas territories). (OEE, 23 June 2015)
24 June: The Supreme Court hears that pupils denied a university place due to their immigration status ‘should get loans’ and that providing these loans would benefit the whole of society. (Guardian, 24 June 2015)
24 June: Two foreign national prisoners facing deportation win appeals against Home Office rules to remove them from the UK as quickly as possible, arguing the out-of-country appeals violate their human rights on several grounds. (Bradford Telegraph and Argus, 24 June 2015)
24 June: The case of an Indian woman, Rhada Patel, who was awarded £125,000 for being harassed by immigration officers at Heathrow, is to be reheard by the Court of Appeal after three judges overturn the award. (Asian Image, 24 June 2015)
24 June: UK doctors should refuse to check the immigration status of patients who come to them seeking healthcare, the British Medical Association (BMA) says, after delegates at the BMA’s annual representative meeting in Liverpool pass a motion stating, ‘NHS staff do not have any role in policing immigration.’ (British Medical Journal (subscription only), 24 June 2015)
26 June: The EU Council fails to agree a mandatory resettlement package for Mediterranean ‘boat people’, with the UK opting out and Brussels agreeing to exempt Hungary and Bulgaria from the scheme, as the Council’s focus on prevention of travel and speedy returns attracts criticism. (Budapest Beacon 26 June 2015; ECRE Press release 30 June 2015)
26 June: The Court of Appeal orders the home secretary, Theresa May, to suspend the fast-track immigration appeals system under which thousands are locked up each year. (Guardian, 26 June 2015)
30 June: British guidance that Eritrea is a safe country for asylum seekers to return to after leaving ‘illegally’ is ‘marred by serious methodological concerns’, a government-appointed watchdog says in a scathing report that comes as record numbers of Eritreans flee their country. (Guardian, 30 June 2015)
1 July: John Grayson examines the increased use of tagging for asylum seekers recently bailed from removal centres such as Yarl’s Wood. (Open Democracy, 1 July 2015)
2 July: The inquest commences into the death of 55-year-old Karlis Pavasars, a Latvian migrant worker who died after being caught in an industrial shredder at Mid UK Recycling in July 2013. (Lincolnshire Echo, 1 July 2015)
2 July: 100 asylum seekers are set to be released from detention and a further 800 to have their cases reviewed after the fast-track system was ruled unlawful and suspended. (Guardian, 2 July 2015)
19 June: The High Court reduces a sentence faced by EDL member Steven Cooke from two years to 16 months on the basis of ‘his service to his country’ as a war veteran. However the Birmingham Mail reports that the Ministry of Defence has never heard of him and has no record of him serving in the army. Cooke was jailed in January after pleading guilty to violent disorder following an EDL rally in Birmingham in July 2013. (Birmingham Mail, 19 June 2015)
20 June: At least 140 people are arrested at a Stop the Islamisation of Europe rally in Bratislava called to protest EU plans to resettle around 800 asylum-seekers in Slovakia. Marian Kotelba, the governor of the central Slovakian region of Banská Bystrica told the crowd ‘I wish you a nice, white day … we are happy to save Slovakia’. (AFP, 20 June 2015)
22 June: Two 15-year-old boys are sentenced to 12-month youth detention orders after admitting conspiracy to make explosive substances. The boys were reported to police after white powder was found; police searching their homes then found copies of the Anarchist Cookbook and other materials which showed a hatred of Jews and black people. (Guardian, 22 June 2015)
22 June: An early day motion by Tulip Siddiq, MP, protests the planned ‘Neo-Nazi rally in Golders Green’. Read the EDM here.
26 June: A High Court judge refuses an injunction application by Bedfordshire Police preventing Britain First leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen from entering Luton ‘and its surrounding area’ for a year. An interim injunction is handed down which prevents the pair from carrying or displaying banners with the words ‘No More Mosques’ at the event. (Luton on Sunday, 26 June 2015)
26 June: An anti-Islam, anti-immigration rally in Brno, the Czech Republic’s second largest city, called to protest EU plans to resettle refugees in Europe, turns violent, with riot police pelted with bottles. A counter-mobilisation was supported by the far-right Workers Party of Social Justice. (Washington Post, 26 June 2015)
30 June: A neo-Nazi ‘anti-Jewification’ demonstration that was due to take place in Golders Green, north London, on 4 July is moved out of the area following a robust response from the local community and weeks of pressure from Jewish leaders and MPs. (Guardian, 30 June 2015)
June 2015: The Quakers in Britain have produced The Unseen March, a short film to start a public debate about the militarisation of education. Watch it here.
25 June: The Leicester Civil Rights Movement has published the July 2015 issue of its newsletter. Download issue no.78 of Insaaf here.
25 June: The Department for Education has published A compendium of evidence on ethnic minority resilience to the effects of deprivation on attainment: research report. Download the report here (pdf file 1.8mb)
26 June: The Department for Education has published the Government Response to the Education Select Committee Report: Extremism in schools: the Trojan Horse affair. Download it here.
30 June: The National Audit Office publishes a report on: Funding for disadvantaged pupils. Download it here.
1 July: Legal regulations are introduced setting out new responsibilities for ‘frontline workers’ in public bodies, including schools, to challenge extremism. NUT leader Christine Blower comments: ‘Teachers cannot be turned into spies in the classroom.’ (BBC News, 1 July 2015)
June 2015: Kick it Out is carrying out a Grassroots Consultation to understand the needs of grassroots football. Take part in the consultation here.
19 June: David Cameron gives a speech in Bratislava saying that parts of some Muslim communities have ‘quietly condoned’ aspects of extremist ideology instead of confronting it. (Independent, 19 June 2015)
25 June: The Home Office has published statistics on the: Operation of police powers under the Terrorism Act 2000, quarterly update to December 2014. View and download the statistics here.