Calendar of racism and resistance (25 October – 8 November)

Calendar of racism and resistance (25 October – 8 November)


Written by: IRR News Team

Asylum and migration

24 October: In northern Bosnia, around 250 people protesting at the closure of the EU Maljevac crossing at the Croatian border are dispersed with tear gas. (Are You Syrious, 24 October 2018)

25 October: Home secretary Sajid Javid apologises to Afghan and Gurkha immigrants who were unlawfully required to take DNA tests to prove a relationship to family in the UK.  (BBC News, 25 October 2018)

25 October: A private member’s bill is introduced to provide a legal route to full British citizenship for descendants of the Chagos Islanders expelled by British forces in the 1960s and 1970s.  (Guardian, 25 October 2018)

26 October: European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker says that the EU is no longer considering setting up ‘regional disembarkation platforms’ in North African countries for migrants rescued by European ships in the Mediterranean. (Reuters, 26 October 2018)

28 October: Freedom of information requests by migrant rights’ charity Project 17 reveal that Home Office officials embedded in local authorities are sitting in on interviews with destitute migrant families, violating the duty of care set out in the Children’s Act. (Guardian, 28 October 2018)

28 October: Research by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) suggests that English regions outside London could lose up to 90 percent of their EU workforce, who would lose their rights to legal entry under Theresa May’s proposals for a post-Brexit ‘global immigration system’. (Guardian, 28 October 2018)

30 October: On the sixth anniversary of the death of Prince Kwabena Fosu, a Ghanaian national, in Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre (IRC), the CPS announces that it has reversed its previous decision to bring criminal charges against the private companies which run the centre. An inquest has yet to be scheduled. (Inquest press release, 30 October 2018)

30 October: Immigration minister Caroline Nokes says employers would be required to check EU nationals’ right to work during the Brexit transitional period starting in March 2019. (Guardian, 30 October 2018)

30 October: The Home Office releases Javid Iqbal, a 49-year-old Pakistani man, five days after his arrest during an immigration raid provoked a seven-hour non-violent protest at a mini-market in Easton, Bristol, by a crowd of over 100. (Guardian, 26 October 2018; The Bristol Local, 30 October 2018)

31 October: The Austrian government refuses to sign the non-binding United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), the first comprehensive agreement to cover all aspects of international migration, set to be adopted in December. Chancellor Kurz cites ‘the importance of defending Austria’s national sovereignty’. The Hungarian government previously refused to sign. (The Local, 31 October 2018)

31 October: A woman born in Northern Ireland, who identifies as Irish and possesses Irish citizenship, is asked by the Home Office to prove her entitlement to permanent residency in her home town, Belfast, after her American husband applied for residency. (Guardian, 31 October 2018)

1 November: Italian prosecutors drop charges of abuse of power against interior minister and Lega leader Matteo Salvini, relating to his refusal in August to allow 150 mostly Eritrean migrants disembark from a rescue ship in a port in Sicily. (Reuters, 1 November 2018)

1 November: An investigation by Associated Press, using data from international groups, forensic records, death records and a variety of other sources, estimates that around 56,800 migrants have died or gone missing globally since 2014, almost double the total given by the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) of 28,500. (Al Jazeera, 1 November 2018)

1 November: Children’s and migrant rights campaigners complain that local authorities are neglecting the immigration problems of children in care, leaving them vulnerable to hostile environment policies when they leave care. (Guardian, 1 November 2018)

3 November: The Observer reveals that the UK has accepted only 20 unaccompanied child refugees from the Middle East and Africa since April 2016 under the Vulnerable Children Resettlement Scheme (VRCS), which aimed to settle 3,000. The Dubs amendment, which it was hoped would settle similar numbers of children from camps in Europe, has settled only 220. (Guardian, 3 November 2018)

3 November: Immigration minister Caroline Nokes admits that EU victims of trafficking and modern slavery will not be exempt from settlement fees under Theresa May’s proposals for EU citizens after December 2020. (Guardian, 3 November 2018)

3 November: A freedom of information request reveals that, after the anti-deportation protest which stopped a charter flight at Stansted airport in March 2017, the RAF Brize Norton base in Oxfordshire was used to deport hundreds of people to Nigeria and Ghana on five flights in 2017, described by the Right to Remain anti-deportation group as ‘ghost flights’. (JOE, 3 November 2018)

5 November: At the opening of their defence at Chelmsford crown court, fifteen defendants, known as the Stansted 15, argue that they chained themselves together around an immigration removal flight as an act of  conscience to protect the lives of deportees to Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone who they believed were being deported unlawfully. (Guardian, 5 November 2018)

5 November: On the thirtieth anniversary of the first publicised migrant death in the Strait of Gibraltar, at least seventeen people die and seventeen are missing in the Western Mediterranean after travelling from North Africa to Spain, now the primary destination for migrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East, in two rafts found by coast guards near Cádiz and Melilla. Deaths in the Western Mediterranean are estimated to have doubled in the past year. (Reuters, El Pais, 6 November 2018; El Pais 1 November 2018; IOM, 2 November 2018)

Feminist Fightback Healthcare for All
©Feminist Fightback Healthcare for All

6 November: Anti-capitalist feminist group demand ‘health care for all’ in a Parliament Square protest against the discriminatory treatment of migrants without settled status seeking NHS treatment, who are charged for life-saving services including abortion, birth and pre- and post-natal care at 150 percent of the actual cost. (Feminist Fight Back, 6 November 2018)

Police and criminal justice system

22 October: A Metropolitan police detective appears before a misconduct panel accused of racially abusing a Somali cleaner and threatening to ‘smash him against a wall’ after trying to enter a toilet at St Pancras International station which had been shut for cleaning. (BBC News, 22 October 2018)

27 October: Around 400 people attend the twentieth annual rally of the United Families and Friends Campaign, held the day after a conference on police violence, deaths in custody and resistance. (4WardEver.UK, 2 November 2018)

31 October: A former Thames Valley police officer, whom the force has refused to name, resigns after an internal investigation found that they had sent racist text messages to members of the public. (Bucks Herald, 31 October 2018)

Olaseni Lewis

1 November: New legislation to improve oversight of the use of force against patients in mental health units, known as ‘Seni’s law’, receives royal assent. The law is inspired by Olaseni Lewis, who died in 2010 soon after being restrained by 11 police officers in Bethlem Royal Hospital, Beckenham. (BBC News, 1 November 2018)

5 November: Wolid Deeb, 34, reports that police took four hours to respond to his call after he was racially abused and attacked by ten teenagers, leaving him with a serious ligament injury, in Manchester city centre. Greater Manchester police say that they are investigating the case. (Manchester Evening News, 5 November 2018)

Electoral politics

27 October: Anti-fascists in San Lorenzo, Rome accuse interior minister Matteo Salvini of exploiting tragedies for political gain, blocking his path as he attempts to lay a flower at the site where the body of a 16-year-old girl was found. African migrants are accused of repeatedly raping Desirée Mariottini before killing her, and after one arrest Salvini posts on Facebook, a ‘fourth maggot’ who (what a coincidence), is an illegal immigrant’. (New York Times, 27 October 2018)

1 November: Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott reveals that police have collected evidence of racist and misogynistic letters, including threats of rape and violence, which she continues to receive both online and to her constituency office in Hackney, London. (Independent, 1 November 2018)

2 November: Scotland Yard opens a criminal investigation into allegations of anti-Semitic incidents linked to Labour party members, after the radio station LBC hands a leaked party dossier over to the police detailing 45 cases of alleged anti-Semitism. (Guardian, 2 November 2018)

image of Prawo i Sprawiedliwość logo
Prawo i Sprawiedliwość logo

5 November: The ruling extreme-right anti-immigration Law and Justice (PiS) lose more towns in the second round of Poland’s mayoral elections while maintaining strong support in rural areas to remain the strongest party in regional government. Six towns  – Warsaw, Posnan, Lodz, Krakow, Gdansk and Kielce – are now under the control of a centrist pro-EU coalition led by Civic Platform.  (Deutsche Welle, 5 November 2018).

5 November: In the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack which left eleven people dead, Jewish organisations renew calls on Ukip to dissociate itself from the ‘dogwhistle anti-semitism’ of the far-right US website Infowars, whose editor at large,  Paul Joseph Watson, recently joined the party. (Guardian, 5 November 2018)

Anti-fascism and the far Right

24 October: Britain First leader Paul Golding is arrested in Belfast and charged with public order offences including incitement to hatred after handing out anti-immigration leaflets in Ballymena, where many Romanian migrants are settled. (ITV News, 25 October 2018)

24 October: It is revealed that in April, Steve Bannon met Spanish far-right party strategist Rafael Bardají, whose Vox party has announced that it will join ‘The Movement’ Bannon is setting up in Europe. (, 24 October 2018)

28 October: Alternative for Germany wins 13 per cent of the vote in the Hesse state elections, entering the regional parliament for the first time and ensuring that the far-right party is now represented in all of Germany’s 16 states. (Guardian, 28 October 2018)

5 November: The former head of Germany’s intelligence services (BfV), Hans-Georg Maaßen, has been retired from all offices with immediate effect after a farewell speech given to fellow European intelligence officers where he repeated his claims that videos showing ‘hunts’ for foreigners during far-right violence in Chemnitz were fake and the hunts never happened. (Guardian, 5 November 2018)

National security

28 October: MI5 is to take over the monitoring of far-right extremism from the police as extreme rightwing activity is officially designated a major threat to national security, with around 100 investigations currently ongoing. (Guardian, 28 October 2018)

Media and culture

27 October: In a Times interview, home secretary Sajid Javid says that Pakistani members of grooming gangs have ‘disgraced our heritage’ and that there ‘must be some cultural connection’ to their crimes. (Times, 27 October 2018)

30 October: Fears grow that Rai, the Italian public broadcaster, is being influenced by the far-right government after a well-known chef resigns from a popular TV show claiming he was told to drop foreign recipes. Screenings of documentaries about migrant integration in the Italian town of Riace and police brutality against migrants in Lesbos, have been dropped. (Guardian, 30 October 2018)


26 October: An Austrian woman’s conviction for disparaging religion by calling the Prophet Muhammad a paedophile is upheld by the European Court of Human Rights, which rejects her claim that her freedom of speech rights were violated. (Deutsche Welle, 26 October 2018)


Philip Green
Philip Green

24 October: The Telegraph reveals that a ‘leading businessman’, later named under parliamentary privilege as Philip Green, has been granted an injunction to prevent the newspaper from revealing allegations of sexual harassment and racial abuse of staff. (Telegraph, 24 October 2018)


23 October: Evicted tenant of six-times convicted rogue landlord Bernard McGowan, Somali Daud Hussein, describes how, after he was hospitalised as a result of an accident caused by the landlord cutting off his electricity, McGowan sent a message via Daud’s family, ‘Tell that black bastard that I have evicted him and his shit is outside’. (Guardian, 23 October 2018)

24 October: A comprehensive Guardian/ITV News survey of convicted rogue landlords finds that the man with the most convictions is a letting agent who allegedly terrorised at least twenty migrant workers and students living about a dangerous former pub in Plaistow, east London owned by a property tycoon. (Guardian, 24 October 2018)


30 October: Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha reports that he has been sent racist abuse and death threats after his team drew against Arsenal on Sunday 27 October. (BBC News, 30 October 2018)

3 October: An exhibition  showing football’s historical Jewish ties aims to combat anti-Semitic chanting and Nazi salutes at the notorious Sparta Prague football club, as it hosts rival Prague team Slavia. (Guardian, 3 October 2018)

Violence and harassment: abuse

from Youtube

23 October: Barcelona city hall lodges a complaint with Spain’s public prosecutor about the racist abuse of an elderly British black woman on a Ryanair Barcelona flight. A call for witnesses is issued and Ryanair contacted about its ‘unaaceptable response’ to the incident. (El Pais, 23 October 2018)

27 October: A group of about ten men pose outside an Islamic prayer centre in Newtownards, Co. Down, Northern Ireland, in KKK outfits, in an incident police are treating as a hate crime. (BBC News, 29 October 2018)

29 October: A 32-year-old man reports that he and his fiancée were racially abused whilst waiting at a cash point before having what he believed to be a corrosive liquid thrown at his car and his window smashed in Chesterton, Cambridge. (CambridgeLive, 29 October 2018)

29 October: A 53-year-old man is arrested after racist and threatening letters were sent to mosques around the city of Stoke-on-Trent. (StokeonTrentLive, 29 October 2018)

31 October: Police appeal for information after a group of teenage school students were approached by a second group of teenagers who racially abused them and threatened them with a knife in Chislehurst, Kent. (News Shopper, 31 October 2018)

1 November: Police appeal for information after a woman travelling on the underground was racially abused and sexually assaulted by another female passenger. (Evening Standard, 1 November 2018)

Violence and harassment: attacks on people

25 October: Three men are arrested after a car is driven into a crowd of people leaving a Muslim community centre in Brent, London, leaving one man with serious injuries and two other men with minor injuries. (Get West London, 25 October 2018)

25 October: Police arrest a 56-year-old man on suspicion of racially aggravated actual bodily harm after a woman is racially abused and punched by a man who heard her speaking Spanish on a train in North London. (Islington Gazette, 25 October 2018)

29 October: Police appeal for information after a man racially abused, assaulted and spat at another man near a takeaway in Lincoln. (LincolnshireLive, 29 October 2018)

30 October: Police release CCTV images of a woman who racially abused and assaulted three other women, spitting on them and grabbing the neck and headscarf of one of the women in a fast food restaurant in Bethnal Green, London earlier in the month. (East London Lines, 30 October 2018)

31 October: Police appeal for information after two holidaymakers, a man and woman, were racially abused and assaulted by a group of five people in Weymouth. The male victim was hospitalised with two bite wounds. Two parked cars were also damaged. (Wessex FM, 31 October 2018)

Petra László
Petra László

31 October: The Hungarian Supreme Court overrules the conviction of TV camera operator Petra László who in 2015 kicked and tripped migrants fleeing police near the  Hungarian-Serbian border. While her actions were ‘morally incorrect’ they did not break the law, the court rules. (Guardian, 31 October 2018)

1 November: An 18-year-old man is arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated wounding after racially abusing and attacking a 61-year-old taxi marshal, leaving him with a broken jaw, in Burnley, Lancashire. (Lancashire Telegraph, 1 November 2018)

Violence: attacks on property

27 October: Swastikas are daubed on signs and posts on Stanmore Common in Harrow, London before being removed by the council. (Get West London, 27 October 2018)

1 November: Racist and anti-migrant graffiti are daubed on a house in Belgrave, Birmingham. (BirminghamLive, 1 November 2018)

1 November: Swastikas are daubed on a notice board on the Warwickshire Moors before being removed by the council. (BirminghamLive, 1 November 2018)

Violence and harassment: convictions

29 October: Tommy Baird, 55, admits racially aggravated harassment and is given a community order, several restraining orders and a fine for shouting racist and anti-Semitic abuse at customers at a café in Queensferry, Wales. (Leader, 29 October 2018)

Violence: research and statistics 

31 October: Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) publishes documentation on six months of racist incidents on the Greek islands (RSA press release, 31 October 2018)

1 November: Figures provided by Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner show that the number of Third Party Reporting Centres (TPRCs) for hate crime in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has risen from three to nearly sixty during the last 18 months. (Petersfield Messenger, 1 November 2018)


Thanks to Rajesh Bhattarcherjee and Joseph Maggs for their help in preparing this calendar.

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

Leave a Reply

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

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