Calendar of Racism and Resistance (26 February – 11 March 2021)


Calendar of Racism and Resistance (26 February – 11 March 2021)

News

Written by: IRR News Team


La unidad hace la fuerza (Unity through strength) mural, Madrid, Spain

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

ASYLUM AND MIGRATION

Asylum and migrant rights

25 February: Official figures show that the numbers granted asylum or other forms of protection in the UK fell by over half in 2020. Numbers seeking asylum also fell, while there was a surge in attempted deportations to EU countries. (Independent, 25 February 2021) 

25 February: Spanish group Fundación Raíces reports on a 15 February ruling by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that Spain violated the rights of a displaced minor by forcing her to strip naked and have her breasts and genitals examined to determine her age. (Fundación Raíces, 25 February; InfoMigrants, 2 March 2021) 

26 February: Italy’s highest appeal court allows the protection appeal of a Libyan mother of Italian-born twins, ruling that children increase vulnerability, and ordering the grant of humanitarian protection. (InfoMigrants, 2 March 2021) 

3 March: The Home Office has failed to regularise the status of 69-year-old Sri Lankan Ponnampalam Jothibala for 15 years after he won an appeal against deportation in 2006, it is revealed. (Guardian, 3 March 2021)

5 March: In response to an online petition, the government says it has no intention of reinstating the route to settlement for migrant domestic workers abolished in 2012, since when they can stay in the UK for only six months. (Petition Parliament, 5 March 2021)

Borders and internal controls

26 February: Days after the start of a new European Parliament inquiry into the EU border agency Frontex, its head, Fabrice Leggeri, reveals using misrepresentation to buy firearms, and his purchase of tear gas, batons and bullet-proof vest, although the agency’s power to use force is legally problematic. (Politico, 22 February; European Parliament, 23 February; Der Spiegel, 26 February 2021) 

2 March: Home secretary Priti Patel threatens a change in the law to allow life sentences for assisting unlawful immigration, while refugee charities point out that it is asylum seekers arrested for steering boats, not people smugglers, who will suffer. (Independent, 2 March 2021)

3 March: Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) files a case against Greece at the European Court of Human rights on behalf of an unaccompanied asylum seeking child taken with another child from a reception camp in Samos to a Hellenic coastguard boat and driven out to the middle of the Aegean sea, where they were put on an inflatable raft and left to drift. (GLAN, 3 March 2021) 

3 March: On the French coast, three migrants are rescued from a capsized canoe in the new port of Calais, but one other person attempting the Cross-channel voyage remains missing. (La Voix du Nord, 4 March 2021)

4 March: An asylum seeker dies after stepping on a land mine in an area of Croatia, near the Bosnian border, littered with mines left over from the Balkan war. Four others are taken to hospital, one with life-threatening injuries. (Guardian, 7 March 2021)

6 March: In Tenerife, Spain, 1,200 migrants and local supporters demonstrate for the right to travel to the Spanish mainland. (DPA International, 6 March 2021)

Reception and detention

21 February: A new report by the Civil Fleet describes how in Greece, children in the Moria 2.0 camp at Kara Tepe, Lesvos, who make up nearly one-third of the nearly 7,000 residents, are self-harming and have suicidal thoughts because of the conditions in the camp. (ECRE Weekly Bulletin, 5 March 2021) 

23 February: A 6-year-old Iranian boy dies in Greece, in a fire at Thiva refugee camp, 60km north of Athens. Residents put the fire out themselves as the fire brigade reportedly fail to respond to emergency calls for over an hour. (Keep Talking Greece, 24 February 2021)

23 February: In Greece, an 8-months-pregnant refugee mother of two badly injured in an attempt to set herself on fire at the new Kara Tepe camp on learning that she could not travel to Germany is charged with arson and destruction of public property after being interviewed by a prosecutor in her hospital bed. (Guardian, 26 February 2021) 

24 February: NGOs respond cautiously to a Home Office letter of 18 February telling them that dispersal of asylum seekers from hotels to flats is to be accelerated, seeking assurances on the quality of the dispersal accommodation as Serco asylum accommodation in the Midlands is condemned as squalid and Derby council announces an urgent inspection. (Independent, 24 February; Guardian, 25 February 2021)

24 February: As the Home Affairs Committee is told that 190 asylum seekers housed at Napier barracks have tested positive for Covid-19 this year, home secretary Priti Patel blames the men for ‘mingling’. (Guardian, 24 February 2021) 

25 February: The High Court rules that the lack of legal aid provision for immigration prisoners in British jails is unlawful, in a case brought by a man unable to access legal aid for ten months and forced to represent himself in his asylum claim and in a challenge to his detention. (Independent, 25 February 2021)

26 February: The Irish government publishes a White Paper on phasing out the much-condemned Direct Provision system of asylum support over the next four years. Asylum seekers will get their own flats and be allowed to work after six months, the paper says. (Independent.ie, 26 February 2021)

27 February: The Home Office is planning a new network of immigration detention centres for women and is scrapping pilot schemes enabling vulnerable women to live in the community, going back on previous pledges to reduce immigration detention, it is revealed. (Observer, 27 February 2021)

1 March: As the EU-funded Filoxenia project In Greece providing accommodation to recognised refugees ends, up to 2,000 people evicted from their housing face homelessness, with no alternative accommodation offered. (Guardian, 5 March 2021)

2 March: The European Court of Human Rights rules that Hungary’s practice of holding asylum seekers in a border ‘transit zone’ while their asylum application was determined amounted to unlawful detention, in a case brought by an Iranian-Afghan family with three young children, held for three years behind barbed wire at the border with Serbia in what the court holds were inhuman conditions. (Hungarian Helsinki Committee, 2 March 2021)

3 March: The Jesuit Refugee Service publishes Covid-19 and immigration detention: lessons (not) learned, mapping the impact of the pandemic on administrative detention practices in seven EU states. (JRS, 3 March 2021)  

4 March: The European Court of Human Rights orders the Greek government to rehouse a heavily pregnant woman with shrapnel in her body which causes frequent seizures and pain, from Moria 2.0 at Kara Tepe, where she and her unborn child live in squalor and risk lead poisoning, to habitable living conditions. (Legal Centre Lesvos, 4 March 2021)

5 March: Despite the transfer of large numbers of asylum seekers from Napier barracks before the joint borders and prisons inspectorates’ visit, and multiple warnings from health officials, the Home Office says more asylum seekers will be housed there when current residents are moved out by 2 April. (Independent, 5 March 2021)

5 March: In France, Human Rights Observers report a second expulsion in a week of people in the Grande Synthe area. A ‘security perimeter’ erected by police stops the engagement of activists, who observe from a distance the destruction of tents and belongings. (Are You Syrious, 6 March 2021)  

8 March: On International Women’s Day, campaigners in County Durham stage a day of action against the creation of a new immigration detention centre for women at the site of the former Medomsley youth prison, near the village of Consett. (Morning Star, 9 March 2021)

8 March: Initial findings of the official inspection of accommodation for asylum seekers at Napier and Penally barracks condemn ’fundamental failures of leadership and planning’, ‘filthy and run-down’ accommodation and lack of Covid security leading to desperation among residents. (Government NewsGuardian, 8 March 2021)

Criminalising solidarity

23 February: Police raid the Italian home of Lorena and Gian Andrea, activists providing medical care to migrants arriving via the Balkan route, seizing their phones and materials from the organisation they founded to support migrants. The couple are accused of aiding illegal migration. An open letter in their support is signed by over 100 academics. (Frontline Defenders, 26 February; Are You Syrious, 8 March 2021)  

26 February: Refugee charity Choose Love publishes Under Pressure: How Greece is closing in on civil society, on how Greece’s increasingly stringent requirements for registration of NGOs assisting migrants obstruct their humanitarian work. (Choose Love, 26 February 2021)

1 March: In an operation against NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans, Italian police raid dozens of properties as the Ragusa public prosecutor investigates offences of assisting illegal entry and violating maritime codes, alleging it took money in August for receiving on board the Mare Jonio 27 migrants stuck on the container ship Maersk Etienne for 38 days following rescue as Malta refused to land them. (Mediterranea press release, 1 March; Statewatch, 2 March 2021)

1 March: In Italy, after a four-year investigation, the Trapani (Sicily) prosecutor lays charges of assisting illegal immigration against 21 individuals, including captains, crew and mission heads of charities linked to rescue ships Iuventa (Jugend Rettet), Vos Hestia (Save the Children) and Vos Prudence (Médecins sans Frontières), relating to rescue operations in 2016-2017. (Guardian, 4 March 2021) 

3 March: After six months, the Palermo administrative court lifts the blockade on rescue ship Sea Watch 4, which was accused by Italian authorities of having too many life-jackets on board, pending a decision by the European Court of Justice on the legality of the ship’s detention. (Migazin, 3 March 2021)

Citizenship

26 February: The supreme court, reversing the appeal court’s decision, rules that Shamima Begum, who left the UK as a 15-year-old to join ISIL, cannot return to the UK from a Syrian prison camp to conduct her appeal against the revocation of her British citizenship. (Supreme CourtIndependent, 26 February 2021)

5 March: A 65-year-old Windrush victim prevented from returning to the UK for 9 years when he went to Jamaica for his mother’s funeral is denied British citizenship on the ground of too long an absence from the UK. (Guardian, 5 March 2021)

Deportation

25 February: An EU document seen by Statewatch reveals that member states want to give Frontex more powers in the forced removal of lone children and other vulnerable groups. (Statewatch, 25 February 2021) 

2 March: In Malta, the Immigration Appeals Board rules that the state cannot deport eighteen children whose families had been ordered to leave the country for not meeting the requirement to earn €19,000 a year and a further €3,800 for each child for the grant of residence. (Times of Malta, 2 March 2021)

POLICING, CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND MILITARY

24 February: In Portugal, the black MP Joacine Moreira tells a parliamentary hearing about the discriminatory comments she has been subjected to on social media by police officers for over a year, with no action taken despite the fact that the officers have been identified. (Público, 24 February 2021)

26 February: HM Inspectorate of Constabulary reports on Disproportionate use of police powers: A spotlight on stop and search and the use of force, finding that 35 years after the introduction of stop and search, no police force fully understands the impact of the use of police powers, or can explain discriminatory policing. (HMICFRS, 26 February 2021)

1 March: In Germany, a soldier suspected of right-wing extremism is arrested in Hesse following a special forces raid which found him in possession of a cache of illegal weapons,  including firearms, knives, knuckledusters, a hand grenade and a tomahawk. (Vice, 1 March 2021)   

2 March: As an investigation continues into far-right penetration of Germany’s elite Special Forces Command, including the theft of weapons, a possibly illegal amnesty programme is revealed, involving soldiers returning weapons and munitions including hand grenades and 25,000 rounds of ammunition, anonymously and without fear of consequences. (Deutsche Welle, 2 March 2021)

3 March: In Portugal, videos shared on social media show officers from a Lisbon police unit attacking residents in a multicultural social housing neighbourhood on the outskirts of the city.  Police claim the residents attacked them with stones. (Politico, 3 March 2021)

1 March: A Daily Mirror investigation reveals that police forces in England and Wales uphold just three per cent of the racism complaints they receive – 153 out of over 5,000 in the past five years. (Daily Mirror, 1 March 2021)

2 March: The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) says there is no evidence that Mohamud Hassan, who died in January after being released from custody, was tasered, and he could have been injured in a disturbance at his home the night before his death. The investigation could take 9 months, it says. (Guardian, 2 March; Guardian, 4 March 2021)

3 March: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decides not to prosecute three police officers for alleged racist remarks including ‘monkey’, posted in a WhatsApp group about black British actor Kayode Ewumi. (Guardian, 3 March 2021)

4 March: The IOPC sends the CPS a file of evidence to consider charges of grievous bodily harm against a Metropolitan police officer who fired a taser at Jordan Walker-Brown, a young black man, as he jumped over a wall in north London, leaving him paralysed from the waist down. (Guardian, 4 March 2021)

4 March: David Smith, a 20-year-old black youth worker who is part of Hackney police monitoring collective ‘Account’, is stopped and searched by Met police officers, leaving him feeling ‘degraded’ and ‘criminalised’. (Huffington Post, 4 March 2021) 

5 March: A motion to ban Met police officers from marching at the Pride in London event in protest at institutional racism in the force and in solidarity with BLM, is defeated. (Guardian, 5 March 2021)

8 March: New national data reveals that only 2 out of 61 police officers and staff investigated on allegations of racism in Leicestershire between 2015 and 2020 faced disciplinary action. (Leicester Mercury, 8 March 2021)

9 March: The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is introduced in the House of Commons. It will criminalise unauthorised encampments, extend police powers including control and restriction of protest and extraction of information from phones, and impose tougher sentences for crime including ten years for damaging memorials. (Home Office; Independent, 9 March 2021) 

Counter-terrorism

24 February: An official report by the Commission for Countering Extremism claims a gap in the law and calls for a ban on groups accused of spreading hate, naming the far-right English Defence League and the advocacy organisation Cage. (Guardian, 24 February 2021)

25 February: Government spy agency GCHQ publishes its first ever public report, Pioneering a new national security: the ethics of Artificial Intelligence, which defends the use of algorithms in counter-terrorism and organised crime. (Guardian, 24 February; AI News, 25 February 2021) 

ELECTORAL AND PARTY POLITICS AND REFERENDA

1 March: Conservative-run Woking council is accused of potentially shutting out vulnerable voters by requesting photo ID for the grant of postal or proxy votes, which is not a legal requirement. (Guardian, 1 March 2021)

3 March: In Germany, the media report that despite no official announcement due to legal issues, the state’s domestic intelligence services have placed  Alternative for Germany under surveillance. (Deutsche Welle, 3 March 2021)

5 March: As Hungary’s Fidesz party quits the European conservative grouping in the European parliament, prime minister Viktor Orban calls for the creation of a new European right-wing force for ‘our type of people’ ‘who do not want migrants, who do not want multiculturalism’, and who want to protect their families and homeland’. (Ahram online, 5 March 2021)

7 March: Laurence Fox attacks Black Lives Matter and announces that he will stand for the ‘anti-woke ’Reclaim Party in the London mayoral elections, where he will ‘speak up for those who are being dominated into silence’ by ‘extreme political correctness’ in a country where even ‘mild patriotism is branded racist’. (Independent, 7 March 2021)

7 March: In Switzerland, a referendum initiated by the Egerkingen Committee that previously campaigned for the ban on minarets, narrowly wins a vote (51 percent) in favour of banning women from wearing the burqa or niqab in public spaces. (Guardian; Swissinfo, 7 March 2021)

7 March:  In a referendum in Zurich canton, Switzerland, 55 percent of voters approve the mandatory disclosure of the nationality of suspected offenders. A separate demand by the Swiss People’s Party to include a mention of a possible immigration background of suspects was rejected, although 44 percent voted in favour. (Swissinfo, 7 March 2021)

7 March: Nigel Farage resigns as leader of Reform UK, the renamed Brexit party, having achieved what he wanted, although he still plans to participate in political debate. (Guardian, 7 March 2021)

9 March: Government plans to change electoral law to require voters to show photo ID will hit BME voters hardest, increasing barriers to access and in effect disenfranchising them, warns Runnymede Trust, as the Electoral Reform Society urges the government to focus on the real problems of non-registration by 9 million people and US voter groups say such laws harm democracy. (Guardian, 28 February; Guardian, 9 March 2021)

ANTI-FASCISM AND FAR RIGHT

26 February: In Germany, nearly 500 police carry out raids in Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt and Hesse and detain eight suspects in connection with a neo-nazi network suspected of involvement in drug trafficking and money laundering. (Associated Press, 26 February 2021)

26 February: In Germany, a court sentences an Italian national living in Berlin to three years in prison for extortion. Claiming to be a member of Combat 18, he threatened to detonate a bomb at an unspecified hospital in the UK unless the NHS paid a £10 bitcoin ransom. (Guardian, 26 February 2021)

28 February: The Polish supreme court rules that National Radical Camp (ONR) can be described as ‘fascist’, bringing an end to a four-year libel case brought by far-right activists against Robert Koliński of Left Together, who was sued after objecting to an ONR march. (Notes from Poland, 28 February)

3 March: In France, the far-right anti-migrant group Génération Identitaire is banned for its incitement of ‘discrimination, hatred and violence’. (France24, 3 March 2021)

Generation Identitaire March from 7 November 2017

HUMAN RIGHTS AND DISCRIMINATION

24 February: Governments’ failure to enact the Equality Act duty to address socioeconomic disadvantage has exacerbated inequalities during the pandemic, says a new Runnymede Trust report, Facts don’t Lie. (Guardian, 24 February 2021)

2 March:  Holiday park operator Pontins agrees to ‘change its work culture’ after an investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found they were operating a blacklist of Irish surnames aimed at excluding bookings from Gypsy and Traveller families. (Independent.ie,  2 March 2021)

5 March: The World Health Organisation chief calls for the normal rules of business which protect profits of vaccine manufacturers to be set aside and patents waived to ensure everyone has access to vaccine, a measure strongly opposed by western pharmaceutical companies and governments. (Guardian, 5 March 2021)

7 March: The head of the UN’s humanitarian affairs office accuses the British government of ‘balancing the books on the backs of the starving people of Yemen’ in the face of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, after the decision to slash aid there by half while continuing to support the coalition waging war there. Leaked internal reports show the Foreign Office is also discussing massive cuts in aid to Somalia, Syria and elsewhere. (Guardian, 5 March; Guardian, 7 March 2021) 

EMPLOYMENT AND EXPLOITATION

28 February: A new study by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) reveals that jobless rates among BME groups are double that of white people, ‘hold[ing] up a mirror to structural racism’ in the UK’s labour market. (Guardian, 28 February 2021)

1 March: The proportion of BME NHS nurses reporting discrimination by managers and colleagues is almost triple that of white nurses, the latest report (based on data from 2019) by the Workforce Race Equality Standard reveals. (Nursing Times, 1 March 2021)  

1 March: Two out of five BME interior designers have faced racial discrimination at work, whilst just over 60 percent believe that their race or ethnicity has hindered their advancement in the industry, a survey by the British Institute of Interior Design finds. (Dezeen, 1 March 2021) 

1 March: Fourteen BME Uber Eats couriers say they have been fired for failing the company’s ‘Real Time ID Check’ because its ‘racist’ facial recognition software is incapable of recognising their faces. (Wired, 1 March 2021)

2 March: Unconscious bias training, conducted in four-fifths of companies, is ineffective to reduce workplace racism and can be counter-productive, according to research conducted by the government’s equalities office. (Guardian, 2 March 2021)  

2 March: The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) investigates into allegations of forced labour in Boohoo’s supply chain in Leicester, after anti-slavery charity Liberty Shared called for it to ban Boohoo clothing imported from the UK because of the Leicester factories’ ‘high potential for forced labour’. (Guardian, 2 March 2021)

7 March: The Low Pay Commission is to review a rule exempting live-in domestic workers from minimum wage regulations after a Tribunal found it was discriminatory against women. The rule was intended to apply to au pairs but is applied to maids and domestic staff, many migrants. (Guardian, 7 March 2021)

7 March: Large numbers of migrant workers in construction, care and hospitality have left the UK and will not return, leading to skill shortages which threaten the UK’s economic recovery, warn executives from the sectors, as the government tells businesses to develop workers’ skills to fill the gaps. (Observer, 7 March 2021)  

HOUSING

24 February: Conservative MPs vote against implementing key recommendations from the Grenfell inquiry. (Guardian, 24 February 2021)

credit: ChiralJon flickr

HEALTH

23 February: Ministers are urged to close the disparity in vaccinations between areas with high and low BME populations by offering vaccinations door-to-door to avoid Covid becoming a ‘disease of the poor’. (Guardian, 23 February 2021)

3 March: German doctors say Muslims, who make up about 6 percent of the population, make up over half of those in intensive care, although no official data is held on patients’ ethnic backgrounds. The OECD has said that in almost all member countries BME people are ‘systematically overrepresented’ in cases of Covid-19 and resulting deaths. (Guardian, 3 March 2021)

 4 March: Following the revelation that a fifth of NHS workers have not had their first inoculation, the director of the NHS Race and Health Observatory warns that mandatory vaccination of health and care staff, currently under consideration by the government, could be discriminatory, widen inequalities and increase workplace bullying of BME staff. (Observer, 28 February; Guardian, 4 March 2021)

6 March: The All-Party parliamentary group on hate crime warns the government that fears of deportation due to hostile environment policies are preventing hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants from getting vaccinated, as over 340 organisations sign a ‘Vaccines for All’ call demanding vaccination with no proof of address and a firewall between healthcare and immigration enforcement. (Independent, 6 March 2021) 

EDUCATION

24 February: A victim of racist abuse at an Edinburgh school brands a council report ‘meaningless’ and ‘a slap in the face’ after it finds no evidence that the five schools under investigation enabled racism, despite 73 complaints of racism by former pupils. (Edinburgh Evening News, 24 February 2021) 

25 February: Schools minister Nick Gibb rejects the demand for Britain’s role in colonialism and the slave trade to be part of the curriculum, claiming it would ‘lower standards’, despite a 286,000-signature petition condemning the curriculum for its absence of these key topics. (Independent, 25 February 2021) 

28 February: Historians accuse universities minister Michelle Donelan of ‘talking out of her arse’ and completely misunderstanding efforts to put British history in context when she compares decolonisation of education with Soviet-style censorship. (Independent, 28 February 2021)

MEDIA, CULTURE, SPORT

3 March: A Northern Ireland council withdraws a plan to honour Hercules Mulligan, an Irish-born hero of the US revolution, after learning he was a slave owner. (Guardian, 3 March 2021)

4 March: Gordon Beattie, journalist and chairman of Beattie Communications, resigns and apologises after publishing a LinkedIn post saying his firm would not hire ‘blacks, gays or Catholics’. (BBC, 4 March 2021)

7 March: Trinity College Dublin launches a two-year investigation into its colonial past, scrutinising its funding, buildings, curriculum and scholars including slave-owning philosopher George Berkeley, after whom the college’s library is named. (Observer, 7 March 2021) 

The facade of a Trinity College Dublin building.
Trinity College Dublin. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Author: Roman Kharkovski.

9 March: Following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ Oprah Winfrey interview, a row breaks out in the Society of Editors, as over 160 journalists of colour and the editors of the Guardian, Financial Times and HuffPost rebut its executive director Ian Murray’s claim that the UK media are not racist in response to the Duchess’ claim that racism informed media coverage of her. In an open letter, the journalists describe the SoE statement as ‘laughable’ and evidence of ‘an … industry in denial’.  (Guardian, 9 March 2021)

10 March: After a string of withdrawals from the Society of Editor’s National Press Awards following the statement, executive director Ian Murray resigns his position. (Guardian, 10 March 2021)

Football racism

23 February: Walsall footballer Tyreik Wright is sent racist abuse online. Instagram removes the account (Express & Star, 26 February 2021) 

27 February: Derby County football club tweets it is ‘disgusted’ that player Colin Kazim-Richards received racist abuse on social media after scoring the equaliser in Derby’s game against Nottingham Forest. (Guardian, 27 February 2021)

5 March: South Yorkshire’s Deputy Chief Constable, speaking for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, criticises the Premier League and English Football League for their slow response to requests to work with police to tackle racist abuse against players, and accuses social media platforms of frustrating police efforts to prosecute racist abuse and support victims. (BBC; BT Sport, 5 March 2021)

RACIAL VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT

22 February: A 41-year-old man receives a suspended 10-month prison sentence for racially attacking a takeaway worker with an umbrella ‘for bringing the coronavirus’ and shattering his shop window with a rock while threatening to burn it down, in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire in March 2020. (Hunts Post, 23 February 2021)

23 February: A group of men driving past Southampton University lecturer Dr Peng Wang as he is jogging shout racist abuse, then get out of their car and punch and kick him to the ground, leaving him needing hospital treatment. A 23-year-old man is questioned and released, and a second man is arrested on 4 March. (Hampshire Constabulary, 26 February; Southern Daily Echo, 5 March 2021) 

23 February: Congolese human rights lawyer Debora Kayembe is targeted for online racist abuse after being appointed as Edinburgh University’s next rector. Police Scotland launch an investigation. (Daily Record, 27 February 2021) 

27 February: A delivery driver is racially abused while making a delivery in Bramley, Surrey. A 52-year-old man is questioned on suspicion of racially aggravated assault and public order. (Surrey Police, 2 March 2021)

1 March: A 57-year-old Winchester man receives a community order including a nine-month alcohol treatment, curfew and rehabilitation after pleading guilty to three cases of threatening behaviour from 2020, two of which were racially aggravated. (Andover Advertiser, 1 March 2021) 

1 March: A 58-year-old man receives a caution and must pay compensation to his victim after admitting racially abusing a supermarket staff member in Cambridge on 8 February. (Cambridgeshire Constabulary, 1 March 2021) 

1 March: A 24-year-old man is charged with assaulting two women and racial abusing a passerby and a woman who tried to help, in Tuffley, Gloucestershire on 25 February. (Gloucestershire Live, 1 March 2021) 

2 March:  In Germany, a parliamentary question reveals that far-right attacks targeting Muslims and migrants increased in 2020, with 901 recorded attacks linked to Islamophobia – 80 on mosques and at least 48 people injured – and 1,606 incidents targeting migrants and refugees, with 84 attacks on refugee shelters and 67 on organisations and volunteers. (Daily Sabah, 2 March 2021)

2 March: A Royal Derby Hospital nurse speaks about the horrific racial abuse that she has received from numerous patients throughout her 23-year career, in a video released by the NHS Foundation Trust. (Derby Telegraph, 2 March 2021)

2 March: A 13-year-old boy is racially abused in Kinross by one of three boys in their mid-teens who were passing him on bikes. (The Scotsman, 5 March 2021)

3 March: A 31-year-old man is fined and must pay compensation to his victim after he pleaded guilty to racially abusing a police officer, following his arrest in July 2020 in North Tyneside. (Chronicle Live, 2 March 2021) 

3 March: A 58-year-old man receives a 32-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to racially attacking a man in his 40s with a glass bottle, causing injuries to his face, in Liverpool in September 2020. (Merseyside Police, 5 March 2021)

3 March: A swastika is sprayed onto the wall of a Sikh temple in Gravesend, Kent. Volunteers paint it over as police investigate. (ITV News, 8 March 2021)

4 March: Two men, aged 25 and 34, are arrested following a racially aggravated attack on a lorry driver at a set of lights on a motorway slip road in Leicestershire on 1 March. The man was taken to hospital but discharged later. (Leicester Mercury, 4 March 2021) 

4 March: A 55-year-old man is handed a 16-week suspended prison sentence, a 12-week curfew and an order for compensation to his victims after he admits assaulting and racially abusing NHS staff in Royal Liverpool Hospital in August 2020. (Daily Mirror, 4 March 2021) 

4 March: A 65-year-old man is charged with racial abuse of Horncastle Town manager Allan Ross at a football game in Spalding, Lincolnshire in October 2020. (Lincolnshire Live, 4 March 2021) 

5 March: A 28-year-old Washington, South Tyneside man is handed an 18-month community order and fined for assaulting a man and racially abusing the police officer arresting him, telling the officer to ‘go back to his country’, in April 2020. (Chronicle Live, 5 March 2021)

8 March: In Spain, a feminist ‘Unity through Strength’ mural in Madrid, recently criticised by the far-right Vox party for its depiction of 15 pioneering women including Rosa Parks and Frida Kahlo, is vandalised with black spray paint on International Women’s Day. A group called Revolutio leave a note describing feminism as ‘one of the bêtes noires of our era’. (El Pais, 8 March 2021)

La unidad hace la fuerza mural, Madrid, Spain, before it was vandalised. Wikimedia Commons, DLV.

The calendar was compiled with the help of Tania Bedi, Graeme Atkinson, Kaiisha Kukendra, Inês Silva, Neal Tank and Joseph Maggs.


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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