Calendar of Racism and Resistance (27 April – 11 May 2022)

Calendar of Racism and Resistance (27 April – 11 May 2022)


Written by: IRR News Team

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


Asylum and migrant rights      

26 April: African students who fled Ukraine for France and are living in the city of Orléans, say they have only been granted one-month residence permits and told to return to their home countries to apply for visas. (L’Humanité, 26 April 2022)

29 April: The Migration Advisory Committee calls on the government to scrap immigration fees for foreign nurses and carers in the UK, highlighting ‘significant costs’ for visa extensions and settlement applications for people on low wages in the care sector. (Independent, 29 April 2022)

1 May:  The government refuses to help bring to the UK a senior Afghan judge who worked with British and American forces to prosecute Taliban, Isis, al-Qaida and Haqqani terrorists, and who is now in hiding in Afghanistan, despite a high court ruling supporting his claim for sanctuary. (Guardian, 1 May 2022) 

1 May: Extensive visa delays, granting visas to all but one family member, and failure to notify applicants of visa grants has led to hundreds of Ukrainian families and UK sponsors pulling out of the Homes for Ukraine scheme, the Observer reports, with the home secretary facing legal challenges in connection with the scheme. (Observer, 1 May 2022; Guardian, 2 May 2002) 

5 May: In France African students fleeing the war in Ukraine are excluded from the remit of the ‘temporary protection directive’, meaning that unlike Ukrainian refugees they do not have the right to work and receive social and medical support. (France 24, 5 May 2022)

5 May: Under-18s travelling alone are being excluded from the Homes for Ukraine visa scheme for safeguarding reasons and left without a route to the UK, leaving them at heightened risk of trafficking and abuse, the Guardian reports. (Guardian, 5 May 2022)  

10 May: In the Queen’s Speech opening of parliament, the government announces its intention to introduce a bill that will ban local councils and other public bodies from participating in boycott and divestment campaigns, including those in support of Palestinian rights. (Middle East Eye, 10 May 2022) 

Borders and internal controls

28 April: Search and rescue NGO Sea-Watch International brings a case against Frontex in the EU General Court to obtain withheld information that may prove that the border agency is complicit in human rights violations in the Central Mediterranean, such as ‘pullbacks’ of migrant boats by the Libyan coastguard. (Sea-Watch, 28 April 2022)

The Sea-Watch 3 vessel at sea.
The Sea-Watch 3 patrolling the Central Mediterranean. Credit: Sea-Watch.

28 April: A joint media investigation reveals that Frontex, the EU border agency, was, despite its denials, involved in pushbacks of at least 957 asylum seekers in the Aegean Sea between March 2020 and September 2021, with pushbacks recorded in its internal incident report database as ‘prevention of departure’. (Guardian, 28 April 2022)

29 April: UNHCR reports that more than 3,000 people died or went missing attempting to reach Europe by sea in 2021, most on the Central and Western Mediterranean routes and the Northwest African maritime route to the Canary Islands. (ECRE Weekly Bulletin, 6 May 2022)

29 April: Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri resigns after being investigated by the EU anti-fraud agency Olaf, which concluded that he and two other Frontex officials should face disciplinary action, amidst allegations of improper use of project funding and cover-up of human rights abuses. (Guardian, 29 April 2022) 

An Abolish Frontex placard at a demo in Germany
An ‘Abolish Frontex’ placard at a protest in Germany. Credit: Leif Hinrichsen, Flickr

30 April: The body of a young man, who apparently tried to swim from Morocco along the harbour wall, is found by the seawall of the Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta, in north Africa. (InfoMigrants, 2 May 2022)

1 May: Freedom of information requests reveal that the Home Office has placed immigration officers as part of an ‘enhanced checking service’ in 25 local authorities, in departments for child services, homelessness, social care and mental health. (Guardian, 1 May 2022)

3 May: The Portuguese government, for the second time, amends by presidential decree a legislative commitment to abolish the controversial Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), so as to extend the deadline for its abolition. (Portugal Times, 3 May 2022)

4 May: As immigration raids are stepped up in London, My London publishes tips by anti-raids activists for those targeted and for witnesses. (My London, 4 May 2022)

4 May: The European parliament refuses to sign off the EU border agency’s accounts, citing its failure to investigate violations of asylum seekers’ rights in Greece and demanding access to an inquiry into alleged harassment and misconduct by Frontex.(Guardian, 4 May 2022)

5 May: Priti Patel fails to disclose key documents to Home Office staff detailing which migrants will subject to removal to Rwanda, and the head of the UK’s largest civil service union pledges to back legal challenges against the policy. (Guardian, 5 May 2022)

6 May: Green New Deal Rising campaigners, demanding an end to the Rwanda off-shoring plans for asylum seekers, disrupt the home secretary’s speech to a Conservative party ‘spring dinner’. (Guardian, 7 May 2022)

7 May: The first legal action is launched against plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, on the grounds that it runs contrary to international law and the UN refugee convention, as well as British data protection laws. (Guardian, 7 May 2022). 

9 May: Priti Patel admits the Rwanda plan will ‘take time’ to establish but also blames ‘specialist law firms’ for delays in its implementation. (Guardian, 10 May 2022)

Reception and detention

29 April: In Belgium, the Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities warns that the #Plekvrij project (reception of Ukrainian refugees in host families) is reaching its limits after two months, with both host families and refugees asking for alternatives. (Knack, 29 April 2022)

29 April: Human Rights Watch publishes a report that calls on Poland to introduce basic measures to safeguard Ukrainian refugees, citing evidence of attempts to force women into prostitution or into work without pay. (Euronews, 29 April 2022)

28 April: A non-verbal black British 17-year-old who disappeared from a psychiatric hospital in Kent is found in Brook House detention centre, Gatwick, after being arrested on suspicion of train fare evasion, with documents prepared in detention stating that his removal from the UK was ‘imminent’. (Guardian, 28 April 2022) 

29 April: As regional governors in the Czech Republic accuse Roma refugees from Ukraine of ‘social tourism’, the interior minister denies racial segregation in accommodation provision and announces plans to house 300 Roma in around 21 properties. (Radio Prague International, 29 April 2022)

1 May: Charities accuse the Home Office of ‘burying’ ‘humane’ pilot schemes in Newcastle and Bedford offering alternatives to detention, as plans are revealed for the former RAF base at Linton-on-Ouse, billed as a ‘reception area’, to detain approximately 1,500 asylum seekers. (Observer, 1 May 2022) 

8 May: 600 Ukrainian refugees who were granted visas under the Homes for Ukraine scheme are placed in emergency housing after their sponsors were deemed ‘unsuitable’, with housing charities criticising the government’s matching service for being a ‘free-for-all’. (Guardian, 8 May 2022)

10 May: In Poland, Ukrainian Roma refugee women and children are facing discrimination and are not being offered homes or accepted at reception points, the Guardian reports. (Guardian, 10 May 2022)


27 April: Denmark signs a €15 million deal to send 300 foreign national prisoners due to be deported after completing their sentences to Kosovo. (Euronews, 27 April 2022)

Crimes of solidarity

3 May: In Rome, Italy, Andrea Costa, president of migrant support organisation Baobab Experience, and two other employees, are acquitted of aiding illegal immigration, after the judge says the crime was ‘non-existent’. (ANSA, 3 May 2022)


For more information on the Swedish government’s response to the ‘Easter riots’, see also POLICING | PRISONS | CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, below.

28 April:  Unveiling a post-riot package to tackle organised crime, the Swedish prime minister Magdalena Andersson says that 20 years of ‘failed integration’ has led to a nation of ‘parallel societies … living in different realities’ and that Islamism and right-wing extremism have been allowed to fester. (Guardian, 28 April 2022) 

29 April: Ahead of the French legislative elections in June, far-right presidential candidate Éric Zemmour calls for a ‘union nationale’, saying that his party Reconquest will not field candidates against fellow far-right politicians like Le Pen. (France 24, 29 April 2022)

4 May: Far-right Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Åkesson announces a package to end ‘parallel societies’ including urban planning to ‘build away’ crime, demolition of apartment blocks and transfer of residents, more searches and raids in designated ‘search zones’ described as ‘culturally burdened’. (The Local, 4 May 2022)


With anti-migrant, anti-equalities, anti-abortion, misogynistic and anti-LGBTQI activities increasingly interlinking, we now incorporate information on the Christian Right as well as information relating to the incel movement.

1 May: Four members of the far-right Third Way (Der Dritte Weg) are injured after clashing with counter-protesters in Zwickau, east Germany, after an earlier incident when far-right activists threw stones at counter-protesters, leading to three injuries. (Deutsche Welle, 1 May 2022)

6 May: In a leaked recording obtained by Byline Times, British ‘alt-lite’ Youtuber Paul Joseph Watson is heard saying he would like Jewish people to be ‘wiped off the face of the earth’ followed by a string of racist and homophobic slurs. (Byline Times, 6 May 2022)


27 April: A police conduct panel rules that the five Metropolitan police officers who handcuffed black British athlete Bianca Williams and her partner Ricardo dos Santos after a car stop in Maida Vale, London in July 2020 should face a disciplinary hearing for potential gross misconduct. (Sky News, 27 April 2022)

28 April: NetPol criticises the handcuffing of a 15-year-old schoolgirl by Met police officers during a stop and search in Stockwell, south London, highlighting the concerning normalisation of the practice. (London World, 28 April 2022)

28 April: The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies publishes The Usual Suspects: Joint enterprise prosecutions before and after the Supreme Court ruling, which finds that around a third of murder convictions of secondary suspects are from the black community. (Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, 28 April 2022)

28 April: The Swedish government’s post-riot measures emphasise organised crime and include new youth delinquency boards, involving greater collaboration between police and social services; more electronic surveillance powers for police to facilitate the exchange of information; and denial of residence even to those not convicted of any crime. (Guardian, 28 April 2022)

28 April: Because the number of children in custody is expected to double by 2024, the Ministry of Justice and the Prison and Probation Service are considering reopening Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre, which was closed over safety concerns. (Children & Young People Now, 28 April 2022)

29 April:  In Belgium, the trial of 18 students accused of various offences leading to the death of black engineering student Sanda Dia during a student initiation ceremony at Leuven University is halted after lawyers for the family challenge a number of decisions by the judge. (Het Nieuwsblad, 29 April 2022)

3 May: In Greece, while two men are found guilty for killing LGBT+ activist Zacharias Kostopoulos in Athens in 2018, four police officers are acquitted of causing ‘grievous bodily harm’, in a verdict characterised by the Kostopoulos’ family’s lawyer as consistent with a ‘longstanding culture of police impunity’. Police handcuffed Kostopoulos, who had suffered a severe beating, while he bled to death on the pavement. (Euronews, 3 May 2022; Guardian, 3 May 2022)

2 May: Gokay Akbulut MP calls for an investigation after a man dies after being stopped by police in Mannheim, Germany, apparently after a mental health institution requested help.  A video allegedly shows the man being beaten by officers while lying on the ground. (Euronews, 2 May 2022)

6 May: The family of Dea-John Reid, 14, stabbed to death in May 2021 after being hunted by a white gang of adults and youngsters shouting racist slurs, protest at the manslaughter verdict and short sentence for his 15-year-old killer, saying the system is ‘not geared up to give black people justice’. (BBC News, 7 May 2022)

8 May: After a blue plaque in memory of David Oluwale, a Nigerian man who died in 1969 after enduring years of racist police brutality, was stolen soon after being unveiled, residents display photos of Oluwale across Leeds. Two men have been arrested in connection with the theft. (Guardian, 8 May 2022; BBC News, 9 May 2022) 

10 May: The public inquiry begins into the death in police custody in Fife in 2015 of Sheku Bayoh, with campaigners calling for it to become a ‘watershed moment’ in the history of racism in Scotland. (Guardian, 10 May 2022)


30 April: A report by the Commission on Young Lives in England finds that black children are more likely to face tougher punishment in schools and that a process of ‘adultification’ means black children can feel unsafe and over-policed. (BBC News, 30 April 2022)

2 May: Though the department of education’s National Tutoring Programme has been found to fail disadvantaged youth, the education secretary urges more schools to adopt it. (Guardian, 2 May 2022)     

4 May: An independent investigation into allegations of sexism, racism, Islamophobia and bullying, and that Ofsted was misled by senior staff at London’s Holland Park school, decides that in all probability all the incidents complained about had taken place. (Guardian, 4 May 2022)

Holland Park School, London
Holland Park School, London. Credit: B, Flickr

9 May: Universities across England come out against government proposals for limiting student numbers and access to loans, describing the plans as likely to crush aspirations and entrench disadvantage. (Guardian, 9 May 2022)  


2 May: The Justice Initiative accuses Denmark of racial discrimination, after parliament votes to amend the ‘anti-ghetto law’ to exempt Ukrainian refugees from provisions that prohibit immigrants accessing social housing in disadvantaged areas on the grounds that they create ‘parallel societies’. (Guardian, 2 May 2022)

2 May: Shelter says Boris Johnson’s proposed extension of the right-to-buy scheme to housing association homes will put more people at risk of homelessness due to affordable social homes being sold off and fewer than 5 percent being replaced. (Shelter, 2 May 2022) 

4 May: The Grenfell inquiry is told that after the fire some residents were rough sleeping in the surrounding estate because they were not informed of available temporary accommodation. (Inside Housing, 4 May 2022)  


5 May: A letter from BME ‘leaders’ to the head of the official Covid-19 inquiry into racial inequality and disproportionate death rates, warns that ministers are trying to ‘explain away’ covid race issues and have no specific programme of investigation into the matter. (Guardian, 5 May 2022)


30 April: Overseas nurses say an ‘academic’ compulsory language test to qualify in the UK consigns them to low-paid jobs and is discriminatory, requiring a much higher standard than native English speakers need. (Guardian, 30 April 2022)


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.

27 April: Oxford University Press pulps its children’s book ‘The Blue Eye’ from the Biff, Chip and Kipper series after several people online highlight the book’s Islamophobic content. (Guardian, 27 April 2022) 

29 April: In Denmark Patrioterne Går Live (Patriots Go Live) livestream their vandalising of The Unsettling Duckling, a painting by the anti-fascist painter Asger Jorn, in what they claim is an act comparable to the removal of the statue of Frederik V by anti-racists in Copenhagen in 2020. (, 29 April 2022; Twitter, 1 May 2022)

4 May: The Football Association investigates suspended Crawley Town manager John Yems over allegations that he racially abused his own players, and black players were racially segregated. (Guardian, 4 May 2022)

8 May: The Church of England apologises in a special service for its ‘shameful actions’ in passing anti-Jewish laws 800 years ago, paving the way for the expulsion of Jews from England. (Guardian, 8 May, 2022)


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

26 April: A 14-year-old boy is threatened with a knife, hit with a metal bar and has his bag stolen in a racist attack in Bedworth. Four boys aged 15-17 from Bedworth and Leicester are arrested. (Coventry Telegraph, 27 April 2022)

27 April: The Antisemitism Worldwide Report 2021 finds that the number of physical assaults against Jews in the UK rose by 78 percent compared to 2020. The report emphasises that social media and covid-related conspiracy platforms have played an ‘exceptionally alarming role’ in the global increase in antisemitism. (BBC News, 27 April 2022)

2 May: According to anti-racist group KEERFA, a 26-year-old Pakistani migrant, returning with friends from Eid al-Fitr celebrations, is shot three times in central Athens, Greece, with one bullet narrowly missing his eye, by a taxi driver who shouted ‘F*** Muslims!’ (Keep Talking Greece, 4 May 2022)

3 May: A 35-year-old Muslim taxi driver suffers a fractured cheekbone after being beaten with a knuckle duster and subjected to racial abuse in Manchester on the second day of Eid. (Manchester Evening News, 9 May 2022)

4 May: The word ‘Juif’ (Jew) is sprayed on a house in Uccle, Belgium, the second such antisemitic incident in Brussels in four months. (Brussels Times, 4 May 2022)

The calendar was compiled with the help of Graeme Atkinson, Sira Thiam, Sigrid Corry, Donari Yahzid, Sophie Chauhan and Joseph Maggs. Thanks also to ECRE and Stopwatch, whose regular updates on asylum, migration 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.

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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