Calendar of Racism and Resistance (28 August – 10 September 2020)


Calendar of Racism and Resistance (28 August – 10 September 2020)

News

 

POLICE AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

For more information on policing and civil liberties issues follow @NETPOL @BigBrotherWatch @COVIDStateWatch and @libertyhq.

26 August: A protest by a thousand people at the International Organization for Migration (IOM)-run Lipa migrant camp in Krajina, Bosnia, against a police beating of an unhoused migrant, is put down by Bosnian special forces. IOM warns that the crackdown is fuelling the ‘volatile situation’ created by the shortage of accommodation. (InfoMigrants, 28 August 2020)

 27 August: An anonymous police officer speaks to the Guardian about the problematic policing of cannabis and the oppressive use of stop and search, saying stop and search ‘is really about power’. (Guardian, 27 August 2020)

28 August: Web Roots Democracy reveals that the Metropolitan police failed to undertake an equality impact assessment before facial recognition technology trials (including at the Notting Hill carnival). Its new report, Unmasking facial recognition, calls for a ‘generational ban’ on a technology that exacerbates racist outcomes in policing and has a specific anti-Blackness bias.  (WRD press release, 28 August 2020)

28 August: After the launch of a legal challenge, the Met police back down on their threat to use coronavirus regulations to arrest Ken Hinds, organiser of an anti-racist march from Notting Hill to Hyde Park planned for 30 August, conceding that as a political protest, the march will be exempt. (Guardian, 28 August 2020)

29 August: After the far-right desecration of the Qur’an in Malmö, Sweden, around 300 young people take to the streets in rage, clashing with the police in Rosengard. At least ten people are arrested in ‘riots’ condemned by a local imam. (Observer, 29 August 2020)

30 August: Around 400 demonstrators march from Notting Hill to Hyde Park for the first ever ‘Million People March’ to protest against systemic racism in the UK, in a march which according to organisers, seeks to incorporate the Carnival spirit to call for freedom, liberation and change. (Guardian, 30 August 2020)

30 August: Britain’s first and only black chief constable, Michael Fuller, says black people’s human rights and dignity are not being respected by humiliating and alienating stop and searches in the UK, where racial and social injustice are the same as in the US. Asked about George Floyd, he says ‘We have had equally appalling incidents.’ (Guardian, 30 August 2020)

31 August: The Law Society and the Criminal Bar Association, representing solicitors and barristers, warn of a triple threat to the criminal justice system, with a shortage of defence lawyers, legal aid cuts and massive delays leading to a situation putting the rule of law at risk. (Guardian, 31 August 2020)

31 August: The Secret Barrister warns that the diversity of the legal profession is threatened by court closures which force junior barristers to quit, and that no-jury trials, suggested as a way to cut the backlog of crown court cases in England and Wales, would impede justice for defendants from BME backgrounds, as jury verdicts are the only element of the system showing no racial disparity. (Guardian, 31 August 2020)

2 September: The trial starts in Paris of 14 people accused of providing logistical support, such as cars and weapons, for the attacks in January 2015 on the offices of Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish Hypercacher supermarket. The hearings are expected to last till November and will be recorded. (Deutsche Welle, 2 September 2020)

3 September: As the EU undertakes to draw up an Action Plan to address structural racism in Europe, the European Digital Rights Network calls for it to target law enforcement technologies that discriminate against Black, Brown and Roma men and boys, citing the Gangs Matrix, ProKid-12 SI and the UK’s National Data Analytics Solutions. (Euractiv, 3 September 2020)

3 September: A French journalist who infiltrated the Paris police for six months as a paid special constable in a northern arrondissement publishes Flic, describing a culture of racism, violence and impunity in which police routinely refer to people who are black, Arab or migrants as ‘bastards’ and assaults on youngsters take place almost daily. (Guardian, 3 September 2020)

Photo credit: sarah@eleven47

5 September:  A book by Lee Lawrence, son of Cherry Groce, The Louder I Will Sing, describes the impact of the police raid 35 years ago, when he was 11, in which she was shot and paralysed and her family traumatised, and their struggle for justice. The book is to be released on 17 September. Read an extract here. (Guardian, 5 September 2020)

6 September: With half a million cases waiting to be heard in magistrates’ and crown courts, the government proposes to increase the time defendants can be held in custody before trial from six to eight months. (Guardian, 6 September 2020)

8 September: An inquest into the death of Kevin Clarke, a 35-year-old black man in a mental health crisis, following restraint by Met police in Lewisham in March 2018, hears his mother testify that he had a fear of police, having been Tasered in the past. (Inquest, 3 September, BBC News, 8 September 2020)

8 September: Three former G4S executives are charged with defrauding the government over false representations to the Ministry of Justice between 2009 and 2012 in respect of a contract for electronic tagging of offenders. (Guardian, 8 September 2020)

Counter-extremism

28 August: Advocacy group Cage warns of an increase in ‘doorstepping’ by police of Muslims reported for innocent activities such as taking photographs by a lake or attending a Marvel event. (Cage, 28 August 2020)

Door-stepping police are sowing seeds of distrust in homes

 

29 August: Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust’s (LCHT) data indicates a 65 percent increase in referrals to Prevent in Leeds in the first quarter of 2020, amid an increase in far-right activity in the context of Covid-19 stigmatisation, fake news and community tensions. An increase in referrals in Bradford and Kirklees is also noted. (Yorkshire Evening Post, 29 August 2020)

 

ASYLUM AND MIGRATION

Asylum and migrant rights

26 August: An appeal for funeral expenses for Mercy Baguma, the Ugandan asylum seeker whose body was found next to her crying baby in a flat in Glasgow on 22 August, nearly triples its original funding target as calls grow for an inquiry into her death. (Guardian, 26 August 2020)

27 August: Nine law firms write to home secretary Priti Patel saying the Windrush compensation scheme is not providing fair and effective access to justice and is worsening victims’ trauma. (Guardian, 27 August 2020)

30 August: A family from Yemen faces permanent separation as the father, who arrived in the UK by plane on a visitor visa, has his asylum claim accepted while his three sons, forced to use smugglers and to cross the Channel by dinghy, are detained for deportation to Spain, the first EU country they arrived in. (Guardian, 30 August 2020)

3 September: A fortnight after rejecting a British attempt to replicate the Dublin regulation allowing the return of adult asylum seekers to Europe, the EU rejects a British proposal to reunite asylum seeking children with their families in the UK or Europe, leading to fears that many lone children will undertake ‘dangerous Channel crossings or other risky journeys’. (Guardian, 3 September 2020) 

Borders and internal controls

27 August: As official figures show asylum claims in the UK halving to 4,850 in the second quarter of 2020, humanitarian experts concerned at the rise in Channel crossings demand the reopening of the refugee resettlement scheme, the only safe and legal route to asylum, closed on 12 March because of coronavirus, leaving over 600 accepted refugees stranded in poor conditions in Middle Eastern host countries. (Guardian, 27 August, Independent, 4 September 2020)

28 August: 27 people rescued by the oil tanker Maersk Etienneremain stranded off the coast of Malta without a port to disembark, more than three weeks after they were saved. Sea Watch claims it is the longest stand-off in search and rescue history. (InfoMigrants, 28 August 2020)

29 August: Refugee Rescue, an organisation working over the last 5 years to save lives of those crossing the Aegean Sea in the North shore of Lesvos, suspends its operations, citing the deteriorating situation on the Island. (Refugee Rescue, 29 August 2020)

29 August: 500 people are stranded on a railway track in Bosnia and Herzegovina after being expelled from one province and refused entry to the next. (Al Jazeera, 29 August 2020)

30 August: At least three migrants die as a boat they are travelling on catches fire off the coast of Crotone in Italy. Another five are injured, the condition of two is critical. (Al Jazeera, 30 August, Guardian, 30 August 2020)

30 August: As 353 migrants, including pregnant women and children, wait on board the Sea Watch IV rescue ship for over 7 days for a port, the mayor of Lampedusa declares a strike to protest the failure of the Italian government to help relieve the hugely overcrowded reception facilities on the island. (El Diario, 30 August 2020)

30 August: Benoit Payan, deputy mayor of Marseille, offers a port to the people rescued by the Louise Michel search and rescue ship funded by British artist Banksy, after other EU countries refuse landing. (Connexion France, 31 August 2020)

banksy boat – credit @StreetArtDream

1 September: Italy authorises the disembarkation of the 353 migrants aboard the Sea Watch 4, including 150 transferred from the Louise Michel, at Palermo, where they are quarantined offshore, as the government sends boats to take 1,500 of those recently arrived at Lampedusa off the island. (El Diario, 1 September, Guardian, 2 September 2020)

1 September: The search and rescue organisation Sea Eye launches its newest rescue ship, the Ghalib Kurdi, named after the brother of Alan who also died trying to reach Greece 5 years ago. (Sea Eye, 1 September 2020)

2 September: Hamza Haddi and Mohammed Haddar, two Moroccan migrants, appeal in Greece against a four-year sentence for human smuggling. Solidarity groups say the two are victims of the Greek coastguards’ practice of random arrest and charging of migrants arriving on small boats. (AYS, 1 September 2020)

2 September: Around 409 migrants land on UK shores on small boats, said to be a new record for a single day, after ministers reject pleas for safe and lawful routes to the UK from mainland Europe. (Guardian, 2 September 2020)

3 September: The British government deploys sophisticated military drones, as well as military aircraft, to patrol the Channel to stop migrants crossing in rubber dinghies. (Washington Post, 3 September 2020)

3 September: A study by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) finds that ‘hostile environment’ policies have failed in their stated objective of persuading more undocumented migrants to leave the UK, but have contributed to racism and created more poverty, destitution and denial of basis services. (Guardian, 3 September 2020)

4 September: Dan O’Mahoney, the Home Office’s ‘clandestine Channel threat commander’, tells the Home Affairs Select Committee that the French authorities have prevented around 3,000 people crossing the Channel in 2020. (BBC News, 4 September 2020)

4 September: Hundreds gather in Wolverhampton for the funeral of Windrush campaigner Paulette Wilson, who died in July aged 64, paying tribute to ‘the Windrush champion’. (Guardian4 September 2020)

7 September: Internal documents seen by Der Spiegel show how Germany’s transport ministry tightened shipping safety regulations in June with the deliberate aim of preventing rescue ships leave port, after the NGO Mare Liberum legally challenges the detention in August of its two ships. (Mare Liberum, n.d., Der Spiegel, 7 September 2020)

7 September: As the stand-off continues between the government of Malta and the oil tanker Maersk Etienne, 3 of the 27 people rescued on 4 August jump into the sea in desperation, but are rescued by the crew. The Maltese prime minister refuses port, claiming the rescue was outside Malta’s search and rescue zone, and the International Chamber of Shipping urges the International Maritime Organisation to intervene. (Times of Malta, 7 September 2020)

8 September: In a new report, Amnesty International condemns Malta for its ‘illegal tactics’ in the central Mediterranean including unlawful pushbacks to Libya, diverting boats towards Italy rather than rescuing people in distress, and illegally detaining hundreds of people on ill-equipped ferries outside Maltese waters. AI demands a criminal investigation. Read the report here. (Deutsche Welle, 8 September, EU Observer, 8 September 2020)

Reception and detention

26 August: Detainees in the Moria pre-removal centre go on their second hunger strike this year to protest their quarantine and incarceration. (Deportation Monitoring Aegean, 26 August 2020)

28 August: The government launches a consultation on plans to force councils in England to take their share of lone children arriving in the UK, replacing the current voluntary transfer scheme, to relieve pressure on local authorities on the south coast such as Kent county council. (Guardian, 28 August 2020)

28 August: The Sicilian regional court quashes a decree issued by Sicily’s governor, Nello Musumeci, closing all Sicilian hotspots and reception centres as a protection against Covid-19, saying there is no evidence that ‘Covid-19 is worsening among the local population because of the migration phenomenon’. (InfoMigrants, 28 August 2020)

28 August: After police use tear gas and rubber bullets against detainees holding a peaceful protest on 25 August in the overcrowded and insanitary CETI (Centre for Temporary Stay of Immigrants) in Melilla, where 1,400 refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants have been held following a diagnosis of Covid-19, a judge orders the centre to open, along with other improvised ‘migrant quarantine’ centres such as the city’s bullring. (Global Detention Project, 4 September 2020)

30 August: Home secretary Priti Patel is accused of targeting child asylum seekers and ignoring legal guidance by pressurising local authority social workers to speed up the process of age assessment and promising to fund any subsequent litigation by those claiming wrong assessments as adults. (Observer, 30 August 2020)

1 September: As Free Movement reports a recent High Court ruling that the Home Office’s bail accommodation policies and practices are ‘individually and systemically unlawful’, a victory for practitioners and campaigners, Bail for Immigration Detainees calls on the Home Office ‘to act with urgency to ensure that people detained unlawfully, because of the lack of bail accommodation are now released’. (Free Movement, 1 September 2020)

2 September: The Moria refugee camp in Lesvos, where 13,000 refugees live in a space designed for 3,000, is placed under ‘closed and controlled’ strict quarantine for two weeks after the first case of coronavirus is confirmed. The quarantine is ‘discriminatory’ and ‘counterproductive’, says Doctors without Borders, amid fears that the government is using the pandemic as a pretext to create ‘closed camps’. (Al Jazeera, 2 September, Guardian, 4 September 2020)

2 September: The EU offers funding to governments seeking to hold migrants on boats offshore, as the Maltese government prepares to spend over €1 million a month to detain migrants and refugees on a large Cyprus-registered passenger ship. (EU Observer, 2 September 2020)

2 September: Over 200 people pitch tents in central Paris in protest the living conditions of displaced people and demand better arrangements. The action is dispersed by police and after negotiations the families are housed in City Hall. (InfoMigrants, 2 September 2020)

4 September: Oinofyta refugee camp in Viotia, Greece, is placed under quarantine after two residents test positive for Covid-19. (Ekathimerini, 4 September 2020)

7 September: Campaigners place 13,000 chairs in front of the Reichstag in Berlin, in a symbolic protest, with each chair representing one of the people stuck in terrible conditions in the Moria camp on Lesbos island. (Al Jazeera, 7 September 2020)

8 September: The Greek Migration Ministry announces a total of 35 cases of Covid-19 in Moria camp. (Ekathimerini, 8 September 2020)

9 September: Thousands are left without shelter as fires destroy Moria refugee camp on Lesbos. (BBC News, 9 September 2020)

Moria camp fire – credit @Francescorocca
Deportations

29 August: A new Corporate Watch report, Cast Away: the UK’s rushed charter flights to deport Channel crossers, details the human cost of punitive policies against refugees. Read the report here. (Corporate Watch, 29 August 2020)

7 September: A British woman living in Spain, who helped 11 Syrian asylum seekers left destitute, hungry and homeless outside Madrid airport on 3 September after a Home Office deportation charter flight, says she is ashamed of the government. Many were removed without their identity documents, and some have family in the UK. (Guardian, 3 September, Guardian, 7 September 2020)

Citizenship

28 August: Leaks of confidential government documents reveal that dozens of ‘politically-exposed persons’ (those vulnerable to corruption) and their families bought so-called ‘golden passports’ from Cyprus between late 2017 and late 2019. (Al Jazeera, 28 August 2020)

 

ANTI-FASCISM AND FAR RIGHT

26 August: Far-right For Britain Epping district councillor Julian Leppert (Waltham Abbey Paternoster) says that he does not want Epping to become a ‘Tower Hamlets’ in Essex and that it would be ‘ideal’ if Epping were for white people only. The far Right are targeting asylum seekers temporarily housed by the Home Office at Epping’s Bell Hotel. (Epping Forest Guardian, 26 August 2020)

28 August: A banner displayed at an SC Freiburg football fixture in August 2019 describing Alternative for Germany politician Dubravko Mandic as a ‘Nazi’ was justifiable on grounds of freedom of speech, the city prosecutor rules. A police investigation brought after a complaint by Mandic is criticised by the club and the fans. (Deutsche Welle, 28 August 2020)

28 August: Migrant rights groups and the local MP condemn Britain First for videos circulating widely on social media showing members of the far-right group entering hotels near Birmingham where asylum seekers are accommodated, and knocking on doors to interrogate them and accuse them of using taxpayers’ money. (Guardian, 28 August 2020)

29 August: After Britain First targets the Coventry Hill Hotel which is accommodating asylum seekers, two far-right activists are arrested on suspicion of assaulting a man who works at the hotel. Britain First also target a hotel run by Camden council, not realising that it is providing ‘Covid protect’ scheme protection to rough sleepers. (Guardian, 29 August 2020)

29 August: After the leader of Denmark’s Hard Line party is deported from Sweden, where he was attempting to hold an anti-Islamic protest in Malmö, his supporters hold an illegal rally in the multicultural neighbourhood of Rosengard, burning a copy of the Qur’an, and kicking another around a central square like a football. Three people are arrested for hate crimes. (See also Policing and criminal justice) (Guardian, 29 August 2020)

29 August: After Berlin police break up a 30,000+ strong rally of conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers and the far Right against coronavirus curbs, hundreds of far-right extremists attempt to storm the Reichstag parliament building. Author Sascha Lobo warns that for many people, marching alongside neo-Nazis will now become the new normal. (Deutsche Welle, 29 August, Euronews, 30 August, Byline Times, 1 September 2020)

5 September: Around 400 far-right demonstrators protesting against migrant Channel crossings bring the Port of Dover to a standstill, with protesters instructed by organiser Nigel Marcham to ‘take a knee for the brethren of this fucking country’. Ten are arrested In clashes with police, while anti-racists express solidarity with refugees, beaming a message ‘Rise above fear: Refugees welcome’ onto the white cliffs. (Guardian, BBC News, 5 September 2020)

5 September: Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders wins an appeal against a conviction for inciting hatred, although the court upholds the conviction for insulting a racial group during a 2014 rally in which he called for ‘fewer Moroccans’ in the Netherlands. (BBC News, 5 September 2020)

7 September: The trial starts in Freital, near Dresden, Germany of four people including a former member of the council, suspected members of the terrorist Group Freital, which targeted politicians, refugee shelters and migrant rights activists in the town with explosives in 2015. Eight people associated with the group were convicted of terrorist offences in 2018. (Deutsche Welle, 7 September 2020)

7 September: Czech Television reports that the names of elected politicians from the far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy party, including its leader Tomio Okamura, were removed from the final version of an official report on extremism for 2019. (Romea, 7 September 2020)

ELECTORAL POLITICS

31 August: In the port of Lampedusa, the League stages a protest aimed at stopping the landing of a boat with 360 people rescued at sea. (Al Jazeera, 31 August 2020)

1 September: Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, Boris Johnson’s choice for post-Brexit trade adviser despite widespread condemnation for his ‘Trumpian’ attitudes, criticises the ‘health dictatorship’ which seeks to preserve all lives, suggesting that elderly relatives should be left to die, in a speech for Policy Exchange. (Guardian, 1 September 2020)

 2 September: It is revealed that ‘data architect’ Will O’Shea, recruited to a senior post in the Cabinet Office’ Government Digital Service (GDS) on a scheme initiated by Dominic Cummings, was recently sacked after posting on social media that police should use live rounds against Black Lives Matter demonstrators. (Guardian, 2 September 2020)

2 September: Days after officials admitted they should not have used the phrase ‘activist lawyers’ in a tweet, ministers and Conservative MPs describe refugees crossing the Channel in small boats as ‘illegal migrants’ and accuse the lawyers helping them claim asylum of ‘wasting taxpayers’ money’. Critics accuse them of misrepresenting refugee law. (Guardian, 28 August, Guardian2 September 2020)

3 September: The Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, plays Rule Britannia on his phone in the Commons chamber in response to the BBC’s decision to feature vocalists singing the song at the annual Last Night of the Proms. (Guardian, 3 September 2020)

6 September: Marcus Rashford rebukes Kevin Hollinrake, Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton, for suggesting in a tweet that parents who need help to feed their children are failing in their parental responsibilities. (Guardian, 6 September 2020)

Marcus Rashford copyright = dullhunk

 

HEALTH AND POLICY

26 August: The Royal College of GPs calls for urgent action to protect ethnic minorities, doctors and staff from a second wave of coronavirus this winter. Its head, Professor Martin Marshall, expresses particular concern for the safety of BME frontline staff. (Independent, 26 August 2020)

27 August: A recommendation from ‘a risk assessment tool’ in Wales that high-risk workers should not work in highly infectious areas of hospitals is changed, putting high-risk workers in Wales at greater risk from Covid-19. Office for National Statistics figures show that many of the 26 healthcare workers dying from the virus in Wales between March and May were from a BME background. (BBC, 27 August 2020)

27 August: In a Wellcome Trust survey looking at the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on BME Britons, only 57 percent of black and minority ethnic people say they trust information from health scientists, compared with 75 per cent of white people. (Guardian, 27 August 2020)

2 September: Prime minister Boris Johnson repeats his refusal to meet members of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK, which says it represents 1,600 families and is campaigning for a public inquiry, claiming the group has started litigation against the government, a claim the group denies. (Guardian, 2 September 2020)

4 September: Government scientific advisers recommend that public health messaging designed to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on BME communities should be ‘reassuring’, to avoid ‘perceptions of institutional racism’, and that ‘fear inducing messages’ could result in ‘denial or avoidance as a coping mechanism’ for those obliged to work in frontline jobs. (Sky News, 4 September 2020)

5 September: An ‘official sensitive’ marked document by Public Health England, leaked to the Observer, indicates that Covid-19 may be endemic in parts of the UK with severe deprivation, poor housing and large BME communities. (Observer, 5 September 2020)

6 September: The centralised track and trace system has failed to keep communities safe in parts of the north most at risk to Covid-19, say directors of public health in Greater Manchester and elsewhere in Lancashire who have used council staff and volunteers with community knowledge to ‘plug the holes’. (Observer, 6 September 2020)

7 September: A survey commissioned for the parliamentary joint committee on human rights finds that nearly two-thirds of black people believe the NHS does less to protect their health than that of white people. (Guardian, 7 September 2020)

8 September: One in 8 deaths in Europe (a total of 400,000 premature deaths) is linked to air pollution, says the European Environmental Agency, in a new report which documents how poorer and marginalised communities suffer the most. (Deutsche Welle, 8 September 2020)

 

HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS

27 August: Homeless people in three coastal towns in Dorset could be fined for sleeping in doorways or leaving bedding and belongings in the street under proposals Conservative councillors are trying to push through. (Guardian, 27 August 2020)

30 August: As funding to prevent homelessness among prison leavers ends, charities fear a surge will lead to a rise in homelessness. Ministry of Justice figures show that even with additional support, many prisoners in England and Wales have been released into rough sleeping or other forms of homelessness during the pandemic. (Guardian, 30 August 2020)

1 September: Tower block owners refusing to fix fire risks are endangering lives, the UK’s most senior firefighter has said, as he admits the London Fire Brigade let down the residents of Grenfell Tower. (Guardian, 1 September 2020)

5 September: Relatives of the 72 victims of the Grenfell Tower fire and the residents’ support group, Grenfell Next of Kin, boycott a government scheme to create a memorial, saying they have no confidence in the process and they are being systemically marginalised. (Observer, 5 September 2020)

6 September: Survivors and bereaved of the Grenfell Tower fire say it is ‘madness’ that they are still not allowed to attend the public inquiry owing to Covid-19 regulations, even though people can eat at a restaurant or drink in a pub. (Guardian, 6 September 2020)

6 September:As the Grenfell public inquiry restarts, an analysis of events preceding the fire of 14 June 2017 produces devastating revelations of poor quality, short cuts and shoddy workmanship for the sake of profit, with concerned tenants branded ‘rebels’. (Guardian, 6 September 2020)

 

EMPLOYMENT AND EXPLOITATION

26 August: BME staff at the Department for International Development (DfID) claim to have experienced ‘endemic racism’ at work, including racist jokes, suggestions of sexual harassment and queries about their citizenship, according to a report commissioned by Whitehall’s Race Network (RN), published in March and uncovered as the department faces a merger with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. (Guardian, 26 August 2020)

27 August: At least 350 people and their households are required to self-isolate after 75 workers at Banham Poultry meat processing plant in Norfolk test positive for coronavirus, the latest of about 40 outbreaks in meat processing factories in England according to the Food Standards Agency. (Guardian, 27 August 2020)

27 August: The government’s trial scheme to pay low-paid workers in England testing positive for Covid-19, and their contacts, up to £13 per day to self-isolate if they cannot work from home, is condemned by the TUC, scientists and politicians as a ‘slap in the face’ leaving millions without enough to live. (Guardian, 27 August 2020)

27 August: An Italian judge upholds the seizure by Italian prosecutors of properties belonging to StraBerry, an agricultural startup accused of exploiting 100 African migrants, underpaying them, forcing them to work long shifts with no days off and refusing to provide water. (InfoMigrants, 28 August 2020)

28 August: The Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union (BECTU) says it is writing to new BBC director-general Tim Davie about claims by dozens of current and former staff of institutional racism, including denial of career development as well as being bullied and silenced by an ineffective complaints procedure. Former BBC executive Marcus Ryder will review racism within the TV industry for the union, to develop an independent racism reporting body. (Huffington Post, 28 August 2020)

28 August: Fast-fashion retailer Boohoo has been supplied by at least 18 factories in Leicester which third-party audits suggest have failed to pay the minimum wage, a Guardian investigation reveals. (Guardian, 28 August 2020)

30 August: Leicester’s garment district, home to over 1,000 factories, has had fewer than 60 health and safety inspections, only 28 fire inspections and 36 minimum wage investigations since October 2017, despite longstanding concerns about working conditions and pay, according to an FOI request by the Guardian. (Guardian, 30 August 2020)

Image shows garment workers protesting in Bangladesh. © Solidarity Centre

2 September: The Will O’Shea affair (see Electoral Politics above) reveals that BME civil servants in the Cabinet Office’s Government Digital Service have repeatedly alleged systemic racism, discrimination and bullying at work. (Guardian, 2 September 2020)

3 September: Two-fifths of working mothers with children under 10 are struggling to find childcare as nurseries, breakfast and after-school clubs remain closed, according to a TUC survey. (Guardian, 3 September 2020)

3 September: Long-distance drivers recruited from eastern Europe to deliver goods to Amazon distribution centres across Europe for the Hegelmann group claim they work illegally long and unsafe hours and have wages withheld, among other abuses. (Guardian, 3 September 2020)

8 September: Campaigners backed by a number of trade unions call for low-paid workers to be on full pay if forced to self-isolate, to protect public health and prevent exploitation. (Guardian, 8 September 2020)

 

POVERTY AND WELFARE

31 August: The Child Poverty Action Group calls on the government to significantly increase child benefit after research finds the benefit is worth 23 percent less in real terms than in 2010, forcing a significant number of families to use the payments to cover bills and other household expenses. (Guardian, 31 August 2020)

1 September: After forcing the government to U-turn on summer holiday school meal vouchers three months ago, Premier League footballer Marcus Rashford calls on ministers to implement recommendations from a government-commissioned food strategy to end child food poverty in Britain. (Guardian, 1 September 2020)

4 September: The Institute for Fiscal Studies calculates that councils will see a £2bn deficit this year, owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Local authorities plan to solve this by reducing support and axing children’s and young people’s services. (Guardian, 4 September 2020)

 

EDUCATION

1 September: The National Foundation for Educational Research finds that the education gap between poorer, as well as BME, and wealthier students in England has increased by 46 percent in the school year disrupted by the pandemic lockdown. (Guardian, 1 September 2020)

 2 September: Scottish government figures show that 65 percent of looked-after students who left school in 2018-19 failed to attain even one qualification at National 5 level compared with 15 percent of all school leavers, and 17 percent left school with no qualifications at all, compared with 2 percent. Read the report here.(Tes, 2 September 2020)

3 September: Hungarian geography textbooks for 14-year-olds describe people on the move in the country as there to ‘take away our jobs’. (Are You Syrious, 4 September 2020)

4 September: The Oxford Union pays damages to Ebenezer Azamati, a blind student who last year was forcibly removed from his reserved seat at the Oxford Union debating society and subsequently labelled ‘violent and dishonest’. As part of the agreement, two independent lawyers will review the union’s policies and procedures in relation to equality and access.  (Metro, 4 September 2020)

 

MEDIA AND CULTURE

28 August:French prosecutors investigate the New Right magazine Valuers Actuelles for racism and it is forced to apologise after publishing an image of Black politician Danièle Obono as a slave with an iron collar around her neck. The deputy editor later undermines the ‘apology’, saying ‘I regret that we are always accused of racism … we are politically incorrect, it’s in our DNA.’ (Deutsche Welle, 29 August, Guardian,31 August 2020)

2 September: On the eve of the Paris trial of 14 alleged accomplices to the deadly 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo, the magazine republishes the cartoons that sparked global protests over Islamophobia. (Guardian, 1 September 2020)

2 September: Cosmetics giant Estée Lauder is reviewing its language and marketing of skin-lightening creams after being accused of hypocrisy over statements of support for Black Lives Matter. (Guardian, 2 September 2020)

4 September: The Tate cuts all ties with its benefactor and patron Anthony d’Offay after criticism over racist imagery used by him as well as allegations of sexual harassment. (Guardian, 4 September 2020)

 

SPORT

28 August: Football charity Show Racism the Red Card writes to all professional football clubs in the UK, asking them to get involved in its new virtual anti-racism training sessions targeted at young people. (Reuters, 28 August 2020)

30 August: Delia Bushell, chief executive of the Jockey Club, which operates 15 high-profile racecourses, resigns after an independent inquiry, which she describes as ‘flawed and biased’, upheld allegations that she made racist comments relating to Black Lives Matter and the killing of George Floyd. (Racing Post, 1 September 2020)

3 September:Anti-racism charity Kick it Out reports a ‘shocking’ increase in racist abuse towards footballers in the 2019-20 season – 282 incidents, up from 184 the previous season. (Guardian, 3 September 2020)

3 September:Yorkshire County Cricket Club admits it ‘must do better to fully promote a culture of zero tolerance to racism’ after former spin bowler Azeem Rafiq shared his experience of institutional racism at the club. (Guardian, 3 September 2020)

3 September: Former Olympic athlete Christian Malcolm is appointed as Britain’s first black British Athletics Olympic Programme head coach. (British Athletics, 3 September 2020)

CHRISTIAN MALCOLM APPOINTED BRITISH ATHLETICS OLYMPIC PROGRAMME HEAD COACH

4 September: Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne recalls defending TV historian David Olusoga against racist bullying when they both attended primary school in Gateshead. (Mirror, 4 September 2020)

 

VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT

25 August: Wiltshire Police release CCTV images after a man and his daughter are subject to racist abuse while shopping on 28 June. (This is Wiltshire, 25 August 2020)

26 August: A video circulates online depicting a man shouting racist abuse at a family staying at a Holiday Inn Express in Barrow on 23 August, an incident called ‘sickening’ by a local councillor, and prompting a local father to raise money for the family affected.  (NWE Mail, 25 August, NWE Mail, 26 August 2020)

27 August: Conductor Dalia Stasevska says her family received threats and abuse after suggestions that she wanted to remove Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia from the programme of the last night of the Proms owing to her support for Black Lives Matter. (Guardian, 27 August 2020)

29 August: A police hate crime report shows that a violent racist offence is recorded on almost every day of the year in Northern Ireland. There were 1,611 recorded hate crimes in Northern Ireland between July 2019 and June 2020. (Belfast Live, 29 August, 2020)

30 August: A 34-year old mother who had racial graffiti scrawled across her family’s front door in Lincoln describes the impact on her mental and physical wellbeing and that of her children, who have also been racially abused at school. (Lincolnshire Live, 30 August 2020)

2 September: A 21-year-old Bristol NHS worker who was seriously injured in a racially aggravated attack after finishing work at Southmead Hospital on 22 July says ‘the city is not safe’ until the people who attacked him are caught, as he does not want this to happen to anyone else. (Bristol Post, 2 September 2020)

2 September: Police appeal for witnesses following what police call a racially motivated assault on a woman in her 60s in west Belfast on 1 September, in which she was kicked to the ground and kicked as she lay there.  She was taken to hospital and a 50-year-old was arrested. (Belfast Telegraph, 2 September 2020)

3 September: Dorset police investigating racist graffiti sprayed on the front of a Blandford shop and an alleyway, in a ‘very unpleasant and upsetting’ racially aggravated criminal damage, release a CCTV image of a person they wish to speak to. (Bournemouth Echo, 4 September 2020)

4 September: Two teenagers are arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated assault after a racist attack on two people in Bexhill town centre, and a third is arrested later. (The Argus, 4 September 2020)

7 September: A Basingstoke man in his 60s is arrested after racist abuse was shouted at players during a football match in Salisbury on 5 September. (Salisbury Journal, 19 September 2020)

7 September: An Indian restaurant in Barnsley bans deliveries to three locations in the area after drivers are subjected to increasing racial abuse. The restaurant says customers from the three streets are still welcome to collect meals. (Examiner Live, 7 September 2020)

7 September: Police in Helensburgh seek a woman who allegedly shouted racist abuse within a local Costcutter shop. Officers issue an appeal for information from anyone who was in the shop on 24 August. (Helenburgh Advertiser, 7 September 2020)

8 September: The trial opens in Oslo of the partner of a former Norwegian justice minister from the anti-immigration Progress party. Laila Anita Bertheussen is accused of staging attacks on her family and blaming them on the anti-racist Black Box theatre group. (Guardian, 8 September 2020)

The calendar was compiled with the help of Aisha Rana-Deshmukh, Laura Wormington, Jessica Pandian, Graeme Atkinson, Neal Tank, Joseph Maggs and Kaiisha Kukendra.

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