Calendar of Racism and Resistance (29 July – 13 August 2020)


Calendar of Racism and Resistance (29 July – 13 August 2020)

News

 

BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTS AND RELATED POLICING

29 July: The Black Protest Legal Support Group reports possible legal grounds to sue the police, citing the requirements imposed on people to leave a kettle, the use of facial recognition software and the related requirement for people to take off their face masks before being able to leave a kettle, putting their health and safety at risk. (Law Society Gazette29 July 2020)

7 August: Young people mount a blockade outside Colindale police station in north-west London after the arrest of two youth workers who had gone to the police station to investigate the arrest of a 14-year-old black boy who they say had previously been the victim of an illegal search, in which police officers put their hands in his underpants. (Guardian, 7 August 2020)

8 August: On the ninth anniversary of the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan, hundreds of protesters from Black Lives Matter, Tottenham Rights, Stopwatch, 4front and other organisations gather outside Tottenham police station calling for an end to over-policing and excessive force in black communities; to stop the use of Tasers and end section 60 stop and searches which allow the police to stop a person without the need to establish reasonable suspicion. (Guardian, 8 August 2020)

10 August: The Anti-Racism Protest Defence Campaign North East accuses Newcastle police of ‘encouraging the far Right’ after they issue a dispersal order to anti-racist leafletters ordering them to leave the city centre and force a larger protest in the city centre to relocate, citing public order concerns. (Newcastle Chronicle, 11 August 2020) 

POLICE AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM – GENERAL 

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

27 July: Liberty calls for the government to scrap the Coronavirus Act and take action on discriminatory policies, after its analysis shows that police in 17 forces were more likely to issue a penalty to BME people than to white people, whilst in some areas people of colour were up to seven times more likely to be fined than white people. (Liberty, 27 July 2020)

 

31 July: A report by Resistance Lab in Manchester reveals that the use of Tasers is on the rise in England and Wales, with its use four times more likely on a black person than a white person. (Channel 4 News, 31 July 2020)

1 August: Following the sentencing of three men for the killing of PC Andrew Harper, Janette McCormick, deputy chief constable at the College of Policing, calls for attention to tackle the inequality, lack of job prospects and prejudice against Travellers, saying deep-seated prejudices allow the community to be labelled ‘inherently criminal’. (Guardian1 August 2020)

2 August: Former superintendent Robyn Williams, one of the most senior African-Caribbean women in British policing, wins the right to appeal her fast-track sacking and to argue for the quashing of her controversial conviction for innocent possession of a child abuse video. (Guardian, 2 August 2020)

3 August: Rashid and Aliya Abbasi, both doctors, launch a legal action against Northumbria Police for an incident in August 2019 when officers dragged them away from the hospital bed of their dying 6-year old daughter. In an interview, the parents describe officers as ‘barbaric’, in what they describe as ‘living a nightmare’. (Sky News, 3 August 2020)

3 August: England and Tottenham footballer Danny Rose says he has been regularly stopped by police for the past 15 years, from when he was 15, with the latest incident, only a week ago, involving a riot van and three police cars questioning him in his stationary car in a car park. (Guardian, 3 August 2020)

5 August: A report on a racist attack in HMP Bristol in 2014 by an inmate who said he would only share his cell with a white man finds serious failings in the handling of racism in the prison. The attack left 43-year-old Mohamed Sharif, of Somali heritage, with such devastating brain damage that he needs 24-hour care and supervision. (Guardian, 5 August 2020)

8 August: Ryan Colaço, a man who had his car window smashed in May by the Metropolitan police when he was driving home from an interview about ‘racially motivated’ stop-and-search, demands to be reimbursed for repairs after a police standards investigation ruled it was ‘unacceptable’ for officers to return his vehicle full of shards of glass, although it dismissed his allegations of unlawful search and excessive force. (Guardian, 8 August 2020)

10 August: Five British men in senior roles in the Hong Kong police are sued in London for allegedly participating in brutal actions including torture of anti-government demonstrators who have been protesting since June last year over an extradition bill and security law imposed by Beijing. (Guardian, 10 August 2020)

10 August: The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) launches a witness appeal as it investigates an officer for common assault and gross misconduct after he appeared to kneel on a suspect’s neck during an arrest. (Guardian, 10 August 2020)

11 August: In a legal challenge brought by Liberty, the Court of Appeal rules that South Wales Police’ use of facial recognition technology is unlawful, since the legal framework surrounding its use does not protect privacy, it has a discriminatory impact and breaches data protection laws. (Liberty press release, 11 August 2020)

11 August: Stephen Lawrence’s parents express dismay at the Met police decision to end the active hunt for more of the 18-year-old’s killers, and his father, Neville Lawrence, says he will try to overturn the decision. At least five men were involved in the killing, in April 1993, but only two were ever convicted. (Guardian, 11 August 2020)

Stephen Lawrence
Racial profiling

2 August: Three weeks after Black German lawyer Blaise Francis El Mourabit offered to represent anyone racially profiled by the police free of charge, he reports receiving 700 messages and 230 legal queries. (Deutsche Welle, 2 August 2020)

3 August: Kent Police apologise to Ministry of Justice civil servant Dr Andrea Charles Fidelis, who was accused of car theft while jogging near her home on 29 March. She says she was racially profiled and ‘dehumanised’. (BBC News, 3 August 2020)

10 August: The ethnicity of drivers stopped by police, and the reason for the stop, should be routinely recorded like street stop-and-search, campaigners and lawyers argue, as Labour MP Dawn Butler reveals she was pulled over by officers in Hackney, east London earlier this week. Road traffic laws allow officers to stop drivers without reasonable suspicion of crime. (Guardian, 10 August 2020)

10 August: After youths fought with police and lifeguards at a beach in Blankenberge, Belgium, a police spokesperson announces that officers will carry out checks on arriving trains and send away anyone with a profile similar to that of the group of youths involved. The coastal police have openly admitted to ethnic profiling, critics say. (Brussels Times,  10 August 2020)

12 August: The Met ‘s deputy commissioner hits back at critics of the officers who stopped Dawn Butler MP’s car in Hackney, claiming that the officers’ ‘trial by social media’ could damage the police’ ability to function, and maintaining that the car’s tinted windows made her identification as a black person impossible. (Guardian, 12 August 2020)

Anti-terrorism

30 July: Following a legal challenge from a Muslim prisoner, the High Court rules that parliament’s decision, following the London Bridge attacks, to end automatic early release for prisoners convicted of terrorist offences (excluding those on life sentences) was ‘logical and rational’. Approximately 50 serving prisoners are affected by the ruling. (BBC News, 30 July 2020)

 

ASYLUM, MIGRATION, CITIZENSHIP

Asylum and migrant rights

3 August: Donna Smith Fustiye, an NHS care worker from Jamaica whose husband Ralston Fustiye, a non-NHS key worker, died from coronavirus in April, calls for ‘free and automatic’ indefinite leave to remain for bereaved relatives of all key workers. She must raise thousands of pounds in fees for her and her two children to stay in the UK indefinitely, as the bereavement scheme does not cover all key workers. (Independent, 3 August 2020)

7 August: Following the launch of a legal challenge to the Home Office’s ‘visa streaming’ algorithm, deemed racist by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and technology justice group Foxglove, home secretary Priti Patel suspends use of the algorithm to consider ‘issues around unconscious bias and the use of nationality’ in automated visa applications. (JCWI Press Release, 7 August 2020)

7 August: A cross-party group of 44 MPs and peers write to the home secretary demanding the automatic grant of refugee status to Uighur people fleeing China and seeking asylum in the UK, in the light of growing evidence of genocide. (Guardian, 7 August 2020) 

Borders and internal controls

28 July: The provincial court of Cádiz based at Ceuta dismisses the latest appeal filed by NGOs and activists against 16 civil guards for the deaths of 15 migrants who drowned trying to reach the Spanish enclave from Morocco in February 2014. (Web24news, 28 July 2020)

29 July: In a ground-breaking case, the Spanish supreme court recognises the right of asylum seekers in the Spanish north African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla to move freely throughout Spain’s national territory, enabling them to move to mainland Spain. (CEAR, 29 July, Are You Syrious, 30 July 2020)

31 July: The Spanish organisation ResQ-People Saving People launches a crowdfunding campaign to provide a 40-metre search and rescue (SAR) ship for the Mediterranean, manned with a 10-person crew and 9 others including doctors and journalists. (Infomigrants, 31 July 2020)

31 July: Germany’s interior minister Horst Seehofer rejects a request by the State of Berlin to take in 300 vulnerable refugees from Greece, saying the federal government has the sole responsibility to organise admissions. (Infomigrants, 31 July 2020)

3-7 August: A Guardian series, Europe’s Dreamers, a collaboration with Lighthouse Reports, reveals the obstacles for young undocumented migrants in the hostile environments of the UK and Europe, and their attempts – individual and through groups such as We Belong, Generation 2.0 and Young, Paperless and Powerful, to secure legal residency and avoid detention and deportation. (Guardian, 3 August, Guardian, 4 August, Guardian, 5 August, Guardian, 6 August, Guardian, 7 August, Guardian, 7 August 2020)

6 August: Two children aged about 13 drown after jumping from a ship on which they had stowed away, to prevent their capture and return to Africa, as the ship arrives in Valencia port and begins docking manoeuvres. (Levante, 7 August 2020)

8 August: Amid rising hysteria at the numbers of migrants intercepted in small boats crossing the Channel, including  growing numbers of unaccompanied children, home secretary Priti Patel appoints a former Royal Marine to the role of ‘clandestine Channel threat commander’ and seeks to deploy the navy to push back the boats, which lawyers condemn as illegal, while immigration minister Chris Philps says the government is ‘determined to make this route unviable’. (Guardian, 7 August, Guardian, 8 August 2020)

11 August: Migrant and human rights groups urge the government to offer safe and legal routes to Britain for refugees and accuse prime minister Boris Johnson of ‘scapegoating desperate people’ as he describes the Channel crossings as ‘very bad and stupid and dangerous and criminal’, and the immigration minister says the UK and France are working fast to stop the crossings. (Guardian, 10 August, Guardian, 11 August, Guardian, 11 August , Guardian, 12 August 2020)

Libya

28 July: The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that two Sudanese migrants were killed and three more injured the previous day as they tried to escape from a disembarkation point in Tripoli after being intercepted at sea and returned to Libya by the Libyan coastguard. The organisation reiterates that Libya is not safe and urges the EU and member states to end the return of vulnerable people there. (IOM press release, 28 July 2020)

8 August: More allegations of torture, rape and starvation emerge from Bani Walid migrant detention centre in north-west Libya. (AYS, 8-9 August 2020)

Reception and detention

29 July: Paris police evict over 1,000 people from the makeshift camp established since the easing of lockdown in May on the banks of the city’s canal. Newspapers report that the residents will be bussed to temporary shelters and tested for coronavirus. (Deutsche Welle, 29 July 2020)

30 July: A 19-year-old from Iraq living in the Vial camp on Chios is found hanged from a tree 2.5km from the camp, in a presumed suicide. Vial residents live in desperate conditions, locked in since March, with support networks locked out and access to running water scarce. (Are You Syrious, 31 July 2020)

30 July: As the lockdown of migrant camps is extended for the whole month of August, Médecins sans Frontières is forced to close its Covid-19 isolation centre on Lesvos, the only such facility for residents of Moria camp, after local authorities impose fines for alleged breaches of planning regulations. (Keep Talking Greece, 30 July 2020)

Moria Refugee Camp. photo: MSF

2 August: Italian mayors demand a ban on new admissions, linking the overcrowded conditions at reception centres to deteriorating relations with locals who, due to the pandemic and economic situation, are becoming more hostile, with the army called in to guard the centres. The mayor of Porto Empedocle, Sicily, rejects a government offer of a quarantine ship, because of the risk to the tourism sector.  (Deutsche Welle, 2 August 2020)

10 August: The Guardian reports on the Spanish initiative Towns with a future, which aims to attract refugee and migrant families to depopulated areas of rural Spain and helps them settle there, bringing dying areas back to life. (Guardian, 10 August 2020)

Criminalisation of solidarity

31 July: To mark the third anniversary of the seizure of SAR vessel Invent by the Italian authorities, Amnesty International launches a worldwide solidarity campaign in support of its ten crew members, still under investigation for humansmuggling despite having saved over 14,000 lives. (Amnesty International, 31 July 2020)

31 July: An Amnesty International report says new regulations imposed on civil society organisations working with migrants in Greece risk undermining their independence and threaten rights to freedom of association. (Amnesty International, 31 July 2020)

The rescue-ship “Sea-Watch 2”

4 August: After Italian authorities prevent SAR ships Ocean Viking and Sea-Watch 3 from sailing, rescue organisations Sea-Eye, Sea-Watch and SOS Méditerranée demand the ships’ release, claiming they have been impounded on ‘spurious grounds’ to prevent the rescue of people in the Mediterranean. (Al Jazeera, 4 August 2020)

Deportations and ‘voluntary returns’

6 August: In what is described as ‘the biggest voluntary return’ of migrants Greece has ever carried out, 134 Iraqis leave Athens for Iraq under an EU scheme, delayed due to the pandemic, offering a €2,000 incentive to up to 5,000 people. (Al Jazeera, 6 August 2020)

12 August: Deportations of asylum seekers from the UK under the Dublin Regulation resume as up to 20 people launch a mass legal challenge over their planned removal to France and Germany. The Independent reveals that the Home Office spent more than £1m on deporting hundreds of people at the height of the lockdown, despite government instructions warning against all non-essential travel. (Independent, 10 August, Guardian, 12 August 2020)

Citizenship

31 July: The Court of Appeal grants the Home Office leave to appeal to the Supreme Court against its ruling that Shamima Begum should be allowed to return to the UK to appeal against revocation of her citizenship, adding that it is investigating the government for a possible contempt of court after it emerges that details of its judgment had been leaked to the Sun, which cited ‘senior government sources’. (Guardian, Evening Standard, 31 July 2020)

 

ANTI-FASCISM AND FAR RIGHT

1 August: Neo-nazis, Pegida and Citizens of the Reich are amongst those mobilising for the ‘Day of Freedom’ protest against coronavirus restrictions, with police saying 45 officers are injured dispersing around 20,000 protesters, some chanting ‘We are the second wave’. Alternative for Germany defends the participants’ right to protest.(Deutsche Welle, 5, 6 August 2020, Guardian, 3 August 2020)

2 August: A commemoration is held at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp to mark European Holocaust Memorial Day for Sinti and Roma, the day that thousands of Roma were massacred in what was then called the ‘Gypsy family camp’ in 1944. (Al Jazeera, 2 August 2020)

3 August: A leaked US Department of Homeland Security report (‘The Syrian Conflict and its Nexus to the U.S.-based Antifascist Movement’) recommends investigating Antifa as possible terrorists with affiliations to Syria, claiming a ‘clear connection … between ANTIFA ideology and’ that of ‘Kurdish democratic federalism’.  If Antifa are labelled a foreign-supported terrorist organisation it will be easier to subject them to warrantless searches and surveillance, experts warn. (Newsweek, 3 August 2020)

5 August: German neo-nazi Stephan Ernst, on trial for the murder of pro-refugee politician Walter Lübcke, admits to firing the fatal shot in June 2019, having previously admitted the killing and then retracting his admission. Ernst is also charged with stabbing an Iraqi asylum seeker in 2016 and is being investigated for links with the National Socialist Underground (NSU), responsible for ten killings between 2000 and 2007. (BBC News, 5 August 2020)

  

DISCRIMINATION

Including Covid-19 stigmatisation

30 July: The Spanish government’s second vice-president and social rights minister Pablo Iglesias apologises to the Gypsy community for the institutional racism that they have had to face throughout Spain’s history. Iglesias’ speech references ‘the great raid’ of 1749, authorised by the Spanish monarchy, resulting in the imprisonment of 12,000 people of the Gypsy community, simply for being of Gypsy descent. (Público, 30 July 2020)

31 July: As stricter lockdown rules are imposed in parts of northern England, Craig Whittaker, Conservative MP for Calder Valley, tells LBC that the ‘vast majority’ of people breaking lockdown rules are from the BME community, by which he means Muslims, immigrants and the Asian population. (LBC, 31 July, Independent, 31 July 2020)

4 August: Travellers living at a Covid-19 negotiated stopping point at Prince Rock, Plymouth are widely blamed for fly-tipping at the site, but Plymouth City Council’s investigation indicates Travellers are not to blame, and they are looking for the culprits. (Plymouth Live, 4 April 2020)

5 August: Civic leaders across Lancashire and West Yorkshire are concerned about a rise in Islamophobia following the new restrictions imposed on the eve of Eid al-Adha, with white people ‘seeing Covid as a brown problem’. Incidents cited include a Bolton Tory councillor suspended after posting on Facebook ‘Don’t blame me … blame the 48,000 illegal immigrants, the BAME community and the morons that never obey the rules’. (Guardian, 5 August 2020)

Tony Sewell photo: @Drtonysewell

11 August: The Monitoring Group announces a legal challenge to Tony Sewell’s appointment to head the government’s racial equality commission, saying that in appointing a chair who downplays evidence of institutional racism, the prime minister has failed to have regard to the legal duty of eliminating discrimination. Donate to support the legal challengehere. (Guardian, 11 August 2020)

 

ELECTORAL POLITICS

9 August: Citing sources within the Conservative party, the Independent claims that the party’s internal inquiry into Islamophobia and discrimination has yet to begin, with no call for evidence eight months after it was announced, and has been ‘kicked into the long grass’. (Independent, 9 August 2020)

 

HEALTH AND POLICY

29 July: The UK government is set to pay scientists millions of pounds to investigate why people from minority ethnic backgrounds are dying at a higher rate from Covid-19, saying there will be rapid action based on the findings. Six projects will analyse data on social circumstances, health and day-to-day activities and genetic risk factors. One of the projects will follow up to 30,000 health and social-care staff for a year. (BBC News, 29 July 2020)

31 July: Latest lockdown restrictions across northern England, imposed and communicated at the last minute, are criticised as ‘disruptive and damaging’ for members of Muslim communities as they coincide with Eid, and home gatherings, a key part of festivities, are banned under the new rules. (Independent, 31 July, Guardian31 July 2020)

31 July: Public Health England states that health risks from being overweight for some BME groups occur at a lower body mass index (BMI) than for white populations. Similarly, Dr Tosin Sotubo, a GP and advocate for diversity in health and wellness, argues that ‘BMI does not reflect our society as it is,’ stating that black people need to be included in more research. (BBC, 31 July 2020)

2 August: A study by the Centre for Population Change at Southampton University finds a sharp rise in anxiety-related sleeping problems triggered by the lockdown, with mothers, key workers and BME people the worst affected. (Guardian, 2 August 2020)

5 August: Research from the Runnymede Trust finds people from BME backgrounds over-exposed to and under-protected from the coronavirus. Read the report here. (Guardian, 5 August 2020)

7 August: The UK’s national research and development funding agency is criticised after it emerges that none of the principal investigators awarded its recent grants on Covid-19 and ethnicity are black. (Research Professional News, 7 August 2020)

10 August: Under a previously redacted £400,000 contract awarded without competitive tendering, the artificial intelligence firm Faculty has been monitoring citizens’ tweets for three months to ‘understand public perception and emerging issues of concern’ to the government arising from the Covid-19 crisis. Big Brother Watch director Silkie Carlo describes it as ‘AI-powered mass political surveillance’. (Guardian, 10 August 2020)

 

HOUSING AND ENVIRONMENT 

31 July: As the North London Waste Authority plans a massive expansion of its Edmonton incinerator, in an area where 65 percent of residents are from an ethnic minority and air pollution already breaches legal limits, Greenpeace’ investigative arm Unearthed reveals that waste incinerators are three times more likely to be sited in the most deprived and ethnically diverse areas of the UK than in the richest areas, damaging the health of vulnerable people. (Guardian, 31 July, Guardian, 31 July 2020)

2 August: Hundreds of private renters in receipt of benefits in England still struggle to secure accommodation despite a landmark ruling saying that landlords must not discriminate against those in receipt of social security. (Guardian, 2 August 2020)

Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial

4 August: Just two days after Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, the local authority in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, backed by police and gendarmerie, move in with bulldozers to demolish 30-year-established Roma neighbourhoods, leading to frantic scenes as the Roma knock down their own houses so that they can take away the bricks to build homes again. Read an eye witness account here. (European Roma Rights Centre, 10 August 2020)

5 August: Seasonal migrant workers affected by an outbreak of three fires in makeshift settlements in Lepe, Spain, take to the streets to demand decent housing. They have been homeless and on the street for 22 days and have received no assistance. (Público, 5 August 2020)

5 August: Government proposals for planning reforms in England reduce local democracy, according to critics, removing discretion from elected councillors on planning committees by providing for automatic planning permission in ‘growth’ zones and just basic checks in ‘renewal’ zones, with protection for the Green Belt. The ‘community infrastructure levy’, whereby developers contribute a fixed proportion of the development’s value to local infrastructure projects, is to be replaced with a scheme leaving room for negotiation, and the obligation to provide social housing removed for smaller developers, to the detriment of poorer communities. (Guardian, 5 August 2020)

6 August: Local Government Association statistics undermine the government’s argument that its proposed planning reforms will speed up house-building, showing that 90 percent of plans are approved and over a million homes with planning permission are yet to be built. There are warnings of race and class implications for the ‘designated zone’ proposals, with the history of zoning in the US revealing how cities are often segregated across these lines, and urban areas are cut up according to functionality. (Guardian, 6 August 2020)

8 August: Katherine Vargas, former Hispanic spokesperson for the Obama administration, speaks of racism in housing, revealing that when she tried to rent an apartment in Madrid, staff of a well-known real estate platform kept asking for her nationality and when she said she was of Colombian origin, did not give her the chance to view the property. (El Diario, 8 August 2020)

9 August: Women’s charities raise concerns that BME and migrant victims of domestic violence are being refused places at women’s refuges even when there is capacity, because they do not speak English. (Observer, 9 August 2020)

 

WELFARE AND POVERTY

 29 July: A government-commissioned report calls for free school meals to be extended to 1.5 million more children to help tackle a growing crisis of food poverty in the post-lockdown recession. (Guardian, 29 July 2020)

30 July: The UK’s statistics watchdog confirms that, as the Labour party and the End Child Poverty Coalition alleged, prime minister Boris Johnson’s claim that there are 400,000 fewer children in poverty than in 2010 is not true. (BBC News, 30 July 2020)

© Need NOT Greed

31 July: The cross-party House of Lords economic affairs committee calls for reforms to universal credit costing £8 billion, to make it reliable and set it at a level providing claimants with dignity and security, after a decade of cuts mean benefits no longer reflect the cost of living. (Guardian, 31 July 2020)

 

EMPLOYMENT

 30 July: As the government announces the end of shielding in England for extremely vulnerable people, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) calls on employers not to force staff to return to work, saying it would be ‘heartless and reckless’ to demand their immediate return. (Guardian, 30 July 2020)

4 August: A Guardian analysis finds that BME workers are overrepresented in sectors with the highest rates of furloughed jobs and redundancies, such as transport and storage, where they make up 18 percent of the workforce, and in accommodation and food services (15 percent). (Guardian, 4 August 2020)

5 August: According to a report from the Social Mobility Commission, one in eight childcare workers in England earn less than £5 per hour, and the average hourly wage was below the minimum wage. (Guardian, 5 August 2020)

5 August: The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) calls on UK and European fashion brands to ‘take responsibility’, revealing that during the pandemic, major UK and European fashion brands such as H&M, Inditex (Zara) and Levi Strauss have sourced garments from ‘union-busting’ factories in Asia which have sacked nearly 5,000 workers for trade union activities. (BHRRC Press release, 5 August 2020)

6 August: The Crown Prosecution Service announces it will not bring charges in relation to the death of Belly Mujinga, the railway worker who died of Covid-19 after allegedly being spat on while at work, saying that the suspect had not been infected with the virus. (BBC News, 6 August 2020)

7 August: Tesco store staff and contract cleaners react angrily to the company’s decision to transfer cleaning duties to store staff in nearly 2,000 Tesco Metro and Express supermarkets, who will be asked to work extra hours to clean floors, windows, break rooms and toilets, making hundreds of contract cleaners redundant. (Guardian, 7 August 2020)

10 August: Tech giant Apple is accused of importing uniforms for its retail staff from a company whose Xinjiang subsidiary uses forced labour in the production of its cotton. (Guardian, 10 August 2020)

 

EDUCATION

28 July: Research by Partnership for Young London warns that scrapping free travel for young Londoners, agreed between the government and Transport for London, ‘will hit education,’ with almost two-thirds of young people, and over three-quarters of those from South Asian and Asian backgrounds, worried about their parents’ ability to cover travel costs. Read the report here. (Tes, 28 July 2020)

29 July: In a special Guardian report, 50 young black people speak out about the racism they have faced from schoolmates and teachers as well as from police on the street. (Guardian, 29 July 2020) 

30 July: New data reveals that in 2017-18, black pupils in some areas of England were three times more likely to be subjected to short-term school exclusion, with discipline policies banning black hairstyles, kissing teeth and fist-bumping partially responsible, while Department for Education (DfE) data shows black pupils from a Caribbean background had almost twice the average rate of short term exclusions in 2018-19. (BBC News, 30 July 2020)

30 July: DfE figures show the rate of black British students attending university has fallen from close to 60 percent in 2018 to 59 percent in 2019, the first reverse in a decade, and that only 5 percent of black Caribbean students gained places at prestigious universities, compared with over 10 percent of all students. (Guardian30 July 2020)

30 July: The government is accused of being ‘tone deaf’ after the schools minister rejects calls by educationalists, BME groups and cross-party MPs for a more diverse history curriculum. (Guardian30 July 2020)

30 July: The Association of Colleges expresses ‘real concern‘  that the proportion of BME principals and chief executives in further education has fallen from a peak of approximately 13 percent in 2015 to around 6-7 percent in 2020. (Tes, 30 July 2020)

7 August: Under the government’s latest school funding plans, BME children and children on free school meals will lose out in favour of wealthier and white pupils, according to research from the Education Policy Institute. (Guardian, 7 August 2020)

7 August: A hundred students take to Glasgow’s streets to protest the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) ‘discriminatory’ changes to over a quarter of all grades awarded by teachers during the moderation process, based on criteria including schools’ historic performances, resulting in the Higher (A-level) pass rate of students from deprived areas being cut by over 15 points. (Guardian, 4 August, BBC News,7 August 2020)

8 August: Ahead of A-level results day in England and Wales, the Social Mobility Commission says exam watchdog Ofqual ‘has a moral imperative to address any injustices that occur’ as students and parents raise concerns that results will unfairly penalise disadvantaged students. (BBC News, 8 August 2020)

 

MEDIA AND CULTURE 

30 July: Dublin’s Croke Park, home to the Gaelic Athletic Association, hosts Eid al-Adha celebrations for 200 Muslims as Covid-19 restrictions limit indoor gatherings. Ireland has about 100,000 Muslims and 80 mosques and Islamic places of worship. (Guardian, 30 July 2020)

31 July: Following an apology for not removing hateful content swiftly enough on its platform, Twitter permanently removes the account of white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke after 20 years of dissemination of race hate. Youtube banned his account in June and Facebook in 2018. (Guardian, 31 July 2020)

31 July: Black fashion designers in Italy accuse the fashion industry of tokenism over Black Lives Matter and demand investment, education and monitoring to tackle racism in the industry, which has a history of racist imagery. (Guardian, 31 July 2020)

2 August: Following Grime rapper Wiley’s antisemitic comments on Twitter, numerous musicians including Rita Ora, Labrinth, James Blunt and MNEK and hundreds of other artists and music industry figures sign a statement #NoSilenceInMusic condemning racism and other forms of prejudice. (Guardian, 2 August 2020)

3 August: After Britain’s chief rabbi accused Facebook and Twitter of complicity in antisemitism and global brands join the advertising boycott of Facebook over inaction on hate speech, Facebook moderators call for the boycott to be extended to prove it is not just a feelgood PR stunt, and a moderator in Dublin, whose colleague is suing the company for PTSD acquired in his work, calls for powers to delete much more hateful content. (Guardian, 27 July, Guardian, 3 August 2020)

4 August: Tate Britain removes a reference to its restaurant as ‘the most amusing room in Europe’ after a petition is launched demanding the removal of Rex Whistler’s The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats, a mural depicting the enslavement of a black child and the distress of his mother, as well as a boy running behind a horse and cart that he is attached to by a chain around his neck. (Guardian, 4 August 2020)

5 August: One of the few public statues of a black woman is erected in Stratford, East London. Reaching Out by Thomas J Price is a 9-foot tall depiction of a ‘black everywoman’ on her mobile phone. (Guardian, 5 August 2020)

6 August: The BBC receives over 18,000 complaints after a report on a racist attack in Bristol used the N-word. The BBC defends the broadcast, stating the decision to use the racial slur was made after discussion with the victim and his family. The broadcaster receives a further 417 complaints after airing a repeat of American History’s Biggest Fibs which also used the word. (Guardian, 6 August 2020)

6 August: Despite a petition signed by 4,500 people, Bristol City Council goes ahead with its controversial sale of the building occupied by the Rastafari Cultural Centre in the St Paul’s area claiming that the prospective buyer is open to the continuing community use of the building. (Bristol Cable, 6 August 2020)

7 August: After complaints from employees, the clothing chain & Other Stories apologises after it used the N-word to describe one of its products.  (Guardian, 7 August 2020)

8 August: The first mural in Spain dedicated to George Floyd is unveiled in Cáceres, part of an initiative called ‘Mural with a Goal’ which intends to raise awareness of racism, spatial inequalities and the reclamation of public space through urban art. (El Diario, 8 August 2020)

9 August: After 19,000 complaints and the resignation of BBC Radio1Xtra presenter Sideman, the BBC finally apologises for its decision to broadcast the N-word in television news reports on a racially motivated attack on an NHS worker in Bristol. (Guardian, 9  August 2020)

10 August: The BBC and Sky News are accused of voyeurism and dehumanising refugees after approaching and filming migrants in small dinghies crossing the Channel. (Metro, 10 August, Guardian, 11 August 2020)

 

SPORT

29 July: England’s one-day international vice-captain Moeen Ali condemns the ‘horrendous’ racist messages received by team-mate Jofra Archer on social media. (Guardian, 29 July 2020)

Olufela Olomola

3 August: Police and Scunthorpe United FC are investigating ‘disgusting’ comments about its forward Olufela Olomola posted on social media.  (Sky Sports, 4 August 2020)

3 August: Nine English Hockey clubs claim that the sport has ‘an endemic race issue’ and is not doing enough to attract players from more deprived areas in a letter addressed to England Hockey’s chief executive. The letter claims that many BME players have suffered overt and casual racism from other players, coaches and management. (Guardian, 3 August 2020)

 

VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT

28 July: Catalonia police arrest a suspect for attempted arson on 23 June of an oratory used by the Muslim community in Manlleu, Barcelona, in an allegedly xenophobic and racist attack. (Público, 29 July 2020)

29 July: Lincolnshire police release a CCTV appeal after a shop worker in Kirton, Lincolnshire, was subjected to a torrent of racial abuse on 26 July when she asked a customer to put on a face mask. (BBC News, 29 July 2020)

29 July: Police attempt to trace two women who intervened in a racially aggravated assault on 23 July in Bishop’s Stortford, when a 14-year-old boy and his cousin were abused and attacked by a group of teenage boys, believed to be aged between 14 and 17. (Hertford Mercury, 29 July 2020)

30 July: Charity ‘No General Suspicion’ says that neo-nazi violence in the Neukölln district of Berlin is non-stop, and linked to police indifference. Attacks include setting alight cars and buildings, as at a Lebanese restaurant and a Syrian-owned bakery, an increase in Nazi graffiti and thefts of metal plaques in remembrance of people deported by the Nazis. (France 24, 30 July 2020)

1 August: Hours before a protest against the police’s failure to deal with neo-nazi violence in the German city of Erfurt, two Guinean migrants are injured, one critically, in an apparently racially-motivated attack by 12 men near the far-right hangout Der III. Weg (The Third Way) on a housing estate. A third migrant escapes without injury. Twelve known neo-nazis are arrested but later released. (Deutsche Welle, 2 August 2020, World Socialist Web, 6 August 2020)

1 August: Hundreds of anti-racist protesters take to the streets of Lisbon to protest the murder of 39-year-old Bruno Cande, a black actor of Guinean heritage, shot several times in broad daylight in the city centre a week ago by an 80-year-old white man who had allegedly threatened Cande with racist insults three days before the murder. The suspect has been arrested and is now awaiting trial. (Público, 1 August 2020)

2 August: A 22-year-old man is arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following a racist attack on 21-year-old health worker and rapper K-Dogg on 22 July outside Southmead hospital in Bristol. Two 18-year-olds were arrested on 1 August. (BBC News, 3 August 2020)

3 August: Anti-racist activist and artist Daniela Ortiz announces that she has had to flee Spain following consistent harassment and threats for denouncing ‘the need to demolish racism from colonial monuments’ in a tweet. (Público, 3 August 2020)

4 August: A driver is subjected to sustained racist abuse while stopped at a traffic light in Dundee. (Evening Telegraph, 6 August 2020)

6 August: In an argument outside a Leeds city centre pub, a Jewish woman is told ‘we should have gassed the lot of you’. (Leeds Live, 7 August 2020)

8 August: Five young migrants from north Africa describe how they narrowly escaped being burned alive in an attack by a group throwing Molotov cocktails at their makeshift home in northern Bosnia, setting it alight, after an anti-migrant protest at the nearby town of Velika Kladusa. Bosnian media reported that the men had set their own home alight. (AYS, 8-9 August 2020)

8 August: Nottinghamshire police appeal for information after CCTV footage shows a man making a racist comment towards a woman on a bus on 3 July. (Nottinghamshire Police, 8 August, 2020)

9 August: A 17-year-old youth is arrested and held for suspected racially motivated criminal damage after a house in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone is attacked on two consecutive days, 8 and 9 August, and front door glass is damaged. (ITV, 9 August 2020)

10 August: Organisers of Black Lives Matter protests in Sandbach, Cheshire describe the threats, insults and racist abuse to which they have been subjected, many from a Facebook group, Sandbach Sarcastic Society, of which a town councillor was an administrator. (Guardian, 10 August 2020)

Kwame Kwei Armah

11 August: Young Vic head Kwame Kwei-Armah reveals that last week a white woman removed her face mask on a train and coughed in his 15-year-old son’s face, shouting ‘This is what you people do’. Fortunately, he adds, his son’s Covid-19 test has come in and is negative. (Evening Standard, 11 August 2020)

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

 

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