Calendar of racism and resistance (3 – 16 July 2015)

Calendar of racism and resistance (3 – 16 July 2015)


Written by: IRR News Team

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

Violence and harassment

2 July: The Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) publishes a report documenting a 23.5 per cent rise in Islamophobic attacks after the killings of the Charlie Hebdo staff and hostages in a Jewish grocery store in Paris. (CCIF, 2 July 2015)

3 July: A man who assaulted a taxi driver during a racially aggravated robbery in Liverpool last year is jailed for more than five years. The man was with two others who racially abused the taxi driver, punched him repeatedly and forced him to hand over £230 whilst he was ‘begging for mercy’. (Liverpool Echo3 July 2015)

7 July: A physically disabled deaf man is assaulted and subjected to racist abuse outside a supermarket in Bishop Auckland. (Daily Mirror15 July 2015) 

Asylum and immigration

Detention_barbedwire3 July: Hundreds of torture survivors may sue the government for unlawful detention after a landmark test case in the High Court. The Home Office conceded that it acted unlawfully by failing to identify vulnerable asylum seekers not ‘suitable’ for the Detained Fast Track system, and so failed to use a rule that should prevent survivors of torture and other vulnerable asylum seekers from being locked up. (Guardian3 July 2015)

3 July: Every group in the Catalonian Parliament, except for Citizens and the Popular Party, votes in favour of a resolution calling for the closure of immigration detention centres as soon as possible. (Diagonal periódico, 3 July 2015)

6 July: Paddy Power will be asked to respond to complaints made to the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) about a campaign which involved sending a truck to Calais with the slogan: ‘Immigrants, jump in the back! (But only if you’re good at sport)’. (Marketing Magazine, 6 July 2015)

Euro Tunnel7 July: A migrant is found dead in the Channel Tunnel after an apparent attempt to get to the UK. (Independent7 July 2015)

7 July: A report by the UK’s Chief Inspector of Prisons highlights concerns about the detention of vulnerable asylum seekers at Dungavel immigration removal centre (IRC) in Lanarkshire. (BBC News, 7 July 2015)

7 July: Two former interpreters who worked for UK forces in Afghanistan lose a High Court case against the government for alleged discrimination. The men argued they should be given the same rights as Iraqi interpreters, who were allowed to settle in Britain. (BBC News, 7 July 2015)

7 July: The European Court of Human Rights rules that Belgium was guilty of inhuman treatment of asylum seeking families by evicting them from accommodation centres and leaving them in extreme poverty. (ECtHR, 7 July 2015)

13 July: Three people originally from Afghanistan and Pakistan experience burns from electric shocks – with one person left seriously injured – while attempting to enter the Channel Tunnel entrance near Calais. (RFI, 14 July 2015) 

15 July: The Home Office orders Serco staff at Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre to hand back copies of a self-help manual on deportations which were seized by staff last week.(Guardian, 15 July 2015)

Policing and criminal justice

26 June: A judge in Northern Ireland describes the state collusion in the 1989 murder of solicitor Pat Finucane and the obstruction of investigations as ‘abominations’ but rejects a challenge to the refusal of a public inquiry. (UK Human Rights Blog, 7 July 2015)

AzelleRodney_banner3 July: Former police marksman Anthony Long is cleared of murdering Azelle Rodney who he shot six times and killed in north London in 2005. (Guardian3 July 2015)

4 July: A silent protest is held in The Hague in memory of Mitch Henriquez, a 42-year-old tourist from Aruba who died in hospital on 28 June following his violent arrest the previous day at a music festival in Zuiderpark in the Netherlands. Henriquez’ death led to four nights of rioting in the Schilderswijk district, a temporary curfew and hundreds of arrests. Preliminary findings from a post mortem indicated that Henriquez died of asphyxiation after being held in a chokehold and pinned down by five white police officers. (France 24, 4 July 2015)

FIRAS-ALBAJA6 July: The IPCC calls on Sussex police to launch legal proceedings against an officer in relation to events in 2013 when a man in Brighton, Firas Albaja, was pepper-sprayed, wrongfully arrested and denied treatment. Sussex police decide not to refer the case to the CPS, stating it is ‘not in the public interest’. (Argus, 6 July 2015)   

8 July: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announces that police officer Paul White is to be charged with perjury over evidence he gave during an inquest into the death in police custody of Sean Rigg in Brixton after the bereaved family challenged the CPS decision not to prosecute. (Guardian8 July 2015)

9 July: Greater Manchester police release statistics showing  that twenty-one police officers have been sacked for misconduct by the force over the last two years for reasons including posting racist messages on Facebook. (Manchester Evening News9 July 2015)

farukali11 July: A public inquiry into Bedfordshire Police is set to be held in the coming weeks, focusing on an Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation into the alleged assault of autistic man Faruk Ali by two police officers in 2014. (Luton on Sunday11 July 2015)

11 July: The Metropolitan police issue a ‘sincere and unreserved apology’ for staging a police terror training exercise in which one of the ‘terrorists’ was wearing a Cuban flag T-shirt. (Morning Star11 July 2015)

13 July: The daughter of Philmore Mills, who died while in police custody in 2011 in Slough, speaks of her frustration that a police misconduct hearing will remain behind closed doors. (Slough Observer13 July 2015)

13 July: A 14-year-old Muslim boy is shot and badly injured by a police officer with a flash-ball gun after exiting a mosque in Argenteuil, France. The boy was shot in error, and, after falling to the floor, was not aided by police officers but instead by passers-by who took him to hospital. (Islam & Info, 14 July 2015)

16 July: Doreen Lawrence, the mother of murdered teenager Stephen, calls for undercover officers who infiltrated political campaigns and spied on her family to be identified. (Guardian16 July 2015)

16 July: The Met police suspends Sergeant Paul White, who is facing perjury charges in connection with his evidence given to inquest into Sean Rigg’s death, after sustained pressure from Rigg’s family. (Guardian, 16 July 2015)


Oxford University12 July: Students at Oxford University call for a statue of Cecil Rhodes – the colonialist who was a major benefactor at the university and whose estate currently endows one of the world’s most prestigious awards, the Rhodes Scholarship – to be removed. (ITV News, 12 July 2015)

12 July: The scale of British slave ownership is highlighted in scores of official records which have found that thousands of modern-day Britons are related to owners who received huge sums in compensation when the trade was abolished. (Independent12 July 2015)

13 July: Foreign students will be banned from working in the UK while they study and will be forced to leave the country as soon as they finish their course under new rules unveiled by home secretary Theresa May. (Independent13 July 2015)


22 June: The Appeal Court says BAME workers claiming discrimination in workplace assessments must prove they have suffered personally as a result. (CIPD Weblog, 13 July 2015)


Kesgrave10 July: Residents in Kesgrave, Suffolk, block green spaces with wheelie bins and cars amid reports of Travellers arriving in the town. A Gypsy Council spokeswoman calls the blockades ‘pathetic’ and ‘shameful’. (BBC News, 10 July 2015)

14 July: A protest of around 1,500 people takes place in Budapest denouncing the four-metre-high fence being built along the Serbian-Hungarian border, and calling for the government to spend money instead on building more social housing for both migrants and Hungarians. Protests were called in solidarity outside Hungarian embassies around Europe, with protesters constructing a blockade outside the doors of the embassy in London. (Pressenza, 14 July 2015)

Extreme-right politics

1 July: Sharia Watch UK announces plans to put on an exhibition of cartoons depicting Mohammed in London. The exhibition will open in September 2015, and will feature Dutch politician Geert Wilders as a guest speaker. (Independent1 July 2015)

4 July: Police escort around 20 neo-Nazi protesters out of Westminster after they stage an ‘anti-Jewification’ protest, but are dwarfed by hundreds of counter-protesters. (Guardian4 July 2015)

8 July: Nazi swastika flags, alongside symbols of the pro-slavery American Confederacy, are seen flying close to an Ulster loyalist bonfire in Northern Ireland. (Guardian8 July 2015)

11 July: Robert Ewing, who described himself to the police as a neo-nazi, is found guilty of murdering schoolgirl Paige Chivers in Blackpool eight years ago. Ewing had previously joined BNP protests which fuelled speculation that the girl had been sexually abused murdered and murdered by Muslims. (Times11 July 2015)

12 July: The Independent reports that such is the extent of xenophobia in the small town of Frietal, just south of Dresden, that 300 asylum seekers are virtual prisoners in their accommodation at the Hotel Leonardo which is now under a round-the-clock police guard and surrounded by a 10ft-high wire fence. Since the ‘No to the Home’ campaign was launched with a petition signed by 2,000 people, there have been constant anti-foreigner protests outside the accommodation, with up to 1,200 Freital residents and neo-nazis gathering outside chanting slogans such as ‘Filth out’ and ‘This is no place to flee to’. (Independent, 12 July 2015)

14 July: The Spanish Supreme Court upholds a Valencian court’s acquittal of sixteen neo-nazis in the Anti-Sistema Front (FAS), ruling illegal the wiretapping which proved the group’s existence, its violent neo-nazi racist ideology and its access to weapons. (Antifeixistes, 15 July 2015)


7 July: Tennis player Nick Kyrgios, who appeared to stop trying during his defeat at Wimbledon, says former Australian Olympic swimmer Dawn Fraser is a ‘blatant racist’ after she proclaimed he and another player should ‘go back to where their parents came from’. Fraser later apologised. (BBC News, 7 July 2015) 

Raheem Sterling13 July: After it emerges that Raheem Sterling will move to Manchester City from Liverpool FC, the England International is targeted with ‘vile online abuse’ from Liverpool fans which include racist abuse and deaths threats to him and his daughter. (Independent, 13 July 2015)

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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