Calendar of Racism and Resistance ( 30 April – 14 May 2024)

Calendar of Racism and Resistance ( 30 April – 14 May 2024)


Written by: IRR News Team


As anti-migrant, anti-equalities, anti-abortion, misogynistic and anti-LGBTQI rhetoric in electoral campaigning are increasingly interlinked, we reflect this in the coverage below which also includes information on the influence of the Christian Right as well as the religious Right generally.

1 May: Labour says it would implement any Rwanda flights scheduled before the general election if it wins, although it would not schedule more. (inews, 1 May 2024)

4 May: Following local and mayoral elections, the Labour party condemns a ‘racist’ comment made by an unnamed party source who told the BBC that the Conservative mayoral candidate would likely win as a result of the ‘Middle East not West Midlands’ and that Hamas were the ‘real villains’. (Guardian, 4 May 2024)

5 May: The Labour party’s national election coordinator says that Labour is working to win back support in areas with a substantial Muslim electorate, where it dropped 18 percent in local elections over its stance on Gaza. (Guardian, 5 May 2024)

5 May: Lilian Seenoi-Barr, the first Black mayor in Northern Ireland, reveals that she has received online abuse and death threats since being selected by the SDLP for the mayoral post in Derry and Strabane. (BBC News, 5 May 2024)

6 May: Shortly after the French government hosts a conference on antisemitism, the prime minister promises ‘exemplary toughness’ in combating the ‘outpouring’ of hatred against Jews since October 7. La France Insoumise is accused of ‘stirring up hatred’. (Le Monde, 7 May 2024)

8 May: In Croatia, the conservative Christian Democratic Union announces it will enter into a coalition government with the far-right Homeland Movement. (AP News, 8 May 2024)

8 May: Despite European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen’s pledge not to work with the far Right, her grouping, the European People’s party, refuses to sign a letter condemning far-right political violence after the attack on Matthias Ecke (see Anti-fascism and far Right, below), instead condemning the ‘far left’ and restating that the grouping would only work with parties that are pro-Ukraine, pro-NATO and pro-rule of law. (Guardian, 8 May 2024)

8 May: A Ukrainian-Italian model seeks legal advice after her image is used in a racist poster campaign by Italy’s far-right League party, which is intensifying its Islamophobic stance in the run-up to European elections. (Guardian, 8 May 2024)

8 May: Hard-right Conservative MP for Dover Natalie Elphicke, who a year ago wrote ‘Don’t trust Labour on immigration – they really want open borders’, defects to the Labour party, saying the Conservatives ‘are failing to keep our borders safe and secure’, and causing a storm in the party. (BBC, 9 May 2024)

9 May: Yanis Varoufakis, who is standing in the European elections for the Democracy in Europe Movement, announces legal action against Germany for defamation and violation of his basic rights after being banned from attending the Palestine Congress in Berlin. Lawyers have been denied clarification about the legality of the ban, which was enforced on the grounds of ‘national security’. (DiEM25 Communications, 9 May 2024)

9 May: Marco Longhi, Conservative MP for Dudley North, tells the Commons that he has stopped asylum seekers from attending his surgery, as he instructs his constituency staff not to deal with asylum seekers’ cases. (Independent, 9 May 2024)

10 May: In Brandenburg, Germany, CDU (Conservatives) leader Jan Redmann calls on the Office for the Protection of the Constitution to monitor leaders of ‘pro-Palestinian protests’ and university professors who ‘show solidarity with the mob’. Baden- Württemberg’s CDU Interior Minister says that ‘Jew-haters have no place at German universities – neither as students nor as teachers’. (Bild, 10 May 2024)

10 May: Nelson Mandela’s grandson Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela criticises David Lammy MP for invoking Mandela’s name in his criticism of pro-Palestine protests in US universities, calling on the shadow home secretary to stop being ‘an apologist for the ongoing genocide’ and echo his grandfather’s commitment to the Palestine struggle. (Middle East Eye, 10 May 2024)

12 May: Esther McVey MP, minister for common sense, announces an end to civil service jobs dedicated to equality, diversity and inclusion, adding that the public sector must not become ‘a pointless job creation scheme for the politically correct’. (Daily Mail, 12 May 2024)

12 May: Leaks from an unpublished review on political violence suggest that the government’s adviser, Lord Walney, will recommend new ‘restriction orders’ banning ‘extreme protest groups’ that ‘routinely use criminal tactics’ to achieve their aims, with Palestine Action and Just Stop Oil named. (BBC, 12 May 2024)

13 May: A media investigation finds that Reform UK, owned by Nigel Farage, is hampered by lack of support and funds and has since 2021 relied on loans from its leader, Richard Tice, for £1.4m, or 80 per cent of its funding. (Guardian, 13 May 2024)

13 May: European election candidate in Bordeaux, France, Valérie Hayer (Renaissance party) says that a neo-Nazi group set up a ‘trap’ for her after a picture was shared of her next to a man wearing clothing with the slogan ‘The White Race’. (Le Monde, 13 May 2024)


With anti-migrant, anti-Muslim, anti-equalities, anti-abortion, misogynistic and anti-LGBTQI activities increasingly interlinking, we now incorporate information on the Christian Right as well as the religious Right generally.

1 May: A nineteen-year-old neo-Nazi from Brighton is convicted of attempting to attack a synagogue on a Jewish holiday in 2023. He was found to possess designs of the synagogue and notes detailing the Jewish holidays that attract the most worshippers. (Jewish Chronicle, 1 May 2024)

3 May: In Ireland, a small group of ‘hard-core’ far-right protesters stage an anti-immigration protest outside the home of Taoiseach Simon Harris. At least one member of the group was investigated for their role in the Dublin riots in November 2023. (Irish Times, 3 May 2024)

4 May: In Dresden, Germany, Social Democrat MP Matthias Ecke, who is campaigning in European elections in Dresden, is seriously injured in an attack by four apparently far-right assailants who made homophobic slurs. A Green activist is also attacked. (Al Jazeera, 4 May 2024; Deutsche Welle, 4 May 2024)

5 May: In Germany, Antifa Research Team Dresden establishes that a neo-Nazi who turned himself in after the attack on SPD politician Matthias Ecke had taken part in events organised by the Free Saxons, the AfD and a neo-Nazi group called the Elblandrevolte. (Nazi Watch, 5 May 2024)

6 May: A counter-mobilisation opposes an anti-immigration demonstration through Dublin City Centre, Ireland, which ended in a rally addressed by local and European election candidates. (Irish Independent, 6 May 2024)

7 May: In Portugal, the Criminal Court of Lisbon sentences far-right extremist Mario Machado to two years and ten months in prison for inciting hatred on social media after he called for the ‘forced prostitution’ of women. (tele SUR, 7 May 2024)

9 May: A man from Newton Mearns is to stand trial at the High Court in Glasgow for terrorist offences between 2000 and 2023 motivated by religious and racial prejudice: possession of multiple weapons and instructions to manufacture explosives, attempting to 3D-print a firearm and brandishing an axe at two woemn. (Glasgow Times, 9 May 2024)

10 May: In Germany, Stuttgart Antifascist Action Alliance claims responsibility for a ‘disruptive action’ outside the Baden-Württemberg state parliament which left two AfD lawmakers injured. The Alliance claims it attempted to block an AfD campaign stand and that there had been ‘a scuffle on the part of the security service and AfD MPs’. (DW, 10 May 2024)

11 May: In Spain, well-known anti-fascist historian Javier Arjona receives a threatening letter due to his involvement with pro-Palestinian platforms. Written in Hebrew, and including information about Arjona’s partner, it is signed by the Spanish pro-Israeli Movement. (Nortes, 11 May 2024)

12 May: In France, several hundred neo-fascists march through Paris’ 6th arrondissement to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Sébastien Deyzieu, a member of the Pétainist and antisemitic L’Œuvre group, who fell off a roof during a police chase. A ban on the rally was suspended by the Paris Administrative Court on the grounds that it represented ‘a serious and clearly illegal infringement of the freedom to demonstrate’. (Le Monde, 12 May 2024)


1 May: Black duty solicitor Dele Johnson files a complaint against security staff at the Stratford Magistrates Youth Court, saying he was pinned to the ground outside by security staff who ignored his plea that he could not breathe. The London Criminal Courts Association says lawyers may boycott the court after complaints of ‘rogue behaviour’ at Stratford, and Garden Court chambers says it will no longer send pupil barristers there. (Law Society Gazette, 1 May 2024; Daily Mail, 4 May 2024, Law Society Gazette, 9 May 2024))

2 May: Despite opposition from the state prosecutor, a judicial council in Greece approves the early release application of the neo-Nazi group Golden Dawn’s founder. Nikos Michaloliakos is released from prison four years into a thirteen-and-a-half-year sentence for operating a criminal organisation that posed as a political party. (Guardian, 2 May 2024)

5 May: The arrest outside University College London of four pro-Palestinian demonstrators leads to accusations of political bias. Police claim that a banner depicting a dove carrying a key through a breach in Israel’s apartheid wall indicates support for Hamas, as it depicts a ‘clear blue sky with no clouds, when on October 7 there was clear blue sky with no clouds’. (Morning Star, 5 May 2024)

6 May: Following the early release of two neo-Nazis who carried out a racially-motivated arson attack on a Romani family in the Czech Republic in 2009, which left a baby girl with 80 per cent body burns, a third perpetrator, sentenced to 22 years in prison, seeks conditional release with his request supported by the prison authorities. (Romea, 6 May 2024)

6 May: Scotland Yard bans the use of controversial unregulated facial recognition search engine PimEyes after FOI requests reveal that Met police officers have accessed the search engine over 2,300 times in three months. (inews, 6 May 2024)


Asylum and migrant rights

2 May: The senior civil servants’ union, the FDA, launches a legal challenge to the government’s Rwanda plan, arguing that the civil service code requires them to obey the law, but ministers might ask them to act in breach of the Human Rights Act. (inews, 1 May 2024)

8 May: Data received via a FOI request from the Snowdrop Project in Sheffield shows that hundreds of children identified as potential trafficking victims are dropped from the National Referral Mechanism once they turn 18. (Guardian, 8 May 2024)

13 May: The High Court in Belfast rules provisions of the Illegal Migration Act unlawful, disapplies them to Northern Ireland and declares their incompatibility with the Human Rights Convention. (Sky News, 13 May 2024)

Borders and internal controls

2 May: Migrants claim they are being forced to cross the Channel by increasingly aggressive policing in France, where they are moved on every two days and riot police regularly destroy their camps. (Independent, 2 May 2024)

4 May: London surgeon Professor Ghassan Abu-Sitta, who has given testimony on the situation in Gaza after operating there during the conflict, is banned from entering France, where he is due to speak to the Senate, and told he is banned from the whole Schengen area by Germany, which denied him entry in April. (Guardian, 4 May 2024)

9 May: A legal challenge is launched after the Home Office, citing ‘security concerns’, revokes the student visa of Manchester-based Palestinian law student Dana Abuqamar after she spoke at a rally in support of Palestine. (Middle East Eye, 9 May 2024)

 10 May: The Palestinian Mission and the Rights Forum condemn the decision to ban British-Palestinian surgeon, Ghassan Abu-Sitta, from entering the Netherlands. Human Rights Watch says Germany must clarify whether it has placed Abu Sittah on the Schengen Information System without notifying him. (Middle East Monitor, 9 May 2024; Middle East Monitor, 10 May 2024)

Reception and detention

4 May: As 17 tents are pitched for asylum seekers in a Dublin churchyard, official figures reveal that nearly 7,000 male asylum seekers have no offer of State accommodation in Ireland. (RTE, 3 May 2024)

8 May: A report by the Jesuit Refugee Service UK finds that abuse and mistreatment remain endemic across the immigration detention estate. (EIN, 9 May 2024)

13 May: In Germany, migrant rights groups criticise as discriminatory and stigmatising new limits on cash benefit payments for asylum seekers, which introduce a card for use at local shops to pay for services, limit cash withdrawals and forbid the transfer of money outside of Germany. (Morning Star, 13 May 2024)


1 May: The Home Office detains dozens of asylum seekers for possible deportation to Rwanda and releases a video showing enforcement teams rounding people up and handcuffing them in their homes. (Guardian, 1 May 2024; EIN, 1 May 2024)

2 May: In Glasgow, crowds swarm the entrance to the Home Office building as rumours spread that someone has been detained there for deportation to Rwanda, and appoint a 68-year-old who teaches English to asylum-seekers, to check all vehicles leaving the premises for migrants, as demonstrators vow to stop deportations. (Glasgow Times, 2 May 2024)

3 May: Asylum Aid begins a legal challenge over the Safety of Rwanda policy guidance to decision-makers, arguing that it conflicts with a requirement in the Safety of Rwanda Act to assess the safety of the country for individuals, potentially leading decision makers to ignore compelling evidence of danger. (EIN, 7 May 2024)

6 May: Leaked correspondence cited by Sky News reveals that the Home Office considered using Iraq to process asylum seekers, in a Rwanda-style plan, despite thousands of Iraqi asylum seekers being accepted in the UK and the Foreign Office advising against ‘all travel to parts of Iraq’. (i news, 7 May 2024)

7 May: Protests and hunger strikes take place at Brook House and Colnbrook immigration removal centres, where hundreds of asylum seekers fear being put on a flight to Rwanda. (Guardian, 9 May 2024)

12 May: The Humans for Rights Network initiates legal action for unaccompanied children at risk of forced removal to Rwanda because of Home Office proposals to use ‘initial cursory age decisions’ instead of full age assessments in deciding who is adult and can be sent to Rwanda. (Guardian, 12 May 2024) 

Crimes of solidarity

29 April: Police arrest and detain 13 protesters outside the Home Office immigration centre in Solihull while detaining 5 asylum seekers, potentially in preparation for forced deportation to Rwanda. (I Am Birmingham, 30 April 2024)

30 April: A Greek court drops espionage and human smuggling charges against 35 humanitarian workers, mostly German nationals, arrested in 2020. The Lesvos court says there is insufficient evidence to support the allegation that the humanitarians were helping migrant boats coming from Turkey to avoid the Greek coastguard. (Guardian, 1 May 2024)

2 May: As hundreds of protesters successfully block an attempt by the Home Office to move asylum seekers from a London hotel to the Bibby Stockholm barge, police arrest 45 of the protesters and charge three with obstruction of the highway. (Guardian, 2 May 2024)


3 May: Baraa Odeh, a Palestinian employee of the German Agency for International Cooperation who was detained in Israel on 5 March after returning to her home from a work trip in Germany, speaks of being repeatedly strip-searched and physically assaulted in jail there. (Al Jazeera, 3 May 2024)


Although we do not cover student protests for Palestine, we do track university administrative measures that deny the right to protest and authorise the use of force, or silence pro-Palestinian voices and display anti-Palestinian bias.

2 May: As students across the UK set up pro-Palestine camps, the Union of Jewish Students issues a statement calling on university administrators to fulfil their responsibilities and act on a ‘torrent of antisemitic hatred on campus’, and the prime minister expresses support for a police crackdown on any campus disorder. (inews, 2 May 2024, Guardian, 2 May 2024)

3 May: As Sciences Po university in Paris, France, closes its main campus in response to a student hunger strike and continued occupation in support of Palestine, higher education minister Sylvie Retailleau tells university administrators to remain politically neutral, not to give in to student demands and to ‘maintain public order’. (Le Monde, 3 May 2024)

7 May: In the Netherlands, University of Amsterdam teachers and employees criticise the University Board, together with the mayor, for authorising extreme violence towards staff and student protests for Palestine. Police, citing safety concerns, use pepper spray, batons, dogs and bulldozers to remove barricades. 140 people are detained, but only four are charged. Read the statement here. (Reuters, 7 May 2024)

7 May: German police, at the university’s request, use pepper spray against protesters as they dismantle an encampment at Berlin’s Free University. (Al Jazeera, 7 May 2024)

9 May: In Spain, police take a relaxed approach to student protests in support of Palestine, as more than 2,000 lecturers voice their support for protests that began at the University of Valencia. (Al Jazeera, 9 May 2024)

9 May: UCAS data reveals that ‘differential offer rates’ between white students applying for universities and those from other ethnic backgrounds is at a UK record high. (THE, 9 May 2024)

10 May: Goldsmiths, University of London, reverses its April decision to axe its master’s degree in Black British literature following backlash from students and writers. (Guardian, 10 May 2024)

10 May: The newly-formed UK Jewish Academic Network issues a statement that criticises the IHRA definition of antisemitism and the weaponisation of antisemitism to ‘obscure genuine threats to Jewish people in the UK’, while demanding that anti-Palestinian racism and Islamophobia be treated with the same seriousness as antisemitism. (Middle East Monitor, 10 May 2024)

11 May: In Spain, various organisations, including the Movement Against Intolerance, are criticised for an open letter to the Conference of Spanish Rectors in which they discredit student protests for Palestine, listing, amongst examples of antisemitism, the slogans ‘Free Palestine’, and ‘With Palestine, no to the genocide in Gaza’. (La Marea, 11 May 2024)

13 May: In the Netherlands, the University of Amsterdam, citing issues of trespass, vandalism and ‘violent elements’, again authorises riot police to violently break up renewed student protest after students and employees walk out in opposition to the university’s academic ties with Israel and occupy a building on campus. (Guardian, 13 May 2024; Dutch News, 14 May 2024) 


30 April: The All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Poverty and on Migration issue a report on how immigration policies contribute to poverty, finding it ‘hard to avoid the conclusion that policy is sometimes designed to push people into poverty’. (EIN, 1 May 2024)

7 May: Analysis reveals that most Gypsy and Traveller sites in the UK are located within 100 metres of major pollutants such as main roads, sewage works, industrial sites, tips and recycling centres, presenting major risks to health. (The Conversation, 7 May 2024) 

14 May: The Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at Oxford University publishes a report, Understanding Migrant Destitution in the UK, analysing the impact of No Recourse to Public Funds conditions and other immigration policies on migrant poverty. It finds that at least 10,600 people and possibly up to 18,000 needed local authority or health trust care help in 2021-2. (EIN, 15 May 2024)


6 May: A Guardian analysis shows that Black mothers are more than twice as likely to be hospitalised with perinatal mental illness than their white counterparts, with experts highlighting structural inequalities and cultural attitudes to mental health. (Guardian, 6 May 2024)

13 May: The UK’s first inquiry into birth trauma finds a ‘postcode lottery’ for the quality of maternity care that women in labour receive, reporting that ethnic minority women and those facing deprivation experience particularly poor care. (Guardian, 13 May 2024; BBC News, 13 May 2024)

14 May: The Centre for Mental Health publishes Policies for Better Mental Health and calls on parties to rigorously assess the mental health impact of all policies – from housing to the environment to benefits and immigration – before they are implemented. (Morning Star, 14 May 2024) 


1 May: United Voices of the World announces a legal challenge on behalf of Spanish migrant workers against employer One Motion Logistics, which they accuse of luring them to work as Amazon delivery drivers in the UK over Christmas without prior arrangement of work visas and scamming them out of their wages. (United Voices of the World, 1 May 2024)

2 May: An inews investigation reports that Deliveroo is breaking its pledge to pay all its riders fees equivalent to at least the living wage. Competitor Uber Eats allegedly also underpays its workers, but it has made no similar pledges. (Inews, 2 May 2024)

11 May: A joint Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Observer investigation finds that over 3,000 workers, sponsored by companies whose licence to recruit from abroad is revoked, have their sponsorship cancelled and face deportation if they cannot find an alternative sponsor in 60 days, leaving many destitute and with huge debts. (Guardian, 11 May 2024)


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.

3 May: Historians criticise as a ‘top down public history process’ a government proposal to select five historians to conduct an ‘independent public history’ of UK government policy during the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland. (THE, 3 May 2024)

7 May: The Football Association (FA) secretly issued a lifetime ban in 2019 to former Chelsea coach Gwyn Williams, who is alleged to have subjected boys as young as 12 to daily tirades of racial abuse, it is revealed. The ban was kept secret for safeguarding reasons, even though it meant withholding information from whistle-blowers and victims. (The Athletic, 7 May 2024)

9 May: As speculation mounts that journalist Sangita Myska was fired from LBC for asking difficult questions of an Israeli government spokesperson, more than 100 media personalities and broadcasters sign an open letter expressing ‘deep concern at her sudden disappearance from LBC’. (ITV News, 9 May 2024; National, 10 May 2024) 

10 May: The umbrella body for Jewish organisations in Flanders, Belgium, (FJO) accuses the trades unions of bias and political indoctrination after a union protest is staged at the Eurovision semi-final, interrupting TV broadcasts with a message about human rights violations and the lack of press freedom in Israel. (Brussels Times, 10 May 2024)

12 May: A letter sent by the French Football Federation (FFF) to the presidents of football leagues and districts across France declares that all players will be prohibited from wearing helmets or tights unless medically exempt. FFF president Philippe Diallo claims that the ban is not Islamophobic as it is taken in the name of unity and ‘the principles of the Republic and the history of France’. (Foot National, 12 May 2024)


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

1 May: An unknown perpetrator throws firebombs and Molotov cocktails at the Nożyk Synagogue in Warsaw, Poland. No-one is injured. (Euronews, 1 May 2024)

7 May: The Jewish Community in Austria reports a rise in antisemitic incidents across the country, citing graffiti in Vienna on the facades of Jewish businesses stating ‘Death to Zionism’ and ‘Victory to Palestine’. (Euronews, 7 May 2024)

11 May: In Ireland, Aubrey McCarthy, chair of the homelessness charity the Lighthouse, reveals that he has received personal threats as well as threats to burn down the charity’s premises over the help the charity provides to asylum-seekers. (RTE, 11 May 2024)

This calendar is researched by IRR staff and compiled bySophie Chauhan, with the assistance of Graeme Atkinson, Sam Berkson, Margaret McAdadam and Louis Ordish. Thanks also to ECRE, the Never Again Association and Stopwatch, whose regular updates on asylum, migration, far Right, racial violence, employment 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. 

Feature image: UCL encampment for Palestine, May 2024. Picture shows a banner and two kites.

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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