Calendar of racism and resistance (6 – 19 November 2015)

Calendar of racism and resistance (6 – 19 November 2015)


Written by: IRR News Team

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

Policing and criminal justice 

5 November: Ropinder Singh calls for an inquiry into a protest outside the Indian High Commission after he was arrested and allegedly had his turban grabbed and thrown to the ground; fifteen others were also arrested at the Sikh Lives Matter demonstration in October. (Ilford Recorder, 5 November 2015)

6 November: HM Inspector of Prisons finds that court cells are ‘squalid and dangerous’ and covered in sexist and racist graffiti following an inspection of 90 courts. (BBC News, 6 November 2015)

12 November: An inquest jury records a critical narrative verdict into the death of Mohamoud Ahmed, who died at the G4S-run Parc prison in February 2014. He died from ‘sudden unexpected death from epilepsy’ (SUDEP) after the prison failed to take him to a number of hospital appointments. (INQUEST press release, 13 November 2015)

Bijan Ebrahimi14 November: A police officer was eating a pot noodle when she rejected a call for help from Bijan Ebrahimi, shortly before he was beaten to death by neighbours in Bristol in 2013, a court hears. (Bristol Post, 14 November 2015)

16 November: Cornelius Thomas, 39, who was tasered four times by police officers outside his home in Birmingham in 2011, will receive ‘substantial’ undisclosed damages after West Midlands police settle a claim out of court. (Mirror, 16 November 2015)

17 November: The case against the three police officers involved in the death of 33-year-old Amadou Koumé, who died after being apprehended by the police and placed in a police van on 6 March 2015 in the 10th arrondissement in Paris, is dropped. (Paris Luttes, 17 November 2015)

18 November: HM Inspectorate of Prisons publishes a thematic report: Behaviour management and restraint of children in custody: A review of the early implementation of MMPR. Download the report here.

19 November: A coroner accuses the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) of ‘almost holding the coroner’s service in contempt’ after finding that the IPCC report into the death of Istiak Ahmed in Luton police custody in June 2015 has not yet been completed, thus delaying the inquest. (Luton on Sunday, 19 November 2015)

Violence and harassment

4 November: Ionut Scurtu, 35, is jailed for three years and three months for racially aggravated GBH, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon after he racially abused and then beat (with a metal bar) a 53-year-old man who was trying to help his daughter whose car had broken down in Queensbury. (GetWestLondon, 4 November 2015)

5 November: Shaun Franey, 33, is jailed for six years after racially abusing Iranian taxi driver Hossain Habiloudeshiri and slashing his face with a knife in Kensington, Liverpool. (Liverpool Echo, 5 November 2015)

5 November: Nurse William Malcolm faces a Nursing & Midwifery Council misconduct panel after making a KKK hood out of a napkin and asking a colleague to take a picture of himself stood next to the only black nurse at a staff Christmas party. He is found guilty of misconduct after his fitness to practice is impaired. (Sunderland Echo, 5 November 2015)

5 November: Kashif Samuels, 25, is jailed for 16-weeks after pleading guilty to religiously and racially aggravated harassment after racially abusing a Turkish pensioner whose walking frame he then threw off a bus in London. (Guardian, 5 November 2015)

6 November: Samuel Smith, 25, is jailed for 20-weeks after pleading guilty to racially aggravated battery of a restaurant manager in Bradford, whom he racially abused and pushed to the ground. (Telegraph & Argus, 6 November 2015)

Rhyl Islamic Cultural Centre

11 November: New research by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) finds that the majority of British Muslims have witnessed, abuse or discrimination aimed at other Muslims. (Guardian, 11 November 2015)

12 November: Three people push fireworks through the letterbox of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Rhyl, North Wales. They are held in custody on suspicion of racially motivated arson. (Daily Post, 12 November 2015)

14 November: The Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en France (CCIF) issues a statement following the attacks in Paris: ‘The CCIF condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks perpetrated on the night of the 13 November 2015 in Paris. We give our full solidarity to the victims and condolences to their families. Nothing could even justify such acts. We refuse to give in to fear despite the unheard of nature of the tragedy. On the contrary, these attacks should reinforce our determination to live together. In the face of this ordeal, we must remain united and together in solidarity. This is the best response that we would be able to provide against attempts to divide.’ Read it in French here.

15 November: A Muslim couple in Scotland are seriously injured after about fifteen people attack them whilst racially abusing them and repeatedly referring to the Paris terrorist attacks. (STV, 16 November 2015)

16 November: The High Court hears that in June, in Northern Ireland, a 29-year-old man racially abused an Indian man, cut his face by throwing a bottle at him, and tried to smash through his door with a hammer. (Belfast Live, 16 November 2015)

Bishopbriggs17 November: A cultural centre in Scotland used by Muslims is targeted in a firebomb attack, with police saying that the possibility of it being a hate crime is ‘one line of inquiry’. (Glasgow Evening Times, 17 November 2015)

17 November: A Muslim family’s home in Ballymena is targeted in a petrol bomb attack, which the police say they are treating as a ‘religious hate crime’. (Belfast Telegraph, 17 November 2015)

18 November: Police appeal for witnesses to an incident on 25 October, in Exmouth, when a man was racially abused and assaulted, leaving him with a broken nose and fractured ribs. (Western Morning News, 18 November 2015)

Asylum and migration

Right to remainNovember: Right to Remain launches a crowdfunding appeal for a toolkit to ‘help people to understand and navigate the complex legal system, find support and solidarity, overcome the barriers to justice, fight for their rights and secure the right to remain’. Support the appeal here.

6 November: Two campaigners from the London2Calais group, who have been travelling to Calais to assist refugees, reveal that Kent police used anti-terrorism laws to detain and question them. (Independent, 6 November 2015)

6 November: The Court of Appeal rules that the Home Office acted unlawfully by detaining a 16-year-old Iranian asylum seeker; the ruling sets guidelines on the limits of power to detain children. (EIN, 6 November 2015)

9 November: EU interior ministers agree a package of coercive measures to ‘slow down and control’ refugee arrivals, including intensification of hotspots, accelerated procedures, detention and forced fingerprinting. (European Council, 9 November 2015)

9 November: The Law Centres Network publishes a report: Put yourself in our shoes: considering children’s best interests in the asylum system. Download the report here.

Slovenian military, wall11 November: In eastern Slovakia, soldiers start work on a 1.8 metre-high barbed wire fence in the Veliki Obrež and Rigonce municipalities close to the border with Croatia. (Balkan Insight, 11 November 2015)

12 November: Increasing numbers of North Korean asylum seekers are being refused asylum in Britain, with 17 of 23 applications rejected in 2014, finds an investigation by the New Statesman. (New Statesman, 12 November 2015)

12 November: The Supreme Court refuses the government permission to appeal detained fast trackagainst the Court of Appeal’s July ruling that the Detained Fast Track asylum appeal process was ‘systemically unfair’. (Detention Action, 12 November 2015)

13 November: A 29-year-old Afghan asylum seeker dies after being hit by a train in Cherbourg, north west of France. His death is the twenty-first death in France on the border with Britain since the beginning of the year. (Passeurs d’hospitalités, 17 November 2015)

13 November: HM Inspectorate of Prisons publishes a report: People in prison: Immigration detainees: A findings paper. Download the report here.

14 November: In response to the terrorist attacks in Paris, the Polish European Affairs Minister states that Poland will only fulfil its quota of refugees under the European relocation plan if ‘we have security guarantees’. (Reuters, 14 November 2015)

14 November: A man dies in custody while awaiting removal at Dublin Airport, after being refused permission to enter. (Irish Times, 16 November 2015)

16 November: The Hungarian parliament passes a bill challenging the EU’s mandatory refugee relocation programme, a day after Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told parliament that migrants will spread terrorism across Europe. After the Paris attacks, he stated that ‘Brussels cannot challenge the right of member states to defend themselves’. The prime minister of Slovakia made similar comments. (Reuters, 16 November 2015)

17 November: The organisation Independent Age warns that unless both migration policy and funding for adult social care are changed, the UK ‘could see a shortfall of 200,000 care workers’ by 2020. (Politics Home, 17 November 2015)

The supreme court18 November: The Supreme Court dismisses an appeal against the rule requiring those seeking to join partners in the UK to be competent in English. (Guardian, 18 November 2015)

18 November: About 50 students walk out of classes at City and Islington College in solidarity with international students, migrants and refugees. (Islington Gazette, 19 November 2015)

19 November: The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration publishes a report: An Inspection of Settlement Casework, February – July 2015. Download the report here (pdf file, 554kb)

19 November: The bodies of two people believed to be migrants are found in a wooden crate at an industrial unit in Staffordshire; the crate entered the UK by ferry on 8 October. (Birmingham Mail, 19 November 2015)

19 November: The Nigerian Embassy in London claims that the Home Office is trying to deport an estimated 29,000 Nigerians in the UK illegally, with pressure being applied to the embassy to help remove sick people and those with immigration appeals outstanding. (Guardian, 19 November 2015)

Local government

5 November: Dudley Council is accused of ‘caving in’ to demands of groups like the EDL after a long-running planning dispute results in a Court of Appeal ruling in favour of the council who was against Dudley Muslim Association building a mosque. (BBC News, 5 November 2015)


5 November: The Department for Education publishes new research on Supporting the attainment of disadvantaged pupils. View and download the research here.

6 November: The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills publishes research paper no. 186: Socio-economic, ethnic and gender differences in HE participation. Download the paper here.

18 November: Lagos-based advisory service StudySearch releases new figures that show a 65 per cent drop in African students considering University and Higher Education courses in the UK for the 2015/16 intake, compared to the same period as last year, suggesting this is a result of the UK’s visa rules. (StudySearch, 18 November 2015)

18 November: A pupil at Royton and Crompton School, Oldham, is reported to the police after a teacher spots a picture on his Facebook page of him posing with a gun while on holiday in Pakistan. (Guardian, 18 November 2015)

Party politics

Winston Mckenzie4 November: Winston McKenzie, claims he has ‘suffered in silence’ and been the victim of racial discrimination after being marginalised by his fellow UKIP party members. (Croydon Advertiser, 4 October 2015)

16 November: Rugby Borough Councillor Jim Buckley is permanently expelled from the Conservative group after posting a ‘racist and offensive’ tweet about London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan. (Rugby Advertiser, 16 November 2015)


9 November: According to research by the European Journalism Observatory press coverage and sympathy following the death of Alan Kurdi lasted only a week before most papers reverted to their original editorial stance. (Guardian, 9 November 2015)

17 November: Eric Zemmour, a French writer and commentator, faces a backlash after making comments on the RTL Radio station that ‘instead of bombing Raqqa (in Syria), France should bomb Molenbeek (in Brussels)’. (Le Monde, 17 November 2015)

Extreme-Right politics

11 November: At least 35,000 nationalists, chanting ‘Poland for the Polish’ and ‘No Islam, no atheists, a Poland for Catholics’, gather in Warsaw for the annual National Independence Day march. Members of Hungary’s far-right Jobbik movement and Italy’s neo-fascist Forza Nuova are present. (Financial Times, 11 November 2015)

15 November: About thirty Scottish Defence League (SDL) supporters, staging an anti-refugee protest in Monkton, are outnumbered by around 200 counter-protesters. (Ayrshire Post, 16 November 2015)

Miloš Zeman
Miloš Zeman

17 November: President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman, speaks at a ‘We Don’t Want Islam in the Czech Republic’ rally in Prague attended by the leader of Pegida in Dresden and Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, formerly of the EDL. Hope not Hate launches a petition. (Hope not Hate)

National security

28 October: The UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism warns of a global ‘ideological pandemic’ in which over sixty states have passed counter-terrorism laws that ‘stifle legitimate opposition and choke public interest and human rights organisations’. (Statewatch News Online, 17 November 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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