Calendar of racism and resistance (6 – 19 October 2017)

Calendar of racism and resistance (6 – 19 October 2017)


Written by: IRR News Team

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

Asylum and migration

5 October: The Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) calls for evidence on how the Home Office ensures it acts in the ‘best interests’ of unaccompanied asylum seeking children. (ICIBI press release, 5 October 2017)

6 October: HM Chief Inspector of Prisons publishes: Report on an inspection visit to court custody facilities in London North, North East and West (29 May–6 June 2017), download it here

safebutalone6 October: Refugee Action publishes a report: Safe But Alone: The role of English language in allowing refugees to overcome loneliness, download it here

8 October: An investigation by the Bristol Cable and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism finds that one in five people stopped by immigration enforcement teams in Britain’s biggest cities is a British citizen. (Guardian, 8 October 2017)

8 October: A study by the Bar Human Rights Committee finds that hundreds of children are stranded in France where their claims for asylum are not being heard. Fact Finding Report: Breakdown: the dismantling of the Calais “Jungle” and of the promises to its unaccompanied children can be downloaded here. (Guardian, 8 October 2017)bhrc-calais-report

9 October: Chancellor Angela Merkel agrees to limit Germany’s refugee intake to create an alliance with the Bavarian CSU party. The leader of the CDU agrees to cap refugees at 200,000 this year. (The Local, 9 October 2017) 

10 October: A legal challenge succeeds against the Home Office’s revised rules on the detention of asylum seekers who have suffered torture. (BBC News, 10 October 2017)

11 October: It is revealed that the Verne immigration detention centre is to close and reopen as a prison. (BBC News, 11 October 2017)

11 October: The government announces that Grenfell fire survivors will be eligible to extend the initial 12 months permission to remain in the UK to permanent status and possibly British citizenship, subject to continued conduct and criminality checks. (Guardian, 11 October 2017)

11 October: Two men convicted of conspiring to facilitate illegal entry for their part in the death of Meet Singh Kapoor, are ordered to pay £54,000 in a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing. Kapoor was one of 35 migrants found hidden in a shipping container at Tilbury docks in August 2014. (Braintree & Witham Times, 11 October 2017)

11 October: In a decision unpopular with local residents, Derby Council approves a centre housing 225 asylum seekers which will be run by G4S. (Derby Telegraph, 12 October 2017)

12 October: The Danish government announces that it will extend its border controls with Germany, in response to the large number of rejected asylum seekers currently awaiting deportation in Germany which it sees as a security risk for Denmark. (The Local, 13 October 2017) 

12 October: France extends its border checks with other Schengen states until the end of April, in response to what the French government has called a ‘persistent’ terror threat. (The Local, 12 October 2017)

17 October: The Home Office publishes a research report: A Typology of Modern Slavery Offences in the UK, download it here.

18 October: The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration calls for evidence on the effects of the hostile environment ‘Right to Rent’ immigration status checks of prospective tenants. The deadline for submissions is 10 November 2017. (ICIBI press release, 18 October 2017)

18 October: The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) writes to the Home Office calling for an inquiry into Brook House immigration removal centre following revelations of abuse on a BBC Panorama programme. (EHRC, 18 October 2017)

Policing and criminal justice

5 October: The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) rejects a complaint against Judge Timothy Spencer QC, who allegedly made inappropriate comments during the sentencing of a Traveller family for modern slavery offences. (Guardian, 5 October 2017)

Olaseni Lewis
Olaseni Lewis

6 October: Six Met police officers are cleared of gross misconduct for the death of 23-year-old Olaseni Lewis in 2010 after being restrained at Bethlem Royal Hospital. (Channel 4 News, 6 October 2017)

7 October: The police are accused of treating the family of Rashan Charles, who died after being restrained by police in Hackney, with ‘disdain’, by Charles’ uncle, a retired police officer. (Guardian, 7 October 2017)

7 October: The family of Yasser Yaqub, who was shot dead by police in Huddersfield in January 2017, hold a demonstration at Downing Street. (Huddersfield Examiner, 8 October 2017)

10 October: The government’s Race Disparity Audit finds that members of BAME communities are more likely to suspected of a crime, to be arrested and to be a victim of crime. Download the report here and view the Ethnicity Facts and Figures website here. (Independent, 10 October 2017)race-disparity-audit

10 October: Following a UK inquest into the death of Luke Holland, a tech entrepreneur from Stockport murdered by a neo-Nazi in Berlin in September 2015, Holland’s father criticises the Foreign Office for failing to support him and his wife after their son’s death, and the German authorities, who failed to prosecute the murder as a hate crime. The inquest returned a verdict of unlawful killing. (Guardian, 10 October 2017)

10 October: Five police officers involved in the death of Edson Da Costa in Beckton in June are told they are being investigated for misconduct by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). (Guardian, 10 October 2017)

15 October: Two police officers are sanctioned after a complaint over their handling of an investigation into Orange Order members dressing as Nazis at a fancy dress party. (Sunday Herald, 15 October 2017)

16 October: RTS, a forensic company, is paying for retesting of samples relating to the death of Dalian Atkinson, tasered by police in August 2016. The retests come after a whistleblower claimed that two employees, who are under investigation, manipulated data. (Shropshire Star, 16 October 2017)

16 October: The College of Policing publishes Guidance on outcomes in police misconduct proceedings, view it here.

19 October: New research find that Black and Muslim offenders are more likely to be treated badly in prison, leading to poorer outcomes and mental health concerns. Download the Runnymede Trust report, Have prisons become a dangerous place? Disproportionality, safety and mental health in British prisons, here (pdf file, 1.1.mb). (Guardian, 19 October 2017)

Anti fascism and the far Right 

1 October: Demonstrators from the Foundation for the Defence of the Spanish Nation (DENEAS) are filmed giving fascist salutes and singing the anthem of General Franco’s Falange party as they gather in Madrid to show their support for the Spanish police and oppose the independence referendum in Catalonia. (Independent, 1 October 2017) 

4 October: Thuringia’s state intelligence services believe that members of the Reichsbürger (Citizens of the Reich) and neo-nazis are infiltrating shooting clubs to get legal access to firearms. Last year, a leading Reichsbürger member shot dead a police officer. Since then, several of its members have been arrested for weapons offences, and monitoring of police officers and soldiers suspected of harbouring Reichsbürger sympathies has been stepped up. (Deutsche Welle, 4 October 2017)

5 October: Far-right journalist Olivier Renault, known for his anti-Islam views, claims on Riposte Laique’s website that he was the real target of a failed bomb attack on the Parisian apartment of a man with the same name. Anti-terror police make six arrests.(The Local, 5 October 2017) 

7 October: Five members of the neo-nazi Goritsa Aspropyrgos launch a racist attack on two migrant farmworkers. The anti-racist organisation KEERFA publishes shocking images of one of the injured men and demands that the attackers are prosecuted. (Keep Talking Greece, 9 October 2017)

7 October: The Football Lads Alliance holds a demonstration in London, attended by thousands and with representatives of fans from most football clubs in the UK. (Independent, 7 October 2017)

9 October: It is revealed that Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, ex-leader of the EDL, is to speak to New York students at Columbia University via Skype. (Independent, 9 October 2017)

9 October: It is reported that the BNP has launched a campaign against a non-existent mosque in Louth, Lincolnshire. (Independent, 9 October 2017)

14 October: Jayda Fransen is arrested in Sunderland for breaching bail conditions set by Kent Police following a series of protests organised by Britain First during a rape trial in Kent. (KentLive, 16 October 2017)

14 October: Scuffles break out at the Frankfurt book fair as anti-fascists protest against the presence of far-right publisher Junge Freiheit as well as Alternative for Germany politician Bjorn Höcke, launching his new book, Living with Leftists. The organisers of the book fair defend the presence of the far Right as necessary for freedom of speech. (Deutsche Welle, 14 October 2017) 

15 October: Far-right groups Hogar Social, Vox, Falange and Espana 2000, joining parades on Spain’s national day, attempt to profit from the Catalonian crisis by accusing Catalan nationalist leaders of spreading xenophobia against Spaniards. (The Local, 15 October 2017)

17 October: Well-known neo-nazi and NF organiser Kevin Wilshaw publicly renounces forty years of racist activities and comes out as gay during a Channel Four News interview. (Channel 4 News, 17 October 2017)


10 October: An Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) report suggests that Department of Education statistics on school permanent exclusions vastly underestimate the problem, with around 48,000 pupils now educated in alternative provision. Black Caribbean pupils are significantly over-represented in pupil referral units, although 70 per cent are white British. (Guardian, 10 October 2017)

15 October: There are calls for a statue to be erected to the memory of Wales’ first black head teacher, Betty Campbell, who died last week. (BBC News, 15 October 2017)

17 October: St Winifred’s school in Newham apologises after asking pupils to dress as slaves in an event to mark Black History Month. (Guardian, 17 October 2017)


14 October: The NHS receives praise for its handling of a racist response to a Twitter appeal for more blood donors to assist those suffering with sickle cell disease. (BBC News, 14 October 2017)


9 October: New research finds that in Wales, Gypsy and Traveller sites have been neglected for decades by councils, although recent changes have increased the number of authorised sites. (BBC News, 9 October 2017)


EHRCLogo15 October: The Equality and Human Rights Commission warns that, post-Brexit, UK residents stand to lose the ‘safety net’ of European anti-discrimination laws. (Independent, 15 October 2017)

16 October: A group of seven Swiss MPs, both left- and right-wing, have joined together in a committee to fight the law passed in September that bans face covering in Switzerland (except for weather and health and safety reasons), seen as an anti-burqa initiative. (The Local, 15 October 2017) 


12 October: Hackney Empire cancels a run of the play The Golden Dragon, an opera set in a Chinese takeaway, following a backlash against the all-white cast. (Guardian, 12 October 2017)

18 October: Channel Four is criticised for making a TV programme, My Week as a Muslim, in which a white woman ‘browns up’ to experience life as a Muslim woman in Manchester following the Manchester Arena attacks. (Independent, 18 October 2017)

19 October: The Express is ordered to apologise (twice) over an article which falsely claimed that James Ellison was responsible for starting fires at a camp for migrants in Calais. (Press Gazette, 19 October 2017)

Party politics

5 October: Austrian Social Democrats deny claims that they are behind fake websites churning out xenophobic and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in a bid to turn far-right voters against the candidacy of centre-right Sebastian Kurz, currently foreign minister, in pending elections. The websites accuse Kurz of secretly paving the way for immigration from Islamic countries and of networking with George Soros. (Guardian, 5 October 2017) 

15 October: Sebastian Kurz, centre-Right Austrian People’s Party (ȪVP) candidate in the general election, is accused of achieving victory by ‘embracing a divisive agenda dictated by the far-Right’. The ȪVP finishes first with a projected 31.7 per cent of the vote. The Freedom Party (FPȪ) finishes third with 25.9 per cent of the vote. (Guardian, 15 October 2017)


10 October: Kick it Out finds that discrimination in football has risen for a fifth consecutive season, with the group receiving 469 reports of discrimination last season compared to 402 in 2015-16, an increase of 16.7 per cent. (Daily Mirror, 10 October 2017)

14 October: Players and team coaches from Hertha Berlin, supporting the actions of US sportsmen, become the first European soccer team to take the knee before a Bundesliga soccer fixture, calling for ‘a tolerant Berlin’. (Washington Post, 14 October 2017)

Violence and harassment: attacks on people

8 October: A man wearing a mask and dressed all in black racially abuses and then attacks the staff of the Bombay Blaze takeaway in Atherton, Manchester, with a samurai sword. (Manchester Evening News, 11 October 2017)

9 October: A trial begins of six people in connection with an attack on 17-year-old Kurdish refugee Reker Ahmed in Croydon in March. Ahmed suffered a fractured spine and a bleed in the brain from the attack, in which he was told to ‘go back to your country’. (Croydon Advertiser, 10 October 2017)

15 October: A South Korean student is hit in the face with a champagne bottle in a racist attack in Brighton; video film of the incident is later circulated online. (Metro, 19 October 2017)

16 October: A 59-year-old man suffered serious internal injuries after being kicked and punched to the ground in Albert Park, Middlesbrough. He was racially abused during the attack. Police are searching for three white men aged around 20. (Gazette Live, 18 October 2017)

Violence and harassment: attacks on property

15 October: A flat and two cars are gutted in arson attacks in County Tyrone and East Belfast; police are investigating ‘the possibility of a hate-related motive’. One of those affected is a charity worker whose van is used to support vulnerable families and children in the Philippines. (BBC News, 15 October 2017, Belfast Telegraph, 17 October 2017)

19 October: A Romanian nurse says she no longer feels safe in her Grimsby home after repeated attacks on the family’s van and bikes, which she believes are racially motivated and to which the police have, she says, failed to respond. (Grimbsy Telegraph, 19 October 2017)

Violence and harassment: abuse and threats

5 October: Students at the University of Exeter’s Camborne School of Mines (CSM), based in Penryn, Cornwall, are condemned for a pub crawl during which students wore hi-vis tabards with ‘I love rape,’ ‘F*** the Syrians’ and Nazi swastikas on them. (The Tab, 8 October 2017)

9 October: The family of a young Syrian man arrested in connection with the Parsons Green attack are moved from their Greenock home by police after receiving threats and abuse. (STV, 9 October 2017)

12 October: King’s Leadership Academy in Dingle is put into lockdown after a man threatens pupils; a 43-year-old man is later arrested by police on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence and racially aggravated threats to kill. (Liverpool Echo, 12 October 2017)

Violence and harassment: attacks on religious institutions

10 October: Most of the graves of Muslims in the Lausanne cemetery are vandalised. Grave markers as well as flowers and plants on the graves are removed and anti-Muslim graffiti sprayed on the ground, calling for ‘Muslims out of Switzerland’ and ‘No to communitarian cemeteries’. (The Local, 16 October 2017)

11 October: Anti-semitic graffiti is daubed outside the Etz Chaim synagogue in Alwoodley, Leeds. (Yorkshire Post, 11 October 2017)

17 October: Police appeal for information on two men who posted Nazi material on a noticeboard next to the Bevis Marks Synagogue, in the City of London. (Independent, 17 October 2017)

Violence and harassment: online racism

5 October: Solihull Conservative councillors are under investigation after allegations that one sent anti-Muslim tweets; another female councillor has also had a complaint submitted about her tweets. (BBC News, 5 October 2017)

7 October: Nigel Farage, Katie Hopkins and Tommy Robinson (aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) are ridiculed on social media after they blame an incident outside the Natural History Museum on Islamic terrorism. (Independent, 8 October 2017)

8 October: A new online national hub to tackle the emerging threat of online hate crime is launched. And it is later revealed that the much-heralded initiative has been provided with just £200,000 of government funding, equivalent to £3 per hate crime. (Home Office, 8 October 2017; Guardian, 14 October 2017)

Violence and harassment: charges

19 October: Daniel Forsythe, 32, is charged with racially/ religiously aggravated assault occasioning ABH, assault on police and obstructing /resisting a constable, after allegedly breaking the leg of a female police officer in Plymouth. (Plymouth Herald, 19 October 2017)

Violence and harassment: convictions

6 October: Jack Gemmell, 18, and an unnamed 17-year-old plead guilty to a racist attack with bricks and fireworks on disabled refugee Able Miller at his Springburn home. Sentencing is deferred. (Glasgow Live, 6 October 2017)

6 October: Kevin Pritchard, 54, is fined £240 and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge after launching a rant in a Worcester post office as he queued, through anger about the terror attacks in London. (Worcester News, 6 October 2017)

10 October: A 12-year-old boy who stamped on the head of a young Muslim boy in a racist attack is sentenced to an 18-month youth rehabilitation order and is tagged for three months. (Manchester Evening News, 10 October 2017) 

15 October: Richard Brosch, 44, is found guilty of a series of offences, including a racially aggravated public order offence, after threatening the staff of a shop and a pub landlord and his family; he is jailed for 18 months and given a five year criminal behaviour order. (Hull Daily Mail, 15 October 2017)

17 October: Jeffrey Barry, who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, is found guilty of the murder of Kurdish asylum seeker Kamil Ahmed, whom he had racially abused for years at his Bristol home. (Guardian, 17 October 2017)

18 October: Laura O’Toole, 29, is found guilty of various racially aggravated charges after racially abusing and punching a postmaster and his wife at their Brighton post office. Sentencing is adjourned till 27 October. (Argus, 19 October 2017)

Violence and harassment: research and statistics

9 October: Figures revealed under Freedom of Information laws reveal that hate crimes targeting mosques doubled between 2016-2017. (Independent, 9 October 2017)

17 October: The number of hate crimes prosecuted last year dropped despite a 29 per cent spike in reported attacks in the wake of the EU referendum, new figures show. The Home Office also publishes a statistical bulletin: Hate crime, England and Wales, 2016/17, download it here. (BBC News, 17 October 2017)

17 October: The University of Sussex publishes Hate Crime and the Legal Process, download it here.EdgeFund_editlogo


9 October: The Edge Fund announces a second funding round for community and campaigning organisations. (Edge Fund, 9 October 2017)

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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