Calendar of Racism and Resistance (6 – 20 July 2022)


Calendar of Racism and Resistance (6 – 20 July 2022)

News

Written by: IRR News Team


 

A fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe. Find these stories and all others since 2014 on our searchable database, the Register of Racism and Resistance.

ASYLUM | MIGRATION | BORDERS | CITIZENSHIP

Asylum and migrant rights

7 July: The European Court of Human Rights finds Greece guilty of violating the European Convention on Human Rights for failing to carry out an effective investigation into the deaths of 11 refugees, including eight children, after a migrant boat sank in 2014 near Farmakonissi, and subjecting survivors to degrading treatment. It awards damages to the survivors. (Keep Talking Greece, 8 July 2022)

7 July: A BIRN investigation establishes that Frontex and the European Commission sidelined data protection watchdogs in expanding ‘Processing of Personal Data for Risk Analysis’ (PeDRA). New rules mean that genetic and biometric data of migrants and refugees, as well as religion and sexual orientation, will be stored on criminal databases, with information stored not just on human traffickers but witnesses and victims. (Balkan Insight, 7 July 2022)

12 July: Following media coverage, the Home Office grants a visa to a baby it refused six months ago on the ground that he had ‘an established life’ in Jamaica, which forced his mother Tiffany Ellis, who had lived in the UK since the age of 8, to stay in Jamaica with the baby, separated from her partner and daughter. (Guardian, 12 July 2022)  

17 July: Following the screening of a documentary revealing that British Somali Olympian Mo Farah was trafficked to the UK as a child, other victims of child trafficking come forward to reveal their cruel treatment’ by the Home Office, including boxer Kelvin Bilal Fawaz, denied the chance to represent the UK in the Olympics by refusing him a work permit and threatening him with deportation. (Observer, 17 July 2022) 

18 July: The wife of an Afghan interpreter commended by the British forces he served with in Helmand for his ‘outstanding contribution’ is denied a visa to join him in the UK. (Independent, 18 July 2022)

Borders and internal controls

8 July: Polish NGOs say the 186km steel wall erected at the Belarus border, described by the prime minister as ‘part of the fight against Russia’, manifests a ‘double standard in the different treatment of the neighbouring Ukrainian refugees – fellow Slavs who are mostly Christian, female and white – and those from the distant Middle East and Africa, many of whom are Muslims and male’. (ECRE Weekly Bulletin, 8 July 2022)

8 July: After the Hungarian foreign minister contrasted the 820,000 Ukrainian refugees welcomed to the country with the ‘increasingly dangerous, aggressive and armed’ activities of 110,000 ‘illegal migrants’, refugee rights groups across Hungary accuse the authorities of applying double standards at its border with Serbia. (ECRE Weekly Bulletin, 8 July 2022)

8 July: In response to the deaths of at least 23 people in Melilla, the EU and Morocco issue a joint statement promising to strengthen collaboration between Moroccan and EU agents, particularly the police, and to strengthen border management. (Deutsche Welle, 8 July 2022)

9 July: Defence chiefs threaten to walk away from Channel deployment, complaining of reputational damage and ‘embroiling the military in a task for which they are not suited’, as MoD figures show that since April, when the Royal Navy was deployed to intercept migrant boats in the Channel, crossings have almost doubled in number. (Guardian, 9 July 2022)

11 July: The Hungarian prime minister signs a decree to create a ‘special border hunters unit’ comprising 2,200 police and soldiers, to protect the southern borders. (Hungary Today, 11 July 2022)

18 July: The Home Affairs Committee publishes a scathing report on the government’s ‘quick-fix’, headline-grabbing, evidence-free policies to stop Channel crossings, such as the Rwanda plan, warning that they will continue to fail unless safe legal routes are provided. (Guardian, 18 July 2022)

Protesters outside Dungavel IRC
A demonstration against the Rwanda plan outside Dungavel IRC on 17 July. Credit: SOAS Detainee Support.
Reception and detention

10 July: Hundreds of migrants and asylum seekers are transferred from Lampedusa, Italy, to another centre in Sicily after the refugee identification centre is overwhelmed with new arrivals, with 2,100 people sleeping in a centre which only provides beds for 200 people. (Al Jazeera, 10 July 2022)

11 July: The Scottish government announces a suspension of its ‘super-sponsor’ scheme for Ukrainian refugees, under which it has housed 4,666 of the 7,000 Ukrainians arriving in Scotland since March, citing lack of accommodation. (Guardian, 11 July 2022)

12 July: In Chios, Greece, a coroner rules that Huda Hussein Adan, a 24-year-old woman from Somalia, who hid in the mountains after arriving by boat, because she feared being deported, died of starvation and dehydration on 8 July. The police are accused of not acting on information that might have saved her life. (Racist Crimes Watch, 12 July 2022)

19 July: Citizen Platform says it is untenable that in the middle of a heatwave, and with severe storms predicted, 100 asylum seekers, including unaccompanied minors and families with children, sleep on the street outside the Petit Château registration centre for asylum seekers in Brussels, Belgium.  (Brussels Times, 19 July 2022)

Deportations

11 July: The government puts plans for further Rwanda flights on hold as the High Court adjourns the legal challenge to the Rwanda offshoring policy until September. (LBC, 12 July 2022)

17 July: Refugee charity Asylos issues a report claiming that the Home Office has omitted crucial information on Rwanda’s track record for asylum rights and misrepresented the UNCHR position on the Rwanda scheme. (Guardian, 17 July 2022; Byline Times, 13 July 2022)

17 July: Internal Home Office documents reveal officials describing suicidal detainees awaiting deportation to Rwanda as being ‘fine with going there’, as protesters gather in cities across the UK and outside Colnbrook, Brook House and other detention centres to demand an end to the deportation policy. (Observer, 17 July 2022)

Protesters outside Colnbrook detention centre on 16 July
Protesters outside Colnbrook detention centre on 16 July. Credit: SOAS Detainee Support.
Crimes of solidarity

14 July: A prosecutor in Turin, Italy, while recognising the defendants’ humanitarian motivation, nevertheless demands jail terms of between 7 and 11 months for 19 people who occupied a roadhouse and rooms of a church in the Valle di Susa to host migrants making the journey through the Alps to France. (InfoMigrants, 18 July 2022) 

18 July: A court in Bielsk Podlaski, Poland acquits a volunteer of assisting illegal border crossing for transporting someone to hospital who was very sick. (ECRE/Grupa Granica tweet, 18 July 2022)

Citizenship

13 July: The European Network on Statelessness publishes an update on barriers to citizenship facing stateless children born in the UK, noting the introduction of additional hurdles to the statutory right of stateless children to be registered as British citizens. (ENS, 13 July 2022)

ELECTORAL POLITICS | GOVERNMENT POLICY

6 July: After independent Irish MP Carol Nolan links the housing shortage to pressures placed by the arrival of 35,000 refugees from Ukraine, housing minister Darragh O’Brien refuses to put a cap on the number of Ukranian refugees arriving in the country through ‘no fault of their own’. (Euronews, 6 July 2022)

7 July:  The Belgian parliament approves legislation that grants state security and military intelligence services more powers of infiltration and the right to commit criminal offences under certain conditions. (Knack, 7 July 2022)

10 July: After a sharp increase in refugee arrivals at Lampedusa, Georgia Meloni, leader of the far-right Brothers of Italy, tweets, ‘And this would be the left’s famous humanitarian model? Saying no to mass illegal immigration also means saying no to this.’ (Al Jazeera, 10 July 2022)

11 July: Nine of the eleven candidates vying to replace Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative party pledge to step up deportations to Rwanda, with Jeremy Hunt promising to expand the policy and Suella Braverman saying she would take the UK out of the European Court of Human Rights. (Morning Star, 11 July 2022)

11 July: The Dutch defence minister offers ‘deepest apologies’ for the role played by Dutch peacekeepers for the Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Bosniak Muslims in 1995. This is the first apology by the Netherlands government to relatives of victims. (Al Jazeera, 11 July 2022)

11 July: Responding to the global food crisis in Africa due to the war in Ukraine, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán claims in a Facebook video that several thousands of illegal migrants are ‘setting off to Hungary and Europe’ and that the actions of ‘illegal border crosses’ are ‘becoming increasingly violent’ and ‘it’s not uncommon for them to try to enter Hungary with guns’. (Hungary Today, 11 July 2022)

14 July: The TD for Cork-South, Michael Collins, links the government’s ‘open door policy on immigration’ to the number of people on the housing waiting list, criticises the number of asylum seekers living in hotels and accuses ‘political elites’ of silencing discussion. (The Beacon, 14 July 2022)

16 July: Conservative leadership candidate Liz Truss tells colleagues that as leader, she would seek to extend the offshoring asylum policy to Turkey. (Times, 16 July 2022)

ANTI-FASCISM AND THE FAR RIGHT

With anti-migrant, anti-equalities, anti-abortion, misogynistic and anti-LGBTQI activities increasingly interlinking, we now incorporate information on the Christian Right as well as information relating to the incel movement.

6 July: The Left party says it believes the far Right was behind an explosion at its North-Rhine Westphalia regional offices in Oberhausen, western Germany. Police say they are still investigating but do not rule out a ‘political motive’.  (Deutsche Welle, 6 July 2022)

6 July: A 33-year-old man with a history of involvement with the Nordic Resistance Movement is arrested in Sweden after leading psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselegen is stabbed to death at the Almedalen political festival in Visby, Gotland. Police say the crime is not viewed as an act of far-right terror.  (The Local, 6 July 2022)

9 July: Residents of the Lincolnshire village of Linton-on Ouse, where local opposition to Home Office plans for a 1,500-bed detention centre for male asylum seekers is based on lack of infrastructure and concerns for the detainees, say they are plagued by far-right activists coming to hold rallies in the village, who intimidate anyone who challenges them. (Times £, 9 July 2022) 

9-10 July: Hundreds of neo-nazis attend a two-day festival in Verona, Italy, organised by Hammerskins and the identitarian movement amidst claims that the city, which has previously hosted the World Congress of Families, has been hijacked by the far Right. (Siasat Daily, 12 July 2022)

11 July: The Swedish Prosecution Authority reverses its previous stance that the motive for the murder of Ing-Marie Wieselegen was a protest against Sweden’s psychiatric services, stating that detainee Theodor Engström is now suspected of ‘preparation for a terror crime through preparation for murder’. (The Local, 11 July 2022)

15 July: In Frankfurt, Germany, Franco Albrecht, a soldier with far-right views, is found guilty of ‘serious acts of violent subversion’ violating German arms and explosives laws, and two counts of fraud and sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison. The plan was to attack senior politicians and public figures while posing as a Syrian refugee. (Guardian, 15 July 2022)

POLICING | PRISONS | CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

5 July: In Germany, the Black Community Coalition for Justice & Self Defence describes as ‘flawed’ a police investigation into the death on 24 June of Daniel, an 18-month child from Nigeria, who was run over by a driver reversing on an access road to the Curslacker Neuer Deich refugee accommodation, a series of containers, in Hamburg-Bergedorf. (Black Community Hamburg, 5 July 2022)

6 July: The Metropolitan police apologise to the family of Richard Okorogheye, whose body was discovered a fortnight after he went missing in March 2021, for failings in its investigation. Richard’s mother, who believes racism underpinned some of the treatment she received, rejects the apology. (Independent, 6 July 2022)

8 July: Metropolitan police constable Anthony Howe is given a final written warning for gross misconduct following an investigation into an incident in September 2020 when he stood on the leg of a 16-year-old boy and struck him with a Taser, during a search. No details about the teenager’s ethnicity are given. (IOPC, 8 July 2022)

10 July: The National Association of Legally Qualified Chairs says that senior lawyers in charge of disciplinary panels are blocking police misconduct hearings because of the risk of being sued by officers for ‘unfavourable decisions’ and that new legislation is urgently needed to provide individual indemnity. (Telegraph, 10 July 2022)

10 July: Research by the Institute of Race Relations reveals a growing culture of right-wing extremism among police across Europe, with racism becoming entrenched and more officers wearing the ‘thin blue line’ avatar associated with white nationalism among US police. (Observer, 10 July 2022)

12 July: In Rome, Italy, charges including torture and cooperation in the culpable homicide of an Algerian prisoner are brought against 105 prison officers, penitentiary officials and health officials, in connection with a punitive raid on inmates at the Santa Maria Capua Vetere, near Naples, on 6 April 2020. (ANSA, 12 July 2022)

13 July: The College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs Council agree to all 15 IOPC recommendations on stop and search, which include taking action against stereotyping and bias in its use. To address trauma, a national survey exploring young people’s experiences of police-initiated contact, including stop and search, will be carried out. (IOPC, 13 July 2022)

13 July: The Crown Prosecution Service launches ‘the ‘Defendants Strategy’, a three-year strategy committing to ‘fairness’ to all parties in the criminal justice system, prioritising mental health, youth justice and more performance monitoring to guard against unfairness (CPS, 13 July 2022)

15 July: After finding that black people in South Yorkshire are 3.7 times more likely to be stopped and searched than their white counterparts, Sheffield Racial Equality Commission calls for an independent review into stop and search. (BBC News, 15 July 2022)

15 July: Metropolitan police firearms officer Steven Martin is sacked after an investigation found him guilty of gross misconduct for punching a handcuffed black boy, aged 15, and calling him a ‘fucking scumbag’ during an arrest in February 2021 in Leyton, east London.  The CPS later dropped charges against the boy. (Guardian, 15 July 2022)

15 July: A witness who filmed a young black man being repeatedly punched by a Metropolitan police officer in Lewisham on 15 July while his friend begs them to stop, says that an ambulance had to be called when the man passed out. (Mirror, 18 July 2022)

COUNTER-TERRORISM AND NATIONAL SECURITY

13 July: In a report dealing with the right-wing terror threat, the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee says extreme-right groups are targeting military personnel as potential recruits, with the armed forces providing no clear direction about which groups personnel could join. (Guardian, 13 July 2022)

DISCRIMINATION | EQUALITIES | HUMAN RIGHTS

13 July: In the latest development in the scandal around tens of thousands of people forced to repay all child benefit, media freedom of information requests reveal that the Netherlands tax office knew for years that the selection of people for extra fraud checks was based on ethnicity, despite frequent denials.  (Dutch News, 13 July 2022)

14 July: The Information Commissioner launches an investigation into whether artificial intelligence systems are showing racial bias when dealing with job applications, applications for bank loans or welfare benefits. (Guardian, 14 July 2022)

EDUCATION

7 July: The Higher Education Policy Institute finds that Gypsy and Roma young people are the least likely to access higher education due to the extreme discrimination and poverty they face, followed closely by Irish travellers. (BBC News, 7 July 2022)  

10 July: A popular Latin course taught at many British private schools, the Cambridge Latin Course, revises its curriculum to reflect the ethnic diversity of the Roman empire. (Guardian, 10, July 2022)  

12 July: Getty Images launches a collection of almost 30,000 unseen photographs of the black diaspora in the UK and US, to be used for educational purposes free of charge and to raise awareness of the impact of black people in the UK. (Guardian, 12 July 2022) 

12 July: Following anti-racism protests challenging the school’s ties to slave trader Edward Colston and its subsequent ‘inadequate’ rating by Ofsted, Montpelier High School (formerly named Colston’s Girls’ School) receives a termination warning to urge rapid improvements in student safety and quality schooling. (BBC News, 12 July 2022)

12 July: Oakgrove Secondary School temporarily closes down after travellers from Ireland set up camp on its fields, claiming that the closure is to ensure the safety of staff and students and prompting the arrival of police to remove travellers from the encampment. (BBC News, 12 July 2022) 

12 July: MPs in the All-Party Parliament Group for Race Equality in Education are partnering with the Halo Collective, an anti-hair discrimination advocacy group, to introduce a new law that makes it illegal to discriminate against Afro hair in schools. (The Voice, 12 July 2022)

16 July: The former education recovery commissioner, Sir Kevan Collins, says the government is burying its head in the sand over the loss of learning among children in England due to Covid and criticises its flagship tutoring programme. (Guardian, 16 July 2022)

18 July: An Education Policy Institute report warns that poorer pupils in England and Wales are lagging significantly behind. With the disadvantage gap ‘notably worse’ in Wales, the largest gap in England is in Blackpool.  (Guardian, 18 July 2022)

18 July: The Counting Children’s Coalition, which opposes government plans for a ‘punitive’ register of children not in schools, says a late amendment to the schools bill would require councils to collect ‘sensitive data at an identifying pupil level’, related to protected characteristics such as race, religion and sexual orientation. (Schools Week, 18 July 2022)

HOUSING | POVERTY | WELFARE

7 July: Social housing activist Kwajo Tweneboa says that Johnson’s sacking of Michael Gove as housing minister sets the social housing crisis back massively. (BBC News, 7 July 2022) 

8 July: A YouGov survey commissioned by the mayor’s office finds that the cost of living crisis hits London’s black community the hardest, with Black Londoners twice as likely to use their savings, go into debt, and buy less food than their white counterparts. (The Voice, 8 July 2022) 

11 July: The Public Law Project warns that marginalised or vulnerable groups are in danger of being unfairly penalised if an algorithm to predict whether universal credit claimants should receive benefits based on their perceived likelihood of committing fraud in the future, currently being trialled by the Department for Work and Pensions, goes ahead. (Independent, 11 July 2022)

EMPLOYMENT | EXPLOITATION | INDUSTRIAL ACTION

6 July: The Supreme Court rules that a diplomat cannot hide behind diplomatic immunity to employ domestic workers in conditions of modern slavery. (BBC News, 6 July 2022) 

17 July: In research published by the Ethnic and Racial Studies Journal, Samir Sweida-Metwally warns that there is a ‘Muslim penalty’ in the employment market, debunking the notion that high levels of unemployment are due to cultural and religious practices. (Guardian, 17 July 2022)

CULTURE | MEDIA | SPORT

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.

8 July: A Dutch version of Fox News, Ongehoord Nederland (Unheard Netherlands), which is closely aligned with far-right parties and has provided a platform for politicians to discuss the ‘great replacement theory’, is fined €93,000 for breaking journalistic ethics codes. (Dutch News, 8 July 2022)

12 July: The Barbara Blake-Hannah award launched by the British Journalism Awards in the wake of global BLM protests is axed after two years as part of a push to ‘broaden commitment to diversity across the event’. (Independent, 12 July 2022)

17 July: In Kassel, Germany, the director general of the art fair Documenta resigns after its supervisory board expresses ‘profound dismay’ about ‘clearly anti-semitic content’. The culture minister Claudia Roth demands an investigation. (Guardian, 17 July 2022)

RACIAL VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT

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

4 July: A 32-year-old man is arrested for a racially aggravated public order offence committed at the India-England test match at Edgbaston. West Midlands police launch a criminal investigation, and Edgbaston say that any fans convicted of racism will be subjected to a life ban. (Sky Sports, 8 July 2022)

6 July: A 22-year-old man from Bromley is found guilty of using racist and threatening language in a Soho pub on 15 April this year, and is ordered to pay a total of £369 by Westminster magistrates. (This Is Local London, 15 July 2022)

7 July: Two boys aged between 11 and 16 throw sticks and stones while shouting racist slurs as they follow a woman in her thirties down a street in Oxford. (Oxford Mail, 13 July 2022)

8 July: A family of six escape their home in Ballymena, northern Ireland, after being targeted by a racially motivated arson attack in which a tyre was set alight outside their front door, with flames and smoke causing damage to the building. (Belfast Telegraph, 8 July 2022)

9 July: A 29-year-old man from Newport escapes prison for breach of a suspended sentence, but is fined and told to pay a total of £715 at Cardiff Crown Court for racist and homophobic abuse at police arresting him on suspicion of vandalism in November 2021. (South Wales Argus, 9 July 2022)

11 July: A 47-year-old Essex man living in residential care admits racially aggravated assault and criminal damage, both committed in March 2021, and an offence of actual bodily harm. He will be sentenced by Ipswich Crown Court in August. (East Anglian Daily Times, 11 July 2022) 

11 July: Two men from Conwy aged 25 and 44 are found guilty of racially and religiously aggravated threats of unlawful violence issued on 19 March in Rhyl. Llandudno Magistrates’ Court sentences both to undertake rehabilitation activities, avoid alcohol and pay a total of £420 in fines between them. (North Wales Pioneer, 16 July 2022)

12 July: A 68-year-old man from Nant Ffynnon is found guilty of a racially aggravated offence against a police officer in Llanberis on 25 May. Caernarfon Magistrates’ Court orders him to pay a total of £239 in fines. (North Wales Chronicle, 19 July 2022)

14 July: A 22-year-old Ukrainian refugee is subjected to homophobic and racist abuse by an attacker who tries to hit him and chases him in an Edinburgh supermarket. Shoppers and security staff intervene. (Scottish Sun, 14 July 2022)

15 July: An unknown white man in his thirties racially abuses a mother and son on a Stagecoach bus in Eastbourne. The aggressor attempts to grab the boy, estimated to be between 11 and 14, and hit him on the head with a bottle. (The Argus, 21 July 2022)

15 July: A 14-year-old boy is assaulted by a group of teenage boys in Pageant Gardens, Sherborne, and receives hospital treatment for a fractured jaw, a chipped tooth and multiple cuts and bruises. Four 13-year-old boys are arrested in relation to the racially or religiously aggravated attack. (Daily Echo, 18 July 2022)

16 July: Three unidentified white men aged between their late teens and mid-thirties attack a car, causing damage to its bodywork, and racially abuse the driver in York. (York Mix, 18 July 2022)

16 July: A man in his sixties is pushed to the ground and kicked in the head and face by an unknown white male in his thirties while shopping in Hadleigh, Suffolk, sustaining a fractured cheek and jaw needing hospital treatment. Police are treating the attack as a hate crime due to comments made by the assailant. (Suffolk News, 17 July 2022)

18 July: A 30-year-old man from Brighton is convicted of over 11 charges including racially aggravated assault on a police officer and sexual offences. Chichester Crown Court sentences him to 15 years in jail. (SussexWorld, 20 July 2022)

The calendar was compiled with the help of Graeme Atkinson, Sira Thiam, Donari Yahzid, Sophie Chauhan and Joseph Maggs. Thanks also to ECRE and Stopwatch, whose regular updates on asylum, migration 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.


Headline image: A demonstration outside Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre, Harmondsworth on Saturday 16 July. Credit: SOAS Detainee Support


The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x