A fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe.
Asylum and migration
3 June: Scottish refugee charities raise concerns about the number of asylum seekers forced into ‘state-sponsored homelessness’ after being released from Dungavel detention centre with nowhere to go. (Herald, 3 June 2018)
5 June: Serco pulls out of plans to convert a former nursing home into a hostel for asylum seekers in Warrington, for ‘commercial reasons’. (Warrington Guardian, 5 June 2018)
6 June: The High Court grants permission for JCWI’s legal challenge to the Home Office ‘right to rent’ scheme which, the group argues, encourages discrimination while not improving immigration enforcement. (Guardian, 7 June 2018)
7 June: A 41-year-old Georgian man, diagnosed with a mental illness, commits suicide at a deportation centre near the city of Büren, Germany. (InfoMigrants, 7 June 2018)
8 June: Migration deals between the EU, Italy and Libya come under scrutiny as the UN imposes sanctions for people trafficking on Libyans closely associated with the country’s EU-funded coastguard, and for direct involvement in the sinking of migrant boats with firearms. (Guardian, 8 June 2018)
8 June: The No Accommodation Network (NACCOM) publishes Mind the Gap: Homelessness Amongst Newly Recognised Refugees. Download the report here.
8 June: The Guardian reports on a 38-year-old Ethiopian woman with advanced breast cancer who was refused treatment, as she was deemed ineligible by the Home Office who refused her asylum claim. (Guardian, 8 June 2018)
10 June: The Italian government closes its ports to migrants arriving from Libya, leaving stranded 600 migrants on board SOS Mediterranée’s rescue ship Aquarius. Malta refuses a request to accept them. (Guardian, 10 June 2018)
11 June: The Spanish prime minister says the migrant rescue ship refused landing rights in Italy can dock in Valencia, while mayors across the south of Italy defy their government and pledge to open their ports to the ship. Guardian, 11 June 2018)
11 June: The Equality Commission of Northern Ireland begins an investigation into allegations of racial profiling by Jules Gnezekora, a black British lawyer who claims to have been singled out for questioning by immigration officials on four occasions during a return journey between Belfast and Glasgow. (Guardian, 11 June 2018)
12 June: The deportation of Vietnamese modern slavery victim Duc Kien Nguyen, who was trafficked to Britain and forced to work on a cannabis farm, is halted as the Home Office grants a judicial review of his asylum claim. (Independent, 13 June 2018)
12 June: The Independent Monitoring Boards Charter Flight Monitoring Team (IMB CFMT) publishes: Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Boards’ Charter Flight Monitoring Team for reporting year 2017, download it here.
13 June: The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee publishes Windrush: the need for a hardship fund. Download it here.
13 June: Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz and the German interior minister Horst Seehofer announce a three-way ‘axis of the willing’ between Austria, Germany and Italy to fight ‘illegal’ immigration. (Politico.eu, 13 June 2018)
14 June: The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration publishes: Annual Report for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018, download it here.
14 June: The PCS union reports that immigration officers in enforcement teams are encouraged to compete in arrests with cakes and other rewards, and general secretary Mark Serwotka calls on the Home Office to stop the ‘grotesque’ practice. (Guardian, 14 June 2018)
14 June: The House of Commons Library publishes a research briefing: Immigration detention of victims of torture and other vulnerable people. Download it here.
15 June: Following a public campaign, the cap on skilled migrants is lifted to enable the recruitment of medical professionals to help fill the shortage of 10,000 NHS doctors in England. (Guardian, 15 June 2018)
15 June: The Court of Appeal throws out an attempt by the Home Office to retrieve damages awarded to the wife and daughter of man whose personal details and claim for asylum were publicly released in error in 2013. (Morning Star, 15 June 2018)
16 June: Italy closes its ports to two more rescue ships belonging to the NGOs Mission Lifeline and Sea Watch. (Guardian, 16 June 2018)
18 June: The Guardian reveals that at least three teenage asylum seekers who came from the migrant camp in Calais have killed themselves in the past seven months. (Guardian, 18 June 2018)
18 June: The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) begins an investigation into the charging for services in respect of its asylum, immigration, nationality and customs functions. Anyone can submit evidence which must be received by 16 July 2018. (ICIBI press release, 18 June 2018)
19 June: The Independent details cases of Commonwealth migrants of Indian, Ghanaian and Pakistani descent who have been affected by the government’s hostile environment policies. (Independent, 19 June 2018)
19 June: Independent Monitoring Boards publishes: Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Board on the Non-residential Short-term Holding Facilities at London Heathrow Airport for the year February 2017 to January 2018, download it here.
20 June: As the EU announces plans to increase spending in Africa by more than 20 per cent, linked to stemming refugee movement, studies by the EU court of auditors and the watchdog Eunpack criticise its earlier efforts for lack of accountability, repeated breaches of human rights and misdirected use of funds, in particular financing the Libyan coastguard’s ‘pullback’ operations. (Guardian, 20 June 2018)
20 June: The Guardian publishes the list of 34,361 known deaths at the EU’s borders since 1993, compiled by United for Intercultural Action. (Guardian, 20 June 2018)
Policing and criminal justice
29 May: Daniel Kaizer, 35, a Polish man who claims the Prison Service failed to protect him from being racially attacked in Craiginches Prison, is awarded £90,000 compensation after the Scottish government loses an appeal. Read the judgment here. (Daily Record, 29 May 2018)
31 May: PC Mark Baird is sacked from Humberside Police after being found guilty of gross misconduct, for racially abusing a Polish doorman who refused Baird entry to a club because he was drunk. (Hull Daily Mail, 31 May 2018)
5 June: An inquest hearing into the death of Dalian Atkinson, a footballer who died after being tasered outside his father’s home in Telford in August 2016, is postponed until 3 October 2018. (Shropshire Star, 6 June 2018)
5 June: The Biometrics Commissioner publishes the Annual Report 2017, download it here.
8 June: A Bristol Scrutiny of Police Powers panel finds that a young black man was strip-searched in a public toilet, despite police officers having no grounds to do so, and questions whether racial bias was involved. (Bristol Post, 8 June 2018)
8 June: New Ministry of Justice statistics show that more than 48 per cent of under-18s in custody are from a BAME community, representing an increase from 42.6 per cent in January. (Children & Young People Now, 8 June 2018)
8 June: The Ministry of Justice announces a review of the use of painful restraint techniques on children following threats of legal action. (Guardian, 8 June 2018)
11 June: Statewatch publishes Fingerprints in identity cards: unnecessary and unjustified, download it here.
12 June: The mother of Edward Tula, 20, who died at Chelmsford prison in June 2012, delivers a petition to Downing Street calling for a new investigation into her son’s death, which she believes was not suicide as found by the coroner. (Essex Live, 12 June 2018)
12 June: HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary publishes, State of Policing – The Annual Assessment of Policing in England and Wales 2017. Download it here.
14 June: The House of Commons Library publishes a briefing paper, Police complaints systems in the UK, download it here.
14 June: Big Brother Watch launches a crowdfunding appeal for a ‘legal challenge to the Metropolitan Police and Home Secretary over their lawless use of facial recognition cameras’. View details here.
15 June: The Ministry of Justice announces a change in guidance for funding in exceptional cases which it claims will make it easier for the families of those who die in custody to access legal aid. Read the guidance here.
15 June: A Bill to regulate the use of force in mental health units, called ‘Seni’s law’ after Olaseni Lewis, who died after being restrained in 2010, fails to achieve its third House of Commons reading after Conservative MP Philip Davies speaks for nearly two and a half hours, exhausting the Bill’s allotted time. (BBC News, 15 June 2018)
16 June: In a legal precedent, a court order is issued banning the drill rap group 1011 from making music without police permission. The Met police argue that 1011 are a violent gang who glorify violence in their music. (Guardian, 16 June 2018)
20 June: An inquest into the death of Rashan Charles in July 2017 finds that he died as a result of an accident. The use of force and restraint was found to be justified. (Guardian, 20 June 2018)
Anti fascism and the far Right
8 June: Events venue Scarborough Spa cancels a show on 16 June by Sargon of Akkad (Carl Benjamin) following a campaign highlighting his support for far-right extremists. (Searchlight, 8 June 2018)
9 June: Hundreds of demonstrators gather in Trafalgar Square to protest the imprisonment of ex-EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, with far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders and UKIP leader Gerard Batten attending. Hundreds also protest in Belfast. (Guardian, 11 June 2018)
9 June: Liverpool FC fans mock supporters of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon who used images of a 2005 homecoming parade in Liverpool on social media to portray the demonstration in support of the ex-EDL leader. (Liverpool Echo, 10 June 2018)
10 June: Fifty-five criminal offences are recorded at a rock festival attended by around 2,000 neo-Nazis in Themer, Germany, mostly relating to the use of the swastika, but also including an attack on a photojournalist. (Deutsche Welle, 10 June 2018)
11 June: The trial begins of six men, Christopher Lythgoe, Garron Helm, Michael Trubini, Andrew Clarke, Matthew Hankinson and an unnamed 22-year-old, charged with membership of the banned National Action group and plotting to murder Rosie Cooper MP. (ITV, 11 June 2018)
14 June: Politicians criticise the decision to invite Andriy Parubiy, a far-right politician who helped found the Social-National Party of Ukraine, as guest of honour to the Scottish parliament and to applaud him during First Minister’s Questions. (Daily Record, 15 June 2018)
14 June: The Belfast Telegraph reveals that Generation Identity is now active in Northern Ireland and that members took part in a ‘Free Tommy Robinson’ rally in the city on 9 June. (Belfast Telegraph, 14 June 2018)
11 June: Three Warwick University students are banned from the university, one for life and two for ten years, for posting racist and misogynist messages in a Facebook group. (BBC News, 11 June 2018)
Employment and labour exploitation
13 June: An employment tribunal hears that DeeAnn Fitzpatrick considered taking her own life because of bullying after she complained about the racist and misogynistic culture at Marine Scotland, a department of the Scottish government. (BBC News, 13 June 2018)
7 June: At a public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire, counsel representing the Fire Officers Association (FOA), the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and the London fire brigade strongly denies claims made by lawyer Imran Khan that the firefighters’ response to the blaze was affected by ‘unconscious or conscious racism’. (Guardian, 7 June 2018)
8 June: Austria’s chancellor Sebastian Kurz says that the government will clamp down on ‘parallel societies, political Islam and radicalisation’ by closing down seven mosques and expelling up to sixty Turkish imams and their families. (Guardian, 8 June 2018)
10 June: Drama nightclub in central London denies allegations that it charges black people £20 to enter and white people only £10, following claims on Twitter. (BBC News, 11 June 2018)
11 June: Voice4Change England and Migrants’ Rights Network publish a new report, Working Across the Lines: Connecting struggles of racialised and minoritised populations, download the report here.
11 June: The House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee publishes its: Race Disparity Audit, download it here.
19 June: Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini calls for a census of the country’s Roma community and for all non-Italian Roma to be expelled. (Guardian, 19 June 2018)
14 June: Thousands attend a silent march of remembrance to mark one year since the fire at the Grenfell Tower and the loss of 72 lives. (Guardian, 15 June 2018)
10 June: NHS Scotland’s Practitioner Services Division launches an investigation after a pregnant woman, who has lived in the UK since 2012 and is in the process of applying for leave to remain as a spouse, was removed from her doctor’s list, told she was not entitled to treatment and wrongly charged £4,000 for treatment she had already received. (Guardian, 10 June 2018)
11 June: A whistleblower reveals that NHS staff are being trained to monitor terminally ill people, dementia patients and their visitors for signs of radicalisation as part of the government’s Prevent scheme. (Guardian, 11 June 2018)
12 June: Women from the Somali community in Wales call for changes to female genital mutilation (FGM) laws, saying that they are ‘racially profiled’ by heath workers. (BBC News, 12 June 2018)
4 June: The Home Office publishes its Counter-terrorism strategy. Download it here.
6 June: The Home Office publishes factsheets on new powers in the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill 2018. View the factsheets here.
14 June: The Home Office publishes statistics on: Operation of police powers under the Terrorism Act 2000, financial year ending March 2018, download here.
15 June: Burnley fan Jonathan Embury, 58, is banned from all football matches for three years for racially abusing Watford player Marvin Zeegelaar. He is also fined, ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge. (Burnley Express, 15 June 2018)
20 June: Lord Sugar is criticised for posting a tweet showing the Senegalese World Cup team as street sellers hawking sunglasses. (Guardian, 20 June 2018)
Media and culture
14 June: The Red Roar reveals that Sky Bet is helping to fund a far-right Islamophobic website, Politicalite, by advertising gambling deals to its readers. (The Red Roar, 14 June 2018)
18 June: The government announces an annual Windrush Day on 22 June to celebrate the contribution of Windrush migrants and their descendants, with grants available for commemorative and educational events. (Guardian, 18 June 2018)
6 June: Lauren Banville, the vice-chair of Andover and North West Hampshire Labour, is forced out by a vote of no confidence over her support for Stephen Yaxley-Lennon after his arrest and conviction for contempt. (Andover Advertiser, 8 June 2018)
9 June: The Red Roar blog release a forty-two page dossier of abusive material on the Conservative Debating Forum, a Facebook page with over 2,700 members, including Tory councillors. (Guardian, 9 June 2018)
11 June: SNP transport minister Humza Yousaf criticises the Scottish Labour Party after revelations that the party has not contacted key witnesses in a racism investigation it began three months ago. (BBC News, 11 June 2018)
12 June: SNP Councillor Julie Dettbarn is suspended for using grossly offensive racist language in a social media post. (Daily Record, 13 June 2018)
14 June: The standards commissioner at the House of Lords announces that Lord Kilclooney will not be investigated over a tweet referring to Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as a ‘typical Indian’, as members’ expression of opinions do not fall under its remit. (BBC News, 14 June 2018)
Violence and harassment: attacks on people
6 June: Devon and Cornwall police release pictures of two people wanted in connection with a racist attack in which a 43-year-old man was assaulted and racially abused as he walked on Mutley Plain, Devon. (Plymouth Herald, 6 June 2018)
11 June: Police release an e-fit image of a man wanted in connection with a racist attack, after a man was grabbed from behind, pulled to the ground, headbutted, kicked and racially abused on 2 June in Pontefract, West Yorkshire. (Wakefield Express, 11 June 2018)
12 June: Police appeal for information after a woman crossing a Derby road on 5 June was pushed to the ground and racially abused by a cyclist. (Derby Telegraph, 12 June 2018)
13 June: A man is left with serious facial injuries after an attack by a gang of four white men as he walked to meet his wife and child in Saughton. (Edinburgh News, 15 June 2018)
14 June: Police in Liverpool appeal for information after a group of four young people racially abused, spat at and kicked the staff of a takeaway in March 2018. (Asian Image, 14 June 2018)
14 June: BBC News reports that Jeffrey Barry, who stabbed Kurdish refugee Kamil Ahmad to death at their Bristol housing in July 2016, was released hours before the stabbing from a psychiatric hospital, by a panel which was not told of his history of violence towards Ahmad, who was his neighbour. (BBC News, 14 June 2018)
17 June: A 47-year-old woman is arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence for allegedly chasing a group of children who had just a left a north London synagogue, shouting ‘I want to kill all you Jews’. (Independent, 18 June 2018)
Violence and harassment: abuse
5 June: Police begin an investigation after a hijab-wearing student reports being regularly racially abused by people in passing cars over several months whilst walking to school in Lincoln. (Lincolnshire Live, 5 June 2018)
18 June: A 15-year-old boy leaving Clacton County High School in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, is left distressed after students write racist messages on his school leaving shirt. (Braintree & Witham Times, 18 June 2018)
Violence and harassment: attacks on religious institutions
19 June: Thirty gravestones are knocked over, causing £100,000 of damage, at the Urmston Jewish cemetery in Manchester, in attacks taking place over three days. (BBC News, 19 June 2018)
Violence and harassment: online racism
15 June: A man posts a video in which he films himself following a Muslim woman around a supermarket and spraying her with Vanish cleaner. (Daily Mirror, 15 June 2018)
Violence and harassment: charges
29 May: A 35-year-old Dundee man is charged with racially aggravated offences after allegedly racially abusing and assaulting a nurse, a care worker and a police officer at Ninewells hospital in Dundee in January. (Evening Telegraph, 29 May 2018)
6 June: A 24-year-old man is charged with racially aggravated threatening behaviour after an incident in a Starbucks in York. (York Mix, 6 June 2018)
11 June: A 16-year-old from Derry is remanded in custody after being charged with criminal damage and assaults against police officers for an incident described as ‘aggravated by racial hatred’. (Derry Now, 11 June 2018)
15 June: Lincoln man David Parnham, 35, is charged with fourteen offences, including soliciting murder, in connection with ‘Punish a Muslim Day’ letters that were sent out earlier this year. (BBC News, 15 June 2018)
Violence and harassment: convictions
29 May: Ellen Smith, 44, is found guilty of racially aggravated behaviour on Boxing Day 2017 and is given a restraining order, ordered to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work and pay costs and a victim surcharge. (Andover Advertiser, 29 May 2018)
27 May: Benjamin Kempston is convicted of racially aggravated assault for racially abusing and spitting at a doorman in Ripley. He is fined and ordered to pay costs, a victim surcharge and compensation. (Derbyshire Times, 27 May 2018)
31 May: Christopher Thomas O’Connor pleads guilty to racially aggravated charges for attacking a takeaway worker who refused to serve him. He is given a suspended eight-week prison sentence and community service. (Wales Online, 31 May 2018)
5 June: Steven MacGregor, previously jailed for threats to bomb a mosque and execute Muslims, avoids prison again when a judge defers sentence for a further three months, despite committing two offences while on a good behaviour order. (Alloa Advertiser, 13 June 2018)
7 June: Tyler Cannon, 18, is jailed for nine months for racially aggravated harassment and possession of an imitation firearm, after abusing and threatening a Hartlepool shop worker who refused to serve him. (Hartlepool Mail, 7 June 2018)
7 June: Steven Robson, 54, is jailed for twelve months after pleading guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence and theft for racially abusing a store detective in Carlisle. (Cumbria Crack, 7 June 2018)
8 June: Dean Scott, 49, is given a six week prison sentence, suspended for twelve months, and ordered to pay compensation and costs for racially abusing a Swansea shopkeeper and damaging a cash machine. (Wales Online, 8 June 2018)
8 June: Emma Peachey, 43, is found guilty of racially aggravated criminal damage and racially aggravated common assault and given a twelve month community order for racially abusing and attacking her ex-boyfriend’s new partner. (Gloucestershire Live, 8 June 2018)
11 June: Fynn Stanley, 18, is convicted of GBH after he and two others attacked a black man in Warrington, and then a man and his son who intervened to stop the racist attack. Sentencing is adjourned. (Liverpool Echo, 11 June 2018)
12 June: Joseph Taylor, 23, admits racially aggravated assault and affray for attacking a Polish man who identified Taylor’s brother for throwing stones at his house. The victim was racially abused, punched and had his car window broken. Taylor receives a fifteen-month jail sentence, suspended for two years. (Telegraph & Argus, 12 June 2018)
13 June: Chad Williams-Allen, 27, Garry Jack, 22, and two unnamed men, a 27-year-old and a 23-year-old, are convicted of stirring up racial hatred for posting racist stickers at Aston University in July 2016. Allen is jailed for twenty-one months, Jack is given a twelve month sentence suspended for two years and a five year criminal behaviour order and the two others are jailed for sixteen months and twelve months respectively. (Birmingham Mail, 13 June 2018)
13 June: Eric King pleads guilty to sending grossly offensive posts on Facebook saying he ‘had no worries about ending the life of any Muslim’, and receives two concurrent four-month suspended jail sentences, with an order to pay a victim surcharge and costs. (Cornwall Live, 13 June 2018)
14 June: Kellie Cooke, 34, who knocked out and racially abused a woman at a McDonald’s in Liverpool in front of her children, is spared prison after her victim pleads for leniency saying she ‘had children who needed their mother’. Cooke is given a four-month suspended prison sentence, eighty hours of unpaid work and a three-year restraining order. (Liverpool Echo, 14 June 2018)
14 June: Alison Chabloz is sentenced to twenty weeks in prison suspended for two years, 180 hours of unpaid work, and is banned from social media for a year after being convicted of violating laws against offensive or menacing messages for posting anti-Semitic songs. (Independent, 14 June 2018)
14 June: Mark Sweet, 38, pleads guilty to religiously aggravated harassment for launching a racist tirade at a mobile phone shop owner in Cliftonville. He is fined and tagged for eight weeks with a curfew. (Kent Live, 14 June 2018)
15 June: Eugene Day, 46, pleads guilty to racially aggravated assault and is jailed for twenty-six weeks for racially abusing a Polish man in his 20s, throwing a can of beer at his head and threatening him with a cricket bat. (Swindon Advertiser, 19 June 2018)
Violence and harassment: research and statistics
June: The All Party Parliamentary Group on Hate Crime launches an inquiry: ‘How do we build community cohesion when hate crime is on the rise?’. The deadline for written submissions is 25 July 2018. View details here.
11 June: The Independent finds that 129 alleged incidents of racism were reported to UK universities in 2017, compared to 80 incidents in 2015, showing a rise of 61 per cent. (Independent, 11 June 2018)