Calendar of Racism and Resistance (9 – 22 October 2020)

Calendar of Racism and Resistance (9 – 22 October 2020)


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 migrant rights

9 October: The introduction of tighter lockdown restriction across France is leaving many unaccompanied migrant minors stranded without access to apprenticeship programmes, a route to legal residency, according to the Apprenticeship Training Centre in Paris. (The New Humanitarian, 9 October 2020) 

12 October: The numbers of refugee children admitted under a government resettlement scheme have plummeted since Boris Johnson became prime minister, with the total brought to the UK in the past year fewer than in the three months before he became PM, figures show. (Huffington Post, 12 October 2020) 

12 October: Migrant rights and anti-racist groups hold a vigil outside the Home Office to conclude a weekend of action across the country to remember those who have been killed by the hostile environment in the UK, and to demand an end to immigration regimes. The vigil takes place on the 10th anniversary of the death of Jimmy Mubenga under restraint by 3 border guards on a British Airways flight to Angola in 2010. Watch the vigil online here. (Migrants Organise press release, 15 October 2020)  

14 October: Wendy Williams, the author of the Windrush Lessons Learned review, tells MPs of her concern at the slow pace of change in the Home Office, which accepted all her recommendations, and the department’s apparent lack of understanding of its own policies and their impact. (Guardian, 14 October 2020) 

17 October: The national march of sans-papiers to demand regularisation, which began in Marseille in September and has travelled across the country, reaches Paris, ending with a rally which is banned but goes ahead anyway, with thousands gathering at the Place de la Republique.  (En24News, 17 October; diacritik, 17 October; InfoMigrants, 19 October 2020)  

Sans-papiers march Photo credit: Jean-Philippe Cazier.

17 October: Data released under freedom of information laws reveal that of nearly 4,700 people recognised as victims of modern slavery between 2016 and 2019, only 28 children were granted discretionary leave to remain, with the others facing deportation, although experts believe up to half the victims are children. 549 adults were permitted to stay. (Observer, 17 October 2020)  

19 October: Opening an integration summit in Berlin, German chancellor Angela Merkel says migrants must not be neglected in responses to the pandemic, as not only has the virus disproportionately affected them but the economic slump has hit hard on sectors when they are employed, with educational and language training courses also cancelled due to Covid-19. (Deutsche Welle, 17 October 2020) 

21 OctoberThe House of Lords again defies the government and votes to retain the right of refugee children to join family members in the UK post-Brexit, after the Commons voted on Monday, 19 October to allow the government to renege on its pledge to preserve the right. (Safe Passage, 21 October 2020) 

Borders, trafficking, and internal controls

11 October: The government is reported to be considering nets in the Channel to snare migrant boats, according to the Home Office’s Channel commander Dan Mahoney. (BBC News, 11 October 2020) 

12 October: Border Violence Monitoring Network and Sea-Watch publish their submission to the UN Human Rights Committee documenting illegal pushbacks and human rights violations by the Maltese government. (Border Violence, 12 October 2020)  

13 October: A lorry driver is arrested in western Germany after one of eight Eritreans carried in the back of a trailer on top of cargo with 30 cm breathing room made an emergency call saying that they could not breathe(Deutsche Welle, 13 October 2020) 

16 October: A senior Libyan coastguard commander known as Bija, present at meetings in Italy in 2017 over cooperation in the interception of refugees, is arrested in Libya for human trafficking and the drowning of dozens of refugees. The Italian journalists who exposed the traffickers are under police protection. (Guardian, 16 October 2020)   

17 October: A new border fence to stop migrants crossing into Greece from Turkey at Evros is under construction. Due for completion by April 2021, the fence covers 27 kilometres and has cost 62.9 million. (Ekathimerini, 17 October 2020)  

18 October: The body of a man, possibly Iranian, aged between 20 and 40 and wearing a lifejacket, is found on a beach at Sangatte, Pas de-Calais. It is believed he drowned while trying to cross the Channel. (Le Monde, 18 OctoberGuardian, 18 October 2020) 

Reception and detention

7 October: An investigation is opened into the death of a 15-year-old boy held in quarantine on a ferry moored off the coast of Sicily – the second coronavirus quarantine-related death in Italy.  Abou, a torture victim, was in a dehydrated, malnourished state when he was rescued by the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms on 18 September. (Guardian, 7 October 2020) 

9 October: As the Dutch government bans immigration detainees from wearing protective face masks for ‘security reasons’, a detainee at Rotterdam immigration removal centre reports punishment with solitary confinement for those wearing one. A lack of soap, hygiene gel or proper ventilation is also reported, and security guards not wearing masks. (Global Detention Project, 9 October 2020) 

9 October: Ministers face legal action as the Home Office begins evicting refused asylum seekers, leaving them homeless in cities with strict Covid lockdowns, in breach of government guidance. (Independent, 9 October 2020) 

11 October: Images of the squalid and insanitary conditions at the barracks in Kent and Wales used to house asylum seekers are revealed, as the British Red Cross joins refugee charities in condemning the use of barracks, surrounded by barbed wire, for refugees. (Observer, 11 October 2020)  

14 October: The new replacement camp for Moria at Kara Tepe in Lesvos floods in heavy rains, with people forced to use shovels trying in vain to remove water from tents, and 80 tents destroyed. (Deutsche Welle, 14 October 2020) 

14 October: NGO ARCI exposes the Italian state’s transfer from reception centres to quarantine ships, of asylum seekers who have been in the country for months or years, on receipt of a positive Covid-19 diagnosis. It was previously believed that only new arrivals were sent to the quarantine ships. (Info Migrants, 14 October 2020)  

14 October: The Chios reception centre is placed under lockdown until 21 October following ‘numerous’ Covid cases. (Ekathimerini, 14 October 2020)  

17 October: More than 200 local people gather in a welcome for the refugees housed in Napier barracks outside Folkestone, organised by Kent Refugee Help to counter far-right activity. One person who has tested positive for Covid in the cramped conditions at the barracks has been moved. (Guardian, 16 October; Kent online; 17 October; Guardian, 17 October 2020)  

19 October: The children’s commissioner warns that unaccompanied children crossing the Channel in small boats are being forced to wait for days at the Kent Intake Unit without access to beds or showers before being moved to other areas, rather than being taken straight into local authority care in Kent as before, since Kent County Council announced in August that it had reached capacity and could not take in any more children. (Independent, 19 October 2020)    

19 October: As it is revealed that 1,250 probable trafficking victims were detained last year, over 60 charities and law firms write to the prime minister warning that the government’s ‘exclusive focus’ on immigration control is ‘playing into traffickers’ hands’ by enabling them to use the threat of detention and removal as a means of control. (Independent, 19 October 2020)  


21 October: The Court of Appeal rules that the Home Office policy of removing migrants from the country at short notice, denying them the right to access to a court, is unlawful, in a case brought by Medical Justice. (Medical Justice, 21 October 2020) 

Criminalisation of solidarity

14 October: Loïc Le Dall,  given a €3,000 suspended fine in April 2019 for ‘helping a foreigner illegally enter France’, will be allowed to appeal after the French Court of Cessation orders the Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal to consider his ‘crime of solidarity’. (Anafe, 20 October 2020)  


13 October: Cypriot parliamentary speaker Demetris Syllouris resigns, as does another MP, after their exposure by an Al Jazeera undercover reporter team in the ‘passports-for-sale scheme, whereby passports were sold to businessmen with criminal convictions in the country’s citizenshipthroughinvestment programme. The government says it is scrapping the scheme. (Al Jazeera, 13 OctoberEuractiv, 14 October 2020) 

17 October: A court in Baden-Württemberg rules that is lawful to deny citizenship to a 40-year-old Lebanese doctor who passed his German naturalisation test but refused to shake hands with the female official handing out the certificate. Anyone who refuses to shake hands on gender-specific grounds is in breach of the equality principle enshrined in the German constitution, it holds. (Deutsche Welle, 20 October 2020) 

19 OctoberThe European Commission announces it is taking infringement proceedings against Malta and Cyprus in respect of their ‘golden passport’ schemes, the most controversial (though not the only) citizenship-through-investment schemes in the EU, exploited by criminals and riddled with fraud and corruption. (Euractiv, 20 October 2020)  


18 October: The World Bank says that migrant remittances to support families in poorer regions have declined dramatically since the global coronavirus outbreak. In 2019, remittances worth $133 billion were transferred by migrants in Europe, exceeding all foreign direct investment and development aid combined. (Deutsche Welle, 18 October 2020) 


For more information on policing and civil liberties issues follow @NETPOL @BigBrotherWatch @COVIDStateWatch and @libertyhq.

Met Police Photo source: Wikimedia Commons. Author: CPG Grey.

8 October: An ITV News investigation finds that two-thirds of police forces have faced race discrimination claims by their own staff in the past two years, while 70 percent of BME officers have faced racial abuse on the job. (ITV News, 8 October 2020) 

9 October:  An inquest jury finds that police restraint contributed to the death of Kevin Clarke on 9 March 2018 and its narrative verdict highlights serious failures by the Metropolitan Police, London Ambulance Service and assisted housing provider in helping a 35-year-old man experiencing a mental health crisis. (Inquest press release, 9 October 2020) 

9 October: The Court of Appeal decides that a firearms officer who shot dead Jermaine Baker in 2015 can face misconduct proceedings, thus allowing for the clarification of when force is legitimate and weakening police attempts to be less accountable in their use of force. (Guardian, 9 October; Inquest, 9 October 2020) 

9 October: Bianca Williams threatens to boycott the investigation into the Met police officers who stopped, handcuffed and searched her and her partner in July when they had a three-month-old baby in their car, saying the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is not taking their allegation of racial profiling seriously in considering only misconduct charges, rather than gross misconduct. (Guardian, 9 October 2020) 

10 October: A campaigner against the HS2 rail line whose head and back were knelt on by police after he was thrown to the ground during a peaceful protest believes he was singled out because he is black. He lodges a complaint of assault. (Guardian, 10 October 2020) 

12 October: An analysis using Office of National Statistics and National Police Chiefs Council data shows that police in parts of Britain hand out coronavirus fines 80 times more frequently than others. Between March and September, Dyfed-Powys Police in Wales gave out the highest number of fines (1,731), followed by the Metropolitan Police (1,088). (Independent, 12 October 2020) 

Virus Photo source: Flickr. Author: Yuri Samoliov.

13 October: According to official new police guidance, undercover police officers can have sex with suspects if refusal might blow their cover. (Telegraph, 13 October 2020) 

13 October: André Schmitt, former member of Germany’s special forces command linked to the far-right network Uniter, is fined and barred from carrying a gun for organising an illegal civilian combat training session in a former army barracks in 2018. (Guardian, 13 October 2020) 

14 October: A cross-party alliance of MPs tables amendments to the government’s Bill giving immunity to undercover agents who commit crimes, to include an explicit ban on committing homicide, torture, rape or other extremely serious offences. (Telegraph, 14 October 2020) 

15 October: A freedom of information request reveals that fewer than one in 200 complaints against the Met division responsible for public order policing is upheld, raising questions about police accountability. (Guardian, 15 October 2020) 

15 October: A Bill authorising criminal conduct by state agents passes its third reading in the House of Commons, with 34 Labour members voting against, defying the party line to abstain, as MPs, unionists and other campaigners issue a joint statement on the dangers of the Bill. An amendment excluding crimes such as murder, torture and rape is defeated. (Labour List, 13 October; Hansard, 15 October 2020) 

18 October: The Department of Health and Social Care confirms that police are to be granted access to the details of people told to self-isolate by Test and Trace on a ‘case-by-case’ basis. (Sky, 18 October 2020) 

19 October: A leaked memo reveals that the Met police will not routinely release body-cam footage of controversial incidents, because it often supports complaints of ‘poor communication, a lack of patience, [and] a lack of de-escalation before use of force is introduced’. (Guardian, 19 October 2020 

19 October: A hidden bug recorded six Hampshire police officers from the Serious and Organised Crime unit making racist, sexist and homophobic comments, including wishing death on foreigners, demonstrating ‘toxic’ and ‘abhorrent’ attitude towards ethnic minorities, immigrants, and women, a disciplinary tribunal hears. The men deny gross misconduct. (Guardian, 19 October; BBC News, 20 October 2020) 


Samuel Paty case

17 October: An 18-year-old man, named as Abdullakh Anzorovof Chechen origin, is shot dead after stabbing and decapitating history teacher SamuePaty outside a secondary school, north-west of Paris. Paty had shown pupils a Charlie Hebdo cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, and parents had demanded his resignation. Nine arrests are made as an anti-terrorist investigation is launched. (Guardian, 17 October 2020) 

19 October: Following mass rallies in French towns and cities to protest the killing of Samuel Paty, France’s interior minister Gérald Darmanin announces 80 investigations into radical preachers and suspected extremists accused of spreading hate online; plans for the deportation of 213 foreign suspects on a government watchlist, including 150 serving prison sentences; and assessments of 50 organisations within the Muslim community, with a view to dissolving some of them. (France 24, 19 October; Guardian, 19 October 2020) 

19 October: As raids on Muslim groups and individuals continue following the killing of Samuel Paty, the interior minister proposes the dissolution of the NGOs ‘Collective against Islamophobia in France’ and ‘BarakaCity, calling the organisations ‘enemies of the Republic’. (EuroNews, 19 October 2020)  

20 October: The French government says it will close a well-known mosque in a northern suburb of Paris for six months, citing allegations that, days before Paty was beheaded, it posted a video calling for his dismissal. Five pupils from the school, who are accused of pointing out Paty to his attacker, are among those arrested. (Guardian, 20 October 2020)  


10 October: The new political party set up by actor Laurence Fox, which he has named Reclaim, faces legal action from a Manchester charity with the same name, which argues that its work with young people from poor backgrounds will face ‘substantial damage’ from association with Fox. (Observer, 10 October 2020) 

11 October: Councillor Rakhia Ismail, a former Islington mayor, resigns from the Labour party citing racism and the marginalisation of women of colour. (Guardian, 11 October 2020) 

13 October: Martin Kotleba, leader of the People’s Party — Our Slovakia, becomes the first MP in Slovakia to receive a prison sentence after being found guilty of peddling Nazi ideology and promoting a movement and ideology that aims to suppress civil rights and democracy. (Deutsche Welle, 13 October 2020) 

18 October: Boris Johnson faces criticism from senior MPs and churchmen for excluding John Sentamu, Britain’s first black archbishop who retired in June, from the honours list, which included Johnson’s brother but no BME names. (Guardian, 18 October 2020) 

18 October: Home secretary Priti Patel continues to ignore warnings from senior colleagues Robert Buckland, lord chancellor, and attorney general Suella Braverman, that her targeting of immigration lawyers is believed to be inciting violence, after a knife attack on a prominent immigration solicitor last month caused officials from the Bar Council and Law Society to press law ministers to express their concerns to Patel. (Observer, 10 October; Observer, 18 October 2020) 

19 October: Lord Kerr, the longest serving Supreme Court judge, becomes the second retired law lord to warn the government against attacking lawyers and courts and attempting to exercise ‘unbridled power’, after Lord Neuberger last week warned of a slippery slope to dictatorship. (Guardian, 19 October 2020) 


6 October: Facebook announces a ban on accounts that represent the QAnon movement, which has its roots in antisemitic conspiracy theories and argues that Donald Trump is waging a secret battle against an elite global cabal of child-traffickers. (Guardian6 October 2020) 

14 October: The leader of Golden Dawn, found guilty last week of forming a criminal organisation, is sentenced to thirteen years in prison, with six others in leadership roles receiving prison sentences of between 10 and 13 years. (Deutsche Welle, 14 October 2020) 

16 October: After four young migrants who live at a centre for unaccompanied children are arrested for wounding two neo-Nazis, an anti-racist demonstration takes place in the San Blas neighbourhood of Madrid, with protestors shouting ‘you are not alone, this is your neighbourhood’. Meanwhile, fascists lay siege to the centre for young migrants. (Publico, 16 October 2020) 

Anti-racist protest, Madrid Photo credit: Julio Rodriguez.


7 October: A Guardian analysis reveals that England’s poorest communities are four times more likely to face lockdown restrictions as the wealthiest, as local leaders warn of a ‘winter of dangerous discontent’ in the north of England without urgent financial support. (Guardian, 7 October 2020) 

14 October: A Doctors of the World reportDelays and Destitution, shows that destitute refugees, asylum seekers and migrants needing NHS treatment for conditions such as cancer, heart disease and kidney failure are being denied treatment for an average of 37 weeks, and up to four years. The report prompts renewed calls for the government to scrap upfront charges of 150 percent of treatment costs, introduced in 2017. (Guardian, 14 October 2020) 

16 October: The Office for National Statistics (ONS) releases new data suggesting that the higher risk of death from Covid of BME people is more to do with a higher risk of infection than a worse outcome when infected. (Guardian, 16 October 2020)   

18 OctoberAn analysis of NHS data shows that hospital admissions for eating disorders are rising at a faster rate among people from ethnic minorities in England, with people from black African backgrounds suffering the sharpest rise of 216 percent between 2017-2020. (Guardian, 18 October 2020)  

19 October: Shadow women and equalities secretary Marsha de Cordova, calls on the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to investigate the government for breaching equality duties by ignoring evidence of worse health, social and financial outcomes for certain sectors of society resulting from the pandemic in legislation to address the negative impacts of Covid-19.’ (Guardian, 19 October 2020) 

19 October: The IPPR and Runnymede Trust report that Covid is again disproportionately affecting BME communities, and call on the government to set out a comprehensive strategy to mitigate ethnic inequalities in winter, to include offering temporary accommodation, isolation pay support, and increasing access to treatment. (IPPR, 19 October 2020)  

20 OctoberThe Equality and Human Rights Commission issues a report, How coronavirus has affected equality and human rights, arguing that ‘hard-won gains’ are at risk of being reversed by the pandemic and noting the disproportionate effect of the pandemic on ethnic minorities’ lives, finances and jobs. Caroline Waters, the commission’s interim chair, warns of ‘long-lasting damage to our society and our economy’ unless there is a clear strategy to address the issues. (Guardian20 October 2020)  

20 OctoberAs police are given authority to access the data of those told to self-isolate under track and trace, research by NHSX reveals poor and diminishing trust in the NHS and government among communities hit hardest by Covid-19, often BME, who are worried about their personal details being shared with police and immigration officials, and feel they are being blamed for spreading the virus. (Health Service Journal (£), 20 October 2020) 


12 OctoberThe Grenfell inquiry hears that a tenant who raised safety concerns about the tower’s refurbishment before the fire was labelled an ‘antagonist’ by the landlord, Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO). (Guardian, 12 October 2020) 

15 October: Grenfell’s landlord held secret meetings with the contractor to cut refurbishment costs, despite lawyers warning it could break the law and void the contract, its investment head admits to the Grenfell inquiry. (Guardian, 15 October 2020) 

16 October: A woman seeking housing in Hackney, who alleged religious discrimination when a housing charity reserved its properties for Orthodox Jewish people loses her case, as the Supreme Court rules that the measure is proportionate and lawful ‘positive action’ to address the Orthodox Jewish community’s poverty and need for homes in the area. (Guardian, 16 October 2020) 

16 October: Housing charities and organisations say that asylum seekers and refugees in temporary housing and emergency accommodation are being unfairly and inaccurately blamed for the national housing crisis, which they argue is the result of government failure and not the fault of those who have fled trafficking, violence and conflict. (Guardian, 16 October 2020)  

19 October: A project manager on the Grenfell tower refurbishment admits getting rid of her notebooks when she left the job almost a year after the fire despite knowing a police investigation and a public inquiry were under way. (Guardian, 19 October 2020) 


7 October: A cross-party group of MEPs writes to Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos demanding information on the company’s monitoring of trade union activists, as unions accuse it of spying and anti-union activities. (BBC, 7 October 2020) 

12 October: Milan prosecutors conclude an investigation of Uber in Italy for alleged exploitation of vulnerable migrant workers in its food delivery arm, Uber Eats. Allegations, denied by executives, include drivers being paid only €3 per delivery, confiscation of tips and degrading conditions. It is not known if charges will be brought. (Guardian, 13 October; Info Migrants, 14 October 2020) 

19 October: Thousands of low-paid NHS staff are being excluded from data collected for the NHS workforce race equality standard, potentially skewing the results by underestimating racial inequality, bullying and discrimination, according to the Health Service Journal. (Health Service Journal (£), 19 October 2020) 

20 October: NatWest Group pledges to boost senior BME staff from 1 percent to 3 percent in the wake of a four-month review which found widespread complaints of racial bias in promotion prospects among BME workers. It also promises to close accounts of customers who racially abuse staff. (Guardian, 20 October 2020) 


12 October: Analysis by the Food Foundation thinktank shows there has been a surge in number of UK children applying for free school meals, with an estimated million pupils recently signing up for the first time. (Guardian, 12 October 2020) 

13 October: The government announces a £12m fund to keep rough sleepers off the streets and safe from Covid-19 during the winter, but campaigners and Labour say that the amount is not sufficient, and that it risks lives. (Guardian, 13 October 2020) 

14 October: Child poverty has increased sharply in England across the north and Midlands, driven by stagnating family incomes and the increasing cost of housing, an analysis by Loughborough University’s Centre for Research in Social Policy finds. (Guardian, 14 October 2020) 

14 October: Research published by the End Child Poverty coalition reveals that London child poverty rate rose to 39 percent in 2018-2019 – the highest of any UK region. (London Post, 14 October 2020) 

15 October: An online parliamentary petition calling on the government to extend free school meals to 1.5million more young people, launched by footballer Marcus Rashford as part of his food poverty campaign, receives over 100,000 signatures in hours, triggering a debate in parliament, after the prime minister rejected the call to give children food during school holidays. Labour adds its voice to calls for more help as the signatories reach a quarter of a million. (Guardian, 15 October; Observer, 17 October; Guardian20 October 2020) 

Marcus Rashford Photo source: Wikimedia Commons. Author: Oleg Bkhambri.

19 October: The cross-party work and pensions select committee of MPs calls for new universal credit claimants to be offered a ‘starter payment’ to ensure they have sufficient funds for the five-week wait for the first benefit payment. (Guardian, 19 October 2020) 


7 October: The Information Commissioner rules that the Department for Education broke data protection law in its mishandling of the national pupil database, in an investigation triggered by complaints from groups including Liberty. The department’s handling of millions of pupil records ‘could result in multiple data breaches’, the ICO said, listing over 130 recommendations to improve data protection. (Guardian, 7 October 2020) 

9 October: Education minister Gavin Williamson warns university vice-chancellors that they may face cuts if they refuse to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism before Christmas, and eHe He is exploring a new regulatory condition of registration or suspension of funding streams for universities which have not signed up to the definition, where antisemitic incidents are reported. (Independent, 9 October 2020) 

10 October: A Runnymede Trust report, Race and racism in English secondary schools, argues that Greater Manchester schools urgently need to prioritise anti-racism, as race and racism continues to be a defining feature of the school system. (The Meteor, 10 October 2020) 

12 October: Counter-extremism expert Matthew Goodwin tells an education select committee that concepts like ‘white privilege’  and ‘toxic masculinity’ are adding to a ‘status deficit’ in poor white working class communities, that the national conversation has been ‘consumed with other groups’ and white families feel they are not afforded the same recognition, respect and esteem as others. (Guardian, 12 October 2020) 

12 October: Durham University expels two students for breaching university policy on racist comments, sexual misconduct and violence, following ‘utterly abhorrent’ group chats featuring misogynistic and racist comments. (The Tab, 12 October 2020)  

12 October: The University of Greenwich is investigating a disturbance at a hall of residences involving racist and homophobic abuse against students, in response to a Twitter thread posted by one of them. (News Shopper, 12 October 2020)  

16 October: The Youth of Urchfont group in Wiltshire accuses the local council of pretending racism does not exist after it rejected the group’s attempt to transform a decommissioned phone box into a cultural and historical display about anti-racism, citing twenty complaints from villagers. (BBC News, 16 October 2020) 

19 October: According to a report compiled by a Durham University student, students from northern England are being ridiculed over their accents and backgrounds and are being ‘forced out’. (Guardian, 19 October 2020) 


9 October: Hacked Off publishes White supremacism, the press and the absence of regulation, which reveals that false newspaper stories are being shared as propaganda by neo-Nazis and white supremacists. (Hacked Off,  9 October 2020)  

11 October: Four French NGOs file a suit against Twitter for failing to properly tackle hate speech online. (France 24, 19 October 2020)  

12 October: Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg says it is updating its hate speech policy to ban content that denies or distorts the Holocaust in the light of an increase in antisemitic violence since he refused to ban it two years ago. (PC Mag, 12 October 2020) 

13 October: It emerges that Angelos Frangopoulos, appointed as chief executive of GB News, the right-wing news channel to be launched in the UK, made Sky Australia a ratings winner with racist and offensive coverage of Muslims, migrants and other ‘right-wing bogeys’. (Guardian, 13 October 2020) 

13 October: Historian David Starkey confirms that he is under police investigation for remarks he made about slavery and genocide, which he subsequently apologised for, in an interview with Brexit campaigner Darren Grimes in July. An inquiry into both men was begun after Grimes posted the interview on his YouTube channel(Guardian, 13 October 2020) 

19 October: A co-author of the anti-lockdown ‘Great Barrington Declaration’, Dr Martin Kulldorff of Harvard Medical School, was a guest on 6 October on the Richie Allen show, which hosts antisemitic conspiracy theorists and Holocaust deniers according to Hope not Hate, it is revealed. (Guardian 19 October 2020)


6 October: Malcolm Kpedekpo, the Scottish Football Association’s non-executive director, launches the governing body’s new equality framework, to help improve diversity in the game and deliver meaningful change. (BBC Sport, 6 October 2020)   

8 October: A new body to tackle racism in footballFootballs Black Coalition (FBC), is launched by a group of black current and former footballers and managers. (BBC Sport, 8 October 2020). 

8 October: The Rugby Football Union announces that England supporters will not be banned from singing Swing Low, Sweet Chariot at matches at Twickenham, despite the songs links with slavery, but the lyrics will no longer be emblazoned around the stadium, and the RFU will stop selling merchandise referencing the song. (Guardian, 8 October 2020) 

11 OctoberFootball’s anti-racist body Kick It Out announces that it will work with Facebook on a new schemeTake a Stand, to combat online abuse in football.  (Guardian, 11 October 2020)  

12 October: Police record a hate crime after a racist comment was directed by a group of youths at Worcester City manager Ashley Vincent at the end of City’s 2-2 draw at Walsall Wood on 10 October. (Worcester News, 12 October 2020)  

16 October: The Premier League urges fans to challenge and report racism in football and wider society as it launches the latest phase of its No Room For Racism initiative, involving double-page ads in newspapers and Premier League footballers in a video calling on supporters to ‘challenge it, report it, change it.’ (Sky Sports, 16 October 2020)  

18 October: German football team Schalke apologises for their fans’ racist abuse of Youssoufa Moukoko during an under-19s match with Borussia Dortmund. (Guardian, 18 October 2020)  


5 October: A Hull man is sentenced to nine months and two weeks in prison for two counts of racially aggravated harassment and breach of a suspended sentence after subjecting his neighbours to a campaign of terrorisation, racial abuse and threats which forced a pregnant mother and her two young children to sleep in their car. (Hull Daily Mail, 6 October 2020)  

9 OctoberChantelle Lunt, leader of Merseyside BLM Allianceasks ‘Where is the outrage?’ after a series of racist incidents including a group of men shouting racist abuse while stamping on the face of a young man in the city centre in September, and a machete attack at the end of September a few streets away by a group who shouted racist abuse while slashing a young man repeatedly in the legs. (Liverpool Echo, 9 October 2020)  

13 October: The Home Office reveals a rise in crimes linked to race and religion in England and Wales r in June and July, likely attributable to anti-racist protests and far-right counter-demonstrations following the death of George Floyd. Separate figures show reported race hate crimes increasing by 4,000 to a record 76,000 in the year 2019-20. (Guardian, 13 October; Independent, 14 October 2020) 

14 October: The Heinrich Boll Stiftung publishes its new report exposing the widespread violence against people on the move in Bosnia Herzegovina’s Una-Sana Canton from locals. (Heinrich Boll Stiftung, 14 October 2020)  

16 October: A 39-year-old Danish man receives a one-year prison sentence at the Randers district court for vandalising Jewish burial sites, (The Local, 16 October 2020)  

16 October: The Dutch state broadcaster removes its logo from outside broadcast vans, saying that almost daily, journalists are verbally abused and vans are attacked. Thierry Baudet’s far-right Forum for Democracy regularly accuses the media of being ‘part of the elite’, but denies any connection with the violence. (Guardian, 16 October 2020) 

19 October: Days after the Golden Dawn verdict, several Jewish cemeteries are desecrated in Greece, and graffiti left on a Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki reads ‘With Jews you lose’. (, 19 October 2020) 

19 OctoberA family forced to flee their house in Dundalk, Co Louth, Ireland, last month after a series of violent attacks on them, which they believe were racially motivated, are still in B&B, as no other accommodation is available. (, 19 October 2020) 

19 October: North Wales police appeal for information to trace a group of teenagers who hurled racist and homophobic abuse at three 10yearold boys playing on their scooters in Hawarden, Flintshire, on 3 October. (Daily Post, 19 October 2020)  

19 October: A 4th year Edinburgh student is called a ‘fit George Floyd’ in racist Tinder message. Many other black and ethnic minority students have been recording examples of similar racist messages and confrontations in a Facebook group called ediBAMEfess. (Edinburgh Live, 19 October 2020)  

20 October: A 26-year-old woman from Leeds is jailed for 4 months after assaulting door staff and spitting in a victim’s mouth in a racially motivated attack on 1 August. (Yorkshire Evening Post, 20 October 2020)   

20 October: North Kent police appeal for information and witnesses in a hunt for vandals after racist graffiti were spraypainted onto cars in Greenhithe over the weekend. At least three cars were daubed with the word ‘Paki’. (News Shopper, 20 October 2020)  

The calendar was compiled with the help of Aisha Rana-Deshmukh, Laura Wormington, Graeme Atkinson, Kaiisha Kukendra, Neal Tank and Joseph Maggs.

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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