Dear IRR News subscriber,
As the general election approaches, campaigners are doing their utmost to ensure that some of the most burning issues of our times are being discussed. How can we rebuild community, after decades of de-industrialisation, cuts to services and youth provision, and how can we undo the damaging austerity that has ripped the heart and soul out of the UK’s nations, regions, cities and towns?
The message of Stormzy, and other music industry artists, who have called on communities to ‘take back control’ of their own destinies, will resonate with those who for too long have been rendered invisible in a country where many of the most powerful institutions show little or no understanding of the lives of the racialised poor. This week on IRR News, Jessica Perera renews her exploration of those working-class BAME Londoners who are attempting to take back community control from private property developers and local councils. In You need to look closely, because Elephant and Castle is a model for other dispossession projects, Santiago Peluffo talks to Jessica about the ways in which BAME traders, particularly Latin Americans, are challenging racialised processes of state-led gentrification that generate fear. This is further explored by John Graversgaard and Liz Fekete who, in the Danish context, examine how NGOs are challenging the racial discrimination hardwired into the Social Democrats’ ‘ghetto package’.
Last Monday, as we report in our regular calendar on racism and resistance, Spain’s far-right Vox party refused to sign an official all-party declaration condemning violence against women, drawn up to coincide with the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls. Meanwhile, Flora Schweighofer, in a piece outlining German police failures in the investigation of the death of African refugee, Rita Awour Ojungé, reminds us that political declarations against violence against women are not enough, particularly when the violence involves state institutions.
There is still time to participate in the IRR News user survey – as we go into the New Year, we would welcome feedback on what issues we should be covering. And to find out more about what we have been doing during 2019, download our Annual Report which is available here.
IRR News Team