Dear IRR News subscriber,
Against the backcloth of austerity, and amidst warnings that universal credit and deep cuts to the welfare budget will massively increase poverty and reliance on food banks, it’s perhaps not surprising to learn that the use of force by police is rising. In the Metropolitan Police, such force – handcuffing, stun guns, CS spray, batons and guns – has risen by a dramatic 79 per cent in the past year, according to a Guardian analysis that points out that police force is disproportionately used against black people and, in the case of stun guns, mental health patients. Two important conferences are taking place this month, that will provide analysis and strategic direction on how to tackle the interconnecting issues of racism and violence. On 13 and 14 October, The Monitoring Group, Tottenham Rights and others are hosting a two-day conference on ‘State racism, collusion and resistance’. Then, on 26 October, the School of Law at Birkbeck is marking the 20th anniversary of the United Friends & Families Campaign by hosting a conference on ‘Interrogating state violence: custodial deaths, justice and resistance’.
In our regular calendar of racism and resistance, we mark the opening of the trial of the Stansted 15, fifteen civil rights activists who disrupted a deportation flight, while also highlighting other key mobilisations across Europe. From protests in Copenhagen, Aarhus and Odense against the Danish ghetto list, to the tens of thousands of people rallying in Marseille, Paris, Calais, Brussels, Berlin and Palermo to show support for the SOS Mediterranée migrant rescue ship Aquarius, there are real signs of an upsurge in public anger. State policies that legitimise structural abuse of vulnerable minorities and give rise to the kind of police force revealed by the Guardian are not going unchallenged.
IRR News Team