13 February 2020 — Institute of Race Relations
Institute of Race Relations weekly digest – Against Racism, for Social Justice
On Tuesday, a charter-deportation flight to Jamaica carried passengers who had lived in the UK since early childhood – against a recommendation of the unpublished (but leaked) ‘Windrush: Lessons Learned’ review. Protesters against the deportation flight shut down Whitehall and over 170 MPs wrote asking the minister to reconsider the failure to publish the review or to follow its recommendations, indicating the government’s unconcern for both past and present victims of the Windrush scandal. Boris Johnson poured scorn on protestors as ‘the Westminster bubble’ and indicated his intention to re-examine the process of judicial review.
Nearly two years since the Windrush scandal broke, only 36 people have received compensation, from a fund meant to compensate up to 15,000, while thousands, whose lives were ruined by the Home Office, and who remain in debt, find the compensation forms impossible to fill in, as they are being asked to produce the same evidence which they do not possess, which caused them to be treated as ‘illegal’ in the first place. In our calendar of racism and resistance we document further attacks on civil liberties, including the police’s use of live facial recognition technology in Stratford. Sign a petition against the use of facial recognition here.
Across Europe the struggles of the undocumented, for regularisation and againstexploitation and outsourcing in the workplace, are intensifying. From the Gilets Noirs and the Hotel Ibis chambermaids in France, to the Black Sardines in Italy, from the Top Manta in Spain to People in Limbo in Norway, those without papers are at the frontline of struggles for racial justice. Read Laura Wormington’s eye-witness account of the ongoing struggles of the Gilets Noirs in Paris and Anya Edmond-Pettitt’s article on the resistance of humanitarian activists and undocumented people.
John Grayson continues his exposé of the grim reality of the UK asylum system and the everyday experiences of families living in asylum housing. Building on discussions with twelve residents of the Urban House Initial Accommodation Centre in Wakefield, John reveals anxieties around the safety of children, the effect of insufficient nutritious food and inadequate health care for families.
If you wish to find out more about the coercive and exploitative sides of the UK government’s hostile environment policies, we are inviting IRR users to an upcoming seminar on 27 February on ‘Psychological coercion in the hostile environment’. Register here.
IRR News Team
Justice for the outsourced Hotel Ibis chambermaids
An eyewitness account of the ongoing struggles of the Gilets Noirs in Paris
Finding a voice: news from Europe’s frontline migrant struggles
Across Europe, humanitarian activists and undocumented people are organising collectively and speaking up for their rights, in the face of increased state repression. In Norway we see another example of this action being prosecuted even as the Government considers a one-off residence amnesty.
Like a prison: discussions with people inside Urban House Initial Accommodation Centre, Wakefield
‘We could take this place, which is like a prison, for three or four weeks but not for months and months’ – Barry, a businessman from the Middle East
Calendar of racism and resistance (29 January – 12 February 2020)
A fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe
Join Tagné + Kooj for a performance of global-jazz music and live-mixed video about migration and borders.
Psychological coercion in the hostile environment
Join us for a crucial seminar that will explore both the coercive and the exploitative sides of the government’s hostile environment policies.
Remember and Resist: borders, solidarity & the essex 39
A day of talks and workshops exploring the voilence of borders and global capitalism, following the deaths of the 39 vietnamese migratns in a lorry in essex.