IRR News 6 May 2021: A different election – far Right breakthrough in Madrid

6 May 2021 — Institute of Race Relations

On Tuesday, 4 May, 100 people attended a meeting co-hosted by Migrants OrganiseAsylum MattersLeeds Anti-Raids Action and the Institute of Race Relations, on responding to the government’s public consultation on its ‘New Plan for Immigration’. The week before, on Friday, 30 April, a public statement from 193 human rights groups, refugee, faith and legal organisations was published condemning the consultation as a sham, and on the same day, 76 charities and community groups in Scotland wrote to Boris Johnson condemning the proposals as contrary to international refugee law.

This is a level of opposition not seen in the field of migrants’ rights since the 1980s, from grassroots groups as well as established refugee and migrant rights charities, to the government’s attempts to divide refugees into the ‘deserving’ few, selected by the UN refugee agency UNHCR from Middle East camps, and the undeserving or ‘inadmissible’ many, who are to be further punished after being forced to put their lives at risk through government policies on visas and carrier sanctions. If you didn’t catch IRR vice-chair Frances Webber’s piece on the plan published last week, read ‘Playing the Refugee Convention’.

As the spotlight falls on racism in policing in the wake of Derek Chauvin’s conviction for the murder of George Floyd in the US, our calendar of racism and resistance reveals horrifying instances of police racism in Belgium, France and the UK. And we also draw attention to the results of the regional elections in Madrid. During the Popular Party’s campaign, its presidential candidate, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, remarked ‘if they call you a fascist, you are on the right side of history’. Although victorious, Ayuso failed to secure an absolute majority, and has welcomed an alliance with the far-right Vox party, which has been described as a ‘21st century version of Franco’s falangism’.

IRR News team

There are a series of other important events happening this month for activists and anti-racist campaigners:

  • Next Tuesday 11 May, the Good Law Project will be running a defamation law advice session for activists, organisations and campaigners, on how you can protect yourself from publishing something that might leave you vulnerable to the threat of libel proceedings.
  • On Thursday 13 May, our Director Liz Fekete is speaking at the launchof Jewish Voice for Labour and Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC’s major new study on the failings of the EHRC investigation into Labour Party Antisemitism.
  • On the same day, Liz will also be on the panel for a crucial meeting hosted by The Monitoring Group on the recent Sewell report, We Need to Talk about The Race and Ethnic Disparities Review alongside Professor Gus John and Suresh Grover.
  • On Wednesday 19 May, join Liz again at the School of Anti-racism’s next event How the government is using race and identity politics to divide and rule.

This week’s calendar reveals horrifying instances of police racism in Belgium, France and the UK amid large-scale opposition to the new policing bill. Meanwhile, another election in the Spanish capital of Madrid sees a breakthrough for the far-right.

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Posted in: UK

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