New circuits of anti-racism IRR News 30 September 2022

Friday, 30 September 2022 — Institute of Race Relations

On Monday 26 September, the IRR was delighted to host a panel event at this year’s The World Transformed festival in Liverpool. ‘IRR50: New circuits of anti-racism’ explored the last half-century of British anti-racism, and how that can inform the struggles of today. Whilst Liz Fekete highlighted how the growth of copwatch and anti-raids groups echoed the monitoring groups of the 1980s, Sophia Siddiqui stressed the importance of connecting anti-racism to feminism and how all of our struggles are interconnected. We were also joined by Surviving Society’s Chantelle Lewis who explained how podcasting continued a tradition of accessible knowledge production outside the academy, and Azfar Shafi, whose co-authored book Race to the Bottom: Reclaiming Antiracism makes urgent calls to learn from our history in order to forge a new path towards stronger, coherent and relevant anti-racist praxis.

Those ‘new circuits of anti-racism’ which the panellists spoke to is exactly what the IRR will be exploring in two weeks’ time at King’s College London. This very special IRR50 conference will bring together key activists and thinkers to discuss not only the enduring influence of our transformation and the ideas of A. Sivanandan, but also urgent questions as to how we should approach new imperialisms and fast-changing geopolitics, and what organisers here can learn from US abolitionist movements to defund and divest from the criminal justice system.

At the heart of this necessary work, is the need for anti-racists to maintain strong institutions. ‘The institute has been around for 50 years and I’ve been reading the IRR’s work for 25 years. It is so important that it has longevity’, said K. Biswas at our Monday event. To that end we also launched our IRR50 fundraiser that day. We’ve had an incredible response so far with over 50 people donating generous sums, with many setting up monthly donations that will ensure the IRR can have that longevity and continue to develop its important work. We are grateful to all of those, past and present who have become friends of the IRR.

Whether you can donate or not, we will continue to make the majority of our work freely accessible, the latest of which you can find below. Free tickets to the IRR50 conference are still available, but move fast, as capacity is limited. For those unable to join us in London, there will be an online viewing for which you can also register on Eventbrite.

IRR News team

Limited tickets still available IRR50 conference in two weeks

We have a fantastic range of speakers joining us at King’s on the 15th October. We’re honoured to have two incredible writers and activists, Barbara Ransby and Derecka Purnell join us from the US to discuss ‘New Lines of Black Resistance: undoing racial capitalism and the carceral state’. Read the full programme of sessions and speakers and get your ticket on Eventbrite.

Register for event

An article celebrating 50 years of the IRR New circuits of anti-racism

Writing in Red Pepper, IRR Communications Officer Liam Shrivastava explores what the IRR’s origin story and half-century of struggle can teach us about anti-racism today.

Read now

A fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe. Calendar of Racism & Resistance

In our latest calendar, we follow election gains for anti-immigration parties in Europe, from the far-right Sweden Democrats gaining more than 20% of the vote in the general election, to the new rightwing coalition Italian govt led by Giorgia Meloni. Whilst numbers of people in UK immigration detention triple since 2020, in Calais, French authorities have placed hundreds of tonnes of rocks in areas of the city to prevent migrants erecting shelters and also prevents aid orgs from distributing food.

Find these stories and thousands more on our Register of Racism and Resistance database.

Read Calendar

Search Database

For those that can, support the IRR50 fund Become a friend of the IRR

Since launching the IRR50 fund on Monday, we’ve had an amazing response, with over 50 pledges and over £3000 raised. Even if you can’t support us, we’d massively appreciate you  sharing our campaign video or retweeting this thread to help us reach our £50,000 target by the end of this year.

Donate today

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