Attacks on asylum housing: from Ireland to Knowsley

Thursday, 2 March 2023 — Institute of Race Relations

Since our last newsletter in which we reported on the eruption of violence in Knowsley, Merseyside, we have seen the spreading of a relentless campaign targeting hotels accommodating asylum seekers across England, with protests in Rotherham, Skegness, Newquay, Long Eaton and Dunstable in the past weeks.

All this, as well as similar far-right mobilisations against asylum seekers in other European countries, is documented in our regular calendar of racism and resistance. To supplement this, on IRR News this week Sophia Siddiqui investigates what is underpinning the violent targeting of asylum seekers in the UK and in Ireland – which has been in the grip of anti-immigration demonstrations since last year – with far-right groups mobilising to gain footholds in local communities by spreading disinformation on violence against women and girls to fuel a moral panic.

Thankfully, the far-Right, in their noisy and nasty attempts to sow division, have been vastly outnumbered by counter-protesters who have mobilised quickly and decisively. Building on the insights and experiences of migrant solidarity groups, feminists, BME women’s refuges, LGBTQ communities, Travellers organisations and trade union activists, Siddiqui explores the harmful impact on minority communities, but also the intersectional solidarity that is now coming to the fore to confront far-right racism and misogyny.

Now, more than ever, unity at home and solidarity abroad is needed to counter the far Right, which, in creating mayhem, is exploiting the hostile environment towards asylum seekers that is built into the very design of state policy. Already we have seen curfews imposed on asylum seekers preventing them from leaving refugee accommodation – one of the ways in which the far-Right attacks have added a violent dimension to the hostile environment.

IRR News team

From Ireland to Knowsley: New from Sophia Siddiqui Attacks on asylum housing: fighting the weaponisation of gender-based violence

What is underpinning the violent targeting of accommodation housing asylum seekers in Ireland and across the UK?

Sophia Siddiqui investigates how feminists, anti-racists, migrant solidarity and trade union groups are fighting back to resist the weaponising of gender-based violence.

Read here

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

In this week’s calendar of racism and resistance, criminal justice campaigners in the UK and Netherlands chalk up impressive legal wins, but the calendar also shows there is still much work to be done.

Following a legal challenge by JENGbA and Liberty, the CPS has agreed to monitor ethnicity and other data, including data related to gang-related prosecutions, in joint enterprise cases. But in Denmark, visitation zones, that allow for the suspension of normal checks on stop and search, are being applied in Copenhagen.

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

Read Calendar

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Liz Fekete analyses the consequences of the war from an anti-racist, internationalist viewpoint Civilisational racism, ethnonationalism and the clash of imperialisms in Ukraine

On the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last Friday, Race & Class journal published this new piece by Liz Fekete, a leading expert on European racism, with one of the first attempts to analyse the consequences of the war from an anti-racist, internationalist viewpoint.

Civilisational racism, ethnonationalism and the clash of imperialisms in Ukraine, pinpoints the need to examine how new geopolitics, changing imperialisms and the entrenching of a racism built on a 19th century-style civilisational hierarchy and revanchist nationalisms are emerging in the fall-out of the war.

You can access the article for free for the next three weeks via this link.

Read more

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Institute of Race Relations

Posted in: UK

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