‘I’m from St Raphael’s estate’: an interview with George the Poet

10 July 2020 — Institute of Race Relations

Written by Jessica Perera

IRR’s Jessica Perera continues her examination of the human cost of estate regeneration by talking about pride and potential with a north-west London poet.

George Mpanga is a London-born spoken-word poet and host of the award-winning ‘Have you heard George’s Podcast?’ If you have not yet discovered the podcast, you might be more familiar with its accompanying advertising posters: ‘it’s hard to listen when you’ve never been heard’ that are dotted across the capital. Concerned that his community on the housing estate he grew up on, St Raphael’s in the north-west London borough of Brent, would not be heard during the current regeneration consultation, George recorded a poem explaining the fears the community had regarding the redevelopment plans.

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The School That Tried to End Racism: A cruel experiment in furtherance of identity politics

10 July 2020 — WSWS

By Margot Miller

Channel 4’s two-part documentary, The School That Tried to End Racism, centres on events during the filming of a group of Year 7 (eleven- and twelve-year-old) pupils over three weeks in April last year.

The pupils were subjected to a cruel experiment, but this was positively described by the programme’s narrator as a “ground-breaking initiative” concerning racial bias.

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Protest, Riot, Loot, and Burn for Black Freedom in America?

21 June 2020 — American Herald Tribune

Our Current Dilemmas Go Much Deeper Than Racism

World Columbian Exposition 4a311

In Russia Today, Helen Buyniski reflects on corporate responses to the depiction of Black people in brand labeling. Buyniski highlights the comments of B and G Foods as it jumped onto the bandwagon of corporate virtue signalling. The company signalled its intentions to “proactively take steps to ensure that we and our brands do not inadvertently contribute to systemic racism.” The company informs consumers that B and G Foods “unequivocally stand against prejudice and injustice of any kind.”

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Would ‘Defund the Police’ Work in the UK?

13 June 2020 — Novara Media

‘Defund the police’ has emerged as a central demand amid a spectacular eruption of collective action against lethal police violence in the United States. As UK Black Lives Matter activists take inspiration, questions are being asked about how this demand – forged in the long history of the US prison abolition movement – can gain purchase in Britain.

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Webinar: Walls Must Fall: Ending the deadly politics of border militarisation (TNI)

12 June 2020 — Statewatch

COVID-19 has become another touchstone for today’s deeply entrenched politics of militarised borders and anti-migrant racism. Leaders like Trump and Orban have blamed the virus on foreigners and to claim justification for their racist politics. But they have also been used European Union Member States of all political tendencies have used the crisis to close off ports to rescue ships, making the Mediterranean even more deadly for refugees. The ‘necropolitics’ of border militarization that justifies systemic crimes against humanity has become tragically hegemonic.

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Tearing down statues isn’t vandalism. It’s at the heart of the democratic tradition

10 June 2020 — Jonathan Cook

It is easy to forget how explicitly racist British society was within living memory. I’m not talking about unconscious prejudice, or social media tropes. I’m talking about openly celebrating racism in the public space, about major companies making racism integral to their brand, a selling-point.

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Speak out against systemic racism

6 June 2020 — Medact

George Floyd’s murder must prompt deep interrogation of the structural racisms that pervade our society.

The disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on BAME communities are increasingly clear, compounding pre-existing truths about how minority groups are more likely to suffer from impoverishment, low pay, poor housing and ill health.

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Racist Policing Accelerated During the Pandemic. Mounting Protests Could See It Get Even Worse

4 June 2020 — Novara Media

by Sophie Hemery @SophieHemery

Dwayne Francis was racially profiled and detained by police in London last month, while on his way to work in a secondary school.

“The rhetoric is always the same,” he said, describing how police routinely tell black people: “You fit the description of someone who has committed a crime, this is a high crime area, we can smell cannabis, you are a drug dealer because of the car you drive or the clothes you’re wearing.”

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Israel renews racist marriage law

3 June 2020 — The Electronic Intifada

Ali Abunimah

Man sits on edge of bench that says Europeans OnlyIsrael’s version of apartheid can be more subtle than South Africa’s, but the goal is fundamentally the same: ethno-racial gerrymandering, segregation and domination. Picture-Alliance/DPA

Israel this week renewed one of the most overtly racist of the dozens of laws on its books that discriminate against Palestinians and Palestinian citizens of Israel.

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As US protests show, the challenge is how to rise above the violence inherent in state power

2 June 2020 — Jonathan Cook

Here is one thing I can write with an unusual degree of certainty and confidence: Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin would not have been charged with the (third-degree) murder of George Floyd had the United States not been teetering on a knife edge of open revolt.

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