EDITORIAL

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Dear Readers,

Welcome back to the “Black & Asian News”! This week, I would like to highlight an article by David Lawrence from Hope not Hate that charts the worrying growth of Green” nationalism and “eco-fascism” within the modern far right.

The Open Access Book: Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ Integration in European Labour Markets (Springer) may also be of interest to you.

I have also tried to emphasize several interesting reports (e.g. tech, mental health, environment, food, asylum etc.) below. So I hope you will keep on scrolling down, including for UK news.

Keep Well & Stay Safe,

Thushari Perera

BLACK EUROPE RESOURCES

A digital resource on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Issues

 Previous issues: Black & Asian News

Other Newsletters: Black & Asian Heritage Mix’

 Please scroll down and just click on the title to access the full version of the news stories you wish to read, thank you.

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WIDER EUROPE

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We Palestinians are looking to the EU to uphold our rights, EU Observer, 18 May 2021

“…we are looking towards the European Union, Israel’s main trade partner, to take the moral, legal and political steps that are required to fulfil the rights of everyone, securing the chances for a just and lasting peace.”

EU anti-racism action plan: Commission appoints first ever Anti-Racism Co-ordinator, EUReporter, 18 May 2021

“In her new role, the Co-ordinator will liaise closely with people with a minority racial and ethnic background and relay their concerns to the Commission. Moua will interact with member states, the European Parliament, civil society and academia to strengthen policy responses in the field of anti-racism. Finally, she will join forces with other Commission services to implement the Commission’s policy on preventing and combating racism.”

Council of Europe’s anti-racism commission publishes conclusions on Croatia, Liechtenstein, Malta, the Republic of Moldova and Portugal, Council of Europe, 18 May 2021

“These conclusions are based on government responses and information gathered from other sources. They concern only ECRI’s priority recommendations and do not aim at providing a comprehensive analysis of all developments in the fight against racism and intolerance in the countries concerned.”

Book Migrants Refugees Asylum Seekers Integration in European Labour Markets

Open Access Book: Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ Integration in European Labour Markets, Springer, 2021

“This open access book discusses how, and to what extent, the legal and institutional regimes and the socio-cultural environments of a range of European countries (the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland Greece, Italy, Switzerland and the UK), in the framework of EU laws and policies, have a beneficial or negative impact on the effective capacity of these countries to integrate migrants, refugees and asylum seekers into their labour markets.”

Legal migration: Council presidency and European Parliament reach provisional agreement on scheme to attract highly qualified worker, Council of the European Union, 17 May 2021

“The Council presidency and European Parliament representatives reached a provisional agreement on a draft directive establishing the entry and residence conditions for highly qualified non-EU nationals coming to live and work in the EU (the blue card directive). This EU-wide admission system aims to attract and retain highly qualified workers, particularly in sectors facing skills shortages.”

Pushing Back Responsibility Report

EU states cooperating informally to deny refugees asylum rights – report, The Guardian, 12 May 2021

“Beatings, thefts and dog attacks are just some of the border police practices migrants say they face when pushed back from Europe’s frontiers… according to a report released by nine human rights organisations.”

Frontex: should EU agency linked to thousands of deaths from border ‘pushbacks’ be responsible for migrant safety?, The Conversation, 10 May 2021

“European member state security forces, supported by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, known as Frontex, have pushed back around 40,000 refugees attempting to cross national borders during the pandemic, according to an investigation based on UN reports and records kept by NGOs. These actions have been linked to 2,000 migrant deaths, chiefly from boats taken back out to sea.”

Nothing is more permanent than temporary refugee camps, VoxEurop, 20 May 2021

“Successful integration of refugees and migrants into their host society is at the core of the European migration strategy – at least, on paper. In reality their current living conditions show that they are far from meeting this objective.”

FRANCE

Adama Traore: How George Floyd’s death energised French protests, BBC News, 19 May 2021

“With the 2022 elections looming, security remains one of France’s central concerns. But for those in working class neighbourhoods, the question is whose security is being prioritised.”

Le Pen flays media reports on alleged misuse of EU funds, The Big News Network, 17 May 2021

“Late on Saturday, Le Journal du Dimanche reported, citing a five-year-long investigation by the Central Office for the Fight against Corruption, Financial and Tax Offenses, that Le Pen and other senior National Rally members embezzled some 6.8 million euros (USD 8.2 million) in European Parliament funding through fictitious employment of assistants.”

On immigration, Michel Barnier has joined the race to the bottom, The Guardian, 15 May 2021

“Positioning himself to run as the rightwing candidate in next year’s presidential elections, Barnier told a TV interviewer that he wanted to suspend immigration to France from outside the EU, including family reunions, for three to five years.”

GERMANY

Turkish Officials Slam German Police For Using Violence Against Disabled Turkish Citizen, UrduPoint, 17 May 2021

“Selim Ciftci, a 35-year-old Turkish citizen living in Germany with a psychological illness, was handcuffed face down by German police in the middle of a street in Frankfurt on Saturday according to a video footage from a witness’s cellphone video.”

Germany launches probe into arson of Turkish supermarket, Daily Sabah, 18 May 2021

“Germany is home to 81 million people and the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. Of the country’s nearly 4.7 million Muslims, at least 3 million are of Turkish descent. The Turkish community in Europe is also concerned with the rising trend of Islamophobia and Turkophobia in Western countries, calling on European states to escalate measures against hate crimes.”

GREECE

A scene out of the middle ages’: Dead refugee found surrounded by rats at Greek camp, The Guardian, 7 May 2021

“The young Somali, like the hundreds of thousands of Syrians who preceded him, left a country notorious for violence and poverty. Nearly six years after the onset of Europe’s refugee crisis, the tragic end of what would have been a long and risky journey has again highlighted the deplorable conditions of island “reception centres” in Greece.”

SPAIN

Ceuta influx highlights fragility of EU’s approach to migration, The Guardian, 20 May 2021

“Spain’s interior ministry said on Wednesday that 5,600 of the 8,000 people who had crossed into Spain earlier in the week had been sent back, citing a decades-old bilateral agreement that allows the return of adults who cross the border irregularly. Campaigners have warned that the rapid pace at which Spain is sending back migrants means their rights are likely to have been violated.”

Spanish aid volunteer abused online for hugging Senegalese migrant, The Guardian, 20 May 2021

“Luna Reyes targeted by far-right supporters after footage of gesture goes viral”

Amnesty Swiss Asylum Report

SWITZERLAND

Switzerland: Violence and racism in asylum centres run by private security companies – new report, Amnesty International, 20 May 2021

“New report includes disturbing testimony, with guards themselves shocked at orders they received. Some asylum-seekers, including children, put in freezing-cold steel containers – or ‘reflection rooms’. ‘The Government must go beyond thinking these acts of abuse are the actions of a few bad apples’ – Alicia Giraudel.”

THE UNITED KINGDOM

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GOVERNMENT & COMMUNITIES

Have British weapons been used in the ongoing atrocities against Palestine?, Left Foot Forward, 17 May 2021

“Campaign Against Arms Trade calls for an investigation into possible abuses.”

UK like an ‘enemy state’ to EU nationals detained by Border Force, The Guardian, 21 May 2021

“Wolfgang, a German national who runs an IT business, was detained at Heathrow airport despite having proof of settled status, indefinite leave to remain and a British passport on the way.”

Picture Essay: Confronting hate against east Asians – a photo essay, The Guardian, 20 May 2021

“Anti-Asian racism and crimes against the Asian community have amplified with Covid. The photographer Wendy Huynh, whose parents are Chinese immigrants from Vietnam who moved to France to flee communism, has experienced racism in Paris and London. She created a series of portraits celebrating Asian women in London from the creative industry to tackle the issue, and the Guardian talked to some of them about their experiences”

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Home Office vows to deport Indian men freed from dawn raid in Glasgow, The National, 20 May 2021

“Despite widespread condemnation of the enforcement action, including from the First Minister, UK immigration officials have vowed to press ahead with the deportations. Singh, a mechanic, and Sehdev, a chef, are suspected of overstaying their visas after they were denied leave to remain.”

Indians favour Tories despite voting Labour in 2019, study reveals, Eastern Eye, 17 May 2021

“A NEW study has revealed that voting pattern of British Indians in 2021 has now been shifted towards the Conversative Party from Labour in 2019. The study by the 1928 Institute, a University of Oxford backed think-tank, also said that only 8 per cent of British Indians feel accurately represented by policymakers and detail their political priorities for local and national government.”

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Oldham’s first Muslim female council leader hopes to inspire women, BBC News, 17 May 2021

“This is an historic moment and I do feel proud of it but what I want residents to know is that I am of Pakistani heritage and I am of Muslim faith, but I am an Oldhamer first and foremost.”

Girlguiding charity apologises as audit uncovers racism and Islamophobia, The Independent, 17 May 2021

“The probe, which took evidence from over 200 members, staff, parents and carers, revealed instances of discrimination that saw young people of colour being called racial slurs and a Muslim girl being asked remove her hijab during a trip.”

POLICING & JUSTICE SYSTEM

Road Traffic and Injury Risk in Ethnic Minority Populations

Pedestrian casualties higher among BAME people and in poor areas – study, The Guardian, 20 May 2021

“Exclusive: BAME people in poorer areas of England and Wales three times more likely to be injured or die than white people in richer districts”

‘This Is Going To Create More Conflict With The Police, Not Less’: What Will The Policing Bill Mean for Protest?, Politicshome.com, 16 May 2021

“Many warn of a “chilling effect” on the willingness of smaller groups, with fewer legal resources, to protest. Others fear the measures could lead to protests being less organised and therefore more violent, with people less likely to volunteer to organise and coordinate with police if they face increased sentences or fines. It may also increase the risk of extremist infiltration.”

Use of Tasers by West Midlands Police nearly doubles inside three years, Express & Star, 20 May 2021

Mr Feeley-Sprague said: “Amnesty has got serious concerns about Tasers being used disproportionately against black people as well as against vulnerable groups such as those with mental illnesses, or children.

CULTURE, MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT

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UK’s Film and TV Charity unveils £1m anti-racism scheme, Screen Daily, 18 May 2021

“The UK’s Film and TV Charity has unveiled a £1m programme to tackle racism and ringfenced 30% of its future grants for black, Asian and minority ethnic people.”

Sheffield DocFest film festival announces line-up including Steve McQueen premiere, The Star, 17 May 2021

“Sheffield DocFest announces a line-up that includes 55 world premieres, 22 international premieres, 15 European premieres and 59 UK premieres across 57 countries with 63 languages represented, including new international and UK competitions and a northern focus…The festival runs from June 4 – 13 in Sheffield, in cinemas across the UK and online.”

Bristol Black Lives Matter protester Jen Reid stars in Radio 4 series, BBC News, 17 May 2021

“Descendants airs on Fridays from 28 May at 11:00 BST…The programme will look at 14 other figures, including Gayle Heron, sister of poet and musician Gil Scott Heron, Conservative MP James Cleverly and Mark Cropper, a descendant of abolitionist James Cropper.”

 OTHER NEWSLETTERS

Black & Asian Heritage Mix’

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The black children wrongly sent to ‘special’ schools in the 1970s, BBC News, 20 May 2021

“In 1960s and 70s Britain, hundreds of black children were labelled as “educationally subnormal”, and wrongly sent to schools for pupils who were deemed to have low intelligence. For the first time, some former pupils have spoken about their experiences for a new BBC documentary.”

Pimlico Academy head steps down after outrage over ‘racist’ uniform policy, The National New, 19 May 2021

“Daniel Smith, the principal of Pimlico Academy, said he would leave his position on May 31. He brought in an updated uniform policy last year that banned hairstyles that “blocked the view of others”. The policy also stipulated that hijabs “should not be too colourful”.”

EMPLOYMENT & WORK

Unemployed

Huge jobless disparity for BME workers, Morning Star Online, 18 May 2021

“Alarm as rate rises 3x faster than for white people”

 

HEALTH & WELL-BEINGMedact Racism Mental Health Pre-crime Policing

Mental health tests in the presence of counter-terror units ‘unethical’, says charity, The Guardian, 19 May 2021

“The report’s findings show that a Muslim is at least 23 times more likely to be referred to a mental health vulnerability support hub for “Islamism” than a white British individual is for “far-right extremism”.”

The so-called ‘Indian variants’ have been found in lots of countries, Full Fact, 19 May 2021

“Many other countries have also sequenced cases of the B1.617 variants, including countries across Asia, South East Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. The UK, however, has sequenced the highest number of cases.”

Covid in India: ‘Not being there to help is causing guilt and despair’, Eastern Eye, 19 May 2021

“Being here has been very tough as there was no one to take care of my family,”…“I couldn’t talk to (my parents) because they were so ill – they were sleeping all the time, not picking up the phone and my anxiety was just building up.”

Essex GPs deliver COVID-19 jabs from custom-built van to boost uptake, GPonline, 19 May 2021

“Working closely with local community leaders, the ‘Essex vax van’ is being used to bring clinics to people who may also face barriers to accessing traditional health services, including black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities and the homeless.”

 UNITED BY BLOOD: A New Coalition of Black Organisations Launch Blood Donation Campaign, The Voice, 18 May 2021

“The campaign is being launched in memory of Evan Nathan Smith, a 21-year-old Sickle Cell sufferer who lost his life, after hospital staff refused to provide a timely lifesaving blood transfusion”

‘Duty on all of us’ – report into racism welcomed by profession, Dentistry, 17 May 2021

“Last week, the report – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within Dentistry – was published and highlights the lack of racial diversity in the profession. For example, findings reveal just 1.7% of dentists and 2.2% of dental care professionals (DCPs) identify as black. By comparison, 51% of dentists and 75% of DCPs identify as white.”

 

ENVIRONMENT & FOOD

Trashed-Greenpeace

New Report: Trashed: how the UK is still dumping plastic waste on the rest of the world, GreenPeace, 17 May 2021

“The UK is a major contributor to the world’s plastic crisis, generating more plastic waste per person than any other country except the USA. Our recycling system is already overwhelmed by plastic waste. Now our waste is overwhelming other countries’ recycling systems too, causing serious harm to their citizens and environment, particularly in India, Indonesia and Malaysia.”

Far right groups are exploiting concern over the environment, The Ferret, 15 May 2021

“Hope not hate, which campaigns against fascism, warns there are wider issues beyond the Holyrood row. Its recent report – From Climate Denial to Blood and Soil – charted a “worrying growth of ‘green’ nationalism within the UK’s far right including groups active in Scotland.”

Video: UK organisations tackle lack of diversity in take up of countryside pursuits, Channel 4, 15 May 2021

“…meet some groups challenging the norms and pre-conceptions – and trying to make the countryside truly inclusive.”

New Report: Urban Food Futures, Urban Health, 18 May 2021

“What will the food environment in inner cities be like in 2035? What will have changed or remained the same? Will the factors affecting our access to nutritious food help address childhood obesity, or further increase the inequality gap? Download the Urban Food Futures report

TECH & DIGITALFairwork Indian Workers in the Platform Economy

New Report – Skills for the Planetary Labour Market: Indian Workers in the Platform Economy, Fairwork, 26 April 2021

“Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, this new Fairwork report sheds light on how Indian cloudworkers perceive and expand their skills portfolios in relation to their platform work, and unveils how governmental, private and third-sector skills training approaches need to be adapted to meet their needs. The report additionally traces how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Indian cloudworkers and the cloudwork landscape.”

 

ROYALS & THE MONARCHY

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Global Fundraising Effort Led by Prince Harry & Meghan Drives $1.9M for COVID-19 Vaccines in 6 Days”, Global Citizen, 12 May 2021

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are working to ensure everyone, everywhere has access to vaccines.”

 

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South Asian footballers: England’s untapped reservoir of talent, Eastern Eye, 16 May 2021

“Mentoring, a changing of mindsets and ditching “lazy stereotypes” will ensure more English-born professional footballers of South Asian descent make it to the top of the game. That’s the view of Riz Rehman…”

Image Credits: Pixabay, Amnesty International, Agilysis & Living Streets, Medact, GreenPeace, Fairwork.

Previous issues: Black & Asian News – Black Europe Resources

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