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EDITORIAL

Dear Readers,

Welcome back to the Black & Asian News! As the Canary says, it may be Black History Month, but it’s business as usual in the UK.

There is still a lot to learn from this week’s collection of news articles and I have tried to highlight relevant reports in different fields below.

In case you prefer to read these news stories before the end of the week, please do not forget that you can follow me on Twitter@Blackeresources. (I do not put everything that is on this newsletter, but in case it helps…have a look!) My best retweet this week was an investigative historical piece by  FRANCE 24 called “October 17, 1961: A massacre of Algerians in the heart of Paris. So far, it has gathered more than 5000 impressions!

I also recommend watching four short films (around 10 minutes) by Together TV. It’s from the Diverse Film Fund 2021: Black, British and Breaking Boundaries.

Keep Well & Stay Safe,

 

Thushari Perera

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UK NEWS

CULTURE, MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT

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UK-based Black Lives in Music Survey reveals troubling findings, Music Ally, 14 October 2021

“63% of Black music creators have experienced direct or indirect racism in the music industry, as have 73% of Black music professionals. Meanwhile, 31% of creators and 36% of professionals believe their mental wellbeing has got worse since starting their careers in music. The survey canvassed nearly 2,000 people’s opinions.”

Rolling Stones drop Brown Sugar from US tour set list, BBC News, 13 October 2021

“Last year producer Ian Brennan criticised the band’s decision to continue to “play and profit” from the song, which he said glorifies slavery, rape, torture and paedophilia.”

New research exploring mental health interventions and racism in music launched, NME, 11 October 2021

“The research is supported Sony Music’s Social Justice Fund… The initiative, funded through Sony Music’s Social Justice Fund, sees mental health charity, Mind and race equality think tank The Runnymede Trust partner with Sony Music UK to deliver important new findings.”

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon: “We need to have more conversations about the Black British experience”, Harpers Bazaar, 11 October 2021

“The award-winning tech leader on the events of 2020, Black History Month and her new book: Black British Lives Matter”

Kakwenza Rukirabashaija named this year’s International Writer of Courage, The Guardian, 12 October 2021

“The Ugandan novelist, who was tortured in prison over his book The Greedy Barbarian, has been selected by Tsitsi Dangarembga as part of the PEN Pinter prize”

 

CONSUMER ISSUES

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Sainsbury’s Planning To Give £1 Million To Help Support Black Communities, Produce Business Network, 10 October 2021

“…The retailer plans to kickstart the campaign through a partnership with Show Racism the Red Card, an anti-racism charity focused on children, to help the group provide educational resources to 30,000 schools in England, Scotland, and Wales…Sainsbury’s will make contributions throughout 2021-22 to other charities, businesses and social enterprises as it aims to end food insecurity and racism, while promoting social mobility for under-resourced and under-supported Black areas. One of those commitments is signing on to help the Black British Network boost diversity…”

Black History Month – The Black fashion designer who became the youngest tailor on Savile Row, My London, 10 October 2021

“Ozwald Boateng became the youngest tailor to open a store on London’s sartorial street and went on to dress the likes of Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Paige and stars of Sex and The City to name a few.”

The Conscious Advertising Network is a voluntary coalition of over 70 organisations set up to ensure that industry ethics catches up with the technology of modern advertising, CAN, 2021

“Six manifestos: Anti-Ad Fraud; Diversity; Informed Consent; Hate Speech, Children’s Wellbeing; Mis/Disinformation.”

 

TECH

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Google’s new policy prohibits ads for, and monetization of, climate change denial, CAN, 9 October 2021

“Google announced a new monetization policy for Google advertisers, publishers and YouTube creators that will “prohibit ads for, and monetization of, content that contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change.”

EMPLOYMENT & WORK

Mastercard LSE Report Black Women Professionals

Professional black women paid less as careers stagnate, says UK survey, Today UK News, 11 October 2021

“Almost three-quarters of black women working in big tech, finance and professional services, said they believed they were being paid less than comparable peers in a London School of Economics and Political Science survey.” Read the Report here

 

EDUCATION

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Gap between poor and affluent students going to university widest for 14 years, The Evening Standard, 14 October 2021

“It comes as leading institutions are under pressure to widen access to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

Scrapping B-Tecs ‘hammer blow for social mobility’, BBC News, 13 October 2021

“A campaign to stop many BTec vocational qualifications being scrapped within two years has won the backing of MPs and Lords from across the parties.”

Katharine Birbalsingh to become government’s new social mobility tsar, School Week, 10 October 2021

“Country’s ‘strictest head’ previously said ‘woke are racist’ and warned against teaching “white privilege.”

Olympic queen Dame Jess Ennis-Hill backs university anti racism course, The Voice, 8 October 2021

“Union Black: Britain’s Black Cultures and Steps to Anti-Racism is being made freely available to up to 4 million students and staff at all of the UK’s165 universities over the next three years.”

HEALTH & WELL-BEING

Coronavirus lessons learned to date Report

Covid inquiry: Anger grows after report finds white medics had better access to PPE than black and Asian staff, The Independent, 12 October 2021

“Senior doctors have warned “racism kills” and called for a “frank and sincere public apology” from the Government after a damning parliamentary report found “unacceptable” levels of discrimination against NHS staff from black and minority ethnic communities.” Read the Report here

Stillbirth rate high for black and Asian babies in UK, BBC News, 14 October 2021

The Mbrace report found babies of mothers living in deprived areas are at higher risk of stillbirths and neonatal deaths than those in other places. Charities say there is an urgent need to tackle inequalities around birth.”

Black and Asian organ donors urgently needed as 7,000 wait on transplant list – highest number in a decade, inews, 11 October 2021

“Delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have pushed numbers on the transplant waiting list up to 7,000, the highest number in almost a decade. The situation is even more acute for those from black, Asian, mixed race and minority ethnic populations who make up around a third of those on the transplant waiting list but are less likely to be organ donors.”

Nursing faces worst ever staffing crisis amid signs NHS hospitals cutting back on surgery again, The Independent, 10 October 2021

“Ms Marquis said the NHS has had to look outside the EU to try and replace the number of European nurses who left as a result of Brexit, a process made even more difficult due to the pandemic and will take time… The Government has promised 50,000 more nurses by the end of this parliament.”

FOOD

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‘It’s been a nightmare’: Bristol’s foodbanks sound warning over food and fuel shortages, The Bristol Cable, 5 October 2021

“While the government calls in the army to deliver fuel and tries to lure overseas HGV drivers to the UK, some of the city’s most vital support services have been facing disruption just as a benefit boost and the furlough scheme end.”

One in six adults in Great Britain not able to buy essential foods, ONS finds, The Guardian, 9 October 2021

“Almost nine million people, representing one in six adults in Great Britain, have not been able to buy essential food items in the past two weeks because they were not available, official research suggests.”

GOVERNMENT & COMMUNITIES

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Jacky Wright and Marcus Rashford in Top 10 most powerful black Britons, The Guardian, 15 October 2021

“Microsoft chief digital officer heads Powerlist 2022, with Netflix vice-president and Emmy and Oscar winners also named.”

Border Force guards to be given immunity over refugee drownings, The London Economic, 14 October 2021

“Under Home Office plans, officials would be legally protected if a refugee they “push back” dies in the Channel.”

200 Afghan allies ‘abandoned and at risk of execution after British withdrawal’, The Mirror, 9 October 2021

“It is estimated up to 200 translators, British embassy support staff and families are at risk of execution or imprisonment by the Taliban and many are now in hiding.”

Teenage Afghan refugee Hazrat Wali stabbed to death in Twickenham, Evening Standard, 13 October 2021

“Pupils playing rugby see teacher fight in vain to save ‘caring and loved’ victim who had fled Afghanistan and come to UK for a better life.”

UK put on global watchlist for curbing civic freedoms, EachOther, 7 October 2021

“In September, CIVICUS, a global alliance of civil society organisations from 175 countries which is dedicated to strengthening citizen action throughout the world, published the latest edition of its watchlist. It cites the UK as a country where civic space has narrowed, criticising a recent reduction in the respect and protection which the UK government affords people’s rights to associate, assemble peacefully and freely express their views.”

PROPERTY & HOUSING

Shelter Social Housing

Poor housing harms health of 20% of renters in England, says Shelter, The Guardian, 13 October 2021

“Now is the time to reverse the decline in council housing over the past few decades,” said David Renard, LGA housing spokesperson. “The benefits are clear – a programme of 100,000 social homes a year would shorten council housing waiting lists, reduce homelessness and cut carbon emissions, while delivering a multi-billion long-term boost to the economy.” Read Campaign Findings here

Report criticises ‘destitution by design’ policy, Local Gov, 11 October 2021

A new report has called for a step-change in the way asylum seekers are supported in Scotland.”

Destitution Scotland Report

Priced out of Lewisham: the bus driver who beat the bailiffs to stay in his borough – video, The Guardian, 5 October 2021

“When Anthony Brathwaite was told he and his two children were no longer eligible for council housing in Lewisham, south-east London, and was offered a property he could not afford outside the borough, he decided to fight back.”

 

ENVIRONMENT

Greepeace UK BorisStopCambo

Greenpeace unveils oil-splattered Boris Johnson statue in ‘Stop Cambo’ protest, Energy Voice, 11 October 2021

“It comes just three weeks ahead of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, and just a week after Greenpeace lost a legal battle in Edinburgh’s Court of Session attempting to block the Vorlich oil development owned by Ithaca Energy and BP. Greenpeace said the stunt is being used to underline a failure to end the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels, pointing to the current gas price crisis.”

Big tobacco got caught in a lie by Congress. Now it’s the oil industry’s turn, The Guardian, 14 October 2021

“Michael Wirth of Chevron, David Lawler of BP and Gretchen Watkins of Shell Oil. The Big Oil 4, let’s call them, will be questioned about what members of Congress call a “long-running, industry-wide campaign to spread disinformation about the role of fossil fuels in causing global warming”.”

SPORT

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Helen Nkwocha – the first female coach of a European top-flight men’s team, BBC Sport, 10 October 2021

“Helen Nkwocha was fired by drive and determination when she sold her home and decided to live on a houseboat to fund her dream of becoming a professional football coach.”

 

THE MONARCHY & ROYALS

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Queen’s four-day jubilee will be ‘biggest event ever’ held in UK, The Metro, 9 October 2021

“A celebration marking the Queen’s 70 years on the throne will be the ‘largest ever’ in Britain…People from all 54 Commonwealth countries will join in as the city comes to life with street theatre from 17 different groups, marching bands and circus acts.”

WIDER EUROPE NEWS

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Discrimination in Europe remains present, but under-reported, Euractiv, 13 October 2021

“Racism and ethnic discrimination remain prevalent in Europe and many aren’t aware of just how bad the problem is according to a recent study conducted by Young European Federalists (JEF) in three EU countries.” Read the Report here

EU offers to ease Northern Ireland border checks amid Brexit row, AlJazeera, 13 October 2021

“Proposal comes after the UK said the current policy on Northern Ireland – known as the protocol – should be ripped up.”

Call by scholars: Stop instrumentalising antisemitism, EU Observer, 11 October 2021

“… an alternative definition of antisemitism launched earlier this year does carry this spirit: the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA). The JDA was crafted by a group of scholars from the United States, Israel, Europe, and the UK, who have vast experience with the IHRA definition. After more than one year of deliberations, the JDA was launched in March 2021. It has been endorsed by more than 300 scholars of antisemitism and related fields, including many heads of institutes in Europe and the US. We encourage the leaders at the Malmö Forum to add the JDA to their policy toolbox and rely on it for guidance.”

New Pact on Migration and Asylum: Reporting on developments and stepping up fight against migrant exploitation, EU Reporter, 9 October 2021

“One year on from the adoption of the proposal for a New Pact on Migration and Asylum, the Commission is today presenting a Report on Migration and Asylum. The Commission is also adopting a renewed EU action plan against migrant smuggling and a Communication on the application of the Employers Sanctions Directive. As part of the comprehensive approach to migration under the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, these initiatives aim to prevent organised exploitation of migrants and reduce irregular migration, in coherence with the New Pact’s aim to promote sustainable and orderly management of migration.”

BELGIUM

Women taken from Congo sue Belgium over forced separations, Deutsche Welle, 14 October 2021

“Five women born in Congo are taking the Belgian state to court for crimes against humanity. Authorities took them from their Black mothers as children, separating them from their roots.”

 

FRANCE

Months until presidential vote, a far-right surge jolts France, AlJazeera, 13 October 2021

“Concerns grow as polls for next year’s election show Eric Zemmour and Marine Le Pen with the backing of nearly a third of French voters.”

Eric Zemmour: Meet the right-wing TV pundit set to shake up France’s presidential race, Euronews, 13 October 2021

“A poll released last week places him — for the first time — in a second-round run-off against Macron to be France’s next president. The survey gave Zemmour a17% to 18% vote share, ahead of Marine Le Pen’s 15% to 16% and any of the centre-right candidates. So, what does Eric Zemmour stand for and how much can he disrupt the French presidential election?”

France to push for sweeping reform of EU asylum system, RFI, 1 October 2021

“French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said this week that France would support the reform of the EU’s divisive asylum system when it takes over the rotating presidency in January, notably on the issue of harmonising asylum applications.”

France calls for creation of a migration treaty between the EU and Britain, France 24, 10 October 2021

“”We need to negotiate a treaty, since Mr (Michel) Barnier did not do so when he negotiated Brexit, which binds us on migration issues,” the interior minister said, adding that France will champion the project when it takes over the EU’s rotating presidency in January.”

French Activists: 39 Percent of Paris Temp Agencies Agreed to Weed Out Non-White Workers, Newsweek, 8 October 2021

“Activists from SOS Racisme, a national association of anti-discrimination groups, called 69 temporary employment agencies in the Paris area posing as employees from a construction firm. The activists said their fake company was looking to hire only “European” workers, implying that it did not want to consider people of color.”

GERMANY

German army suspends soldiers over far-right suspicions, The Local Germany, 8 October 2021

“The German army has suspended soldiers in its ceremonial guard over suspicion of sexual aggression and sympathy with the far-right, a recurring problem within the Bundeswehr.”

ITALY

Expert: Delusional to think pandemic would sideline Italy’s far-right, Euractiv, 13 October 2021

“Giorgia Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy has been leading in the polls for the past few months. The latest published on 11 October by SWG shows the party polls at 20.7%, followed by another far-right party (Matteo Salvini’s League) at 19.2%.”

POLAND

Migrants Are Dying in the Forests on the EU’s Eastern Borders, PRIO Blogs, 12 October 2021

“Since the summer, a humanitarian crisis has developed on the EU’s eastern border. According to Amnesty International, the state of emergency at the border is concealing human rights violations. Human rights violations in that migrants are dying in the forests. People who live near the border say that they hear children sobbing and gunshots.”

SPAIN

Spain: Andalusia’s farms feed Europe, but are drowning in plastic waste, France24, 13 October 2021

“Intensive farming is the norm and it helps feed the European market with fruit and vegetables all year long. It also produces an estimated 33,000 tonnes of plastic waste every year. Until two years ago, this waste was exported to countries such as China, Pakistan and Turkey. But now that these countries are refusing to take rubbish from rich countries…”

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