Read more and download the report here.
Beyond the Hostile Environment is a new report by think-tank IPPR. It is the full report after the interim, Access denied. Over the past decade, the government has rolled out a series of measures with the specific aim of creating a ‘hostile environment’ for people who are currently residing in the UK without immigration status. These measures prevent people without the correct status from accessing employment, housing, public funds, free healthcare, and financial services, and are designed to encourage them to leave the UK of their own accord. In this final report, IPPR assesses six different policy options for addressing the adverse impacts of the hostile environment on individuals and communities and for reforming the current system of immigration enforcement.
Read more and download the report here.
In a recent article in the Independent, Noah Berlatsky comments on the speech by Donald Trump's defence lawyer Bruce Castor, one that has been universally castigated as bumbling and incompetent. Berlatsky strikingly states that: "the truth is that Castor could have stood up for two hours and made farting noises with his underarm, and his client would still be acquitted." Republican senators have already indicated that they will vote to acquit before hearing the evidence, never mind weighing up, the merits of the case. The GOP is a white identity party, committed to traditional hierarchies of race, gender, sexuality, religion, and wealth. Trump is their perfect president because he shows "that the only qualification for rule is to be white, straight, Christian, male and rich".
Ta-Nehisi Coates 2017 article "The First White President" for the Atlantic argued that Trump is "a white man who would not be president were it not for this fact" – meaning he was the president who had no qualifications, talents, accomplishments, or experience to his name other than his identity as a wealthy white man.
Berlatsky continues: "White supremacy is not actually an ideology of superiority. It’s at base an ideology of entitled inefficacy. The Trump ethos is that the most incompetent, foolish, evil white man in the country is worthy to rule simply because he is a white man." Protecting that privilege seems to matter more to Republican senators than the rights and wrongs of the January 6 Capitol invasion and Trump's role in inciting it, even though theirs were among the lives endangered.
Read the full article here.
Manchester City Council has announced a public consultation on who should be remembered in public spaces as part of a review of statues, monuments and memorials in the city. The council says it is not looking to ‘eradicate’ some of Manchester’s past but to instead understand its ‘history, heritage, and the context around it’. Mancunian's views will be sought on the appropriateness of existing pieces of art. This will also shape policy on artworks that will be commissioned and displayed in the future.
A review of every statue in Manchester was announced days after Black Lives Matter protestors marched through cities across the UK last year. Approval has already been given for a statue of Len Johnson, a black boxer from Clayton who was denied championship bouts because of the colour of his skin.
The consultation is being supported by charity Manchester Histories. Read more here. See the consultation here.
A 157-page audit by Historic England, the public body responsible for preserving buildings and monuments, has identified hundreds of sites around Britain with links to the slave trade, including schools, farms, pubs and gravestones. The list includes halls, churches and entire villages have been linked to the “transatlantic slavery economy”.
The research “identified the tangible presence of England’s slavery past in buildings, houses, streets, industrial heritage, urban fabrics and rural landscapes”. The report states: "The transatlantic slavery economy was invested in the built environment of the local area in housing, civic society organisations, churches, village halls, farms, shooting lodges, hotels." As an example, Nunnington in North Yorkshire has been included because a slaver built a school and houses there.
Completed last summer, just after the toppling of statue of Edward Colston, the report is more comprehensive than the National Trust review limited to stately homes, but still does not address all "tombs, monuments and memorials of individuals and families made wealthy from associations with the Atlantic slave economy"
Historic England said the audit would “identify significant gaps in knowledge that can be targeted ... to produce a more complete picture of the impact of Atlantic slavery on the built environment in England”
Conservative MP Nigel Mills has accused the report of being a "Waste of time", claiming: “What happened hundreds of years ago was wrong. But we don’t need to constantly berate ourselves for it.”
Read more here and here. Download the report here.
The Black Lives Matter movement has encouraged many people around the world and in the UK to reflect more deeply on issues of race, colonialism and social justice. As a small contribution to this, the Ascension Trust and Urban Expression are offering this online course.
A high calibre line-up of speakers includes Robert Beckford, Kate Coleman, Les Isaac, Bev Thomas, Stuart Murray-Williams, Ronald Nathan and Ben Lindsay.
Running for 8 weeks in 2 blocks of 4 (April 29, May , 13, 20; June 3. 10. 17. 24), it is hoped that participants will:
Cost is £80 (£40 unwaged). Places are limited. For more information and to book visit the course website.
This free webinar, hosted by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), and looking ahead to Racial Justice Sunday on February 14, will take place on Wednesday February 10th, 7:30-8:30pm.
Last year marked the 25th anniversary of RJS, a date which coincided with the killing of George Floyd, the upsurge of the Black Lives Matter movement, and a pandemic which continues to disproportionately impact Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.
This webinar will include some of the keenest minds in our churches who will explore what racial justice looks like in church and society and discuss what steps need to be put in place to turn all the conversations we heard last year into palpable, significant action toward justice, equity and inclusion.
The latest information, views and news from MJR.