May 1st, 2012
The following is a poignant article written by Katharine Quarmby - author of ‘Scapegoat: Why We Are Failing Disabled People’ – highlighting why the Leveson Inquiry must not keep ignoring the devastating effects that irresponsible reporting by some the British press has had on people with disabilities.
“Module One of the judge led Leveson inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the British press following the phone-hacking scandal at News of the World, took evidence in Module One of the relationship between the press and the public. The list of core participants, many of whom gave oral evidence at the inquiry for this module read like a roll-call from British public life, including celebrities such as the singer Charlotte Church and the actor Hugh Grant, as well as more private individuals affected deeply by press intrusion, including the McCann family and Christopher Jefferies, who was arrested in connection with the murder of Joanna Yates, and later released without charge. A number of politicians and police officers also gave evidence.
The organisation Inclusion London, along with 10 disabled peoples’ organisations and individuals (including me and my friend and former colleague, the journalist John Pring), also submitted evidence to be considered in Module One – about the way in which the press writes about disabled people, particularly recently during the war on words regarding the reform of disability benefits. (The NUJ is also submitting evidence on this.)
We sat back and waited – hoping that at least one organisation would be called to give oral evidence about the effect that some inaccurate and unbalanced reporting of disability benefits was having on individual disabled people on the streets and in their homes. We were given to understand that it would either be dealt with in Module One or on Module Four on Regulation – or both. One organisation eventually contacted Leveson this week to see if there was any progress and was told that all our evidence had been considered – but was not considered important enough to deserve oral session. This is despite the evidence about the effect of such drip-feeding of lies, damn lies and statistics (a recent study has demonstrated that due to such reporting, the public now believes that between 50-75% of disability benefit claims are fraudulent, when the government’s own figures estimate it as less than 1%)
Why? Why is it not important when disabled individuals are attacked in the street, partly because of pernicious stories put about by newspapers? Why is wheelchair user Peter Greener’s experience of three months of harassment because his neighbour had once seen him walking and branded him a scrounger not important? I believe that journalists, including myself, have a responsibility to report accurately and, crucially, to contextualise. I believe that some journalists are over-hyping the extent of disability benefit fraud and are getting away with it while disabled people are paying the price.
I believe that Lord Justice Leveson, and his tax-payer funded inquiry, should do something about it. This inquiry should not merely hear the famous victims of newspaper harassment, or those who have become famous, unwillingly and in great pain, because of individual tragedy. This inquiry should also hear those silenced and fearful voices from a whole community which is trying to speak out – of the disabled victims who just make it into the local newspapers because they have been tipped out of their wheelchairs or shouted at in the street because of irresponsible newspaper reporting using the dangerous rhetoric of “scroungers” and other pernicious untruths. Leveson owes it to those individuals, who are not famous, who won’t necessarily make the headlines, but who deserve justice, to hear their stories – to honour their pain, and to question those reporters who are, at least, partly responsible.” Source: The Huffington Post, 27th April 2012.
April 23rd, 2012
Treat yourself to a relaxing night of delicious cuisine, entertainment and world music with Stop Hate UK at the Headingley Heart Enterprise and Arts (HEART) Centre on the 18th May 2012. For the first time – we can offer a ‘Dinner and Drum Night’, an evening of enjoyment and merriment with African drumming by The Abatimbo Burundi Drummers, an appetising hot buffet, and the chance to win exciting prizes in our raffle!
The food on offer includes a Thai green curry or mixed bean chilli, both of which will be served with deli salad.
Please join us for our memorable evening of socialising and merriment, we look forward to seeing you there!
Advance tickets only. For reservation or to inquire more information – please contact us on:
or, telephone 0113 293 5100
Click for more info - http://www.facebook.com/events/237731449644781/
April 17th, 2012
The first of the three April Acts of Remembrance will take place on Tuesday 17th April, starting with a small gathering at the side of the Iceland store, Brixton. Lighting three candles to represent the three communities that were devastated by David Copeland’s bombing campaign thirteen years ago, we will then walk to Windrush Square for a few words of remembrance.
17th April – Brixton (http://172430notohatecrime.wordpress.com/brixton-17/)
24th April – Brick Lane (http://172430notohatecrime.wordpress.com/brick-lane-24/)
30th April – Soho (http://172430notohatecrime.wordpress.com/soho-30/)
April 17th, 2012
Would you like to be involved in supporting this annual and historicaly successful event in becoming the best year yet?
Saturday 16th June 09:30 – 17:00
The football tournament aims:
• to help people from the different refugee and BME groups to meet one another
• to help improve relationships between different refugee and BME groups
• to help improve relationships with the local people in Leeds
• to help give a positive image of people from refugee and BME groups
Can you assist with:
• Volunteering to organise event
• Volunteering to help on the day
• Entertainment on the day
• Activities for children or women
• Have a team who may be interested
• Have any ideas on how to make this event more successful
I would love to get as many diverse groups input as possible if you would like to be involved please contact me. (see details below)
c/o Refugee Council, c/o Retas Leeds,
Hurley House, 233-237 Roundhay Road,
1 Dewsbury Road, Leeds,
Leeds, LS8 4HS.
March 27th, 2012
Social landlords have a legal obligation to protect vulnerable tenants from disability-related hate crime. Emily Rogers finds out how they can recognise and stop abuse before it’s too late.
March 27th, 2012
An interesting read, well worth a look.
February 27th, 2012
A first UK helpline for victims of Islamophobia is being set up amid concerns that incidents are not being reported or properly categorised.
Last year 2,000 hate crimes were recorded against different faiths in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Police say it is unclear how many were against Muslims as separate figures were not recorded.
Faith Matters, a non-profit group, hopes to show the scale of the problem and provide support for victims.
“Many people think that Islamophobic crime does not exist. They say: ‘Where is the data?’” said the director of Faith Matters, Fiyaz Mughal.
He is setting up the project Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks (MAMA) with the help of government funding.
“This is a chance for the Muslim community to say: ‘Let us present the case, in terms of the facts, let somebody collate it and present it to the authorities.’
“If someone has suffered abuse, been attacked or received a leaflet with inflammatory comments about Muslims in it, I want to hear about it.”
The police are required by the Home Office to record all hate crime – this includes crime on the basis of race, sexual orientation, gender, disability and faith.
Anti-Islamic crime is currently grouped together with faith hate crimes against Christians, Hindus and Sikhs.
Anti-Semitic incidents are recorded separately and Faith Matters wants Islamophobic incidents to also be in their own category. According to their research, only 14 police forces out of 44 collate information about Islamophobic crime.
Anti-Semitic hate crimes have been recorded separately since 2006 in response to a request from the government following an inquiry into anti-Semitism, said a spokesperson for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo.)
“A significant challenge in identifying other hate crimes for other religious groups is that many victims consider the crimes to be racist. Given that Muslims originate from all ethnicities it would not be possible to identify such victims from within racist crime data.
“While we do not publish national data on anti-Muslim hate crimes, it is important to stress that all police forces maintain their local hate crime data.”
Fear of Islam and Muslims is on the increase, according to Dr Leon Moosavi, an academic based at Lancaster University who has studied Islamophobia. “It is a widespread problem in the UK,” he said. “More education is needed in schools, and Muslims need to also educate people about their faith.”
Media reports of anti-Muslim incidents are monitored by Islamophobia Watch, Engage and the Islamic Human Rights Commission, but none are able to offer a personal service to victims.
Source & more info: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17063513
February 20th, 2012
Treat yourself to a relaxing evening of delicious cuisine, music and entertainment at our Supper Night, in conjunction with HEART at the Headingley Heart Enterprise and Arts centre. Enjoy a night of professional African drumming with The Abatimbo Burundi Drummers, complimented by an appetising hot buffet and followed by the chance to win a prize in a raffle!
The food on offer includes a Thai green curry or mixed bean chilli, both of which will be served with salad.
So please join us for our memorable evening of socialising and merriment—we look forward to seeing you there!
Pre-sale of tickets only: for reservation or to inquire more information – please contact us on:
or, tel. 0113 293 5100
Click link for more info - http://www.facebook.com/events/237731449644781/
February 20th, 2012
A record number of people were prosecuted for racially and religiously-motivated hate crimes in England and Wales last year.
Some 13,276 people came before the courts for such crimes in 2010-11. The Crown Prosecution Service said many had involved assaults or verbal abuse.
Of the cases that concluded last year, more than 80% resulted in convictions.
The prosecutions total is the highest since hate crime statistics were first compiled in 2005-06.
In all, the CPS brought 15,284 hate crime prosecutions, also including cases where people were apparently targeted based on sexuality or disability, or for being transsexual or transgender.
The vast majority of prosecutions – 12,711 – were for racially-motivated offences.
Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC said: “All crime is unacceptable but offences that are driven by hostility or hatred based on personal characteristics are particularly damaging to any civilised society.”
The proportion of guilty pleas in hate crime cases has crept up over the last couple of years, which Mr Starmer said showed prosecutors were building stronger cases.
“The increase in guilty pleas benefits the victims of these crimes, many of whom would find giving evidence a stressful ordeal,” he said.
Figures also showed a record number of people – 2,822 – prosecuted for crimes against older people.
These were calculated separately from the hate crimes total because there is no statutory definition of a crime against an older person.
Mervyn Kohler, of Age UK, said: “The escalating crime numbers is more likely to reflect the growing – and welcome – sophistication of the police and the CPS in this field, rather than signal a systemically ageist society.”
Mr Starmer highlighted the prison sentences handed down last week for three men in Derby found guilty of a gay hate crime after handing out leaflets calling for homosexual people to be executed.
It was the first prosecution of its kind since a law against stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation came into force in 2010.
“This was the first case of its kind in British legal history and a significant step forward for us in protecting the LGB [lesbian, gay and bisexual] community,” Mr Starmer said.
Source: BBC News