Tag Archives: London

Global Events: Black Lives Matter Protests

Black Lives Matter Globally

As a series of controversial shootings of African-American men by police has renewed attention to the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S., people around the world have stood in solidarity with black Americans seeking to root out racial profiling, excessive use of force, and lack of accountability in U.S. law enforcement. For some, the demonstrations have been defined mostly by a kind of international allyism, but in many parts of the world, the American movement has prompted reflection on the treatment of local black communities—native, historical, and immigrant—by law enforcement, politicians, and broader society. Here is a look at the global demonstrations and solidarity movements in the name of Black Lives Matter: Continue reading Global Events: Black Lives Matter Protests

U.K. News | Muslim Pakistani-British

Sadiq Khan elected mayor of London, first Muslim to hold the post

  • A member of the Labour party, Khan defeated his Conservative opponent Zac Goldsmith with 57% of the vote, ending eight years of Conservative rule of the British capital on pledges to build more affordable housing and freeze fare prices for public transit.
  • Amidst rising Islamophobia throughout the U.K. and Europe as a whole, the mayoral campaign was marred by accusations from Goldsmith and PM David Cameron that Khan, a former human rights lawyer, was connected to extremists.
  • Khan, 45, grew up in a South London housing estate, one of eight children of working-class Pakistani immigrants, and went on to become a lawyer before his election to Parliament in 2005.

Read more:
Sadiq Khan Elected in London, Becoming Its First Muslim Mayor” (The New York Times)
Elections: Labour’s Sadiq Khan promises a ‘better’ London” (BBC)
Top Conservatives condemn Zac Goldsmith’s ‘disgusting’ mayoral campaign” (The Guardian)

May Day || Global

Global May Day 2016

One of the few truly global holidays, International Workers’ Day (May Day) is both a worldwide celebration of the working classes as well as a day to draw attention to ongoing insecurities workers around the world face. May Day has historically had a twofold purpose: a day for workers to voice their concerns over contentious labor policies and for governments to reaffirm their commitments to workers’ rights and just labor practices. At times little more than public relations campaigns and at others violent clashes between governments and workers, global May Day events have highlighted the diverse relationships between labor, employers, and government around the world. Here are the highlights of May Day 2016 in more than 30 countries:


Asia Pacific

Bike rallies were held in Pune as Indian PM Narendra Modi saluted workers on Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas, a public holiday. Pakistan‘s major labor unions convened in Lahore to speak out against poor working conditions, violations of international labor conventions, and ongoing privatization in the country. As Bangladeshi officials addressed labor relations and welfare reforms amidst a day of union-organized programming, in Kathmandu, Nepali workers marched while awaiting the ratification of the Labour Act, which guarantees greater social security for workers. Across the Indian Ocean, Australian union leader singled out penalty rate protection and tax reform as major Labour Day issues, with the date of the holiday having been a point of contention as well.

Throughout East Asia, workers rallied to draw attention to labor conditions and call for reforms, from ending contractualization in the Philippines to protecting job security in South KoreaHong Kong saw thousands take to the streets to demand fair and standardized working hours along with a universal pension program. In Malaysia, PM Najib Razak took the day to announce an increase in the national minimum wage and an insurance scheme proposal.

Europe & Eurasia

In cities across France, tens of thousands marched in protest against proposed labor reforms that would loosen the country’s controversial employment and job security policies. Jeremy Corbyn became the first U.K. Labour party  leader to attend a May Day rally in a half-century when he spoke to a crowd of thousands in London, reaffirming solidarity against anti-immigrant sentiment and addressing anti-Semitism accusations that have plagued his party recently. Spain saw thousands across its cities gather, many protesting ongoing austerity measures. An estimated 800,000 gathered in Rome‘s San Giovanni Square, with this year’s event dedicated to slain Italian student Giulio Regeni.

Some 2,000 convened in rain-soaked Zagreb to hear labor leaders protest the increased retirement age and ongoing poverty in Croatia. Moscow hosted a mass demonstration in the city’s Red Square estimated in size from the tens of thousands to 100,000, while thousands gathered in Istanbul’s Bakirköy district under a heavy police presence in the wake of urban suicide attacks and ongoing violence across Turkey.

The Americas

From New York to Los Angeles, demonstrations in the U.S. highlighted widening economic inequality in the country and an election season marred by racist, xenophobic, and Islamophobic sentiment. While most protests took place without incident, a peaceful march turned violent in Seattle, leading to five injured officers and nine arrests. A similar outbreak in Montreal led to one injury and 10 arrests.

In Latin America, Brazil‘s embattled president and Workers’ Party leader Dilma Roussef rallied alongside hundreds of thousands across the country as her impeachment proceedings continue and workers fear the inauguration of her center-right vice president. Cuba‘s May Day parade continued the national tradition of expressing support for the Castro regime rather than directly celebrating labor or expressing concerns over labor conditions. In Argentina, President Mauricio Macro backed employers and touted labor proposals that had spurred mass demonstrations only days before. Elsewhere in the region, minimum wage increases were announced in Venezuela and Bolivia and a march took place in Santiago as Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced a review of her labor reforms after the Supreme Court rejected a key provision granting exclusive negotiating rights to unions.

Middle East & Africa

Police in Egypt blocked hundreds of workers from assembling in a Cairo office as labor leaders and international organizations called for the government to decriminalize independent union organization. In Israel, more than 5,000 youth marched in Tel Aviv, while a Palestinian trade union renewed its call for the establishment of a minimum wage and the dismantlement of the Gaza blockade. A government-sponsored event in Dubai reportedly drew nearly 200 workers, though labor practices in the UAE continue to draw international scrutiny.

South of the Sahara, events popped up across South Africa as politicians sought to address the country’s high unemployment rate and appeal to workers ahead of August elections. In Nigeria, President Mohammadu Buhari spoke to thousands of workers in Abuja, touting his anti-corruption campaign. A Mozambique labor leader addressed a crowd in Maputo about the debts of state-owned companies and the need for wage and workplace reform. As the decline of oil prices has created economic hardship throughout Angola, the country’s two labor unions marched to draw attention to deteriorating worker conditions and the need for infrastructure maintenance. Workers in Ghana protested the privatization of the management of the state-owned Electric Company of Ghana, while the government insisted the company was still run by the state. Meanwhile, Ethiopia sidestepped Sunday commemorations altogether by moving May Day to May 3, when labor leaders plan to highlight ongoing struggles to organize Ethiopian workers.

UK News | Racial Minorities

Investigation finds London’s Metropolitan police force took no disciplinary action on more than 200 racial discrimination complaints over year
  • The Met received 245 complaints of racial discrimination by police officers between March 2014 and February 2015, with five resulting in managerial action and the rest being dismissed.
  • Complaints were often dismissed as “poor communication,” although five officers received three or more allegations of discrimination.
  • The police force is looking to address fraught relations with London’s ethnic minority communities as only 11% of its ranks come from minority backgrounds while 40% of London’s population does.

“[The Met is] shown to be effectively immune from any accountability. We need a truly independent body that carries the confidence of the communities affected by police abuses of power. The police cannot be trusted to investigate themselves.”

Read more:
No racial discrimination complaints against Met police upheld” (The Guardian)
Met chief admits institutional racism claims have ‘some justification’” (The Guardian)

(Image Credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images, via the Guardian)

U.K. News | Muslims

London’s Islamophobia Uptick

Image Credit: YouTube, via BuzzFeed
Image Credit: YouTube, via BuzzFeed

With reported Islamophobic incidents in the city having increased by 70% over the last year, London’s Muslims share stories of the harassment they have faced at work, in school, on public transportation, and in many of the other areas of public life. From threats to name-calling to “jokes,” four Muslims share their stories of Islamophobic harassment with BuzzFeed News, including three women who share how the intersection of gender further compounds vulnerability.

Read the full feature at BuzzFeed News.

U.K. News | HIV+

London HIV clinic accidentally divulges names of nearly 800 patients
  • 56 Dean Street, one of London’s biggest HIV clinics, revealed 780 names and e-mail addresses through an e-mail newsletter, which directors said was the result of human error.
  • Patients indicated that they saw names of people on the list whose HIV status had been undisclosed to them previously, worrying them about the fallout.
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office, Britain’s data protection watchdog, announced it was investigating the breach.

“I am a bit paranoid that somehow the list might be shared or end up published on the internet somewhere. I know that is a bit unlikely but it still terrifies me. I am worried that if there is legal action [for breach of privacy] my anonymity will be further compromised as well.”

Read the full story at the Guardian.

(Image Credit: Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust/Video grab, via the Guardian)

U.K. News | Black British Men

Black in London

Four years following the protests and riots that broke out following the death of black Londoner Mark Duggan, relations between the black community and law enforcement remain tense. Black men in particular express anxiety over police interactions and face targeting through stop-and-search policies. BuzzFeed News reflects on developments since Duggan’s death and the spaces black men turn to for camaraderie and relief.

“When you fail to make people in your country feel like the country belongs to them, you have riots.”

Read the full feature at BuzzFeed News.

(Image Credit: Shyamantha Asokan/BuzzFeed)