Social Scientists Against the Hostile Environment invite you to our first webinar of 2022/23:

21 November 2022 5-6.30 pm on Zoom

Register on EventBrite for a joining link

The Conservative government’s new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act (2022) enacts major changes to crime and justice in England and Wales. It includes punitive measures against protest, which will likely be used against anti-racist and anti-fascist movements. It includes disproportionate punishment for damage to monuments, framed in response to global Black Lives Matters actions. The evidence is clear that more punitive policing disproportionately affects racialised minorities. The new law also includes provisions on trespass aimed at criminalising Traveller and Gypsy people by making forms of roadside stopping a criminal offence, which will further erode the right to nomadism. Other provisions target migrants, with an increase in immigration officers’ access to electronic data, potentially discriminatory measures targeting “foreign offenders”, and new routes to draw migrants into the deportation system – while some senior police officers have argued that it will make it harder to prosecute those exploiting precarious migrants.

Since the passage of the Act, Priti Patel’s successor as Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, has promoted a further deepening of the hostile environment against migrants. A new Public Order Bill which further criminalises protest has been passed through its first parliamentary stages. Scandalous Home Office failures to protect and fairly treat arriving and detained migrant adults and children have become increasingly manifest. The far right has been emboldened to intensify direct action against migrants and against migrant solidarity protestors, including acting as self-appointed police or border guards; most recently, a far right activist has carried out a suicide firebomb attack on a processing centre in Kent, which mainstream politicians have been reluctant to call a terrorist incident.

In this webinar, we will hear a critical social scientific and criminological perspective on the 2022 Act and subsequent policing policies, and accounts of how they are impacting on migrant communities, anti-racist activism and Roma, Traveller and Gypsy communities, including in Kent around the detentions centres, prisons and arrival points.

Speakers:

  • Introduction: Nira Yuval-Davis, UEL, for SSAHE
  • Dr Samuel Burgum, Lecturer in Sociology, Birmingham City University | Damage, Disruption, Distress: Unsettling the Police Bill
  • Dr Monish Bhatia, Lecturer in Criminology | The impact of policing law on migrants and refugees
  • Christian Algar, local activist in Kent with Freedom From Manston and Channel Rescue, and Kate Adams, Kent Refugee Help, in dialogue with Bahriye Kemal, University of Kent, on the current situation in Manston
  • Chairs/organisers: Ben Gidley, Birkbeck; Karim Murji, University of West London; Aaron Winter, Lancaster
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