Report, Support, Resolve

There are many report systems in place which means no matter who you are or what has happened you can report and people will listen.

Students can be directed to support through the uni, including steps on how to report a Hate incident to the uni.  You can report anonymously or report and get support through Report and Support.  There is some specific information available on reporting  hate crime .

If the incident is specifically muslim related there is the option to report it to Tell MAMA, who are Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks and can support through the process. tellmamauk.org 

For Anti-Semitic hate crimes or incidents there is the  CST website who like Tell MAMA will support through the process and help where possible. cst.org.uk

Hate crimes, no matter the reason behind them, may also be reported through the True Vision website. Similar to CST and Tell MAMA the True vision site allows a report to be issued no matter what the hate crime. www.report-it.org.uk

Finally any Hate Crime or incident may be reported to your local police station at any time by any one. Support can be received through citizens advice. If there is a wish to stay anonymous you may also call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 to report a Hate Crime.

No matter who you speak to, what organisation you report it to, please do report any Hate Crime you witness or experience. Nobody has to, nor should they, deal with it alone. We all stand together.

WWWW: Welcome, Who, What, Why?

Welcome to Stand Together, SHU’s blog regarding Hate Crime and Harassment.

Who are we?

This blog is run by students, who have created these posts in order to raise awareness around the situations involving Hate Crime or harassment that are important to them.

What is the aim?

The aim of this blog is a safe space to raise awareness of Hate Crime and Harassment that students are interested in or are affected by. This can be through personal experience; all information is provided freely and if personal stories are wanting to be shared this can be done anonymously.

Why does the Blog exist?

Standing Together is SHU’s response to the Universities UK Changing the Culture initiative. This initiative was created as there were many cases of harassment, hate crime, or sexual violence, and universities may not always have responded effectively. Through Standing together SHU wishes to raise awareness and let students know that they won’t be unheard. Someone will be there, someone will listen.

Sheffield LGBT+ Leaders call for cancellation of Franklin Graham Tour

Franklin Graham is coming to visit 8 UK cities later this year as part of his tour which has already sparked protests in Florida.  One of the dates includes Sheffield Arena on 6th June. Graham is a close friend of Donald Trump and preached at his inauguration. He is the son of the late preacher, Billy Graham, who was also close to American presidents and preached to thousands of Christians across America.

Franklin Graham has previously said that he believes gay marriage is a sin.

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The Arena is managed by Sheffield City Trust and they have said they do not endorse Graham’s views but support the right to free speech. This has sparked criticism by community leaders in Sheffield who wrote a letter expressing their concern that his visit could lead to protests. The Bishop of Sheffield has also said, “Graham’s rhetoric is inflammatory and represents a risk to the social cohesion of Sheffield.” There has been widespread fury in the LGBT+ community and they have also called for the event to be cancelled.

22 members of the LGBT+ community, including members of the Sheffield Equality Hub Network, Sheffield Bi and Pan Social Group, the Progressive Catholic Church and the University of Sheffield have written a letter to the head of Sheffield City Trust, David Grey, stating:

“Franklin Graham has repeatedly publicly promoted his homophobic beliefs including, but not limited to, branding homosexuality a ‘sin’, claiming Satan was the architect of same-sex marriage and LGBT rights, claiming gay people existing are causing a ‘moral 9/11’, declared gay people ‘the enemy’ of civilisation and advocates for the highly damaging abusive practice of gay conversion therapy.

We believe that these statements far exceed freedom of speech and are direct hate speech… which should not be welcomed in our city, or anywhere else.”

David Grey was reported by The Guardian as saying he had talked to faith leaders as well as South Yorkshire Police and  responded saying there was “a potential conflict between these two moral stances”.  He said that the event was not open to the public and “if individuals or groups aren’t breaking the law then their right to speak freely should be respected”.

The Guardian also reported that Heather Paterson, LGBT+ chair at the Equality Hub Network in the city and one of the signatories to the letter, said: “While Sheffield City Trust defend their position on the grounds of ‘free speech’, hate speech is not free speech. Graham’s rhetoric demonising some of our most vulnerable communities, referring to us as the enemies of civilisation and advocating for the harmful and abusive practice of conversion therapy, inspires and encourages these attacks. As a community we stand together to reject his attempts to spread further hatred and division in our city.”

On 25th January there will be a demonstration, at the Forge International Sports Centre, against Graham’s appearance: “Sheffield Against Hate Demo: Say No To Franklin Graham”.

Graham is also due to speak at the O2 arena and a petition has been started online to protest against his hate speech.

Freedom of speech should be respected. However, when freedom of speech promotes hatred against other people and has the potential to cause hate crime attacks, it needs to be stopped.

 

India’s New Citizenship Law

The Indian government is currently led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. At the beginning of December India passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) which provides citizenship to religious minorities (Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian) from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The government have said the bill will give “sanctuary to people fleeing religious persecution”. However, there has been widespread criticism of the bill saying it is part of the party’s agenda to marginalise Muslims.

The United Nations have expressed their concern:  “Although India’s broader naturalization laws remain in place, these amendments will have a discriminatory effect on people’s access to nationality”, said Jeremy Laurence, a spokesperson with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

During December 2019 there were protests reported by the media which showed people across India condemning the government’s actions. The protests were led by Muslims, those supporting Muslims, and others from people who live on the borders of India. The people who live on the borders of the country feel the Amendment will result in an increase in migration to their areas. The bill has received criticism from opposition as it violates the country’s secular constitution. The constitution forbids religious discrimination against Indian citizens, and guarantees all persons equality before the law and equal protection of the law. The new Amendment however brings religion as a focus of citizenship requirements which violates the cores of the constitution.

On 8th January 2020 the largest-ever strike happened in India where an estimated 250 million workers went on strike to protest against the government’s economic policies and divisive politics. The strike included workers from industries, coal, steel, oil, bankers, transport, ports, government offices, scheme workers, farmers and rural labourers. In addition private industries also took part from engineering, automobiles, transport, metals, textiles and power amongst others. This caused disruption across the country with many trains, buses and taxis not working and services forced to close. Over 60 universities and their affiliated colleges took part with thousands of students joining in protest marches and boycotting classes.

Despite the government warning public sector employees to not participate in the strike their warning was ignored. As Newsclick reported “Demands of the striking workers/employees include increase in minimum wages, reining in rising prices, policies to curb raging joblessness, rollback of hostile labour law changes, end to public sector sell-off, curbing contract and casual work.”

However, the other demand from the strikers is for the withdrawal of the communal citizenship laws and to end attacks on protesters and minorities. So far, the government have not conceded and protests are expected to continue.

This video from DW News goes into more detail about the CAB protests:

 

 

A Culture of Disbelief

Photo taken from The Telegraph showing women rights activists outside the court in Cyprus

The #metoo movement sparked a rise in women sharing their stories on social media and coming forward to talk about sexual abuse that had happened to them. However there is still a “culture of disbelief” as reported to Inews by Dame Vera Baird, the Victims Commissioner for England and Wales. This unfortunately stops victims from reporting crimes and obtaining the justice they deserve. There was a 25% drop in rape conviction prosecutions in 2018-19, a disturbing drop for the second year running.  This was despite a record number of 57,882 reported incidents. This means that only 3.3% of cases reported ended in a conviction. This is worrying news for campaigners who support women and for victims that need justice.

At the moment the British Foreign Office is trying to intervene in the case of a 19 year old girl who could face up to a year in jail. The young girl had reported to Cypriot authorities that she had been raped by 12 men on the island of Ayia Napa. The British girl is only 19. She was interrogated by Cypriot police for 9 hours without access to a solicitor, before retracting her statement at 2am in the morning. The girl has since said she was bullied into retracting her statement. The men involved were freed and allowed to go home whilst the young girl was then remanded in custody for a month. On the 30th December the girl was convicted of “public mischief” with the judge saying that she lied about being gang raped. The alleged perpetrators had also filmed the event without her consent but video evidence was not allowed in court. The alleged perpetrators were also not charged with revenge porn.

The girl’s legal team are planning to appeal her conviction to a suspended sentence so that she can return to the UK.  However, due to delays in the island’s Supreme Court, she could now face up to a wait of 8 years before she can clear her name, before going to the European Court of Human Rights if needed.

Her mother has talked to the BBC and reported that her daughter is suffering from PTSD, hypersomnia and paralysing hallucinations, as well as becoming very withdrawn. “‘She needs to get back to the UK to get that treated – that’s my absolute primary focus. She can’t be treated here because hearing foreign men speaking loudly will trigger an episode.”

The story has resulted in widespread outrage with online campaigns starting such as #BoycottCyprus and a petition to drop the charges against her There has also been a gofundme page set up to support the girl: Help teen victim get justice in Cyprus and over £100,000 has been raised so far.

It is now 2020 and sadly this case again highlights the atrocity of a prevailing culture of disbelief amongst members of authority when victims come forward, as well as the devastating impact this can have on an individual and those closest to them. This culture needs to change so that victims can get the justice they deserve and perpetrators of crimes can be convicted.

You can take part in 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence which is run every year across the world, between 25th November and 10th December, leading up to the UN International day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Sheffield Hallam University runs events each year which you can get involved in as well as other events being held across the city.

If you are a woman or a man who needs support as a victim of rape there are a list of useful numbers and websites on the This Morning website here: https://www.itv.com/thismorning/rape-helplines you can also talk to someone at the University here: https://reportandsupport.shu.ac.uk/

Take a stand against Antisemitism

We must unite together!

During December antisemitic graffiti and violence was reported in both America and the UK. On the evening of Saturday 28th December 2019 antisemitic graffiti was sprayed on shop windows and a synagogue wall in the Hampstead area of north London. The graffiti depicted the red cross of David as well as 9/11.

Tulip Siddiq, Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn tweeted her disgust and disbelief at the attacks.

Camden councillor Oliver Cooper tweeted a picture of “9.11” on the wall of the South Hampstead synagogue  “This is a place of peace and prayer, desecrated by the world’s oldest hatred,” he said.

Sir Keir Starmer Labour MP for Holborn said the graffiti was disgusting and that we should stand with the Jewish community against antisemitism.

Councillor Georgia Gould (Leader of Camden Council), Keir Starmer (MP for Holborn and St Pancras) and Tulip Siddiq (MP for Hampstead and Kilburn) have released the following joint statement (which can be read in full here).

“As the Leader of Camden and MPs for Hampstead and Kilburn, and Holborn and St Pancras, we are horrified at the anti-Semitic graffiti that has been drawn on buildings around Hampstead and Belsize Park, including South Hampstead Synagogue. Camden is and always will be no place for hate. We stand together with all of our Jewish residents and our whole community in saying these cowardly pedlars of hate do not represent Camden and our values. We are proud to have a strong, vibrant Jewish community as part of our beautiful borough.

This is not an isolated incident and we must all confront the rising tide of hate crime and antisemitism in the UK. Now is the moment to find the courage to confront hatred and prejudice wherever we see it.”

Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn sent his “love and solidarity to Jewish communities around the world”

Eminent historian Simon Schama, whose books include The Story of the Jews, commented: “Taken together with the stabbings in New York something truly monstrous is rising from the slime.”

Rabbi Sacks, a faith leader, philosopher and author echoes the thoughts that action needs to be taken now:

Since the attacks have happened the graffiti has been removed and the Metropolitan Police have launched an investigation into racially motivated hate crime.

What can you do?

It is important that we all stand together against antisemitism and all forms of hate crime and racism. You can join the protests on UN anti-racism day on Saturday 21st March. There is a March Against Racism being held in London from 12:00 – 16:00. More details are available by clicking here.

If you witness any anti-Semitic hate crime such as violence, abuse, or vandalism – please contact the police on 101 and the @CST_UK on  0800 0323263.

Hate Crime Towards Women

The life of a woman..
It had been a cold winter’s night, Jyoti had been travelling back home from her trip to the cinema. Little did she know this would be the last time she would take the bus back home, the last time she could enjoy a movie with her friends.
As she waited for her bus to arrive, she had noticed 5 other passengers, all young men. The doors closed behind her; trapped.
The past hour states how sickening the world is towards women. Jyoti Singh had been raped by all men within the bus, including the driver himself. She and her fellow friend had been left on the road side in the dusk of night and had later passed away, with her dreams of attending medical school with her.
This short description states how women, till this day, are seen as ‘objects’. This HATE CRIME TOWARDS THE FEMALE GENDER MUST END ! No- one should deserve to die like this. It is important for us to end hate crime towards women and hopefully this insight of Jyoti’s story may impact many to begin to treat women equally..
BY: Natasha Janagol

Hate Crimes v Politics

Every general election the topics of Hate Crimes, discrimination and racism appear; this year Hate Incidents have appeared within the political parties themselves. Both leading parties seem to have issues revolving around Hate and Discrimination.

How can Hate Crime be reduced when the leaders of the country have issues with discrimination in their own parties? Has this given permission for people to be more racist? Hate crime has more than doubled since 2013 (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/oct/15/hate-crimes-double-england-wales)

One party has members that claims Muslims have a ‘nasty culture’ and always play the ‘race card’ (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/09/tory-candidate-linden-kemkaran-shared-tweet-claiming-muslims-play-race-card). This way of thinking and blatant discrimination is embodied by their leader too. There are many instances of the leader stating their opinion on Islam and Muslims; going as far as stating that Islam is the problem and that women in niqabs look like letterboxes and bank robbers.(https://inews.co.uk/opinion/general-election-results-2019-boris-johnson-conservative-majority-muslim-woman-1340462).This leader’s remarks and actions have been seen to ‘encourage’ racism within football as the UEFA president remarked (https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/03/football/boris-johnson-ceferin-racism-football-spt-intl/index.html)

Another party appears to have issues within itself when it comes to Anti-Semitism; Anti-Semitism being the specific name to hatred towards people of the Jewish faith. There has been sworn statements from party members about the anti-Semitic abuse they suffer within the party; including being called Zio scum, child killer and being told Hitler was right. (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/05/seventy-labour-staffers-give-statements-to-antisemitism-inquiry). There have been around 673 reports made within 10 months on this (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-43893791).

The issues within the parties has not been unnoticed by the public, especially when some members of the leading party have shown their contempt for Muslims. It is no wonder that the rate of Hate Crimes, especially on Muslim and Jewish victims, has increased the past 5 years since the Muslim hating party has been in power. The statistics show that there has been a significant increase in both Jewish and Muslim hate crimes. 47% of religious Hate Crime were against Muslims while Jewish Hate Crimes were doubled to 18%. Hate crimes have increased in all aspects, doubling in five years. (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/oct/15/hate-crimes-double-england-wales)

Islamophobic incidents were reportedly risen by 375% after the ‘letterbox’ remark (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/boris-johnson-muslim-women-letterboxes-burqa-islamphobia-rise-a9088476.html ).With the Jewish community being a target four times a day within 2017 (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/feb/01/antisemitic-incidents-in-uk-at-all-time-high ).

The increase in Hate Crimes has been reported in many areas. Just recently antisemitic incident happened in London (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/antisemitic-hate-crimes-london-bus-attack-jewish-man-stamford-hill-a9246301.html). Also there was a hate incident in Sheffield supposedly due to the fact of the election outcome, (https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/politics/hate-crime-culprits-sheffield-suburb-emboldened-boris-johnson-1341719).  If this is how people are treated in public it is no wonder there is an issue with university students and Hate crime and Harassment.

By Ryan Minion, Serish Khan and Zalmea Naseem.

 

WONKHE blog on the Prevent guidance in HE

WONKHE, a blog for people with an interest in Higher Education policy, has published an article about the implementation of Prevent and the kind of research that has been undertaken to scrutinise its effect on campus communities.  Continue reading

CST Anti-Semitic Discourse Report for 2017

The Community Security Trust released their annual report on anti-Semitic discourse on 30th November 2018.  This report looks at antisemitic ideas and language, and the coverage of antisemitism in general,  in mainstream media, politics and public debate.  The CST also provide an annual report of antisemitic incidents.  For more information and the full report, visit the CST website.

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