Jenna Loyd https://www.opendemocracy.net/taxonomy/term/20652/all cached version 14/02/2019 10:21:37 en In a world of commonplace horrors, how do we talk about the refugee crisis? https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/imogen-tyler-jenna-lloyd/in-world-of-commonplace-horrors-how-do-we-talk-about-ref <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>All summer, the news has broadcast images of overloaded boats, discarded life-jackets, and dead children on Mediterranean beaches. When the violence of inequality becomes ordinary, we no longer imagine alternatives.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none caption-xlarge'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/549501/8342263.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title="Refugees arrive on Lesbos, August 2015. Demotix/Tasos Markou. All rights reserved."><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/549501/8342263.jpg" alt="Refugees arrive on Lesbos, August 2015. Demotix/Tasos Markou. All rights reserved." title="Refugees arrive on Lesbos, August 2015. Demotix/Tasos Markou. All rights reserved." width="460" height="306" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Refugees arrive on Lesbos, August 2015. Demotix/Tasos Markou. All rights reserved.</span></span></span></p><blockquote><p>This is my family.<br />Baba, mama, baby all washed up on the shore. This is 28 shoeless survivors and thousands of bodies.<br />Bodies Syrian, Bodies Somali, Bodies Afghan, Bodies Ethiopian, Bodies Eritrean.<br />Bodies Palestinian.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Jehan Bseiso, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://electronicintifada.net/content/poem-no-search-no-rescue/14461">"No Search, No Rescue"</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, 2015.</span></p></blockquote> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Ursula Le Guin’s dystopian novel </span><em>The Dispossessed</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> (1974) is set on a moon called Anarres, where an anarchist community established itself after breaking away from the capitalist mother-planet Urras. During a history lesson, children in Anarres are shown archival film footage of a beach on Urras, which speaks to the horrific visual iconography of contemporary Europe. The film’s voiceover provides a commentary upon the images in the film:</span></p> <p><blockquote>“Bodies of children dead of starvation and disease are burned on the beaches. On the beaches of Tius, seven hundred kilometres away … women kept for the sexual use of male members of the propertied class lie on the sand all day until dinner is served to them by people of the unpropertied class”.&nbsp; A close-up of dinnertime; soft mouths champing and smiling, smooth hands reaching out for delicacies wetly mounded in silver bowls. Then a switch back to the blind blunt face of a dead child, mouth open, empty, black, dry. “Side by side,” the quiet voice … said. (Ursula Le Guin, <em>The Dispossessed</em>, 1974).</blockquote></p> <p>Reading the news this summer has involved negotiating similarly jarring images: people desperately paddling towards Mediterranean beaches on overloaded dinghies while tourists sunbathe amidst the flotsam of failed crossings, and the growing piles of discarded lifejackets. In contemporary Europe, previously segregated images of tourists and migrants are now captured within the same visual frame. “It is surreal”, Greek photojournalist Yannis Behrakis commented, <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/it-is-surreal-the-tragic-situation-of-migrants-arriving-among-greek-tourists-every-morning-10462172.html">witnessing the</a> "migrants arriving on the beach each day among tourists and posh hotels". </p> <p>This year alone, we know that at least 500,000 people have made their way to Europe by perilous sea-crossings, and an estimated 3000 of these have drowned en route. And let us be clear: this ‘refugee crisis’ is really a crisis of international borders, neo-colonialism, and imperialism. European border-control policies turn voyages to safety, freedom, and opportunity into treacherous and sometimes fatal journeys. As one British journalist <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2015/politics-blog/11549721/The-900-refugees-dead-in-the-Mediterranean-were-killed-by-British-government-policy.html">wrote</a>: "they were murdered. Actually, they were massacred. The policy stipulated they should be left to die. So they died".</p> <p>British news media perspectives on these Mediterranean beach scenes have swayed between the apparently distinct poles of xenophobia and humanitarianism. Newspapers have featured many stories about <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3099736/Holidaymakers-misery-boat-people-Syria-Afghanistan-seeking-asylum-set-migrant-camp-turn-popular-Greek-island-Kos-disgusting-hellhole.html">family holidays ruined</a> by “thousands of boat people from Syria and Afghanistan” who have turned the Greek islands into a “disgusting hell hole”. </p> <blockquote><p>As families…relax on sun loungers on the beach, just yards away scores of migrants have set up camp, sleeping on cardboard boxes with rubbish strewn everywhere. Anne Servante, a nurse from Manchester, had come to Kos expecting a relaxing break with her husband Tony, a retired plumber. Instead her summer break has turned into a nightmare as penniless migrants who are in Greece to claim asylum sit outside their restaurant and watch them eat. (<em>Mail Online</em>, <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3099736/Holidaymakers-misery-boat-people-Syria-Afghanistan-seeking-asylum-set-migrant-camp-turn-popular-Greek-island-Kos-disgusting-hellhole.html">27 May 2015</a>.)</p></blockquote> <p>In this story, we are directed to read the figures of ‘Anne’ and ‘Tony’ as respectable, hard-working people, while ‘the boat people’ and ‘penniless migrants’ living in a ‘rubbish strewn’ camp are rendered as <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/imogen-tyler/wasted-lives-in-uk-immigration-detention">‘human waste’</a>. This kind of language classifies and devalues, drawing distinctions between those whose lives are of value and those who are dispensable. </p> <p class="mag-quote-right">This kind of language classifies and devalues, drawing distinctions between those whose lives are of value and those who are dispensable. </p> <p>Alongside this genre of racist reportage, there are stories of ‘humanitarian tourist heroes’, like Sandra Tsiligeridu, ‘a former Greek model’, who rescued a Syrian man, Mohammed Besmar, on her way back from a snorkelling trip. <a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2015/09/04/europe/greek-couple-saves-refugee/">Tsiligeridu</a> “was cruising back to the Greek holiday island of Kos with family and friends […] when she spotted something out of place in the sea up ahead. A pair of hands appeared to be waving at her from the deep-blue waters of the Aegean Sea”. </p> <p>These adventure stories are bound up with the redemption of the European saviour. <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3219821/Drowning-refugee-saved-Greek-model-spending-13-HOURS-sea-Kos.html">Journalists reported</a> Tsiligeridu as saying, "Before I met Mohammed I was angry and sad at the scenes I saw on television. I asked myself, why do they come here? Now I understand the value of human life". As Teju Cole <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/the-white-savior-industrial-complex/254843/">wryly notes</a>, “the white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening”. </p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">These two genres of reporting, ‘humanitarian-saviour’ and ‘racist-xenophobia’ often appear alongside each other in the same newspapers. Flipsides of the same coin, they both represent and shape European perspectives on the current crisis at the borders, in which migrants are imagined as alien others, whether ‘deserving refugees’ or ‘illegal migrants’.</span></p> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none caption-xlarge'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/549501/CGFHiKzWYAAjfX2.jpg-large.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title="Mail Online. Fair use."><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/549501/CGFHiKzWYAAjfX2.jpg-large.jpg" alt="Mail Online. Fair use." title="Mail Online. Fair use." width="460" height="354" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Mail Online. Fair use.</span></span></span>In response to overt and implicit anti-migrant racism in coverage of the life-and-death struggles taking place at Europe’s borders, there have been calls for more care in how this unprecedented exodus of people is described and represented. This has led to what one <span style="text-decoration: line-through;"><del datetime="2015-11-09T10:22" cite="mailto:Bruce%20Bennett">&nbsp;</del></span>BBC news headline describes as a <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34061097">"battle over the words used to describe migrants"</a>. </p> <p>In August, the director of news at Al Jazeera issued <a href="http://www.aljazeera.com/blogs/editors-blog/2015/08/al-jazeera-mediterranean-migrants-150820082226309.html">a directive to journalists</a> to stop using the term ‘migrants’ to describe people crossing into Europe, because it has “evolved from its dictionary definitions into a tool that dehumanises and distances”. Indeed, the consequence of the stigmatisation of the term ‘migrant’ has been palpable in European news reporting, as Barry Malone, the online editor at Al Jazeera <a href="http://www.aljazeera.com/blogs/editors-blog/2015/08/al-jazeera-mediterranean-migrants-150820082226309.html">notes</a>: “It is not hundreds of people who drown when a boat goes down in the Mediterranean, nor even hundreds of refugees. It is hundreds of migrants. It is not a person... It is a migrant. A nuisance.”</p> <p>The logic behind Al Jazeera’s decision is that the term ‘refugee’ has a specific international legal genealogy enshrined in the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. However, this rationale fails to recognise the fundamental erosion of both the legal status and popular meaning of the terms ‘refugee’ and ‘asylum-seeker’ in contemporary Europe, which has accompanied the tightening of legal migration channels. </p> <p>Since the 1990s, European and other wealthy states have shirked their international obligations as signatories to the 1951 convention through creating new legal classifications that diminish refugee rights. <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/07/uk-will-accept-up-to-20000-syrian-refugees-david-cameron-confirms">For example</a>, the small number of Syrian refugees which Britain has agreed to house will be granted ‘humanitarian protection status’ for five years, after which time they will either need to apply to remain longer, leave, or be forcibly deported. In other words, Britain is actually accepting no Syrian refugees at all. </p> <p class="mag-quote-left">In other words, Britain is actually accepting no Syrian refugees at all. </p> <p>Further, Europe and other wealthy countries in the world have implemented policies and programmes designed to keep refugees at bay so they cannot land to make asylum-claims. These include the proliferation of regional and transnational deterrence measures, such as the off-shoring of detention facilities and other nefarious arrangements with transit states, which “block safe and legal routes” of travel <a href="http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n19/daniel-trilling/what-to-do-with-the-people-who-do-make-it-across">in order to prevent people</a> from arriving to make asylum-claims.&nbsp; </p> <p>And the <a href="https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/10/hungary-eu-must-formally-warn-hungary-over-refugee-crisis-violations/">Hungarian government</a> alone “has invested more than 100 million euros on razor-wire fencing and border controls”, transforming itself into what Amnesty International describes as “a refugee protection free zone”.</p> <p><iframe width="460" height="259" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YpoQ-xw2GK0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>In September, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) launched a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=2&amp;v=YpoQ-xw2GK0">#WordsMatter</a> campaign. In a film to accompany the campaign, celebrities explain that the UNHCR distinction between a refugee and a migrant hinges on ‘choice’: a migrant chooses to move, while a refugee has no choice, is fleeing persecution. While the campaign is intended to destigmatise the term refugee, it also renders refugees as passive: they are both invisible and voiceless in this film, ventriloquized by celebrity talking heads. </p> <p>Within this false distinction between refugees who are ‘forced to leave’ and migrants who have ‘chosen’ to cross borders, refugees <a href="http://new-compass.net/articles/forget-un-meet-self-determining-refugees">emerge as</a> “as dependent, apolitical non-agents”. The insistence on distinct differences between classes of people on the move <a href="http://new-compass.net/articles/forget-un-meet-self-determining-refugees">mystifies</a> the “historical forces, politics, power, hegemony, economic exploitation and colonialism” that <a href="http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Why-the-UN-Meeting-Is-No-Friend-to-Refugees-20150930-0023.html">dispossess</a> people from their homes and livelihoods – hence the call of self-organising refugees in Kurdistan to ‘Forget the UN!’.</p> <p>We can see the impact of this distinction between deserving and undeserving migrants in the fragile political consensus that something must be done for Syrians (authentic refugees), whilst those who have made perilous journeys from ‘forgotten conflicts’ in Africa (Eritrea, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Gambia), South Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh), or the Western Balkans (Kosovo, Albania) are classified and criminalised as economic migrants. </p> <p>What is <a href="http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/30100/">actually happening</a> is a wide “competitive downgrading of refugee protection standards” in ways that sustain deeper global divides in wealth, rights, and well-being.</p> <p>The British historian and journalist Tim Stanley <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34061097">insists that</a> “it is down to the state in which they have arrived to define what they are”. The “what” in this sentence is chilling, a reminder of the ways in which the bureaucratic classification of people operates through what Alexander Wehelyie terms “racial assemblages”: the socio-political processes through which humanity is disciplined into “humans, non-quite-humans, and nonhumans”.</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none caption-xlarge'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/549501/4955879175_eaf19787c8_b.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title="The Dispossessed. RA.AZ/Flickr. Some rights reserved."><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/549501/4955879175_eaf19787c8_b.jpg" alt="The Dispossessed. RA.AZ/Flickr. Some rights reserved." title="The Dispossessed. RA.AZ/Flickr. Some rights reserved." width="460" height="414" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>The Dispossessed. RA.AZ/Flickr. Some rights reserved.</span></span></span>In </span><em>The Dispossessed</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, the school children on Anarres are not shocked by the film they watch. It transpires that this is a tired lesson, and they speculate amongst themselves about whether life on Urras is as “disgusting, immoral [and] excremental” as their teachers would lead them believe. Yet, when the protagonist of </span><em>The Disposses<ins datetime="2015-11-09T10:30" cite="mailto:Bruce%20Bennett">s</ins>ed</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> visits Urras as an adult, he discovers precisely the world of “commonplace horrors” he was taught about as a child. So horrific is the inhumanity he witnesses, that he has no language, no words, with which to comprehend and describe it.</span></p> <p>When the violence of inequality becomes ordinary, we can no longer comprehend it or imagine alternatives.<ins datetime="2015-11-09T10:30" cite="mailto:Bruce%20Bennett"> </ins>For Europeans, photographs and television footage of migrant arrivals, of rescues at sea, of overloaded boats, discarded life-jackets, lost objects and dead children on Mediterranean beaches are rapidly becoming commonplace horrors. </p> <p class="mag-quote-center">When the violence of inequality becomes ordinary, we can no longer comprehend it or imagine alternatives.</p> <p>The political response to build higher walls and fences, to build prisons and camps, and accelerate deportations will only exacerbate the vulnerabilities faced by 60 million displaced people. It is not the movement of people that is the problem. The violence of global apartheid is the problem. </p> <p>Global apartheid more accurately describes the refugee crisis we are witnessing. In its vocabulary of apart-ness, it relies on stigmatization and racialization to produce seemingly natural differences between ‘them’ and ‘us’. This language operates in tandem with practices of physical segregation, fortification and militarization of boundaries, detention and expulsion. </p> <p>Yanis Varoufakis recently observed that, “looked at from space…borders are an absurdity”. Of course we need to fight for refugee rights. But taking our cue from the <a href="http://www.yesmagazine.org/happiness/ursula-k-le-guin-calls-on-sci-fi-and-fantasy-writers-to-envision-alternatives-to-capitalism">political allegories</a> of Le Guin’s science fiction, we must also nurture more radical alternative perspectives on this crisis, so that we understand its strangeness, and its horror.</p><p><em><span style="font-style: italic; line-height: 1.5;">If you enjoyed this article then please consider liking </span><em><strong>Can Europe Make it?</strong></em><span style="font-style: italic; line-height: 1.5;"> on </span><a style="font-style: italic; line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.facebook.com/caneuropemakeit">Facebook</a><span style="font-style: italic; line-height: 1.5;"> and following us on Twitter </span><a style="font-style: italic; line-height: 1.5;" href="https://twitter.com/oD_Europe">@oD_Europe</a></em></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/david-wearing/how-many-people-have-to-die-before-we-start-talking-responsibly-about-immigration">How many people have to die before we start talking responsibly about immigration?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item even"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> Can Europe make it? Can Europe make it? Civil society Democracy and government Ideas International politics People Flow Jenna Loyd Imogen Tyler Tue, 01 Dec 2015 15:02:28 +0000 Imogen Tyler and Jenna Loyd 98074 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Jenna Loyd https://www.opendemocracy.net/content/jenna-lloyd <div class="field field-au-term"> <div class="field-label">Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jenna Loyd </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-au-surname"> <div class="field-label">Surname:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Lloyd </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-au-city"> <div class="field-label">City:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Wisconsin </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-au-country"> <div class="field-label">Country:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <p>Jenna M. Loyd is an assistant professor in the Zilber School of Public Health and member of the Urban Studies Program faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.</p><div class="field field-au-shortbio"> <div class="field-label">One-Line Biography:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jenna M. Loyd is an assistant professor in the Zilber School of Public Health and member of the Urban Studies Program faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. </div> </div> </div> Jenna Loyd Sat, 02 May 2015 09:30:32 +0000 Jenna Loyd 92499 at https://www.opendemocracy.net From Tottenham to Baltimore, policing crisis starts race to the bottom for justice https://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/imogen-tyler-jenna-lloyd/from-tottenham-to-baltimore-policing-crisis-starts-race-to-bot <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>What is it about the police and urban black populations in the US and the UK? The explanation starts with two of the most stretched social hierarchies in the developed world.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p class="image-caption"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/550590/police_0.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/550590/police_0.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="306" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span>Just your everyday community police presence.&nbsp;EPA/Noah Scialom.</p><p>West Baltimore, 8.39 am 12 April: Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, stood on the street talking with friends. Police officers approached on bicycles and made 'eye contact' with Gray, who then attempted to leave. The police chased him and video footage shot on neighbours’ mobile phones shows police holding Gray face-down on the pavement. One witness described how an officer pressed a knee into Gray’s neck as he was handcuffed, while another bent his legs upwards: “<a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-gray-video-moore-20150423-story.html">They had him folded up like he was a crab or a piece of origami</a>.”</p> <p>By the time the <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/the-mysterious-death-of-freddie-gray/391119/">police van</a> arrived with Gray at the Western District police station some 45 minutes later “he could not talk and he could not breathe”, according to a police officer <a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-gray-rough-rides-20150423-story.html#page=1">quoted in the <em>Baltimore Sun</em></a>. It was only then that police called medics who transferred him to hospital. Doctors determined that Gray had three fractured vertebrae and a damaged larynx, his spinal cord 80% severed at his neck. Gray died of his injuries a week later.</p> <p>'No Justice, No Peace' has echoed through the streets as thousands of people have protested following Gray’s death. Protest marches on 25 April and walk-outs of students on 27 April were followed by what some call rioting, others unrest or rebellion. Officials and mainstream news coverage have decried property destruction, including the burning of police cars, and theft.</p> <p>Baltimore’s mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, declared that “<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2015/apr/28/baltimore-freddie-gray-riots-live-updates">violence will not be tolerated</a>” and the governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, called city residents “lawless gangs of thugs roaming the streets” before declaring a state of emergency, suspending habeas corpus, implementing a 10pm curfew, and deploying National Guard troops.</p> <h2>Crisis over policing</h2> <p>Gray’s death at the hands of the police was the latest to provoke protest. Natalie Finegar, the deputy district public defender,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/25/freddie-gray-death-triggers-frustration-baltimore-police">said that</a> it was a “daily occurrence” for her clients to describe some sort of mishandling by the police. These range from “jump outs” where officers spring from patrol cars and shake down a suspect, to serious assaults. The city of Baltimore paid out more than <a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bs-md-state-damage-cap-20150330-story.html">$5.7m in undue-force lawsuits</a> between 2008 and 2011.</p> <p>According to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.democracynow.org/2015/4/29/you_can_replace_property_you_cant">Baltimore resident Kane Mayfield</a> the conflict has:</p> <blockquote><p>been mis-characterised pretty much by mainstream sensationalists who come down here to soak up the angel dust of civil unrest and sell it to white America. It’s fun. I get it. You know? Look at them. Black rage. It’s nice.</p></blockquote> <p>But property destruction is not equivalent to death<span>—</span><span>particularly in a context where so many black people are killed and harmed by police with near impunity. It is telling that there are no comprehensive data on homicides by police in the US. A partial snapshot from </span><a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/14/police-killings-data/14060357/">recent FBI data</a><span> reveals that a white police officer killed a black person in a “justifiable homicide” about twice a week in 2005-12.</span></p><p> <a href="https://62e528761d0685343e1c-f3d1b99a743ffa4142d9d7f1978d9686.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.com/files/80065/area14mp/image-20150501-12636-jc2099.jpg"><img src="https://62e528761d0685343e1c-f3d1b99a743ffa4142d9d7f1978d9686.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.com/files/80065/width668/image-20150501-12636-jc2099.jpg" alt="" width="460" /></a> <span class="image-caption">Anger over police treatment of black suspects. <a class="source" href="http://www.epa.eu/politics-photos/citizens-initiative-recall-photos/demonstrators-protest-against-freddie-gray-death-in-custody-photos-51910851">EPA/Andrew Gompert</a>.</span></p> <p>The protests communicate a legitimation crisis over policing in the United States. A cycle of renewed dissent against state racial violence has become increasingly visible since July 2013, following the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/14/us/george-zimmerman-verdict-trayvon-martin.html">acquittal of George Zimmerman</a> for the murder of Trayvon Martin. 'Black Lives Matter', 'Hands Up, Don’t Shoot', 'I Can’t Breathe' and 'Shut It Down' have become protest slogans after the killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City.</p> <h2>Stop-and-search</h2> <p>Across the Atlantic, '<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/10/mark-duggan-family-rallying-cry-no-peace-no-justice">No Justice, No Peace</a>'&nbsp;was also the cry of protesters gathered to hear a verdict of 'lawful killing' in the case of the police shooting of Mark Duggan in London, 2011.</p> <p>Duggan’s death sparked the most extensive riots in recent British history. As with recent events in the US, the English summer riots of 2011 raised serious concerns about policing within inner-city communities. The findings of the 2011&nbsp;<span>research project run jointly by the&nbsp;</span><span><em>Guardian </em>newspaper and the London School of Economics, </span><a href="http://www.theguardian.com/uk/interactive/2011/dec/14/reading-the-riots-investigating-england-s-summer-of-disorder-full-report">Reading the Riots: Investigating England’s summer of disorder</a><span>, suggested that the riots were motivated by a sense of </span><a href="http://www.theguardian.com/uk/video/2011/dec/05/reading-riots-video">“poverty, injustice and a visceral hatred of the police”</a><span>. Some 73% of people interviewed said they had been stopped and searched by the police at least once in the previous year.</span></p> <p>Time and again, anger over perceived misuse of 'stop-and-search' has been one of the causes of rioting in Britain. In 1981, riots in Brixton sparked three months of rioting by black, Asian and white youths across most of the country’s inner cities. The Brixton uprising was triggered by <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4854556.stm">Operation Swamp 81</a>, which saw the police employ ancient vagrancy legislation, called 'sus (<a href="http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&amp;address=439x1689103">suspected person</a>) laws’, in a mass stop-and-search operation.</p><p><span class="image-caption"><span><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_left caption-medium'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/550590/2 police.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/550590/2 police.jpg" alt="Police abusing young black" title="" width="237" height="326" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-medium imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Guilty until proven innocent: stop-and-search in practice. David Parry/PA Wire.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/bbc_parliament/3631579.stm">The Scarman Report</a> into the causes of the 1981 riots stated that the black population of Brixton had been subject to “disproportionate and indiscriminate” policing. Sus laws were repealed, yet stop-and-search substantially increased.</p> <p>An estimated 1m stop and searches are carried out in the UK each year and in 2009-10, according to the <a href="http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/publication/briefing-paper-5-race-disproportionality-stops-and-searches-under-section-60-criminal">Equality and Human Rights Commission</a>,&nbsp;“Black people were stopped 23.5 times more frequently than white people and Asian people 4.5 times more frequently."&nbsp;<span>In 2014, </span><a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27224887">a revised code of conduct</a><span> on stop-and-search was introduced; recent figures show </span><a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales-2012-to-2013/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales-2012-to-2013">a 12% reduction</a><span>&nbsp;but more </span><a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/203873/abolish-police-instead-lets-have-full-social-economic-and-political-equality">radical reform</a><span> is required.</span></p> <h2>Race to the bottom</h2> <p>Stop-and-search is a day-to-day expression of violent relationships between police and communities. People interviewed by <a href="http://www.stop-watch.org/">StopWatch</a> detail the enduring stigma affected by these policing practices. Police harassment of black citizens communicates authoritative messages about the place of ethnic minorities in society.</p> <p>Racial discrimination <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2010/oct/11/how-fair-is-britain-data">intersects with other inequalities</a>: poverty, rising economic inequality (between the richest and the poorest and between ethnic groups), joblessness (in 2012 the unemployment rate for black youths in the UK was 55.9%, double that of their white peers), high levels of incarceration, inadequate housing, unequal access to education and healthcare.</p> <p>Fifty years since the civil rights movement and the ostensible end of state-sanctioned discrimination, austerity and welfare retrenchment has created even deeper divides. A recent special issue of <em>Feminist Review</em> on the politics of austerity details the multiple ways in which “<a href="http://www.palgrave-journals.com/fr/journal/v109/n1/full/fr201459a.html?hc_location=ufi">divides of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality and class</a>” are intensifying. The UK and US are relying on the same forms of policing to resolve the resulting economic and political conflicts. Racial and economic inequality fuelled the riots in London in 2011 and the same thing has sparked the unrest we see in Baltimore and other US cities today.</p><p><img src="https://counter.theconversation.edu.au/content/40914/count.gif" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p><p><em>This article was originally published on <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a>. Read the <a href="http://theconversation.com/from-tottenham-to-baltimore-policing-crisis-starts-race-to-the-bottom-for-justice-40914">original article</a>.</em></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Six Baltimore police officers have been <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/02/us/freddie-gray-autopsy-report-given-to-baltimore-prosecutors.html?emc=edit_th_20150502&amp;nl=todaysheadlines&amp;nlid=33618017&amp;_r=0">charged </a>in connection with the death of Freddie Gray; the charges include murder and manslaughter.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/opensecurity/matthew-harwood/from-cops-to-counterinsurgents-militarization-of-america%27s-police">From cops to counterinsurgents: the militarization of America&#039;s police</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/opensecurity/tara-murray/watching-ferguson-but-still-unseeing">Watching Ferguson, but still unseeing</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/opensecurity/adam-elliott-cooper/doreen-lawrence-police-spies-and-institutional-racism">Doreen Lawrence, police spies and institutional racism</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/opensecurity/jon-burnett/violence-of-denial">The violence of denial</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Equality </div> </div> </div> openSecurity openSecurity Equality the politics of protest rule of law human rights north america europe Jenna Loyd Imogen Tyler State violence Racism and discrimination Sat, 02 May 2015 09:13:12 +0000 Imogen Tyler and Jenna Loyd 92498 at https://www.opendemocracy.net