Diverse Magazine

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GAY BLOOD DONATIONS BAN LIKELY TO BE LIFTED

The lifetime ban on blood donations by men who have sex with men is expected to be lifted in the UK. The restrictions were put in place in the 1980s to prevent the risk of HIV contamination. However, the latest medical evidence presented to a government panel argued that such a ban could no longer be justified. Several countries have relaxed the rules, basing them on the time since the last homosexual encounter. The National Blood Service screens all donations for HIV and other infections. However, there is a “window period” after infection during which it is impossible to detect...

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AFRICAN SLAVERY MUST NOT BE FORGOTTEN

On 23 August we celebrate a vital moment in the abolition of the slave trade – so why has the day received no state support? Britain woke up on 23 August largely ignorant of the fact that it is a national day of remembrance. Four years ago the government declared it the day to remember those millions of African people who were captured, denigrated, enslaved, tortured and murdered, who rebelled and ultimately survived a period rightly seen as the most heinous crime of humankind against humankind in history. But when was the government going to tell us? And what is...

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WE CAN’T INDULGE IN THIS NOSTALGIA. RACISM TODAY IS SUBTLE AND COMPLEX

Black leaders have moved on from the 1980s, and discrimination has changed too To some the past is always golden, the present bleak and the future bleaker. Last week Joseph Harker indulged in a trip down memory lane, reminiscing about the challenges the black community faced during the 80s, and its leadership (For black Britons, this isn’t the 80s revisited. It’s worse, 12 August). In 1985 Bernie Grant’s “connection with local people made him hugely popular and two years later he was elected MP”, says Harker. “Paul Boateng, who had been a campaigning civil rights lawyer, greeted his own election...

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EHRC REPORT ON DISABILITY-RELATED HARASSMENT

On 3 December 2009, International Day of Disabled People, the Equality and Human Rights Commission announced its intention to conduct a formal Inquiry into the actions of public authorities to eliminate disability-related harassment and its causes. The Commission’s Inquiry powers enable it to compile evidence, call witnesses and make recommendations against which they expect action to follow. The Equality Act stipulates that there have to have terms of reference for formal Inquiries. On 12 September 2011 the Commission launched ‘Hidden in plain sight’ the inquiry’s final report. The report was produced after consultation with disabled people and other stakeholders on the following...

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LADY WARSI’S COMMENTS ON ISLAMOPHOBIA

Tory chair’s claim that anti-Islam views are now seen as normal prompts warning of some Muslims feeling ‘apart from society’… Muslim leaders tonight backed the Conservative party chairwoman, Lady Warsi, after she claimed Islamophobia had “crossed the threshold of middle-class respectability” in Britain and was now seen as normal and uncontroversial. The Muslim Council of Britain warned the spread could be “the beginning of something horrendous” in a British society with an estimated 2.4m Muslims. At Leicester University tonight Warsi claimed that parts of the press had embraced casual Islamophobia and that other parts of society including employers and even...

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TOXTETH RIOTS 30 YEARS ON: LEROY COOPER SPEAKS OUT

Leroy Cooper will forever be known as the man whose arrest sparked the Toxteth riots. Sat in front of an exhibition of his paintings and collages at Keith’s Wine Bar, in Lark Lane, he said: “It’s been a black cloud hanging over me for years. “I always say to people ‘I wasn’t there’. I was actually arrested in what they call the sparking incident, but I was taken away from the street and was in Risley remand centre for six to eight weeks. “My memory of the riots is being imprisoned, worrying what was going to happen, because I could...

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JIMI JAGNE – MEMORIES OF THE TOXTETH RIOTS

  Jimi Jagne, now 47, recalls the part he played in the Toxteth riots. I was a 17-year-old youth, Toxteth born and bred, and I was actively engaged in the uprisings. At one point, on the penultimate day of the riots, on July 27, I was arrested and subsequently received a conviction for my part in the rioting. Like everyone else, it was a part of what was happening among the residents and the community at the time. There was a long, long history of police trouble. Walking around the community during the daytime was bad enough, but when it...

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TOXTETH RIOTS – 30 YEARS ON PROJECT

On  Friday 1 July 2011, the Merseyside Black History Month Group (MBHMG) kicked off a series of events to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1981 Toxteth Riots with the opening of Toxteth 1981 at the International Slavery Museum, Albert Dock. Toxteth 1981 is a historical photographic exhibition of images of the riots, some being shown publicly for the first time in 30 years. The exhibition closes on 1st July 2012. It is a collaboration between Merseyside Black History Month Group, Writing on the Wall and National Museums Liverpool. Dr Richard Benjamin, head of the International Slavery Museum, said: “The...

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TOXTETH REVISITED, 30 YEARS AFTER THE RIOTS

In July 1981, some of the most violent rioting ever seen in Britain erupted in the Toxteth area of Liverpool. Thirty years on, the local community is still paying the price. After the second night of fire and rage, police burst through the door of the Simon family home in a little terrace along Beaconsfield Street in Liverpool, snatched 13-year-old Michael and flung him on to a pile of other young bodies packed into the back of a van. “I thought I was going to be killed,” recalls Michael. “There were 10 in the van and I was on top...

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DISABLED ‘TERRIFIED’ TO TRAVEL ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT’ BECAUSE OF RISING ABUSE FROM COMMUTERS

Disabled people are facing increasing levels of hostility and abuse when using public transport, it was claimed today. Some are so terrified of travelling that they are confined to their home, according to Alice Maynard, chairman of the leading disability charity Scope. Ms Maynard, a wheelchair user with a neuromuscular impairment, said she regularly comes under attack when using trains. Commuters shout and swear at her and a personal assistant once or twice a week because they have to give up their seats. She said: ‘I think it is increasing because of the pressures on people, the overcrowding on trains...