Blacks are systematically controlled – Anna’s experience at border control in Basel

Basel
Anna Dell’Era photo: lha

From Anna’s blog:

Results of racial profiling and police harassment may cause symptoms of anxiety, sleeplessness, paranoia, depreciated self-esteem, insecurity, mistrust of police, anger, and illness. Often, people of color are not aware of their rights in certain situations. You have the right to ask why you are being stopped. You have the right to document the harassment, by asking for the officer’s name, badge number, noting the time, date, etc. You have the right to remain silent.

As a result of this altercation on March 7, 2017, and the press exposure of the incident on March 28, 2017, the very next day, March 29, 2017, at 12:00 p.m. I was detained at a different Swiss border and asked to open my car trunk. I refused to speak to the officer and wrote a note that he should phone his superior. I was detained for approximately 15-20 minutes.

Women of color who experience racial profiling and police harassment can reach out to organisations Allianz Against Racial Profiling, an organisation which documents and assists people who fall prey to this abuse. The founder’s name is Mohamed Wa Baile. In Switzerland, the organisation STOPRASSISMUS may offer assistance. Others include Augenauf.ch and Amnesty Interational.

Important*Visit your medical doctor and/or mental specialist to document the mental duress/physical manifestations of stress due to the harassment
File a complaint with respective police departments, remain persistent if you do not receive a response
Keep a log of all harassment altercations
Talk to a lawyer
Know your rights by reading Constitution or Criminal Law Code for Country, Research what an Officer can and Can not do
Remain Calm

The Border Control Corps of Basel, Switzerland, threw my passport on the ground!

(Article written by Lukas Hausendorf of 20 Minutes Basel)

Der Zwischenfall ereignete sich am Nachmittag des 7. März am Grenzübergang Basel-Huningue neben dem Novartis Campus. Meistens ist die Zollstation unbesetzt, nicht aber an diesem Tag. Anna Dell’Era, Afroamerikanerin und italienisch-amerikanische Doppelbürgerin, war auf dem Heimweg nach Kembs (F). Noch bevor sie die Grenze passierte sah sie den Wagen ihrer Tochter und hielt an. Die junge Frau war mit zwei dunkelhäutigen Kollegen unterwegs nach Basel. Zwei Grenzwächter unterzogen sie einer Kontrolle.
«Ich stieg aus und zückte mein Handy, um meinen Mann anzurufen», erzählt Dell’Era. Dann sei sie angeschnauzt worden: «Sie dürfen keine Fotos machen.» Tatsächlich verbietet Artikel 236 der Zollverordnung das Fotografieren oder Filmen des Personals der Zollverwaltung während der Ausübung seiner Tätigkeit. Dell’Era machte allerdings Foto- und Videoaufnahmen, um das Verhalten der Beamten zu dokumentieren. «Solche Situationen, in denen Respektlosigkeit und Rassismus offensichtlich sind, sind der Grund, weshalb Bürger das Handy zücken und dieses Verhalten dokumentierten», sagt die Sängerin und Tänzerin.

Wiederholt sei sie aufgefordert worden, ihr Handy auszuhändigen. Sie weigerte sich: «Ich kenne meine Rechte, ich gebe Ihnen mein Telefon nicht», erwiderte sie. Sie blieb auch bei dieser Haltung, als man ihr drohte, Pass und Führerschein nicht mehr zurückzugeben. Die Ausweise warf der Grenzwächter in der Folge auf den Boden. «Als ich ihn bat, die Dokumente aufzuheben, murmelte er nur etwas Unverständliches und tat dies nicht», so Dell’Era.

Zollverwaltung weist Vorwürfe zurück

«Dieses Verhalten war unkorrekt, respektlos und rassistisch», sagt Dell’Era. Sie beschwerte sich tags darauf schriftlich beim Basler Zollkreisdirektor und verlangte eine Entschuldigung. Unter anderem wirft sie der Behörde Racial Profiling vor. Abklärungen in der Sache seien eingeleitet worden, teilte ihr die Dienstchefin Aufgabenvollzug danach mit. Auf die Entschuldigung wartet sie aber auch zwei Wochen nach dem Vorfall noch immer. «Ich behalte mir zivilrechtliche Schritte vor», meint die Sängerin, die mittlerweile einen Anwalt eingeschaltet hat.

Die Zollverwaltung weist die Vorwürfe auf Anfrage von 20 Minuten zurück: Das Grenzwachtkorps mache kein Racial Profiling. Vielmehr würden Kontrollen «aufgrund von konkreten Fahndungen und Hinweisen, Risikoanalysen und der Erfahrung der Mitarbeitenden» gemacht, heisst es in einer Stellungnahme des EZV-Mediensprechers Walter Pavel. «Alles andere wäre nicht zielführend.»

«Schwarze werden systematisch kontrolliert»

Nachfragen bei Anlaufstellen und NGOs zeichnen ein anderes Bild. «Solche Fälle werden immer wieder an uns herangetragen», sagt Beat Gerber, Mediensprecher von Amnesty Schweiz. «Ethnic Profiling ist ein akutes Thema.» An den Schweizer Grenzen würden seit Monaten praktisch alle Personen schwarzer Hautfarbe oder mit einem nordafrikanischen Erscheinungsbild systematisch nach ihren Ausweisen gefragt, berichtet er.

Racial oder Ethnic Profiling ist eine völkerrechtlich verbotene Diskriminierung, weil Verdachtsmomente allein auf dem Erscheinungsbild einer Person, also ihrer Hautfarbe oder Herkunft beruhen.

Jewell Parker Rhodes talks at the Oxford Literary Festival

Jewell Parker Rhodes talks to Catherine Johnson

Towers Falling: 15 Years After 9/11

Jewell Parker Rhodes
Jewell Parker Rhodes

Award-winning American author Jewell Parker Rhodes talks about her new novel that helps children who were not alive at the time to understand the horrific impact of the events of 9/11.

Rhodes’s newest book Towers Falling follows 15-year-old Brooklyn resident Dèja as she discovers the story of 9/11 and grows to understand the monumental impact it bears on her life. The New York Times calls Towers Falling “Powerful, clear-eyed . . . Rhodes doesn’t assume her readers know the magnitude of 9/11; she walks them tenderly through it”. Rhodes will read from the book and discuss its delicate subject matter.

Rhodes’s books for children and adults have won awards such as the Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, the Jane Addam’s Children’s Book Award, and the American Book Award. She is Piper Endowed Chair of the Virginia G Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University. Here she talks to fellow children’s writer Catherine Johnson, author of Curious Tale of The Lady Caraboo and Blade and Bone.

Catherine Johnson
Catherine Johnson

Sunday 26 March 2017  10:00am

Duration 1 Hour

Venue Corpus Christi: Rainolds Room

Ticket price £7

Age 8-12

Programme of American literature and culture


 

Patrice Lawrence talks at Oxford Literary Festival

Patrice Lawrence, Clare Furniss and Juno Dawson talk to Anna James

Young Adult Special Event: Welcome to the Real World

Patrice Lawrence

Some of the best, most exciting and most challenging young adult novels of today are set in the real world. Hear three top authors Patrice Lawrence, Clare Furniss and Juno Dawson discuss with writer and journalist Anna James their new books and how they reflect the world we live in.

Lawrence was born in Brighton and brought up in an Italian-Trinidadian household in Mid Sussex. She has been writing for as long as she has been reading. Her first novel, Orangeboy, has been shortlisted for the Costa Book Award, nominated for the Carnegie Award and shortlisted for the Leeds and North East Book Awards.

Dawson is the multi-award-winning author of dark teen thrillers Hollow Pike, Cruel Summer, Say Her Name and Under My Skin, written under the name James Dawson. In 2015, she released her first contemporary romance, All Of The Above. Her first non-fiction book, Being A Boy, tackled puberty, sex and relationships in a frank and funny fashion, and a follow-up for young LGBT people, This Book Is Gay, came out in 2014.

Furniss worked for several years in political media relations. She recently completed an MA in writing for young people at Bath Spa University. Her funny, sharply observed novels How Not to Disappear and The Year of the Rat have won many fans.

Saturday 25 March 2017 6:00pm

Duration 1 Hour

Venue Oxford Martin School: Seminar Room

Ticket price £8

Age 13-adult


 

Gemma Cairney talks at Oxford Literary Festival

Open: A Toolkit for How Magic and Messed Up Life Can Be

Gemma Cairney

Kick off your weekend in style with television and radio personality, journalist, and teen ambassador Gemma Cairney as she opens up to writer, illustrator, and performer Laura Dockrill about how magic and messed up life can be. Join these two fabulous women for a lively, honest and open discussion about all the big, bad and beautiful things that growing up is all about: from mental health to families to first love, and everything in between.

Cairney is an important advocate for young people. Her life experiences and her personal insight from her time as Radio 1’s resident agony aunt on The Surgery mean she is perfectly placed to offer hope and a huge comforting cuddle to young people (and the people that love them) and to help deal with questions about life or dealing with hard times. She is a multi-award-winning broadcaster, writer, producer and general polymath, known for her irreverent approach, insatiable appetite for telling stories and her sparkling imagination. She is artist in residence at The Southbank Centre and is on the committee for Women Of The World Festival.

Dockrill is a writer/illustrator and author of the Darcy Burdock books and Mistakes in the Background, Ugly Shy Girl, and Echoes. She was named one of the top ten literary talents by The Times and one of the top 20 faces to watch by Elle magazine. Dockrill is a graduate of the BRIT School of performing Arts and has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, Camp Bestival, Latitude, and Bookslam festivals.

Friday 31 March 2017  6:00pm
Duration 1 hour

Venue Worcester College: Lecture Theatre

Ticket price £8

Age teen-adult


 

I’m in love with Leah Salmon!

Leah Salmon – The Naturally You Coach

Leah Salmon
Leah Salmon

What is not to love? Read this to see what I mean:

“I’m a nurturing & supportive nutritionist, life coach, speaker & best selling author, focusing on the needs of black women. I’m the founder of Teaching Our Own – The Black Homeschooling Fair & Amun University – An online training school with exclusively black expert teachers.

I’m the editor of The Naturally You Magazine & founder of The Naturally You Day.

I run healthy eating, raw food, personal development and natural health & wellness talks & workshops for private and public organisations, including Luton Council, The Lake Foundation, Black History Studies, Natural November, The House Of Saint Barnabas & Alternatives in London.

I’ve spoken at over 30 community events over the past 5 years, helping people of all ages to realise just how powerful a healthy diet and lifestyle is, when it comes to create a balanced productive disease free life”.

Visit Leah’s site today.


 

Y’Akoto – Mermaid Blues

Y’Akoto’s New Album

Y'Akoto

Bio from 2014

Y’AKOTO

Letting go. Backpedalling. Taking a deep breath, The easiest things are often the most difficult ones to do.

But in the supposed banality of these things lies the danger of losing oneself on the surface and forgetting them. It’s that simple.

Even Y’akoto, an artist known for her level-mindedness, is not immune from this danger. Particularly because the past two years were so exciting, eventful and grand that one can forget the little things on top very quickly. After all, Y’akoto was praised by the music press as giving a new voice to the legacy of such singers as Billie Holiday and Nina Simone and without further ado, she launched a new genre called
Soul Seeking Music with her combination of folk, pop and singer-songwriter soul with an African touch.Not to forget the countless shows where Y’akoto performed with such established artists as Erykah Badu, Nneka, Asa and Joy Denalane. And her first headline tour of her own that not only included dates in Germany, but also in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Vienna.

Even now, “BabyBlues” is still making an international impact. The album was just released in the USA in February. The track “Diamonds” is featured in the new Steve Pink film “About Last Night” and is included on the international soundtrack. And in Italy, “Without You” is climbing in the national single and airplay charts.

However, despite all of these formative events and wonderful experiences, Y’akoto remains driven by insecurity. She is still searching: for the answers to all of the countless questions about life, for the best song and, not least of all, for herself.

“I have accepted insecurity as part of my life. That’s me, I’m insecure, not always, but
sometimes, and I express my insecurity in my art.”

Therefore Y’akoto has made the best of this and made her insecurity the leitmotif of her new album. And this was a good decision. In the end, her growing insecurity is largely due to the situation that she has become more open, reveals more of herself and questions things more often. Her inconstancy doesn’t come from a lack of self-confidence, but from the courage to make herself vulnerable through her music. For
instead of writing her pains away from her soul, Y’akoto writes herself into the pain in her soul and tries to take command of the general disorientation of the world by musical means. “I let all kinds of expressions pass right through my system. I don’t let it pass through a filter, instead I just take it, there for, I feel a lot without judging. I used to protect myself against that. I even intoxicated myself, smoked some weed, but now I’m interested in the entire experience of ‘feeling'”.

Y’akoto has grown, not only musically, but also as a person. While her previous album was mainly defined by anger, sadness, defiance and cynicism, the helplessness that accompanies these feelings is transformed on “Moody Blues” to the urge for change.The fear of emotional injuries has given way to genuine care for
the needs of her fellow human beings. The thoughtless focus on one’s self has made room for a sincere interest in the world’s problems. “Through real confrontation with life and people, I feel like I’ve come a little closer to myself. I could have chosen to be mentally isolated from everyone and everything, or I could have just leaned into life and rely or trust the people around me. I don’t want to be totally independent, I want to trust and love even if that makes me more vulnerable. Being more vulnerable makes me stronger.”

Read her full bio.

Visit Y’Akoto’s website.


 

Karima Delli MEP one of the 40 MEPs who matter

Karima Delli
Karima Delli, MEP France

Source: Politico

Karima Delli isn’t your typical European Parliament committee chair.

She takes over the Greens’ only top job this week covering transport — a woman, in her 30s and with an Algerian background — and is used to facing-off against National Front leader Marine Le Pen in northern France.

“In electing a young woman you are sending out a very strong signal to European citizens,”

Delli said from the chair’s seat immediately after being confirmed in committee [in January].

At 37 she isn’t the youngest MEP, but she will be the youngest chair. Delli replaces Michael Cramer, a German Green with a penchant for cycling and rail who plans to step down as an MEP in 2019 and in 2014 agreed to switch the chair half-way through the term. A tight internal vote was held this month to determine who would stand.

As part of her priorities, Delli says she wants to prioritize social issues and deploy transport in the fight against climate change. A source close to Delli said she also hoped to bring a different style to committee leadership.

Delli is the ninth child from a family of 13 and grew up in the industrial city of Roubaix, not far from the Belgian border. Her father worked in a textile factory while her mother cared for the family. A former parliamentary assistant to a Green senator in France, she has a record of activism.

Her election to the European Parliament in 2009 came as a surprise. Delli was fourth on the Paris list for the Greens but benefited from an unexpected boost in support for the party in the French capital. Her first committee gig was in employment affairs where she focused on social housing and workers’ rights.

In 2014 she was re-elected, this time as first on the list from the northern Hauts De France region. It is here that she competed directly against Le Pen for votes.

A transition to transport policy came as part the European Parliament’s response to the Dieselgate scandal. Delli helped lead the push to collect over 150,000 signatures calling on the European Parliament to launch its own investigation. She’s been a vice-chair of the committee of inquiry since its inception.

See Politico’s full list here.

Karima Delli