England: Arsonists attack Polish family in Plymouth
Unidentified perpetrators have set fire to a shed near a home occupied by a Polish family in Plymouth, a town in the southwest of England. The family also received a letter threatening to attack them directly next time.
Police are investigating the case as one of racially motivated violence. According to the BBC, the victimized family has been grappling with such threats since last month's referendum in which most voters cast ballots for the country to leave the European Union.
The arson attack occurred late last night. The fire destroyed equipment stored in the shed, including a bicycle and electric lawnmower.
Nobody was physically injured during the blaze, but the family received an anonymous letter today reading "Go back to your [expletive deleted] country next be your family." Ewa Banaszak, a 22-year-old member of the victimized family, told the press that she no longer feels safe in Britain.
"It has been very intense after the referendum, with people saying 'go back to your own country'," she told the BBC. "We have been here for such a long time. I will always be Polish but this is our home, where we live and work."
Representatives of the Plymouth Police said they were appalled by the crime, which they believe has a racist subtext. They assured the public they are determined to apprehend the perpetrator of the arson, which in their view could have threatened the lives of those occupying the adjacent house.
Banaszak said Polish people in Britain are afraid to speak Polish in public now given the currently festering atmosphere there. However, she said she has decided to remain in the country and not to return to Poland.
Incidents targeting Polish immigrants have significantly risen in number after the referendum on Brexit. UK PM David Cameron responded to the incidents at the end of June by promising his country will not tolerate displays of national or racial hatred and will deal with them.
A crucial factor that decided the referendum outcome was voters' views on immigration, especially from the post-communist countries of the EU. By far the largest number of immigrants working in Britain come from Poland in particular.
Almost one million Polish citizens are now living in the United Kingdom. Critics of the campaign advocating for Brexit allege that those in favor of Britain leaving the EU frequently resorted to xenophobic rhetoric and abused the issue of migration.
- Czech Republic: Extremists sentenced to almost 7 years in prison for arson attack
- Austria: Arsonists set future asylum-seeker shelter on fire
- Czech Republic: Seven-year anniversary of neo-Nazi arson attack on Romani family home in Vítkov
- Czech Republic: Handful of neo-Nazis demonstrate in Vítkov to raise money for racist arsonists who attacked Romani family there
- Austria: Arson attacks against Romani families from Romania
- Arson attack Saturday after Prague demonstrations for and against refugee reception
- Anti-immigrant arson, violence mark 80th anniversary of Nazi race laws, German civil society and leaders respond
- Germany: Arsonists set another refugee facility on fire, shooting also reported
- Czech trial of arson attack reviews neo-Nazi groups
- Czech state removes children of Romani arson victim from her care
- Czech arson suspect says he knew Roma lived in the building
- German minister says arsonists of refugee facilities are "cowardly and repulsive"
- Security lax at Czech trial of alleged ultra-right arsonists and others
- Czech ultra-right arsonists face extraordinary sentencing over attack on residential hotel in Aš
- Czech Police apprehend suspects in 2011 arson attempt on Romani family
- Czech Constitutional Court upholds verdict in 2009 arson case
- Czech court reduces punishment for arson attempt on Roma building
- Czech detectives investigate arson against police vehicle, "anarchists" took credit
- Czech Republic: Two neo-Nazis charged in 2012 arson
- Czech Republic: Arson at detention facility, 50 people evacuated
- Czech Senator compares environmental, gender equality, multiculturalism advocacy to racism and totalitarianism at Holocaust site
- † 17. 5. 1998, Orlová, Czech Republic: Milan Lacko
- Italy: Almost 1 000 Roma and Sinti march in Milan on Romani Resistance Day
- Governments, Internet firms ally forces against extremist, violent content
- Czech disinformation websites draw hundreds of thousands, share readership with anti-EU, neo-Nazi and pro-Kremlin websites
- Czech doctor prioritizes registration of Romani patients and receives hateful threats from non-Roma
- Pope stands up for Romani people attacked by (neo)Fascists in Rome who threatened rape
- Slovak President-elect says a single court decision cannot solve the problem of extremism and Fascism
- 1 May march by Czech neo-Nazis was dispersed and torches were put out, but antisemitic abuse was expressed
- Amnesty International: No justice one year after attack on a Romani camp in Ukraine
- Czech Republic: Romani family harassed by xenophobic neighbors with vulgar abuse and threats
- Romania loses at the European Court of Human Rights, must compensate Roma family for police brutality