Arkadiusz Jozwik attacked in street after group heard him speaking Polish
Six teenagers have been arrested for the murder of Arkadiusz Jozwik, a Polish man, in Harlow, Essex.
Reports in many news outlets today contain quotes from his brother, who said the unprovoked brutal attack began after Arkadiusz was heard speaking Polish. Five 15 year old boys and one 16 year old have been arrested on suspicion of murder.
The attack occurred on Saturday night, a second man survived the assault. Arkadiusz had been living in Britain for four years. His brother Radek said:
“He was standing eating pizza and they picked on him because of that. He does not speak much English. The young teenagers are so aggressive.
“Parents need to speak with their children – they are out of control. One of the teenagers started and then seconds later there are 10 or 12 people attacking him.
“After the Brexit vote it has got worse – I have seen people change – it is hard at the moment.”
This tragic incident highlights acutely what can happen if hatred goes unchallenged. SRtRC has previously commented on the documented spike of more visible acts of racism following the EU referendum. The campaign’s work in classrooms throughout the UK has also led us to be concerned about an increase in anti-immigrant sentiments evident amongst young people and adults
We must continue to educate young people about racism and counter some of the anti-immigration messages from sections of the media and certain types of politician, which are all too prevalent. Young people must be able to take part in factual discussions about immigration and encouraged to think critically about information presented to them.
SRtRC is working to challenge Hate Crime in the Essex area, as this new film shows
We all should and must, work with young people to educate about racism and how prejudice can escalate. The dangers of not doing so are too high.