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Muhammad cartoon exhibition cancelled

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 18 August 2015, 15:05


Anne Marie Waters

Anne Marie Waters

Anne Marie Waters, the organiser of the Muhammad cartoon exhibition which was due to be held in London in September, has announced that the event has been cancelled. Citing security concerns, she claims that she was left with no choice but to call off the event. “Britain is a frightened nation,” she said “and our freedom is not going away, it has gone.”

Waters initially made the decision to cancel at the weekend but it was only this morning that she has offered an explanation. Writing on her Sharia Watch website, as well as for Breitbart, she said:

“Over the last few weeks, I have had several conversations with both Scotland Yard and counter-terror detectives. My conclusion? That the risk of running this exhibition is simply too high. When setting out to do something like this, one has to be prepared for the possibility of threats, or even violence, but it’s easy to underestimate the impact such things will have on the people around you.

“There’s a very real possibility that people could be hurt or killed – before, during, and after the event. This, together with the fact that our venue had indicated it wanted to pull out citing security and insurance concerns, and given the fear that people were feeling generally, the only responsible thing to do was to pull back and try to learn some lessons. I have not learned lessons as much as I have had my suspicions confirmed. There are two major messages to take on board from this episode: 1) Britain is a frightened nation, and 2) our freedom is not going away, it has gone.”

Firstly, it is questionable whether she actually had a venue at all. Certainly when HOPE not hate published its report into the cartoon affair a few weeks ago she did not have a venue, which was evident from the almost frantic emails she sent people asking for help in finding one.

Her decision to publicly announce the cartoon exhibition, which was to be attended by Dutch far right politician Geert Wilders, without having actually secured a venue had led some of her counter-jihadist friends to question whether she was capable of putting the event at all.

Her blog then goes on to defend her decision to invite Paul Weston to speak.

“Some of the attacks aimed at us (from those who ought to support us) were allegedly made because of Paul Weston’s planned presence at the event. Weston is the leader of the Liberty GB political party. He has made some speeches about the future of white people, and according to those who set the rules, this is a step too far. The demographic-that-cannot-be-named was named, and this was more than enough to cancel Weston’s speaking rights thenceforth (though of course if it hadn’t been Weston, it would’ve been Wilders).”

Paul Weston is a self-declared “racist” who, like many other counter-jihadists, believes that Islam is set to take over Europe within 30 years because of immigration and their higher birth rates.

But while some counter-jihadists depict this as a cultural or religious battle, Weston sees this as a racial issue. In a speech entitled ‘Preventing White Genocide’, he explains how the future of the white British race is under threat from Islam and its pending disappearance is a “racial crime”.

Weston says the solution is simple: “Islam has to be removed from Europe, from Britain, from England; and this is now the position that Liberty GB is taking.”

In other articles Weston has gone further. In a series of articles he wrote back in 2007 and posted up on the infamous Gates of Vienna blog, he expanded on his apocalyptic vision of the future and articulated the civil war theory. He believed that the growing Muslim population would mean that by 2025 there would be just two white European young men to every one Muslim. Given Muslims’ supposed predisposition to war and imposing their faith (Sharia law, etc) on the West, conflict would ensue.

Like other counter-jihadists, Weston dismissed attempts to contain Islam in the hope that moderate Muslims would reclaim their religion. He said that Western liberalism and appeasement only added to the ‘problem’. With mass deportation not a viable option, all that was left was for white European men to fight back.
“The wholesale and unprecedented racial and cultural transformation of a continent with a history of violent warfare will simply not happen without confrontation.
“We will simply have to. Not for domination, but for survival.”
Waters, who invited Weston to speak at the cartoon event, refuses to condemn him. She is at best an apologist for his racist views, at worst she agrees with them.

She certainly does agree with a lot of Weston’s solutions to the Islam problem. Speaking at a counter-jihad rally outside Downing Street in April she said: “For a start the immigration will have to stop, the immigration from Islamic countries has to stop entirely,” she told the protest. “That’s just the way it is. A lot of people need to be deported. Many mosques need to be closed down. It really does has to get tough.”
Waters ends her blog by declaring the need for “a global coalition for free speech”.
“It needs to have a voice at the UN (and take on the OIC), as well as the EU (also busy with hate speech and “tolerance”), and in as many countries as possible. It cannot be a talking shop put together to discuss shouting fire in a crowded theatre, but a tireless campaign to actively defend, by legislation and other means, the right of people to criticise, analyse, reject, satirise, and mock any single set of beliefs which is capable of affecting society as a whole, especially its freedoms.
“This movement must actively confront the lies and deception that so pose a threat to our liberty.”


Given the debacle over the handling of the cartoon exhibition I’m doubting there will be too many takers for her new venture. Except for Paul Weston that is.

 Posted: 18 Aug 2015 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Counter-Jihadists fall out over report

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 5 August 2015, 10:27


Danish anti-Muslim activist Anders Gravers

Danish anti-Muslim activist Anders Gravers

The release of a HOPE not hate report into plans for a Muhammad cartoon exhibition this September has led to members of the counter-jihadist movement falling out with each other.

First out of the blocks was Danish anti-Muslim activist Anders Gravers, who told the Danish newspaper Globalt that he owned the rights to the cartoons displayed by the counter-jihadist doyen, Pam Geller, in Texas this May, but had nothing to do with the new London exhibition.

He said that he was looking to hold a cartoon exhibition himself over here, but if current UK organiser (and Sharia Watch boss/UKIP member) Ann Marie Waters found a venue first then he would not stand in her way.

Given that he has so far failed to organise such an event in Denmark, we think the chances of Gravers finding a venue in London are zilch.

The anti-Muslim and fake veterans outfit, Britain First (BF), was quick to distance itself from any attempts to stir up trouble with a cartoon exhibition, re-releasing a statement it first made in early July.

In response to a Russia Today piece on the cartoon exhibition, which linked BF founder Jim Dowson to the plot, party leader Paul Golding issued a strong denial.

“Major efforts behind the scenes have been made to rope Britain First into the mad plot to ferment civil strife on the streets of Britain, using Mohammed cartoon contests.

“We are not against depictions of the false prophet Mohammed, but to use them cynically to spark off serious communal chaos and bloodshed is a despicable strategy and Britain First has nothing to do with it.”

Dowson, who first reported on attempts to incite civil strife by way of the cartoons, wrote a blog claiming the exhibition organisers were part of an international Zionist conspiracy which was designed to help Israel attack Iran.

Anne Marie Waters, the cartoon exhibition organiser, broke her silence in a blog on her own Sharia Watch website and co-posted on the UKIP-linked Breitbart site.

After a couple of days of total denial to the media, she now admitted that she had attended a meeting with Jim Dowson and – most amazingly – a discussion about civil war might (she admitted) have occurred.

In a blog entitled: 'Hard Left Campaigners Lied About Islam Vs West 'Civil War' Claim', in which she completely denies our allegation that she was involved in a conversation about using a cartoon exhibition to incite a violent reaction, she writes:

"That meeting did take place – to talk about building a website (which I believe the writer does for a living). If there was any talk of ‘civil war’, then it will have been by way of conversation, not some cartoon-like plot. In any case, aren’t people allowed to speculate on the potential for discord, especially given the current state of “multiculturalism” in Britain?"

In between abusing everyone connected to HOPE not hate as being part of the “hard left”, she conveniently failed to tell her readers that she ignored a request for an interview with HOPE not hate on these matters, which we sent to her by email on 7 July.

Waters also denied speaking at an anti-Muslim English Defence League (EDL) rally: while this was technically correct, she failed to admit that she had spoken at a rally in Dudley organised by All Football Fans/Firms March Against Islamisation, an EDL splinter group led by Kevin Bryant – who just happens to be in the EDL (as does his Polish partner Tee, who is also known to Waters).

Last Thursday, Jim Dowson, the former Britain First leader who made the original allegation against both Waters, Stephen Lennon and key counter-jihadist Alan Ayling, released another blog. In a startling Q&A on the Knights Templar website (subsequently removed but can be found here), he went into more detail about what happened at the meeting with the trio. Invited along to discuss plans to set up a new anti-Islam organisation, which Waters described as "EDL with membership", the discussion moved onto running a cartoon competition.

"As the meeting progressed I was interested in how they would attract a following given that the ‘right-wing’ anti Islam ‘market’ was rather crowded and Britain First had almost a monopoly on the scene," said Dowson.

”It was then the issue of cartoons was brought up. Anne Marie Waters outlined her idea of a Mohammed Cartoon competition. It was also muted (sic) by the others that the displaying of cartoons should occur in towns and cities with large muslim communities both here in Britain and possibly in Europe. Robinson and Ayling both contributed to this discussion. However, it seemed to me that Ms Waters was very much the driving force in this enterprise. As the conversation progressed it became apparent that this idea was, as far as I was concerned, extremely dangerous and ill conceived. I was becoming aware of the true intent of the whole operation and was seriously concerned at what I was hearing.

"It became very obvious that the intent was to use the pretense [sic] of ‘freedom of speech’ to ferment a backlash from the Muslim community. This was not an opinion formulated by me but rather a conclusion based on statements from all three participants. I pointed out that such a ‘stunt’ would definitely ignite the fires of a civil war and this had the potential to result in the deaths of thousands of innocent people."

Intriguingly, Dowson said that he had an "observer" in the room and a video was made and handed over to his lawyer the following morning.

Predictably, the counter-jihadists reacted with fury to Dowson’s interview, with Lennon most forcefully going on the attack. He began bombarding the former Britain First leader with phone calls and text messages, many of which accused him of being a “dirty snake” and a “coward”.

Lennon went on to state, via Twitter, that there was nothing he said to Dowson at the meeting that he would not say publicly.

Writing under another name, it appears that Dowson reached out to Lennon and attempted to draw a line under the affair but this was instantly rejected by the former EDL leader.

Publicly though, Dowson is not backing down. Yesterday, he posted a message on Facebook: “Who works a sting the best – a bee or the cops? Both use little flowers but thankfully here in Ulster we have good ears and eyes and can hear the buzz from 20 paces. Better luck next time boys.” He accompanied the post with a picture of a bee.

With Dowson and Lennon accusing the other of working for the police, the infighting within the counter-jihad movement looks set to rumble on. Meanwhile, we stand behind the main tenets of our report: namely, that those now so loudly proclaiming that “all” they want is a private exhibition did indeed discuss civil strife as part of their plans.

You can read our Report here: http://issuu.com/hopenothate/docs/cj-cartoon-report_final or http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk//launch.aspx?eid=c943edb2-0d73-4d9c-98c1-8e27e5e89fee

 Posted: 5 Aug 2015 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The Muhammad cartoon exhibition, free speech and the counter-jihadists

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 27 July 2015, 12:12


Today HOPE not hate published a report into plans to host a cartoon exhibition, featuring the Prophet Muhammad, in London on 18 September.

 

Our report, based on sources close to those involved and on published material, reveals that while some people are supporting the exhibition out of a strong belief for free speech, others are hoping for a violent reaction from British Muslims in order to prove the incompatibility of Islam in the West.

 

The report reveals that just three weeks before the exhibition was publicly announced, exhibition organisers Anne Marie Waters (of Sharia Watch), Alan Ayling (original financier of the EDL) and Stephen Lennon (‘Tommy Robinson’ ex-EDL leader) met former Britain First founder Jim Dowson to discuss collaborating on a new counter-jihadist project. Counter-Jihadists believe that Islam is aggressive and expansionist, and make little or no distinctions between moderate or hardline followers of the religion.

 

The conversation quickly changed and, led by Alan Ayling, the three talked about using the Muhammad cartoons to provoke serious civil strife in this country. One element of this plan relied on sending anti-Muslim demonstrators into heavily Muslim areas, waving placards with offensive cartoons.

 

So horrified by what he had heard, Dowson later denounced these plans on his Knights Templar blog:

 

“The belief is that Muslims will be so angry that they will start fighting the police in an effort to get at the demonstrators, but that with trouble breaking out in so many places at once the police will be unable to contain it.”

 

“The plot relies on this fact to envisage that this will mean that the resulting violence will spin out of control, leading to a wave of murderous attacks not just on the ‘useful idiot’ demonstrators but also on the outnumbered police force, pubs and non- Muslims in general.

 

“Those behind this insanely dangerous idea believe (probably correctly) that heavily armed Muslim drugs gangs will be drawn into the clashes and that Jihadist sleeper cells will also seize the opportunity to come out as militant leaders of their community as part of a massive recruitment and radicalisation drive.

 

“...What starts with a cartoon of Mohammad having sex with a goat (for this is the sort of image waiting to go out) will end with the coffins of little children fried alive in their own homes by the petrol bombs that are the weapon of choice of communal violence.”

 

Dowson’s blog gives us an insight into the mindset of those backing the cartoon exhibition and should give everyone great cause for concern. As a consequence, our opposition to the cartoon exhibition is not an attempt to curtail free speech but to prevent a clear incitement to violence.

 

Let us be clear: criticism of Islam is perfectly acceptable, as it should be of all religions. We should be able to criticise, denounce, mock and satirise. Freedom of speech and freedom of expression is an important part of any democracy and is an integral part of our cultural history.

 

But with that freedom comes responsibility for our actions, for harm: it has its limits. We oppose this cartoon exhibition on the grounds of incitement.

 

But let us also be clear: if the exhibition goes ahead then we will encourage everyone to ignore it and show their opposition in a more constructive, positive and unifying way.

 

The counter-jihadists do not believe it is possible for Muslims and non-Muslims to get along peacefully. So if the exhibition goes ahead, let’s prove to them how wrong they can be.

 Posted: 27 Jul 2015 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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ID required

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 15 July 2015, 09:13


Can anyone out there please identify this man for us please. He has a strong Scottish accent but may now live in the London/Home Counties area.

If you know him, or anything about him, them please drop me a line at nick@hopenothate.org.uk

All information will be treated in the upmost confidence

 Posted: 15 Jul 2015 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Genocide Remembered: Srebrenica 20

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 11 July 2015, 12:18


Images © Jasmin Agovic, Bosnia

Images © Jasmin Agovic, Bosnia

It is 20 years today since more than 8,000 men and boys were massacred inside a UN safe haven, Srebrenica, by Bosnian Serb paramilitaries.

The massacre at Srebrenica in 1995 should be etched into our collective memory as a ‘never again’ moment. It is (officially) a genocide.

Yet this stain on Europe is being repeated over and over by those who wish to bring war, not peace. They seek division, not unity, and twist the words and ideals of our common society into something forged with far darker intent.

This face of evil comes in many guises: in the casual words of a radio DJ; the smiling rhetoric of a populist politician; in conspiracy theories about 9/11 or “Zionists”; in the racism of a flag, or the snarl behind a supremacist banner; and in the zealotry of religiously-inspired intolerance or extremism.

Each will claim to have the answer. Each will tell you to follow them. Each will say “the other” is the problem.

When will we learn?

This is a question I often find myself asking: when will we learn the lessons of Rwanda, South Sudan, Somalia, Bosnia, Congo, Syria, the Holocaust?

With terrorism both near and far, and wars and climate change looming on the horizon, it is easy to lose faith. But there are signs of hope, too, amid the fear and gloom.

From the White House’s historic rainbow colouring, to those of all faiths & none standing firm against neo-Nazi intimidation on London streets. From brave human rights defenders who suffer threats of imprisonment and torture, to those who help exhausted or tortured migrants – there are always people willing to extend the hand of friendship towards others, and those who will act on principle not merely personal gain.

It is heartening to know that we are not alone.

Hope is something that sometimes must be hard won. We can’t just “magic” it up. It takes courage, determination, and a willingness to endure hard knocks, while all around there will be those saying ‘take the easy route’ – pull up the drawbridge, turn on others, or (worse) seek to inflame tensions further (blaming ‘the cockroaches’, as Hutu radio DJs said of Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994).

‘Evil’ is not the monster ‘out there’. It is our own fear which, when coaxed by circumstance and those who ‘claim’ to have an answer, can turn our society into something dark and ugly. For how can we bring about a world we all claim to want – where we know and respect one another, where our children are safe, where we all ‘fit’ – if we turn with savagery on those who exhibit difference or herald change?

That to me is the lesson of Srebrenica – and of Rwanda, Sudan, Congo, Syria and other all the other tragedies which litter history.

Those of us who have seen war and its effects (and there are several on our team who have done so) know that only fools – and psychopaths – will herald the banners of hate. The rest of us should stand firm, unified, against the many masks of hate.

Remembering Srebrenica: www.srebrenica.org.uk

Images © Jasmin Agovic, Bosnia

Images © Jasmin Agovic, Bosnia

 Posted: 11 Jul 2015 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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#WalkTogether in HOPE, not hate

posted by: Elisabeth Pop | on: Tuesday, 7 July 2015, 18:50


Today we commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 7/7 bombings, a day in which we remember the victims and celebrate the survivors. It's also an important moment for London and for Britain - a chance to stand TOGETHER for the country we all want to share, in peace and unity.

A week ago we asked you to join us and #WalkTogether so we can show that we will not forget, We Are The Many and We Choose HOPE.

So thank you to the HOPE not hate supporters and some of our Trade Union Friends, from UNISON and TSSA, who joined other likeminded people and decided to #WalkTogether from the UNISON headquarters to Kings Cross, where we observed a minutes silence.

We stand united.

 Posted: 7 Jul 2015 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Walk Together: 7/7

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 7 July 2015, 13:52


It is 10 years since 7/7, when 52 people died on the streets of London. It is also 20 years this week since the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.

We’re asking everyone to #WalkTogether* today, to get off public transport one stop early and walk – and remember – the victims of 7/7.

There are all too many people who still thrive on the hatred of the London bombers, or the Tunisian killers, or wish for the sectarian hatred of the former Yugoslavian wars. They exist across all faiths, all political groups, all ethnicities. They exist here, too, inside the far right and violent jihadi groups.

As someone who has been to, and seen, war zones first hand, I am simply staggered that such people can sleep easy at night.

Now, more than ever, is a time for dignified remembrance and continued vigilance against organised hatred.

HOPE not hate exists to mobilise the majority of people who stand opposed to hatred. We seek to bring people together around our positive values of respect, equality, tolerance and fairness. There will be many difficult times ahead in the future – perhaps even in the next few weeks – when society will be tested by those who seek to divide us. But however much we are tested, however much the extremists try to divide us, we have faith that the majority of people will stand strong and united.

So, please join with our friends today to #WalkTogether and stay unified, with us, in hope.

* #Walktogether is an initiative supported by Faiths Forum for London, Hope Not Hate, Islamic Society of Britain, Faith Matters, Trust for London, The Big Iftar, British Humanist Association, St John Ambulance, New Horizons in British Islam, City Sikhs, Inspire, JW3 Jewish Community Centre London, Armed Forces Muslim Forum and British Future.

 Posted: 7 Jul 2015 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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'Counter-Jihadists' plan Muhammad cartoon competition

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 1 July 2015, 12:35


HOPE not hate is aware of a plan to exhibit the “Muhammad cartoons” – depicting the Muslim prophet, Muhammad – in central London this September.

Those behind this initiative are hoping to incite outrage and a counter-reaction from the Muslim community, in order to inflame communal tensions. They are doing so under the (false) guise of free speech. Incitement is not a “right”.

This initiative is part of a wider attempt by an international circle of ‘counter jihadists’ (anti-Muslim ideologues) to encourage a crackdown on Muslims. We must not play into their hands.

We will be consulting widely during the summer with partners and agencies, and the Muslim community, on appropriate responses.

 Posted: 1 Jul 2015 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Golders Green Has Won

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 30 June 2015, 16:37


The anti-Semitic demonstration planned by neo-Nazis this coming weekend has been banned from Golders Green. It will instead take place in Whitehall for just one hour this Saturday.

This is an amazing victory – and we’d like to thank you all for your fantastic solidarity and support in saying NO! to antisemism. Thanks are also due to the Metropolitan Police for the work it has put into protecting our community.

Over the past few weeks we at HOPE not hate have had the privilege of working with the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the London Jewish Forum under the banner of Golders Green Together, focusing on the positive energy and unity that is alive in the borough.

Over 50 political and community leaders joined us at the launch of Golders Green Together just under a month ago. Jews stood alongside Muslims, Hindus with Sikhs, and Christians with Buddhists, together with those of no religion. Fifty-eight (58) MPs also signed an Early Day Motion calling on the Home Secretary to take action and local MP Mike Freer used Prime Minister’s Question Time to raise the issue. We must thank them all, too.

We are grateful as well for everyone who helped us leaflet the area, for the schools who invited us in, the local shopkeepers who displayed our posters, and indeed everyone who helped spread the word about Golders Green Together. It has been an amazing show of unity – we’ve won! But this isn’t the end.

There’s still our Thunderclap to sign, which goes out at 5pm on Thursday evening – please do support it!

Im supporting #GoldersGreenTogether because Im saying no to #antisemitism and yes to #unity on 4th Julythndr.it/1dKzhSX

And on Friday morning we’ll celebrate by continuing with our plans to decorate Golders Green in gold and green. If you want to take part, just email john@hopenothate.org.uk for more details.

 Posted: 30 Jun 2015 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Let's #WalkTogether on 7/7

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 30 June 2015, 11:28


Ten years ago, terrorists tried to divide us. Today HOPE not hate is joining a broad coalition of people, from all faiths and backgrounds, in calling for us all to come together and show that they failed.

Please join us and walk the last stop of your journey on 7 July, and show your support by sharing a photo using #WalkTogether.

7 July 2005 was just another Thursday morning and Londoners were on their way to work. But at ten to nine, terrorists detonated four bombs at Kings Cross, Aldgate, Edgware Road and Tavistock Square. 52 people lost their lives and over 770 were injured.

The victims were all of us: young and old, black and white, different faiths and none.

The tenth anniversary is a day to remember those whose lives were lost or changed forever. It's also an important moment for London and for Britain - a chance to stand up for the country we all want to share.

On that terrible day 10 years ago, London was shocked but it didn't grind to a halt. That evening, with public transport shut down, thousands of people walked home. But we were not divided - we walked together.

On Tuesday 7 July, we are asking people to walk together once again - to get off the bus, train or tube one stop early and walk, in a quiet moment of unity and remembrance of those who lost their lives.

Let's walk together

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/walktogether

#Walktogether is a new initiative supported by Faiths Forum for London, Hope Not Hate, Islamic Society of Britain, Faith Matters, Trust for London, The Big Iftar, British Humanist Association, St John Ambulance, New Horizons in British Islam, City Sikhs, Inspire, JW3 Jewish Community Centre London, Armed Forces Muslim Forum and British Future.

The decade that has followed has been an anxious one for Britain. But none of us wants fear and hate to win.

The power of #WalkTogether will come from people all over Britain taking part. You can walk at any time of day, wherever you are, with friends and colleagues or on your own. Please show your support by sharing a picture of your walk using the #WalkTogether hashtag.

If you are interested in walking with other likeminded people then sign up here and we will put you in touch

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/walktogether

I will email you again later this week with some more specific ideas of what you can do. In the meantime, put the date in your diary and make a commitment to yourself to make a stand for HOPE.

Join us and #WalkTogether

 Posted: 30 Jun 2015 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments