HOPE not hate

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Manchester City Council backs HOPE not hate

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 31 January 2013, 20:19


Yesterday, at its full council meeting, councillors in Manchester backed a campaign to bring HOPE not hate to the city. Councillors signed a Pledge and discussions are now beginning between the council leadership and HOPE not hate about how we can help the council deliver a positive community cohesion message to the people of the city.

This follows the backing given to the HOPE not hate campaign by Glasgow City Council.

I will hopefully have some positive news about some initiatives soon but in the meantime here is the pledge the councillors signed up to.

"We are proud of our city and our people. We declare that Manchester is a special place – vibrant, tolerant and friendly. We stand together against hatred, intolerance and violence.

"We celebrate our common heritage and understand how our city has gained from our diversity. We welcome people who come in peace from around the world, regardless of race, culture, religion, gender and sexual orientation. We welcome people of all backgrounds who have made Manchester a world leader in education, enterprise, culture, entertainment, science and sport.

"We state simply: we love Manchester and the people who make it so special.

"We pledge to do everything we can to oppose those who bring hatred to our streets and division to our communities. We state that an attack on Manchester people is an attack on all our communities.

"We stand against all hate crime but we also know that the best way to defeat hate is to promote HOPE. To promote HOPE in our schools, on our streets and in our communities.

"We stand together for Manchester under the banner of HOPE not hate."

 Posted: 31 Jan 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Damning indictment on our asylum system

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 30 January 2013, 09:59


Alarmingly low levels of asylum support are forcing thousands of children and their families seeking safety in the UK into severe poverty, putting babies’ and mothers’ lives at risk, a parliamentary inquiry reveals today.

The cross-party parliamentary inquiry into asylum support for children and young people, led by former children’s minister Sarah Teather MP, today launches its report into how asylum-seeking children and families are supported by the Home Office.

The panel, supported by The Children’s Society, found widespread examples of families on levels of support far below mainstream benefits, leaving them barely able to put food on the table or buy a winter coat.

Those on the lowest rate of support only receive their allowance on a card, meaning they get no cash, effectively leaving them stranded - unable even to take the bus to the doctor's or take their children to school.

Read more: http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/news-views/press-release/woeful-asylum-support-pushes-children-and-families-destitution

 Posted: 30 Jan 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Wilders' new anti-mosque campaign inspired by UK Islamophobe

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 28 January 2013, 07:52


Geert Wilders has been inspired by Bristol-based Gavin Boby

Geert Wilders has been inspired by Bristol-based Gavin Boby

According to the excellent Loonwatch website, which reports on the activities of the self-styled 'Counter-Jihadists', Geert Wilders has launched a new website, MoskNee (MosqueNo), which aims to "offer advice to non-Muslims who want to mount a legal challenge to plans for a new mosque in their area."

His website claims: “Netherlands is not an Islamic country and should never be. Yet we see the influence of Islam increase hand over hand…. Under the influence of the fast-growing Muslim population – around 1 million people in 2013 – the number of mosques has increased sharply. Netherlands now has more than 450…. What would be nice is a Netherlands without mosques. The PVV therefore says: enough is enough. As far as we are concerned there will be no more mosque in Netherlands.”

In an interview with Algemeen Dagblad Wilders states that “the mosque is a symbol of an ideology of hatred, violence and oppression” and that ideally the PVV would like to ban mosques from the Netherlands altogether.

Now, where have we heard that before? Oh yes, from Gavin Boby the planning lawyer who in his spare time campaigns against planning applications for mosques and other Islamic buildings.

The activities of Boby, and his Law and Freedom website, was the subject of a three-page investigation in the latest HOPE not hate magazine.

Boby shared a platform with Wilders to rile against the threat of Islam in the European Parliament last July and it appears that this was the inspiration for his latest anti-Muslim enterprise. Also speaking was EDL leader Stephen Lennon.

To read our investigation into Gavin Boby please buy a copy of our latest HOPE not hate magazine: http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/gethope/issue6

 Posted: 28 Jan 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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HOPE must always triumph over hate

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 27 January 2013, 10:32


There is no good racism or prejudice. No acceptable face of intolerance. And unfortunately no ultimate taboo. But this week we are reminded of one of the true scars on the history of humanity and one that inspires the team at HOPE not hate and anti-fascists across the world, to make sure that we never forget and what can happen when HOPE loses.

Today marks the 68th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and with it Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK. Thousands of people across the country have come together this week to mark the event and remember the horrendous evil that resulted in the murder of millions of people. Organised murder on such a scale that it is still unfathomable even if you have visited one of the death camps.

Unfortunately this week we have seen several examples of people trying to politicise the events of the Shoah for their own purposes, which have nothing to do with the gas chambers or the camps, or the memory of the millions who perished. It is not only the politicisation of the Holocaust we need to be wary of, in recent years, especially as the number of living survivors of the Holocaust reduce in number, more and more groups are trying to re-write this appalling period of history for their own purposes. That’s why last month HOPE not hate launched our first eBook on Holocaust Revisionism and the groups and people that are seeking to undermine the facts about the Holocaust and the realities of fascism.

Today gives us all with the opportunity to reflect on who we are and what we stand for. Not only what we would have done if we had faced the unimaginable horrors of the Holocaust, but also what we are prepared to do now to make sure that the society we live in both remembers the evil of the past, but also builds a country that is united against hate, intolerance and evil.

For the team at HOPE not hate we honour and remember the victims of the Holocaust by fighting to expose and defeat racism and fascism both at home and across the world. What will you do to help us?

For more information about the Holocaust and Holocaust Memorial Day visit www.het.org.uk and www.hmd.org.uk. You can also access the HOPE not hate eBook on Holocaust Revisionism at http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/shop/rewriting-history

 Posted: 27 Jan 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Time for a rethink?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 25 January 2013, 11:25


So 24-year-old Liam Ferrar has pleaded guilty to leaving a frozen pig's head outside a community centre used by a Muslim group in Leicester.

Ferrar is an active member of Forgotten Estates, a group formed to oppose the selling of a former scout hut to a Muslim organisation. He has even regularly acted as police liaison for the group.

For some bizarre reason, Leicester Council has entertained Forgotten Estates as a legitimate community group. After initially agreeing to sell the Scout hut to the muslim organisation - largely because it was the only buyer - the council backed down after local protests.

The council has even given Forgotten Estates funding for future activities and decided that they should be given the scout hut instead.

Last year HOPE not hate revealed that the people behind Forgotten Estates had been active in the English Defence League and the breakaway group, the Infidels.

Perhaps now, after Ferrar's disgusting actions, the council might review the support it is giving Forgotten Estates.

 Posted: 25 Jan 2013 | There are 7 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Stage One completed

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 25 January 2013, 07:42


Jobbik's Hungarian Guard

Jobbik's Hungarian Guard

HOPE not hate is closing this email campaign as it has achieved it's initial target of encouraging UK MEPs to sign petition to get the EU President to apply Rule 210 to the funding of the AENM, which includes the BNP and Jobbik. This rule withholds funding to any political grouping which fails to meet EU values about equality, human rights and respect for minority groups.

As of last night we were just a few short of the 189 MEPs we needed, but with some MEPs promising to sign we are confident that we will reach out target either today or on Monday.

We would like to thank everyone who lobbied their MEPs. In total 6,275 people sent a total of 31,623 emails. That really is fantastic and shows the strength of feeling over the issue.

We have passed the first stage but there is still more to do. The EU President and the EU Bureau need to agree that the AENM fail to meet the criteria for funding and then there is a vote of the full Parliament.

Victory is still some way off but we are on our way thanks to you. HOPE not hate is preparing a briefing on AENM which will show its extremist nature and why it fails to meet the EU's new funding rules. A copy will be sent to every MEP as part of a wider lobbying initiative ahead of a vote.

Later today HOPE not hate will be releasing more details of how people can help us block funding for the BNP but until then thanks again for all your support.

 Posted: 25 Jan 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Griffin support rejected by Orgreave campaign

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 23 January 2013, 08:01


Photo: John Harris http://www.reportdigital.co.uk/

Photo: John Harris http://www.reportdigital.co.uk/

Some people might have noticed that BNP leader Nick Griffin last week tried to get himself involved in the campaign for a public enquiry into the Orgreave affair. He publicly backed calls for an enquiry and said that the campaign should be as broad as possible.

In a statement issued last night, the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign made clear that they did not want to have anything to do with the BNP leader.

"It has been drawn to our attention that the fascist British National Party’s leader Nick Griffin has voiced support for the campaign for a public enquiry into violent police action at Orgreave cokeworks during the 1984-85 miners’ strike.

"We wish to make it unequivocally clear that Griffin and his BNP are anti-trade union and enemies of the miners and the organised working class.

"His support for our wider campaign is unwanted, unwelcome and rejected."

The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign is seeking truth and justice for all miners victimised by the police at the Orgreave Coking Plant, South Yorkshire, on June 18th 1984. It is being supported by the Hillsborough '96 campaign.

HOPE not hate activists are involved in this campaign and we would urge our supporters to back it in every way they can.

For more on Orgreave: http://www.unionhome.org.uk/?p=1857

To sign the e-petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/41844

 Posted: 23 Jan 2013 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Inch by inch we are getting there

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 22 January 2013, 20:21


I'm now really confident that we will reach the 189 MEPs by tomorrow. As I reported in my last blog three hours ago we are just 20 names short, but after the latest reports of what is happening around Europe I'm sure we will get there in the next 24 hours.

Our friends in Sweden tell us that after quite a bit of lobbying even moderate Conservative MEPs are prepared to sign up and two Bulgarian MEPs have told us that they plan to sign up tomorrow. The anti-racist group United have sent out a campaign email to 10,000 supporters across Europe asking for people to lobby their MEPs.

28,700 emails have gone to MEPs in the UK alone, so a big thank you to everyone who has got involved.

 Posted: 22 Jan 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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We are getting there

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 22 January 2013, 17:06


We are well on our way to getting the support of 189 MEPs we need to begin the process of blocking funding for the BNP and their fascist friends in Jobbik, the National Democratic Party and the Front National.

The Socialists and the Liberals are both encouraging their MEPs to sign the petition and the Green MEPs will be discussing it at their next group meeting.

Internationally the campaign continues to grow. We are now receiving reports of lobbying taking place in nine EU countries. Among the new actions are Bulgaria and Spain. In Spain, MEPs are being lobbied one by one and a coalition of anti-racist, immigrant rights and Roma groups are putting together a joint statement which they will soon release.

Here in the UK, we now know of 26 MEPs who have signed or are signing the petition. This includes all Labour MEPs, 10 of the 12 Lib Dems, two Greens and Nikki Sinclaire, an Independent MEP, formerly of UKIP.

Over 28,000 emails have now been sent to British MEPs.

As I write this I've just been told that we now have 169 MEPs signed, so that means we have just 20 to go.

 Posted: 22 Jan 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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HOPE in action

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 22 January 2013, 10:47


The campaign to get the EU President to apply Rule 210 to enforce the compliance rules pertaining to the funding of extreme-right wing parties within the European Parliament has really gathered pace.

Our supporters in the UK have sent over 26,500 emails to British MEPs and now the campaign is spreading internationally. Pressure is being exerted in several European countries, including Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Parliamentarians of Germany’s Left Party are actively supporting the campaign to stop funding for the Euro-fascists and are urging their MEPs and others to sign the parliamentary petition.
They have also informed HnH of moves against the far-right by the Council of Europe.

UNITED, a European-wide anti-racist network, are also backing the campaign and are in the process of contacting all their affiliate organisations across Europe encouraging them to contact their MEPs.

In the UK, MEPs from Labour, Lib Dems, Greens and even UKIP have signed up and as they do we are removing their email addresses.

The Green Party MEPs gave HOPE not hate this statement: "UK Green MEPs want a diverse and peaceful Europe. We stand together with MEPs from across the European Parliament in support of this initiative to make sure public money is never be used to support fascist organisations such as the BNP and their racist friends in The Alliance of European National Movements."

We are now contacting every remaining British MEP directly and depending on who is signing and who is not we will then decide on the next step of the campaign.

Separately, our Research team is putting together a briefing on the AENM which will be delivered to MEPs at the beginning of next week. Getting at least a quarter of MEPs to sign the petition is just the first stage of the campaign. Once we have achieved this then we need to convince the powers that be that the AENM MEPs do not comply with the new funding rules.

 

 Posted: 22 Jan 2013 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Over 2,000 people have now acted

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 21 January 2013, 13:07


Our campaign to stop fascists getting public money is gathering pace, both in this country and abroad. Over 2,000 people have now sent over 11,000 emails to MEPs across the UK.

We have had such a response that we have now had to raise our target to 3,000. Our hope is to reach this target by tonight.

The campaign is also being taken up across Europe, with several anti-racist and anti-fascist organisations pushing their MEPs to sign up.

News from Brussels is excellent. We need to get a mimimum of 189 MEPs to sign. As of 30 minutes ago we had 119, so just another 70 to go. Obviously we want a lot more but this is our first target.

To push you MEP to sign the petition please click here:

 

 Posted: 21 Jan 2013 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Over 2,000 people have now acted

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 21 January 2013, 13:07


Our campaign to stop fascists getting public money is gathering pace, both in this country and abroad. Over 2,000 people have now sent over 11,000 emails to MEPs across the UK.

We have had such a response that we have now had to raise our target to 3,000. Our hope is to reach this target by tonight.

The campaign is also being taken up across Europe, with several anti-racist and anti-fascist organisations pushing their MEPs to sign up.

News from Brussels is excellent. We need to get a mimimum of 189 MEPs to sign. As of 30 minutes ago we had 119, so just another 70 to go. Obviously we want a lot more but this is our first target.

To push you MEP to sign the petition please click here:

https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/stop-funding-the-bnp/

 Posted: 21 Jan 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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A phenomenal response - 519 page requests per second

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 21 January 2013, 11:20


Our campaign to stop the BNP and their fascist friends has had a fantastic response. So fantastic in fact that our system crashed.

In fact, we were having 519 page requests per second and that simply overloaded the system.

Hopefully it is all working fine now so please send emails to your local MEPs

https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/stop-funding-the-bnp/

Over 700 people have now sent emails to their MEPs. Thanks to everyone

 Posted: 21 Jan 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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569 people contact their MEPs

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 21 January 2013, 11:13


Such has been the volume of people wanting to send emails to their MEPs to ask them to sign the petition to initiate the procedure described in article 210 of the Rules of Procedure in view of stopping EU funding for extremist parties our server went down!

We are trying desperately to get it up and running at full speed but despite these problems 569 people have contacted their MEPs.

If you haven't already done so then please do. It is vital that we get a quarter of MEPs, from at least three political groups within the Parliament, to sign the petition.

As it stands the BNP and their fascist friends in Hungary, Bulgaria and France are set to receive up to €400,000 in public funding to peddle their racist filth.

Please ask your MEP to act

https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/stop-funding-the-bnp/

It is preposterous that public money can be used to incite racism and hatred. But time is short. We need our MEPs to sign the petition this week.

Please sign the letter to your local MEPs and tell them that you, as one of their constituents, do not want your money funding the racist campaigns of the BNP or Jobbik. If we can get thousands of people to sign the letter then we can make the difference.

 Posted: 21 Jan 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Take action to stop the BNP and their fascist friends getting 400,000

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 21 January 2013, 10:15


In just two weeks' time the European Parliament will be allocating money to pan-European political parties and their associated think-tanks to assist them with their work. The Alliance of European National Movements (AENM), made up of fascist and racist MEPs from the UK, France, Hungary and Bulgaria, is asking for money. Scandalously it appears that EU's Secretary General is recommending that they get some.

The idea of Nick Griffin and his fascist friends at Jobbik receiving as much as €400,000 of taxpayer's money to fund their racist campaigns is disgusting. But with your help we can stop it.

HOPE not hate is launching a campaign to get MEPs to block this funding.

https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/stop-funding-the-bnp/

Last September the European Commission announced new rules for the funding of pan-European political parties to ensure that EU money was only given to parties and foundations that observe the values of the European Union, "namely respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities".

This announcement came as a result of pressure first exerted by HOPE not hate after we learnt that the AENM received €300,000 in 2012.

We are now demanding that the EU President applies Rule 210 to enforce the compliance of these new rules. We need the support of one quarter of all MEPs, representing at least three political groups. A petition has been drawn up which will be submitted before the 4 February meeting and already all 13 Labour MEPs have already signed. We now want MEPs of other parties to do likewise.

Get your MEP to act

https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/stop-funding-the-bnp/

It is preposterous that public money can be used to incite racism and hatred. But time is short. We need our MEPs to sign the petition this week.

Please sign the letter to your local MEPs and tell them that you, as one of their constituents, do not want your money funding the racist campaigns of the BNP or Jobbik. If we can get thousands of people to sign the letter then we can make the difference.

 Posted: 21 Jan 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Robin Tilbrook's all in a tiz

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 20 January 2013, 19:19


Tilbrook, far left, with an assortment of racists and nazis at a meeting in Kent

Tilbrook, far left, with an assortment of racists and nazis at a meeting in Kent

It seems that two of our blogs last week have seriously upset English Democrat leader Robin Tilbrook. My colleague Simon Cressy broke the story that Tilbrook attended a meeting with Britain First leaders Jim Dowson and Paul Golding and an assortment of former EDL activists.

I then wrote a blog of my own, where I stated that his presence at the meeting was "proof, if proof was needed, why his party is firmly in our sights."

The English Democrat leader has reacted in his usual bombastic pompous manner, accusing me of is "lying and smearing yet again. His 'article' is below and is of his usual poor and unprofessional journalistic standard."

So, what are my lies and smears?

* That he attended a meeting with racists and fascists? I think the photo speaks for itself.

* That 43% of English Democrat candidates in the 2012 local elections had until recently been in the BNP? The candidates' names are there in black and white.

* That the English Democrats did a deal with the miniscule nazi group England First at the last European Elections in a bid to prevent Nick Griffin winning a seat in the North West? Just ask Ed Abrams, the party's lead North West candidate, who has since walked out of the party over their increasing links with racists and nazis.

It is easy to shout and scream smear but the truth is there for all to see. After years of being on the political margins, and with a not too inconsiderable amount of his own money wasted, Tilbrook and the English Democrats are desperately trying to exploit the vacuum left by the electoral collapse of the BNP. That has seen him link up with all sorts of extremists.

For good measure we also reported Tilbrook brough his own idiot to the meeting with Dowson and the EDL. Tony Gladwin, once of the BNP and now a firm fixture within the English Democrats, was exposed a few years back mocking Thalidomide sufferers on his Facebook profile, claiming they looked like "Sea Lions".

Perhaps Tilbrook should be more concerned with his new friends rather than abusing others.

For the record, here is Simon's blog:

http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/blog/article/2432/english-democrats-link-up-with-thugs-nazis

Here's mine:

http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/blog/article/2433/the-english-democrats-are-fair-game

and here's Robin's rant:

http://robintilbrook.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/nick-lowles-of-fancifully-named-hope.html

 Posted: 20 Jan 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Young people are more progressive but also more susceptible to the far right

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 20 January 2013, 11:05


A few days ago I spoke at an event in Parliament hosted by the Extremis Project, entitled: “The New Far Right: Who is Receptive, and Why?” I was responding, along with MPs Jon Cruddas and Gavin Barwell, to fascinating new research presented by Matthew Goodwin and YouGov’s Laurence Janta-Lipinski.

Laurence gave us a summary of society’s attitudes to immigration, multiculturalism and Islam, while Matthew looking more specifically at the 10% of the population who sympathise with the aims of the English Defence League.

While not wanting to reveal too much of what they found, as this research is to be formally published in a few weeks, one finding which did offer some comfort was that the attitudes of younger people were far more positive than older people – both in regards of sympathises to the EDL but also more generally to immigration, the EU and Islam. For example, 50% of 18-24 year-olds said that they were "less likely" to vote for a party which promised to "stop all immigration into the UK" compared to 20% of people over 60 and 28% in society overall.

Likewise, 42% of 18-24 year olds were less likely to support a party which promised to "reduce the number of Muslims and the presence of Islam" in the UK. This compared to 15% of those over 60% and 23% overall. 

But before we get too relaxed about the future it is perhaps worth reading Péter Krekó’s excellent piece for the Policy Network, entitled: Dangerous harbours: Populism, extremism and young people. Péter, who is Director of the Political Capital Institute in Budapest, explains how “Populist and extremist actors are becoming increasingly adept at targeting first-time and young-, largely undecided, voters.”

Like an increasing number of academics and political scientists he dismisses the widely held view that the far right is on the march across Europe because of the economic crisis.

“The idea that Europe is experiencing a general fascist and authoritarian shift in response to the economic crisis is empty and baseless. The economy is not the problem. The implication, however, is that the growing problem of populism/extremism within European democracies will not be automatically solved if the crisis goes away.

“What is pretty obvious from most of the latest research on Europe is that we are witnessing a growing general disillusionment with the traditional representative political system and its institutions. The underlying reason is that more and more voters feel that their elected politicians are unable to solve the most crucial problems, be they managerial or economic (e.g. the problems of the Eurozone), or social and cultural (e.g. conflicts over immigration and integration).”

He believes that because young people are alienated from the political system and highly sceptical that mainstream politicians can solve societies problem they can become very susceptible to the increasingly sophisticated language of far right and populist right parties.

(You can read Péter’s article here: http://www.policy-network.net/pno_detail.aspx?ID=4312&title=-Dangerous-harbours-Populism-extremism-and-young-people)

His views are backed up by recent elections and opinion polls. In Austria, the far right Freedom Party is the most popular for people under 30 and in last year’s French Presidential elections Marine Le Pen received 26% of 18-24 year-olds, more than any other candidate. The Greek fascist organisation Golden Dawn came second in the 18-24 year-old age group in last June’s General Election, with 13% of the vote, and equal second in the 25-34 age group with 16%.

In effect, it is the anti-establishment/anti-elite message of far right and populist right groups that is often more appealing to young people than traditional racist and anti-Muslim rhetoric. 

Matthew and Laurence’s research gave us a really useful snapshot of public attitudes and highlighted the need to remain vigilant of potential support for a far right party despite the electoral collapse of the BNP. And while attitudes among young people to racism and multiculturalism is generally more positive their political alienation and distrust of politicians can make them susceptible to anti-establishment right wing radical parties.

 Posted: 20 Jan 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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HOPE and dreams

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 18 January 2013, 10:38


Super activist Carlos Saavedra

Super activist Carlos Saavedra

Next month Carlos Saavedra, national co-ordinator of United We Dream, will be coming to the UK to speak at a series of meetings and training events around the country about how they forced President Obama to defer deportations and create a pathway to citizenship. This in turn created a huge surge in Latino support for Obama and helped secure his re-election.

United We Dream is the largest Latino youth organisation representating undocumented young people in the United States. Also known as the DREAMers, this group is one of the most exciting, innovative and successful immigrant rights groups in the US.

Carlos will be speaking at a HOPE not hate public meeting in central London on Monday 11 February

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/meet-the-dreamers-london

Though only 27, Carlos is a veteran of the immigrant rights movement. Born in Peru, Carlos joined other undocumented students in his local high school in Boston to start a campaign to allow access to higher education when he was sixteen. Eleven years later and he is still campaigning. In 2011 he was named Activist of the Year by The Nation magazine.

Carlos has overseen the growth of the DREAMers from a loose coalition of seven groups to a national body with 52 members in 30 states and it was the strength of this network that helped forced President Obama to act. It was one of the biggest victories in the immigrant rights movement since 1986.

In addition to the public meeting in London, Carlos will also be speaking at several other events in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. Some of these events will be organised by HOPE not hate, others are being held in conjunction with Student Action for Refugees (STAR), and others by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, the Barrow Cadbury Trust and Migrant Rights Network. He will also be running training sessions for refugee and asylum action groups and regional and national trade unions.

Get inspired, come and here Carlos speak on Monday 11 February http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/meet-the-dreamers-london

 Posted: 18 Jan 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The English Democrats are fair game

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 15 January 2013, 05:31


Robin Tillbrook, far left, joins former EDL thugs and Britain First leaders to discuss setting up a new street army

Robin Tillbrook, far left, joins former EDL thugs and Britain First leaders to discuss setting up a new street army

HOPE not hate’s expose last night that English Democrat leader Robin Tillbrook attended a meeting of racists and Nazis over the weekend is final proof, if proof was needed, why his party is firmly in our sights. By attending a meeting with former and violent EDL supporters and the leaders of Britain First with the aim of establishing a new racist street movement, Tillbrook has pushed his party into the realms of Britain’s far right.

The English Democrats constantly try to refute any allegations of extremism and its supporters regularly bombard us with protests when we have written about them in the past. This is despite them doing a deal with Mark Cotterill and the England First Party for the 2009 European Elections. This is despite the fact that 43% of their candidates in last May’s local elections had until recently been in the British National Party.

But this recent development marks a new low for the English Democrats and one that we will be making sure voters know ahead of this May’s County Council elections.

In the meantime we are aware that a number of current or former English Democrat members are deeply unhappy with the party's new alliances with racists and nazis so we would welcome them to contact us. You can email me at nick@hopenothate.org.uk, confidentiality will be assured.

 Posted: 15 Jan 2013 | There are 9 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Mapping the 'Counter-Jihad' networks

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 14 January 2013, 17:47


I've just finished a really excellent day with the New Media and Digital Culture department at Amsterdam University. As one of their course modules the 50 students are investigating the anti-Muslim networks, known as the 'Counter-Jihad' movement.

I gave an hour long introduction to the Counter-Jihad scene and then Peter Knoope, of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, gave a riveting lecture on the process of radicalisation. In the afternoon session Bernhard Rieder, from the New Media and Digital Culture department, gave a really fascinating talk on the study of Extremism on Twitter and Facebook. He peppered his talk by describing some preliminary results from his brief look at some of the anti-Muslim Facebook and Twitter pages. The day was concluded by a talk on Social Media and Radicalisation by Amsterdam University's Allard Feddes.

The students have now been divided into eleven groups and each will spend the rest of the week investigating different aspects of the 'Counter-Jihad' networks. Some might look at the networks and importance of certain individuals within this network, while others could investigate content networks and the rise of quotation culture.

Among the other themes that came out of the day as suggested ideas for research was the places where anti-Islam politics was contested, the longevity and persistence of activists and understanding which content made it from the established news media and websites onto Facebook and Twitter and then how it was used and spread.

Bernhard's brief investigation into two anti-Muslim networks have forced him to reconsider some long-held beliefs about 'Slacktivism' and this could possibly be researched further.

It is going to be a fascinating project and I'm really keen to discover the findings of the eleven working groups. Given some of the software and mapping programmes that the department have created over the last couple of years I'm expecting great things. The reports from the working groups will eventually be released on the Internet so as and when they are I will certainly link through.

As I said at the end of my lecture, the more we understand these networks then the easier it is for groups like ours to challenge them.

 Posted: 14 Jan 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The mosquebuster, the sectarian killer and the global anti-Muslim networks

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 13 January 2013, 16:48


It's been quite a weekend for our research team. Yesterday, Channel 4 carried a story about the state of the far right in Britain today based on our State of Hate 2012 report, which we have produced in the latest HOPE not hate magazine.

Today, it was the turn of The Sunday Times to use our research for a story. Under the title: “‘Mosque buster’ lawyer gives free advice on how to block worship” the Sunday Times investigates the Bristol-based planning lawyer, Gavin Boby, who is advising local groups to block planning applications for mosques and other religious centres.

Again, this was based on an investigation in our latest HOPE not hate magazine.

One of the Sunday Times journalists who wrote the story was full of praise for our research. Writing on twitter, Robin Henry said: “Our piece on smartly dressed Islamaphobe Gavin Boby follows a great investigation in the latest @hopenothate mag http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/gethope/issue6.”

If that wasn’t enough then my colleague Matthew Collins has continued his excellent coverage of the troubles in Belfast. He also exposed how a sectarian killer tried to hijack the Belfast flag protests on behalf of the BNP (http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/blog/article/2422/exclusive-sectarian-killer-joins-bnp-for-belfast-flag-protest).

I’m now in Amsterdam where tomorrow I will be joining up with academics and students at Amsterdam University to begin a digital mapping exercise of the anti-Muslim networks. We are linking up with the University as part of the work of our ‘Counter-jihad’ Monitoring Unit and the project will see as many as 50 students take part.

The research team form the backbone of HOPE not hate and their work allows us to campaign, educate and train. I think the coverage we have had this weekend, and the stories we have broken, is proof of the strength of our team.

To read the full story of the self-styled mosquebuster Gavin Boby, please buy a copy of the HOPE not hate magazine. 

http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/gethope/issue6

 

 Posted: 13 Jan 2013 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments

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State of Hate featured by C4

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 12 January 2013, 11:39


Pages from our latest HOPE not hate magazine

Pages from our latest HOPE not hate magazine

It's great to see our State of Hate 2012 report being featured by Channel 4. The news broadcaster's website reviews the state of the far right following the imprisonment of EDL leader Stephen Lennon

http://www.channel4.com/news/britains-far-right-collapses-amid-infighting-and-legal-woes

Over the last couple of days I have been over in Brussels at a two-day event organised by the Open Society Foundation, called the New Context for Advocacy. It was a great opportunity to learn about some new research into the far right and meet groups who are doing some fantastic anti-racist and anti-extremist work from across Europe.

I was particularly pleased to meet a number of organisations from Southern Europe, particularly Greece, Spain and Cyprus, who are clearly at the forefront of dealing with the rise in xenophobia as a result of the economic crisis. I will hopefully be highlighting the great work of some of these groups in the next few issues of our HOPE not hate magazine.

You can find more information, buy a single copy or subscribe to the magazine herehttp://www.hopenothate.org.uk/gethope/issue6



 Posted: 12 Jan 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Welcome to our new readers

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 11 January 2013, 14:21


Thanks to everyone who has either bought the latest copy of the HOPE not hate magazine or subscribed. We have had a phenomenal response to the email that went out yesterday and have achieved our best sales since the first issue.

I think this is testament to the broad range of interesting articles it carries.

We have also had several media enquiries about some of our stories so hopefully we can follow some of these up.

You can find more information, buy a single copy or subscribe to the magazine here http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/gethope/issue6

 Posted: 11 Jan 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Living the dream

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 10 January 2013, 10:41


One of the most inspiring stories of the recent US elections was how a group of young undocumented Latino students forced President Obama into deferring deportations and creating a pathway to citizenship. This infused the Latino community and they came out in record numbers to ensure Obama's re-election.

The inside story of the young DREAMers is the main feature in the latest HOPE not hate magazine. With exclusive interviews with those involved, we recount their campaign and investigate the progressive alliance they were part of which also deliver gay marriage legislation in four states and defended women's and worker's rights.

Buy your copy of HOPE not hate here

http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/gethope/issue6

The January issue of HOPE not hate also carries our assessment of the State of Hate in 2012. Covering nine pages, it reviews all the far right groups in the UK, charts their activities over the past 12 months and predicts their growth or decline in 2013.

Our main investigation is a profile of Gavin Boby, the self-styled Mosquebuster, who has claimed credit for stopping 15 proposed mosques over the past couple of years. Matthew Collins looks into the crisis of identity which is behind the current flag protests in Northern Ireland and reveals the role of far right activists.

All this and more in the latest HOPE not hate magazine

http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/gethope/issue6

HOPE not hate provides an antidote for hate and in Dog Collars and Hijabs Nick Ryan interviews Anjum Anwar and Chris Chivers on their joint work in Blackburn, while Paralympic champions Dame Sarah Storey and Abdi Jama reflect on the impact of the Olympics and Paralympics.

Sara Khan, director of Inspire, a British Muslim women's human rights organisation, says Grooming is an issue for the whole of society to deal with and Julie Siddiqi, Executive Director of the Islamic Society of Britain, explores issues concerning British Muslims and calls for greater cross-community initiatives to improve understanding and cooperation.

HOPE not hate is an essential read for anyone who oppose the politics of hate. 48 pages of investigations, features, interviews and commentary, HOPE not hate is a must for anyone who want to see HOPE triumph over hate. A single issue costs just £4 or subscribe for just £20 a year (UK individuals only).

 Posted: 10 Jan 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Dalston People's Festival

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 8 January 2013, 09:18


I'm delighted to say that HOPE not hate will be supporting the Dalston People's Festival, which will be held in Hackney in July 2013.

The Dalston People’s Festival will be a week-long celebration for the diverse people and communities of Dalston. John Page, one of the Festival organiser’s, told HOPE not hate: “At a time with so much to cause us concern, we want to celebrate the strength of the multi-cultural community that is Dalston. Already major venues such as the Vortex, Gillett Square, the Arcola, and the Eastern Curve Garden have voiced their support. The Dalston Square residents want in, and dozens of community groups, bars, and performers are exploring what they can do to make this event a resounding success.

“We want every section of the community to bring a little of their culture and tradition to the party.

“One of our aims is to bring our communities together, build trust and overcome divisions at a time when, due to the economic climate, the future for many of our communities is getting darker. We want to celebrate and showcase Dalston, but we believe that in the process we will also contribute towards building stronger community links that will survive and prosper long after the festival itself.”

HOPE not hate will be sponsoring another edition of the fantastic Hackney Unites newspaper, which will advertise the Festival, and we will be holding one or two events during the week.

This is a really brilliant initiative and I would urge everyone in Hackney to support it. If you want to know more then please register your interest:http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FFYKB56


Some of the Hackney Unites tabloids we have helped produce over the last couple of years

Some of the Hackney Unites tabloids we have helped produce over the last couple of years

 Posted: 8 Jan 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Why 'No Platform' means something different today

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 6 January 2013, 10:52


A few quotes attributed to me about ‘No Platform’ on Huffington Post, as part of a wider article on Free Speech issues in 2012, appear to have caused a bit of a stir in some quarters. The left of centre blog ‘Liberal Conspiracy’ applauded my comments while I have been firmly denounced by the anarchist-aligned ‘LibCom.org’.

Basically, in the course of a much wider interview about the state of the Right and the work of HOPE not hate I was asked about my view on No Platform – the position where we refuse to allow fascists an opportunity to act like normal political parties and, more specifically, which sometimes includes physically deny them the freedom to operate.

I told Jessica Elgot that this traditional position of No Platform was now out-dated and, I went on to say, that anti-racists and anti-fascists needed to do more to debate the ideas we oppose but not the people.

I really did not think anything more of it until my comments appeared on the Huffington Post website. After the applause and abuse, I thought I should expand on my thoughts.

By stating that what we historically understood as ‘No Platform’ is outdated is a simple fact. And of course I still would not give a platform to Nick Griffin or the BNP but others do and enforcing it is no longer a central plank of our work. I say all this for three reasons:

1. The British National Party has won elections and so it has a platform regardless of what we think or would like. Many people got understandably upset when Nick Griffin appeared on BBC’s Question Time but that was a consequence of him getting elected to the European Parliament. The BNP are, or at least were, in council chambers, so what should we do? Under No Platform we would demand that people refuse to sit in the chamber with them or council staff refuse to work for them but that is clearly impossible. Councils have to operate and staff would get sacked if they refused to follow orders.

2. New technology has made ‘No Platform’ increasingly redundant. Back in the 1980s groups like the BNP and National Front would only reach the public by holding papersales on street corners or public meetings at elections. Both gave anti-fascists an opportunity to drive them away and so prevent the public from hearing their racist diatribe. With the advert of the internet and social media that has now all changed. Anyone can now access racist and fascist material without leaving their house or exposing their interest to the wider public.

The rise of the Internet and social media has been accompanied with changing attitudes to freedom of expression and censorship. Arguments about silencing ideas are far less acceptable now than they once were. This was vividly recognised back in 2009 when the BNP tried to hold a fundraising event in Leigh, near Manchester. HOPE not hate joined a community campaign which helped force the venue owner to withdraw the invitation. Success, so we thought. However, a few BNP supporters did turn up and were attacked by anti-fascists, one with a hammer. What began as a great success story turned into a PR disaster as images of the beaten man dominated local, regional and even national news for three days.

3. Hate and hate speech is changing and not all the groups we now oppose are fascists who follow an ideology that is so repugnant that it is easy to explain why they should not be allowed to have a platform. This is especially the case with the emerging anti-Muslim extremists, those in the self-defined Counter-Jihad movement. And it is these groups and individuals who are a far more dangerous threat to local communities than the tiny neo-nazi parties like the British People’s Party or the Racial Volunteer Force. All too often those who profess to be militant anti-fascists ignore these more dangerous racist groups in preference for opposing the miniscule nazi grouplets.

Whether we like it or not the old strategy of No Platform is increasingly redundant, not least because it is no longer enforceable. Despite all best efforts of those who stick to traditional ‘No Platform’ BNP councillors still sit in council chambers, their local branches meet, leaflet and hold street stalls quite openly; the English Defence League march and campaign across the country and anti-Muslim groups oppose mosques and Islam with impunity.

But there is one further point I would like to make. Whilst I still would not debate with Nick Griffin, because at heart he remains the fascist he always was, I also recognise that he and his party do not articulate their true beliefs publicly. Rather, they go into local communities and try to tap into local issues, disillusionment and economic pessimism. That is why I argue that our most important task is to go into these very communities and take on their ideas and arguments.

And this is what HOPE not hate tries to do. We might not always get things right but we go where the problem is. We have consistently taken the BNP on in places like Burnley, Bradford and Sandwell. We produce community leaflets and newspapers in places like Dudley, Croydon and Leeds. In Barking & Dagenham we distributed 355,000 pieces of literature in just five months which helped defeat them in 2010. In Luton, more recently, we have consistently leafleted and campaigned on the estates where the EDL receives its support. The list of our community engagement could go on.

No Platform was a policy we backed in the 1980s and 1990s but it is no longer the same issue or has the same relevance today. But a different type of 'No Platform' does exist today and it is one that I do subscribe to. It is a No Platform which means we deny fascists, organised racists and other haters the freedom to spread their poison within communities unchallenged. Just as the BNP have moderated their public views to win the hearts and minds of local people so we must also change. It is about defeating thier ideas rather than just beating them. Working in the communities targeted by racists and fascists, engaging with ordinary people and persuading them to not support these groups is now our priority.

* Agree or disagree? Let me know your thoughts. Either leave a comment here, email me at nick@hopenothate.org.uk or on twitter at @lowles_nick

 Posted: 6 Jan 2013 | There are 18 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The DREAMers

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 3 January 2013, 15:24


I'm delighted to announce that Carlos Saavedra, who for the last five years has been the national co-ordinator of United We Dream, will be coming to the UK in February to do a series of meetings and training sessions with HOPE not hate.

Carlos is the national co-ordinator of United We Dream, the largest Latino youth organisation representating undocumented young people in the United States. In the recent 2012 Presidential elections United We Dream, also known as the DREAMers, was credited with helping to force President Obama into signing an Executive Order to defer deportations and create a pathway to citizenship for young undocumented students.

Carlos is a truly inspirational organiser and activist. He has trained over 4,000 people in the arts of organising and social change in twenty states. In 2011, he was awarded the Activist of the Year award by The Nation magazine.

He will be speaking at HOPE not hate events in London, Birmigham and Manchester. More details soon

 Posted: 3 Jan 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Glasgow City Council backs HOPE not hate

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 3 January 2013, 08:20


I'm really delighted to announce that Glasgow City council has voted unanimously to support the HOPE not hate campaign.

The vote was proposed by councillor Butler and supported by councillor Watson at the council's December meeting. The motion noted for formation of HOPE not hate Glasgow and resolves to work with HOPE not hate "in support of a common objective: a strong multicultural Glasgow which promotes racial equality and harmony."

This is really fantastic news and all credit must go to the Glasgow HOPE not hate team.

 Posted: 3 Jan 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments