HOPE not hate

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Fake news and radical right will soon be under increased scrutiny

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 27 January 2017, 14:16


HOPE not hate will shortly be launching a new investigative unit to challenge, probe and analyse the growing threat, and lies, posed by and from the radical and populist right.

We’ll be turning our focus on the cesspool inhabited by an array of far-right sites, populist political parties and movements, and some of the new kids on the block attempting to rebrand old hatreds (‘alt-right’, etc).

Our new team will be made up of experienced journalists and researchers, backed by a digital unit.

‘Fake News’

Now, more than ever, we need to forensically analyse the so-called populist and radical right and their modus operandi.

It’s not enough to just expose the violent haters – which of course we will continue to do.

We have to be able to shine a light on those who poison communities, poison the airwaves and choke social media with their rhetoric, as organised hatred takes on new forms in this new era. We have to drag out those lies into full view and, by doing so, help those that believe them understand the falsehood which sits behind them.

In a world where black can seem white, when the stock-in-trade is in fake news, now more than ever: truth matters.

Dispel

Dispel will be the blog that accompanies our new investigative unit.

It will focus not just on the UK, but also international issues, monitoring the likes of the ‘alt-right’-friendly Breitbart and Arron Banks’ new Westmonster blog, as well as some of Britain’s most virulent right-wing commentators.

We will take on, expose and counter the growing influence of key online rightwing bloggers such as Millennial Woes and Prison Planet, as well as social media propagandists such as former Britain First leader Jim Dowson, who HOPE not hate and The New York Times revealed had run a “constellation” of pro-Trump websites and Facebook pages ahead of the US elections.

Dowson, who has become closely connected to prominent Russian political figures over the last two years, boasted of making it his mission to “spread devastating anti-Clinton, pro-Trump memes and sound bites into sections of the population too disillusioned with politics to have taken any notice of conventional campaigning.” His memes and articles were watched and shared millions of times.

Donald Trump’s election success and the anti-immigration campaign waged by Arron Banks’ Leave.EU highlighted the impact of social media in poisoning the political narrative.

Backed by Breitbart and other far-right blogs and commentators, the new far-right threat is whipping up an atmosphere of hate and – ultimately – undermining our democracies.

Hatred knows no national boundaries, thanks to social media, which is why we’ll also be collaborating with organisations in both the USA and Europe to assist with our investigations and rebuttals.

This is now a global fight

Donald Trump’s chief strategist, former Breitbart editor-in-chief Steve Bannon, told a small rightwing audience at the Vatican in 2014 that the West was facing a “crisis of capitalism” after losing its “Judeo-Christian foundation.”

He said that Breitbart’s mission was to create a global news agency to spread its message to an international audience.

Breitbart has written articles which are very positively inclined to the far-right Front National, Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party and the anti-Muslim AfD in Germany. In the immediate aftermath of Trump’s election Breitbart announced it was expanding its media operation in the UK, France and Germany.

It is now our turn to do the same. And as we go forwards, I ask you to support our efforts. Stay turned for more developments. Dispel will correct the wrongs and and truth will have the last word.

 Posted: 27 Jan 2017 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Surviving Trump’s inauguration

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 19 January 2017, 17:32


In exactly 24 hours Donald Trump will be sworn in as President of the United States of America. I’m sure, like me, you are horrified at the thought and scared about the future. You are not alone: 58% of Britons think the world will be a less safe place, while only 4% think it will be safer.*

Many of you might be tempted to sit at home with a box of chocolates or hide under the duvet. But some of you might want to show your opposition to Trump by doing something more pro-active, instead.

Here are six suggestions to survive Trump’s inauguration:

1. Post this up on your Facebook and Twitter pages

Hey @realDonaldTrump, did you get the message?
#HOPETrumpsHate Please share

Share on Facebook

Tweet this

2. Do a nice deed to someone you know (or someone you don’t)

3. Get active with HOPE not hate

4. Join the women’s march on Saturday

5. Become a Friend of HOPE not hate

6. Watch this video and remember you are not alone in opposing Trump

The inauguration of Donald Trump makes our world an incredibly dangerous place. But it should also start of the fightback. A fight for hope, not hatred.

If you believe another world is possible then let’s get through tomorrow and let’s make it happen

* Polling carried out by YouGov for HOPE not hate

 Posted: 19 Jan 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Women are tearing down the walls that divide us

posted by: Akeela Ahmed | on: Wednesday, 18 January 2017, 11:13


2016 was unfortunately marked by dog whistle politics, the rise of the Far Right, and an increase in hate crimes against women and minorities. We are living in increasingly challenging times, and when I speak to everyday grassroots women, they often tell me about their fears for their safety, anxieties about what the future holds, and report a sense that the most divisive elements of society have been emboldened on the back of political campaigns which have been dogged by xenophobic rhetoric. I was keen to participate in the Women’s March, so that I could mark the beginning of 2017 with positive action, which would unify and bring people together, irrespective of their background or views.

The Women’s March is taking place in many cities all over the world, on the 21st of January 2017, the day after President-elect Trump’s inauguration, and will be a global show of strength and solidarity of diverse communities marching for equality and the protection of fundamental rights for all. As a passionate believer in listening to and promoting diverse women’s voices, I couldn't wait to get involved with and support a global movement for everyone, organised and led by women. Women’s voices are fiercely needed now more than ever before, as during the US elections we have seen how women have been demeaned, patronised and are expected to put up with routine sexual harassment. Moreover, we are now living in a world in which for many women of colour and especially Muslim women, physical assault, verbal abuse and anti-Muslim hate attacks, are not only on the increase but have become a daily norm. Thus it is vital that women’s voices of all backgrounds, including minority groups, are meaningfully heard, and their experiences which are often intersectional in nature - that is they face multiple challenges such as racism, misogyny and ablism - are acknowledged and amplified.

We may not all agree on all issues, but when faced overwhelmingly with the prospect that our fundamental rights to exist are being threatened, it does not matter. Critically, many unified voices will be much more effective and powerful in sending a message to those who would seek to divide, that we will not allow a climate of fear and hatred to overcome us. And our message is clear: walls will not be built to separate us from our neighbours, Muslims are equal citizens and justice (social/political/economic) is a fundamental right for all.

It would be too easy to focus on the negative consequences of the new era of divisive politics that we now find ourselves in. This would however, only lead to despair and hopelessness, which in turn leads to fear, and this fear is exploited by the far right and other xenophobes.

It is my hope that by coming together in solidarity, across all boundaries of sexuality, ethnicity, race and religion, we will demonstrate that a united and just society is not a far away dream but a very real and tangible possibility. Change will happen when we join together to stand up to and fight for justice against misogyny, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry and hatred, taking our negative feelings of despondency and channeling them into positive affirmative action. So let’s come together to march on London, not in protest but in celebration of diversity, equality and peace.

There are further marches taking place elsewhere in the UK, including:

  • Bangor, Gwynedd
  • Barnstaple
  • Belfast
  • Cardiff
  • Edinburgh
  • Lancaster
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • Shipley
  • Southampton
  • St. Austell
  • York

For more information on the London march see https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/womens-march-on-london-tickets-29951554907?aff=es2

For other marches click here

 Posted: 18 Jan 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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MLK: Hope, not hate, will win the day

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 16 January 2017, 14:07


Today is Martin Luther King Day.

It is a time when much of America, and the wider world, celebrates the brave commitment to peace that drove Dr King throughout his life – and, indeed, cost him that life.

During King’s era of the Civil Rights struggles America was a divided country. Today it is more divided than ever.

Donald Trump is about to take office. He has talked about ‘making America great again’, yet his rhetoric has not often matched such lofty ideals.

Just two days ago, the President-elect launched a disgusting attack on veteran civil rights hero John Lewis, tweeting that he was “all talk”, after Lewis said that Trump was not a legitimate president.

A long-serving Congressman, John Lewis is the last surviving speaker from the 1963 March on Washington, led by Martin Luther King.

He was savagely beaten by state troopers during the historic 1965 march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

Like several other politicians, he has announced that he will not be attending Trump’s inauguration this Friday.

UK

The UK, too, is grappling with division.

Economic anxieties, worries about immigration, our future relationship with the European Union, pressures on housing, the NHS and social care are all rising. Communities face unprecedented pressures.

Politicians from the radical right have leapt in to the void, seeking to exploit these fears for their own political ends. The rise of such right-wing populism has shaken the political core of Europe.

Its politics is deceptively simple and based on the ‘blame game’: pointing the finger at the elites, at the media, ‘liberals’, immigrants and minority communities, seeking to turn the clock back to a mythical “better age”.

Don’t give in

As with Dr King’s time, it can be easy to give in to despair. There were those who lashed out against change then. Who responded with violence to the call for equal rights.

To opt for the easy choice and turn on our neighbours is a fool’s quest. It is a race to the bottom.

Yet it can be easy to feel cowed.

Now more than ever it is important to remember Martin Luther King and redouble our efforts to challenge prejudice and hatred; to build a society fit for everyone.

So as we prepare to witness the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, I want you to reflect on Dr King’s famous words:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

2016 was a difficult year; 2017 will be a challenging one. But it will also be a year of hope.

#MLKDay

 Posted: 16 Jan 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments