HOPE not hate

Political

You are viewing blog items for October 2009.

Share on FacebookTweet this
Graham Goddard

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 30 October 2009, 10:55


Graham Goddard 1957 - 2009

Graham Goddard 1957 - 2009

Yesterday saw a private funeral for Graham Goddard, the joint Deputy General Secretary of Unite the Union. He died on 19 October, at the age of 51, after losing his battle against cancer.

Graham was a personal friend and a strong supporter of the HOPE not hate campaign, both in his native South Yorkshire but also nationally within the union. He saw the fight against racism and fascism as part and parcel of his wider commitment to improving the lives of working people. Only a few days before his death he managed to ring Paul Meszaros, from HOPE not hate Yorkshire, to enquire about the Barnsley by-election.

He will be badly missed by everyone who knew him and my condolences go out, on behalf of Searchlight and the HOPE not hate campaign, to Siobhan and their son Ted.

 Posted: 30 Oct 2009 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Join the Action

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 29 October 2009, 07:45


Almost 200 who have never previously taken part in a leafleting event for HOPE not hate have already signed up for our Weekend of Action on the 7th and 8th of November. Over the next few days we expect this number to grow substantially, particularly as local HOPE not hate organisers get to work building the events. You can join an event here http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/eventsnearme

If there is not an event in your area then please set one up. We will send you a briefing about building the event locally and our office will send out a bundle of leaflets for you to distribute. Whatever you can do will make a difference. We can advertise your events to other people locally and perhaps you can start to build a local HOPE not hate group.

You can set up an event here http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/organisenow

 Posted: 29 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Indian-origin woman to skydive to fight racism

posted by: Sam Tarry | on: Wednesday, 28 October 2009, 19:36


From The Hindu

http://beta.thehindu.com/news/international/article35977.ece

October 19, 2009

A 22-year-old wheelchair-bound Indian-origin woman, suffering from cerebral-palsy, plans to skydive from more than 14,000 feet to raise funds to fight against ‘racism and fascism’ in the U.K.

Rupy Kaur, a disability activist who was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, will undertake the feat on December 6 in Lake District, a picturesque region in northwest of England. She comes from a family of fighters of justice.

“Just because you are disabled it does not mean you cannot participate in extreme sports. Obviously, you’ve got to think about the pros and cons but it should not hold you back,” Ms. Kaur said. .

Stating that she is proud of her Indian origin, Ms. Kaur, a psychology graduate of Manchester University said money raised from the act would go towards two of Britain’s best-known groups campaigning against ‘fascism and racism’ - Searchlight and Hope Not Hate.

Her move comes amid recent violent demonstrations by racist and anti-immigration groups in towns and cities with large non-white populations in Britain.

Ms. Kaur is particularly critical of the anti-immigration British National Party (BNP) which is in the midst of a major controversy over a decision by BBC television to invite its leader to participate in a popular current affairs panel discussion show Question Time this week.

Ms. Kaur said, “When I first heard of the BNP, I thought nobody would be that stupid as to vote for them. There have been many wars and nobody would want to incite hatred, would they. The sad fact is there are people who support them.”

“BNP has more than 50 elected representatives in local authorities all over Britain and two in the European Parliament.”

BNP leader Nick Griffin on Monday claimed that his Question Time invitation marks the BNP’s arrival “in the British political system” and argued that some Sikhs and Hindus now supported the far-right party.

 Posted: 28 Oct 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Target 1,000

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 28 October 2009, 14:26


I have just sent out an email looking for 1,000 of our supporters to volunteer a couple of hours of their time to help us over the weekend of 7th and 8th of November.

Over that weekend there will be 65 HOPE not hate activities taking place around the country - the largest single campaign day in our history.

Over the weekend of the 7th and 8th people will be remembering those who gave their lives fighting fascism. But the struggle continues - and we need to tell those in the communities Nick Griffin targets exactly what the BNP stands for. The BNP leader was humiliated on Question Time but he and his party received a huge amount of free publicity.

This is our chance to fight back, to go on the offensive in BNP strongholds and deliver the message of HOPE not hate.

Will you help us?

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/eventsnearme

 Posted: 28 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
We all pay for the folly of the BBC

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 26 October 2009, 06:54


Nick Griffin was humiliated on Question Time. That we all agree. He avoided tough questions, gave evasive answers when pressed and tried to defend the indefensible. On top of that he looked simply out of his depth.

I watched Question Time with a growing sense of unease. The more the panel and the audience attacked Griffin the more I felt that many people out in the country would feel sorry for him, even some of those who might not agree with his politics.There was a smugness to how the panel, choreographed by David Dimbleby himself, laid into him. It was like lions ripping apart their prey.

There were two aspects to my unease. Many people who are voting BNP share a sense of victimhood. They believe that they are losing out because others are benefiting. They believe the political parties which once represented them and the institutions which once looked after them have moved away, preferring instead other groups in society.

Many working-class people have a growing disdain for the London-based political class, which does not speak their language or understand their issues. This is particularly the case for Labour, which many working class voters no longer believe cares about them.

A YouGov survey found that 54% of BNP voters thought that the Labour Party no longer cared about them compared to just 5% who believe that it still does. Almost half, 47%, of BNP voters come from households that were traditionally Labour voting, double the figure for the next party.

Even more disturbing was the widespread view that others were benefiting in place of them. When asked about which three groups the Labour party helped most, BNP voters said “immigrants” (78%), “single-parent families” (38%) and “the rich” (35%). When asked which group was most discriminated against, 77% of BNP voters said “white people”.

The feeling of victimhood was most evident from the fact that a third of BNP voters believed either totally or partially that there was an international Marxist and Jewish conspiracy to undermine traditional Christian values in Britain. Now I don’t believe that a third of BNP voters actually believe in this conspiracy, more that they think there are forces out there acting against their interests.

As a result, the more the politicians ganged up on Griffin, the more some people identified with him. It was little different to how they feel the political class mocks and abuses them.

My other reason for unease came with the immediate response to the debate. Job well done, was the general consensus. Griffin had been roundly beaten and made to look a fool and as a result there was little future for the BNP.

This view is short-sighted, ill-judged and plain wrong.

Searchlight has long believed that the BNP has done well often despite itself. We have long known that they are a bunch of incoherent, disorganised and incompetent extremists. In fact, given the economic crisis, concerns over immigration and the contempt many people have with mainstream politicians, the BNP should be doing a lot better than it currently is.

But Searchlight has also long acknowledged that people are not voting for the BNP because of its leaders. They do not vote BNP because they think Nick Griffin would be a better Prime Minister. In London they have not voted for Richard Barnbrook because they think he would make a better Mayor. They are voting for the BNP because they are alienated from the political system.

They feel ignored and, yes, they do not like black people.

None of the panellists really addressed why people were voting for the BNP, but then there is not a serious debate about this generally, especially inside the Labour Party. To understand the reasons for BNP support would challenge too much of their policy agenda.

A poor performance by Griffin on Question Time will not necessarily mean a decreased BNP vote in future. Granted, it might have put off some viewers, but I cannot see it making much difference in the communities where the BNP is already established.

In Barking and Dagenham we have been challenging the BNP over its mythical Africans for Essex lie for several years. We have provided chapter and verse why no such scheme exists. We have delivered leaflets and newspapers and got articles in the local press. So far, the facts have had little effect – people are still voting BNP.

My gripe is not with the panellists. They did what they had to do. It would have been an even bigger political disaster if Griffin had come out of Question Time well, if he had held his own against his political rivals and even scored points over them.

The focus of my anger is the BBC. This was car crash TV at its worst. They invited him on precisely because it would boost viewing figures. They created the format which meant Griffin was automatically under sole scrutiny. They, in the end, gave him and his ideas a platform which he had not had before and did not deserve.

 Posted: 26 Oct 2009 | There are 11 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
BNP on QT: Sorry?!?!

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 23:23


Griffin told Straw et al that it would be outrageous to say that there were not "indigenous" people of New Zealand or the United States and so people should accept that the white British were "indigenous".

Sorry, but the BNP defend the whites of Australia, Zimbabwe, the US etc

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
BNP on QT: The picture that demolishes Griffin

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 23:13


Griffin claims that David Duke was the friendly face of the far right. Look at this picture of Duke in his nazi uniform

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
BNP on QT: BNP lies on Libya

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 23:03


Griffin claims that he went to Libya on a mission of peace in order to ask them to stop funding the IRA.

LIE. he went there for funding. However, didn't leave empty handed, he came away with 5,000 books to sell.

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
BNP on QT: Griffin on Holocaust Denial

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 22:59


Where do I start? There were so many lies, so many evasions. And still he refused to say that the Holocaust happened. The best he could say was that it was a question of numbers. Total nonsense.

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
BNP on QT: Yet another lie

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 22:55


Griffin and family (not) getting on with David Duke

Griffin and family (not) getting on with David Duke

Griffin claims that he and Duke do not get on. Then why are they in regular contact? Why have BNP members addressed conferences organised by Duke in recent years.

David Duke in London

David Duke in London

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
BNP on QT: Yet another lie

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 22:50


Mark Collett is still listed on the official BNP contacts list as Publicity, Design & Leaflets along with being British Nationalist Editor and Voice of Freedom Editor.

Griffin said he wasn't head of publicity.

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
BNP on QT: More lies

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 22:46


NG: "Much of what was said in the Daily Mail was untrue."

"Those things are outrageous lies"

My understanding is that Dominic Carman taped the interview he did with Griffin. Perhaps he would like to release the tapes and that should prove once again that Griffin is a liar.

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
BNP on QT: Lies

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 22:43


NG: "I am not a Nazi and I have never been a Nazi". Lies, lies, lies

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
BNP on QT - report

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 22:12


This is what I have received from a HnH supporter in the audience:

Nick Griffin got a political roasting at Question Time this evening. He squirmed, fidgeted and avoided key questions.

The first question was whether it was fair that the BNP hijacked Churchill. Jack Straw answered first by saying that Britain would not have won WW1 and WW2 without the contribution and sacrifice of black and Asian people. He said that Britain defeated a party based on race like the BNP. The BNP defines itself by race - that distinguishes it from every other party. All other parties have a moral compass. Nazism didn't and neither does the BNP.

Jack Straw talked about a town in France where in the commonwealth war graves there were hundreds of Asians from Blackburn.

Nick Griffin then said Churchill would have been in the BNP. He said that his hostility to Islam described Churchill as Islamophobic by today's standards.

Then came one of the best interventions, surprisingly enough from a member of the audience. Griffin was told that immigrants had made massive contribution to this country. “The BNP is an absolute disgrace. ... You are trying to poison politics. What you stand for is disgusting.”

There was huge applause.

Griffin claimed that many of the quotes attributed to him in the Dominic Carman interview, carried this morning in the Daily Mail, were false. He was pressed by David Dimbleby to explain which were false. Griffin could only say that there were too many to mention.

Griffin lied and lied again. He said that he was never a Nazi. He sidestepped questions about the Holocaust, though he was picked up by Dimbleby for smirking whilst answering the question. “Why are you smirking? It’s not a laughing matter.”

It was at this part that Jack Straw whipped out a copy of Holocaust News and waved it around saying that a leading member of Griffin's party was behind this.

The audience was strongly against Griffin. One person asked him where he should be sent back to, given that he was born here. He went on to say that many people in the audience would happily do a whip round to pay for Griffin and his party to travel to the South Pole. More applause.

Baroness Warsi quoted the BNP’s Head of Publicity, Mark Collett, saying Churchill led us into pointless wars. Bonnie Greer said that Churchill's ancestral past meant he could not have joined the BNP.

A member of the audience said that Enoch Powell's views were identical to those of Griffin. This was echoed by Lib Dem Chris Huhne, who said that the BNP looked for scapegoats. “It’s what Enoch Powell did. We had this in the 1930s against the Jews, in the 1960s against the Blacks and now Griffin against immigrants.”

Griffin repeatedly lied. He claimed that it was he who took the BNP away from its antisemitic and nazi past. He then said “I am the most loathed man among Nazis in Britain.”

Several people made the point that Griffin said one thing in public but another in private. Jack Straw made reference to internal BNP documents about playing down their true views in public. Even Dimbleby mentioned an appearance in the US where Griffin said that “instead of talking about racial purity we talk about identity”.

When pressed about the presence at the meeting of former KKK leader David Duke, Griffin replied: “I shared a platform with a non-violent member of the KKK”. The audience rightly laughed at his stupidity. Griffin went on to say that Duke also regarded him as a sell out.

Griffin was now getting very nervous. In fact, he was even shaking. He was under full attack from all and the more nervous he got the more he smirked and the more stupid he looked.

Jack Straw summed it up. “We have seen that the moment anyone puts an uncomfortable quote to him he wriggles. I have seen his quotes on YouTube. He wants to wriggle out of it.

“The BNP have a manual to tell them how to speak. The language and concepts displiline manual. They are the only party who have to tell their party not to be racist.

“Griffin is the Dr Strangelove of British politics. He tries to control his extremist politics but he can't stop himself like the Peter Sellers character.”

Everyone was falling about laughing.

A member of the audience asked why Griffin hated Islam. He replied that it treats women as second class citizens. He admitted that it had “good points” but does not fit in with fundamental values of British society. “My policy on Islam is a truce with Islam. We should leave countries alone and ensure if Muslims stay here they do so understanding we are a British country. Britain must always remain a fundamentally Christian country.”

Baroness Warsi said that Griffin is a “confused man”, reminding the audience that he shared platform with Abu Hamza and had visited Colonel Gaddafi. “He is a thoroughly deceptive man. He is here to demonise Islam.”

On a question about immigration Griffin attacked the multicultural programme which he claimed had been imposed by the liberal elite. He spoke of “indigenous Britons”.

Straw asked him if he meant “white”.

Griffin replied that the English, Scots, Irish and Welsh were “aborigines”. He said that the majority of the British people were ignored, saying that they felt shut out in our country.

The final question was whether it had been a good week for the BNP. Straw was the last to respond, saying that Nick Griffin was a “fantasising conspiracy theorist”.

And an idiot to boot. The audience almost universally laughed and mocked Griffin at the end.

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
BNP on QT - full report out soon

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 21:48


I've just written a detailed report on what happened inside the studio. The bottom line is that Griffin got a roasting and was made to look very stupid. He more uncomfortable he got the more he smirked and the more stupid he looked.

The best of the evening was when Jack Straw pulled out another prop I had given him - a copy of Holocaust News - distributed by leading BNP member Richard Edmunds. Ha ha.

Anyway, just checking over the report and then we'll post it. I understand that we have more than 700 people on Twitter willing to circulate our material. this is totally massive.

Sign up to stop Griffin and the BNP www.hopenothate.org.uk

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
BNP on QT: Here goes...

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 20:48


The filming is over and I've just got a report from inside. It will take me some time to go through my notes but a couple of key points:

1. Griffin has accused journalist Dominic Carman of making up the quotes that appeared in the Daily Mail today.

2. first question: Is it fair that the BNP hijacked Churchill? Jack Straw says that we only won WW1 and WW2 because of involvement of millions of black and Asian soldiers.

2. Griffin claims that Churchill would have been in the BNP. Baroness Warsi quotes Mark Collett saying that Churchill led us into pointless wars.

Sign up to stop Griffin and the BNP at www.hopenothate.org.uk

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
BNP on QT: awaiting news

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 20:34


The filming has ended and we are waiting to hear what happened. However, hundreds of people have already been spreading the HOPE not hate message on Twitter. This follows the handing in of over 9,000 messages to the BBC earlier this afternoon.

I shall report back as soon as I hear anything.

Sign up to stop Griffin and the BNP at www.hopenothate.org.uk

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
BNP on QT - Mindbenders is in the studio

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 19:37


Just seen a clip of the politicians arriving on the Question Time set. Jack Straw has a copy of Mindbenders on him (http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/the-real-bnp/the-politics-of-the-BNP.php#2). This is an anti-semitic publication brought out by Griffin in 1996 which claimed that Jews controlled the British media in order to brainwash British people into accepting multiculturalism.

Ha ha, let's hope he sticks it to Griffin

To sign up to stop Griffin and the BNP go to www.hopenothate.org.uk

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
BNP on QT - Lie #3

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 19:18


Another BNP lie, another failure of the BBC to challenge him. Nick Griffin has just said that the quotes attributed to him in this morning's papers were not true.

Which ones? Griffin doesn't say. Every quote we've seen attributed to him in the newspapers today - particularly the Times - are well known quotes which were all sourced.

Once again the BBC fail to challenge him and ask him to prove this claim.

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Is BNP security man a convicted criminal?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 18:25


One of Nick Griffin’s security team looks suspiciously like Simon Goodricke, a former BNP candidate from Barnsley who was thrown out of the police force in disgrace and conned an 80-year-old woman out of £1,000 as he awaited trial for perverting the course of justice.

The former Solihull Detective Constable was sentenced to 18 months at Birmingham Crown Court in January 1998. He was found guilty of perverting the course of justice after he tipped off fraudsters attempting to swindle £100m from Columbian drug barons.The BNP stood by Goodricke and now it appears he is escorting Griffin into the BBC. Says it all really.

Sign up to stop Nick Griffin and the BNP at www.hopenothate.org.uk

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
BNP on QT: BNP lie 2

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 17:55


Another lie. well, it's the same one actually. Nick Griffin was interviewed again by the BBC as he arrived. He again said that the Labour Party was using public money to fund the protests outside.

Once again this claim was unchallenged by the BBC.

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
BNP on QT: BNP lie 1

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 17:09


Nick Griffin is on News 24 now. He has claimed that the crowd outside has been brought there by the Labour Party using public money. He was not challenged to prove this claim.

How many more lies will Griffin make tonight? How often will the BBC reporters fail to challenge his claims?

Sign up to stop Nick Griffin and the BNP at www.hopenothate.org.uk

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
BNP on QT - HnH on BBC News 24

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 16:30


HOPE not hate's Sam Tarry has just been interviewed on BBC News 24 as he handed in over 9,000 messages from our supporters objecting to Griffin's appearance on Question Time.

Well done Sam, you did a good job.

Sign up to stop Nick Griffin and the BNP www.hopenothate.org.uk

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
BNP on QT: Join me

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 22 October 2009, 15:04


At about 7pm this evening Nick Griffin will be asked his first question on Question Time. Will he be confrontational? Will he try to appear moderate and mainstream? Will he lose his rag? Or will he accuse Jack Straw of being a war criminal and claim that Baroness Warsi is only where she is because of positive discrimination?

Three and a half hours later the rest of us will hear what he has to say. And I shall be here, blogging throughout the evening, to let you know what is going on. I will give you my take on his performance and, more importantly, highlight his lies and evasions.

And I want to hear from you too. Whether you are on the protest, work inside the BBC or just have a view to add – please get in touch. Send a reply to this blog or email at nick@hopenothate.org.uk

So join me throughout the late afternoon and evening for the live HnH QT blog

Sign up to the HOPE not hate campaign at www.hopenothate.org.uk

 Posted: 22 Oct 2009 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
6,000 and rising

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 21 October 2009, 14:05


Over 6,000 people have now sent in letters to us which we shall hand over to the BBC tomorrow. There is growing public anger at the Question Time invitation and the thousands of letters we have been sent in less than 24 hours is testament to this.

Please keep sending them in http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/questiontime

 Posted: 21 Oct 2009 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
An apologist for Nazism

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 21 October 2009, 08:59


Yesterday a number of British Army Generals attacked the BNP for using military symbols and images. Today, we show the BNP's real views on World War Two.

"An Apologist for Nazism: How Nick Griffin and the BNP backed Hitler's Nazis'" is a new section on our website which demonstrates how Griffin has repeatedly defended and promoted wartime fascists. We quote Griffin and show how he and others have attacked and demonised British wartime leaders and tried to rewrite history by denying that the Holocaust happened.

You can read it all here: http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/Nick-Griffin-an-apologist-for-Nazism

 Posted: 21 Oct 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Question Time - have your say

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 20 October 2009, 17:36


At 3.30pm today I sent out an email to our supporters giving them their opportunity to let the BBC know about what they thought about the invitation to Nick Griffin to appear on Question Time. We will be handing in your messages to David Dimbleby and the BBC on Thursday. Less than two hours later over 1,800 people have sent in their thoughts. I'm on the move at the moment so I'll blog more about this later but here is a flavour of what you are thinking.

"You are helping the BNP get their message out there- you are letting NG reach millions"

"fairly simple reallyWHY INVITE HATE? WHY GIVE HATE AIR TIME?"

"I think that it is a disgrace that the BNP have been given the opportunity to promote their undemocratic and poisionous views on a flagship programme like Question Time. The BBC has an obligation and responsibility to promote good relations between people of different races which it is failing to do in this instead. I urge you not to have anything to do with this episode of the programme."

"I live in Burnley where the BNP climbed to prominence on the back of the extremely violent disturbances, and deliberate distortions about distribution of funding in the Town. However, since 2003, the BNP's support has gone down every year. When people see how bigoted they really are, and how they have no answers to the problems they raise, they desert them in droves. What you are doing is giving the kiss of life to a party whose record alone would see them collapse into obscurity. You are watering a plant that would and deserves to wither. You give them a credibility they have not earned, and I believe some of your soft coverage of them prior to June helped them get votes for their agenda of hate. I just hope the violence we saw in Lancashire in 2001 is not writ large across our land thanks to your irresponsible short sightedness."

"Freedom of speech is a privilege. Those such as Nick Griffin would destroy our freedoms. Why should we provide a platform for their racist lies?"

 Posted: 20 Oct 2009 | There are 7 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Brave leap to fight fascism

posted by: Rupy Kaur | on: Monday, 19 October 2009, 23:51


DETERMINED: Rupy Kaur, who has cerebral palsy, plans to jump from a plane to raise money for anti-fascist group Hope not hate

DETERMINED: Rupy Kaur, who has cerebral palsy, plans to jump from a plane to raise money for anti-fascist group Hope not hate

From Trafford Metro News
http://www.metronews.co.uk/news/s/1174217_brave_leap_to_fight_fascism

October 16, 2009 | By Bethan Dorsett

A SELF-confessed rebel is taking a leap she never thought possible.

Rupy Kaur is planning to jump over 14,000ft from a plane to help in the fight against fascism.

The 22-year-old has been in a wheelchair all her life having been born with cerebral palsy.

The psychology graduate said: "About two years ago a friend of mine who is not disabled did a skydive but I really didn't think it was an option as I have severely limited mobility.

"I started to look into it around the time of my 21st birthday and I was amazed to find that I could.

"I think because of my disability I had always been told that I couldn't do things and so have always rebelled.

"In terms of education for example, people thought I wouldn't get very far but I went on to graduate from the University of Manchester.

"I had been put into a special needs school and at that time no-one seemed to test my abilities.

"The breakthrough came when I got my A-level results as I got three As."

Rupy, who lives with her uncle Harbans Sahal and aunt Asha in Sale, will be embarking on the tandem skydive in December at an airfield in Cumbria.

Her chosen cause is HOPE not hate which campaigns against fascism and racism.

"It is a cause very dear to my heart," added Rupy.

"My granddad came from a Sikh family in India and when he came to the UK, he started working in the rag trade.

"He would face a lot of discrimination when he called on people who wouldn't let him in to their houses.

"Obviously society has changed but HOPE not hate do a lot of campaigning against the BNP."

You can sponsor Rupy by logging on to www.hopenothate.org.uk/skydive.

 Posted: 19 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Welsh Defence League show true colours

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 19 October 2009, 07:52


The Welsh Defence League showed their true colours on Saturday with nazi salutes and BNP activists in clear show. Humiliated and backed into a pub, the Swansea football hooligans reverted to form. And it was interesting to see several BNP members among the group, including local organisers.

And don’t just take my word for it. This is how the event was reported in the Welsh media: “They denied being fascists ahead of their first Welsh march – but at yesterday’s Welsh Defence League protest against Islamic extremism onlookers were confronted with scenes of jeering men giving Nazi salutes.”

To read the full story, go to http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2009/10/18/welsh-defence-league-show-true-colours-91466-24954821/.

Now, I am wondering whether the English and Welsh Defence Leagues are on the decline? Many who attended in Manchester were so fed up with how they were treated by the police that they are unlikely to turn out again. The pitiful 50 who showed up in Swansea is less than the local hooligan gang would get out on a normal Saturday afternoon.

 Posted: 19 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
A trip up north

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 19 October 2009, 07:31


I was up in the North East over the weekend for the latest of our Organising Academies. On Saturday we held an event in Durham while yesterday we were in Sunderland. It was good to meet several new people, especially those who were getting involved in political activity for the first time.

A number of new HnH groups are now in the process of being set up and activities are being planned across the region, including at least four leafleting sessions during our Weekend of Action in early November.

 Posted: 19 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
WDL humiliated in Swansea

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 18 October 2009, 00:22


Just got this report from our sister organisation in Wales:

The English Defence League or Welsh Defence League as they like to be known west of Offa's Dyke, have spent the last week playing 'cat & mouse' about when they intended to bring their UK tour of intimidation to the streets of Swansea. They started gathering at about noon on a sunny Saturday in Yates's Wine Lodge, a pub adjacent to their planned place of protest in Castle Square.

It soon became clear that their hopes of an easy ride on their first Welsh outing would be dashed, as hundreds of anti-fascist campaigners gathered in the same square, denying them their moment in the sun. As 4pm approached, when they had booked their slot, 35 half drunk EDL supporters were frog-marched by the police to an open space next to the square. They looked for all the world like a bunch of football hooligans being corralled before a match.

There was then a stand-off between the two sides for over an hour, with the increasingly agitated EDL surrounded by hundreds of chanting anti-fascists. Any pretence of respectibility soon disappeared, as they engaged in football chants and Nazi salutes. At 5pm, they were marched away by the police much to the delight of the masses of anti-fascist activists and after a swift celabration away from the area of conflict, everyone dispersed without any violence and with the EDL humiliated. It was a great day for Swansea as many of the protesters were young and on their very first protest. South Wales Police also deserve praise for their sensitive handling of the event but above all, it was a statement by the people of Swansea that their Muslim Welsh community was not going to be intimidated by a bunch of pumped up football hooligans.

 Posted: 18 Oct 2009 | There are 5 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Wales says no to hate

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 17 October 2009, 07:19


Later today hundreds of anti-racists and anti-fascists will take to the streets of Swansea to reject the latest football hooligan attempts to whip up hatred on our streets.

Yesterday the Western Mail published a letter written by the HOPE not hate campaign in conjunction with Searchlight Cymru objecting to the planned protest by the Welsh Defence League.

It was signed off by representatives from all the main political parties and 750 local people. Here's the letter:


Show Wales stands up for hope not hate


SIR - We are shocked and appalled by the activities of the "Welsh Defence League" - a collection of football hooligan gangs and thugs who have come together to attack the Welsh Muslim community.

All summer, their allies have been using "protests" as an excuse for mass brawls in town centres across England.
Now we fear that the violence will spread through our own towns and communities - only in the past few weeks worshippers were attacked at a mosque in Swansea, culminating in a 60-strong pitched battle. Now the Welsh Defence League want to go back again.

If these thugs are allowed to continue bringing fear, hatred and bloodshed to our streets, we will all be the victims. That is why we have united as local people to stand up against them and defend our community. Let us all send a message that their brand of hatred is not welcome here. Other local people who believe in hope, not hate, can join us at:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/standupforwales

Wherever the Welsh Defence League tries to take our streets and divide our communities, we will speak out.
Together, we can defeat them.

IAN TITHERINGTON, LORD DAFYDD ELIS THOMAS AM, MIKE GERMAN AM,

MARK ISHERWOOD AM, HUW LEWIS AM and LEANNE WOOD AM
Searchlight Cymru

 Posted: 17 Oct 2009 | There are 6 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
A right result

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 16 October 2009, 07:43


Great news from Barnsley last night. The BNP was well and truly trounced in the St Helen's by-election yesterday, with their share of the vote falling from 30% in 2008 to 23% now. The Labour vote increased from just over 900 votes to 1,520 this time.

This was a fantastic result in one of the BNP's strongest areas. More importantly, it was a victory for the HOPE not hate campaign which ran possibly its most intense by-election effort to date. Well over 100 people got involved in our campaign over the last two months, with 45 out on Saturday alone. So, congratulations to Paul and Lorraine and everyone at HOPE not hate Yorkshire.

I'll end on a poem written for the campaign by Ian McMillan, the poet laureate of Yorkshire and official poet of Barnsley FC. It appeared on one of our many leaflets.

Hope not Hate
by Ian McMillan

The voices clamour in the noisy debate
And there's shouting and pointing and passion's high
But a still, small sound says 'Hope, not hate'
And let's just look each other in the eye
And say 'Welcome' and 'Hello' and 'How are you?'
And extend a hand of friendship not a high-raised fist
Because people talk to people because that's what people do
So let's just see things clearly and not through hatred's mist
And we can all decide, before it's far too late
That what we really need round here is Hope not Hate.

 Posted: 16 Oct 2009 | There are 7 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
I don't want to hear your lies

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 14 October 2009, 16:30


The EDL say that they are just targeting Islamic extremists. They say that they do not believe in violence.

Well I say they are liars.

If there was any proof needed about the real nature of the EDL then my 20 minute telephone conversation with Julie Keller was all I needed. Julie Keller, an anti-fascist and anti-racist campaigner from Oldham, has been the subject of 96 abusive phonecalls from EDL supporters, many of them death threats, in the last 72 hours.

The EDL believed that she was the UAF organiser shouting through a megaphone during their two-minute silence in Manchester on Saturday. They immediately set up a facebook page giving out her home address and phone number and have been ringing ever since.

The EDL, in the guise of its press officer, Trevor Kelway, claims that EDL members are not involved. Well, Kelway is either lying or is totally ignorant of what his own followerers are doing. Luton's Tommy Robinson, not his real name, the leader of the EDL, is also distancing himself from the threats. Both must take responsibility for what they have unleashed and it is incumbant on the media to stop giving them an easy time.

Julie is a good friend of mine and a long-time supporter of the HOPE not hate campaign. She is clearly worried by this turn of events, however, she is refusing to be intimidated by the cowards in the EDL and promises to continue compaigning.

I'm suggesting to Julie that she tells her story to the Daily Star - the newspaper which has become the unofficial cheerleader of the EDL. Perhaps they too might like to take stock of their position and refrain from giving the racist hooligan group such favourable publicity.

 Posted: 14 Oct 2009 | There are 12 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Ending on a high

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 11 October 2009, 17:25


HOPE not hate Yorkshire has really been putting the work in for this week's crucial by-election in Barnsley. Yesterday over 45 people delivered our final leaflet across the ward. It was particularly pleasing to have several local people out who had never done any political campaigning before. That they were there in the first place is testiment to the hard work put into this campaign by the HnH team.

Many of those there had come through our email list. We are building a good activist base across the region which bodes well for the future.

Much of our campaign in Barnsley has been targeting women voters. With women far less likely to vote BNP than men, we have hand delivered a letter to every woman in the ward.

There is still work to be done. Election Day is Thursday and we need to help turn out the anti-BNP vote. So, if you can help please drop me a line.

 Posted: 11 Oct 2009 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
English Defence League some thoughts

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 18:55


Given what could have been, the English Defence League protest has passed off relatively peacefully. Thousands of people came out to show their opposition but there were also a worrying number of locals who came out in support of the EDL.

In total, and after having a look at the footage and photos, I think that there were 600-700 EDL and hangers on. I would estimate that 40-45% of the EDL support were football hooligans, the rest were locals, racists and some hardline and known nazis.

There were 48 arrests, which was lower than Birmingham, but the level of disruption, the number of clashes and the overall numbers involved were considerably higher.

The police operation prevented mass disorder. It was clear that the hooligans had come looking for trouble. They were not allowed to stay in the pubs for any length of time and when they were on the streets they were continually moved around. At the end they were marched out of the area, herded around the outskirts of the city and then bussed out.

Just as importantly, people did not rise to the EDL provocation. Manchester stood tall and together.

However, not every city might do the same. The capacity for big demos might be different in Swansea next week, or even in Leeds on 31 October, when the EDL will be holding a protest on the same day as a Leeds United home game.

And with the costs involved, it is time for the Home Office to find a way to stop these racist thugs.

For us, the real work continues. This morning we held another Organisers' Academy, this time in Liverpool. Several new HOPE not hate groups are being set up in the Merseyside area and activities are getting planned for our next Weekend of Action, which is on 7/8 November.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 32 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
The day draws to a close

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 18:13


The city centre is now quite peaceful. There are 200 EDL still up at Piccadilly Station, being held by police, but the bulk of the remainder have gone home.

I estimate that in total there were 800-1000 EDL and supporters in Manchester today. Only about half of them got into Piccadilly for the protest, the rest remained on the edges of the square and in the surrounding streets.

Of this number, probably about half were football hooligans and the rest were locals from the Greater Manchester/North west area.

I shall be taking a more detailed look into the EDL supporters when I go through the first batch of photos of the day.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Is the end in sight

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 17:47


The bulk of the EDL supporters are being put on buses by police. However, there is still little outbreaks of trouble across the city centre. Police are racing to Piccadilly Station.

Whether that's an indication of trouble or simply police positioning themselves for the arrival of the buses carrying EDL supporters I don't know.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
EDL getting nasty

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 17:34


The hooligans of the EDL obviously don't like being walked around the houses. A young lad, standing on the side of the road, has just been hit by a coin.

This was quickly followed by a photographer also being hit.

Several more coins are being thrown.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
The EDL

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 17:29


Here's a pic of the EDL demo.

I hope the Manchester tax payer feels the rights of this racist gang are worth the extra pennies on their council tax

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Traffic chaos

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 17:23


Quite apart from the violence and hatred whipped up by the EDL, their protest has brought total chaos to local people. Shoppers have been bustled about, shops and pubs closed and now some of the main roads through and out of the city centre have been blocked.

I dread to think what this has cost the police and the city council - which of course is our money.

There's news of further clashes down Portland Street

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
clash

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 17:17


Just when I thought the City Centre was quiet there's news of a minor clash outside the Kro bar, on Portland Street.

I fear that this is going to be repeated for the next hour or two. There were certainly some football hooligan groups who decided to stay away from the formal EDL protest.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Around we go

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 17:16


It seems that having been led to Manchester Victoria station the EDL are now being escorted back up to Piccadilly. I don't think everyone in the EDL is too happy with this and there have been some minor skirmishes

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
clash

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 17:10


There has been a minor clash down at the Urbis, near the Printworks. According to the Manchester Evening News the police are escorting 500 EDL towards Victoria.

And then what is anybody's guess!

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Winding down

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 17:03


The EDL have been marched off back towards Manchester Victoria station and there are only 200 anti-EDL protesters still in Piccadilly Gardens.

The fact that the England football match is only on the Internet probably helps us all here as there will not be England fans filling the pubs for the next couple of hours.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
EDL leaving

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 16:45


The EDL protest has now finished and they are being led out of Piccadilly Gardens towards Market/Tib Street.

The question is whether they will leave the area or stay around? Perhaps the police will hold them for several hours while the city centre clears.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
More EDL arrive

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 16:41


Several dozen more EDL are now entering Piccadilly Gardens.

At the same time a gang of 50 black, Asian and white lads, some wearing masks, have entered the square, to applause from the anti-EDL demonstrators

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Behind the times?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 16:31


I've just been told that Sky is still saying that the EDL protest will take place at 5pm. So, either we are seeing the warm-up act or Sky are behind the times. I think the latter.

Sky are also reporting that there are Asian and white gangs on fringes of demo and that police are struggling to keep them apart.

Police now confirm 32 arrests.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
latest

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 16:24


There are 600 EDL in Piccadilly Gardens, with more on the outskirts of the square. The UAF protest is dwindling fast.

Sky are reporting "rival gangs of Asian and white youths gathered on fringes of Manchester demos - police still working hard to keep them apart."

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Eye spy

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 16:17


My spy within the EDL ranks puts their numbers at 600 in Piccadilly Gardens at the moment.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Running late?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 16:15


The BBC seem to be showing more EDL arriving, at least ten minutes after the police announced that the protest was finishing. My real concern is what happens after the official protests and counter-protests.

I can't believe that the EDL will disperse and leave the city centre. Most appear to be from the North West.

An EDL vigil is taking place.

I've just had a report that the bulk of the EDL appear to be in Piccadilly Gardens while the UAF protesters are beginning to disperse.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Guest speaker?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 16:11


While the police have reported that the EDL is about to finish so the Manchester Evening News announce that the main EDL speaker is about to address the crowd - in English and Urdu.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Is this the end?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 16:05


The EDL appear to be ending their rally. They told police that they would leave the area as soon as they had finished. We'll see if they keep to that

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Beware the skinheads

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 16:04


Just had a report that there are "a group of about 15 skinheads hanging around in an alley off the top end of Oldham Street."

Not sure whether these are traditional nazi skinheads or just football hooligans with short hair....

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
EDL plank

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 16:00


A EDL supporter has just thrown a plank of wood at the police lines.

The man from Luton is not seriously hurt

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Protest latest

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 15:56


The police are now reporting that there have been 30 arrests so far today.

There are also now some serious clashes between the UAF demonstrators and the police in Piccadilly Gardens. The EDL are surging at police lines from the opposite direction.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Enough is enough

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 15:50


Surely the scenes now unfolding in Manchester should be enough to make the Home Office find a way to stop future EDL protests. Fighting is breaking out across the city centre, there have been dozens of arrests and several have been injured.

There are now at least 6-700 EDL in Manchester City Centre and probably 1,300 anti-EDL protesters. The EDL are split up in small groups around Piccadilly Gardens and the surrounding pubs.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
EDL rally

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 15:37


The EDL have asked the police for a 35 minute rally in Piccadilly Gardens. However, this might not happen as one EDL supporter throws a bottle into the UAF crowd.

There's reports on a large group running down the back of the Arndale Centre. EDL I presume.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Anti-Muslim

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 15:33


Perhaps the BBC would like to look at this photo and tell me how this EDL supporter is only protesting against 'Radical Islam'?

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Are NATO on the streets

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 15:31


It seems that the police are gearing up for trouble as they have been donning 'Nato-style' helmets.

The coverage from the media is not helpful. I mentioned Sky saying that the trouble was between England fans and the UAF, now the BBC are in on the act by simply describing it as a rally against 'Radical Islam'.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
EDL enter Piccadilly Gardens

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 15:23


The EDL have begun moving into Piccadilly Gardens under police escort. About 100 marched in from the Oldham Street area to the applause of other EDL surrounding the square. The police have moved back the UAF protest to allow the EDL in.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
EDL leader arrested - update

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 15:18


I've been asked to prove that an EDL leader has been arrested by a 'Mr Smith'. For legal reasons I'm not sure I can say the man's name but there is reference to the arrest on the BBC website. He was arrested allegedly in possession of racist material and cocaine

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Numbers

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 15:07


Police say there are 1,000 UAF protestors and 600 EDL protestors currently in piccadilly gardens. However, I understand that there are still some EDL who have not arrived.

How can we let this happen in our city centres? I hope the fools in the Home Office, who reported that the EDL has no connection to football hooliganism and are not a public order threat, are put on cleaning duty.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Complain to Sky

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 15:02


Sky News are claiming that the clashes are between "England fans and United Against Fascism".

Perhaps people might like to email Sky News at news@sky.com to explain exactly what is happening and who the EDL really are

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
EDL update

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 14:51


There are now at least 1,000 people protesting against the EDL in Piccadilly Gardens. It is hard to work out EDL numbers as they are more dispersed across the city centre but my current guess is 4-500.

There are small skirmishes breaking out in the surrounding streets.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
EDL protest update

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 14:35


The latest reports suggest that there have been 18 arrests so far. I've also heard that there are known nazis in the EDL crowd.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Clashes in Manchester

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 14:03


There have been some reports of initial clashes in Manchester and a few arrests. 100 EDL attempted to get into Piccadilly Gardens but were shouted down by UAF supporters.

The EDL have been pushed back by police to the Northern Quarter of the city.

However, the bulk of the EDL have so far not arrived in Manchester, with many drinking on the outskirts of the city.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
EDL leader arrested

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 10 October 2009, 13:42


I've just heard that one of the leaders of the English Defence League was arrested this morning in Birmingham on suspicion of distributing racially aggravated material.

Meanwhile EDL supporters are beginning to descend on Manchester. I understand that football hooligans from 20-25 gangs are making the trip, mainly from across the North West and West Midlands. A few are coming down from the North East and up from the South Coast.

 Posted: 10 Oct 2009 | There are 5 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Griffin backtracks

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 9 October 2009, 13:31


Griffin is backtracking

Griffin is backtracking

Last week I reported on Griffin’s extraordinary claims that the hooligan-based English Defence League had been set up by Zionists in order to spark a religious war between Christians and Muslims on the streets of Britain in order to give Israel the justification to nuke Arab countries.

(I’m not making this up – read http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/blog/article/520/BNP-blame-Zionists-for-EDL for the full story!)

Well, it seems that Griffin is backtracking as a posting on the party’s website – put up today – doesn’t mention the Zionists but simply that the EDL is a honeytrap set up by the State or left wing organisations (I guess he’s meaning us!)

The BNP is proscribing the EDL and any of its members who get involved risk being expelled from the party.

However, the BNP disciplinary committee might be quite busy over the next few weeks as it is clear that there are a growing number of BNP members who are defying their leadership’s instructions. The EDL is seen positively by many of the BNP’s rank and file not least because from their perspective it is taking the fight to the enemy. There is growing disquiet within BNP ranks at the lack of party activity since the European Elections, with some now openly saying that the leadership is more interested in enjoying the EU gravy train rather than campaigning in local communities.

The EDL is proving a headache for the BNP and Griffin et al just don’t seem to know how to handle it.

 Posted: 9 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Campaigning on every front

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 9 October 2009, 13:17


The HOPE not hate campaign is really picking up a momentum at the moment and this weekend our activists will be out across the country. This afternoon we will be holding a vigil at Manchester Cathedral to spread a positive message of unity and tolerance ahead of the EDL protest tomorrow. We've handed out almost 20,000 leaflets across the city in the last three days so a big thank you to everyone who got involved, especially Unison and Thompsons Solicitors.

Nationally almost 7,000 people have signed our letters to the Daily Mirror and the Guardian, which is phenomenal given that our initial sign-up email only went out yesterday afternoon.

There are a number of key council by-elections happening next week. In Cannock, Staffordshire, activists will be out delivering a hardhitting leafleting exposing the BNP candidate as a nazi. In Yorkshire dozens of HOPE not hate activists will be out in Barnsley delivering our final leaflet ahead of Thursday’s crucial by-election. This really has been a model campaign and if we are successful in defeating the BNP, which I hope we will, then we’ll certainly be using it as good practice. Barnsley is one of the BNP’s strongest areas and it has been organisationally weak for us. However, this has changed through the campaign and I’m confident that we’ve got the nucleus of a great group there.

Activists are also delivering leaflets in Barking & Dagenham and in the south London borough of Bexley.

Finally, this weekend sees two more of our Organising Academies, in Liverpool and Preston, which will hopefully result in the establishment of several more HOPE not hate groups and, more importantly, local activity. It is encouraging to see so many new people getting involved via the internet and from new areas for us as well. Due to rising demand we will be putting on a third training event in Manchester in the near future.

Next weekend I’m in the North East so if anyone out there is interested in becoming a local HNH organiser or activist please drop me a line.

Finally, I'm pleased to announce the formation of HOPE not hate Scotland. We are organising a training day up in Glasgow on Saturday 31 October and we have a number of activities already planned.

 Posted: 9 Oct 2009 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
I'm afraid I can't move on

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 8 October 2009, 16:04


I had thought (or probably hoped) that the Strictly Come Dancing race row would have gone away. I had not planned to write anything else – I had made a comment to the Mirror on Sunday and then tried to explain where I stood on this blog.

However, Bruce Forsyth’s intervention has forced me back to my keyboard.

He has told us to “get a sense of humour and move on.”

I’m afraid I can’t and so here I am again.

Bruce and many others have tried to belittle the use of the word ‘Paki’. It is no different, he says, as a Brit being called a ‘limey’ by an American.

We’ll, I’m afraid that it is different. Firstly, Laila Rouass is not from Pakistan or has any connection to Pakistan. She was born in Britain to Moroccan parents. So calling her a ‘Paki’ is totally incorrect and so cannot be compared to a Brit being called a ‘limey’ by an American. Secondly, ‘Paki’ is a loaded word, used generally as a derogatory and offensive description for someone who has some heritage to Pakistan. It is generally used in an abusive way, just as ‘nigger’ and ‘coon’ were used to describe black people during the 1960s and 1970s. Bruce Forsyth is 81 years old. He must surely remember that during the pre-war and immediate post-war period ‘Jew Boy’ was widely used, not as a polite or friendly greeting for a Jewish person but as a derogatory slur laced with unpleasant connotations. The use of the word ‘Jew boy’ was as much antisemitism as ‘nigger’ or ‘coon’ was racist. ‘Paki’ is no different.

In a week when racist football hooligans are descending on Manchester to whip up trouble and tension against the Muslim community let us not add to the rising Islamophobia. ‘Paki’ is offensive and loaded – let us not pretend otherwise.

 Posted: 8 Oct 2009 | There are 23 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
The Archbishop of York backs the campaign

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 8 October 2009, 12:49


The Archbishop of York has thrown his support behind our campaign against the English Defence League in Manchester. His statement backed our Manchester HOPE not hate pledge which we launched in the city on Monday with the backing of faith and community leaders and representatives from all three main political parties.This is his statement: Hope Not Hate, Message from the Archbishop of York.

I hope that the whole of this community in Manchester will unite behind the Hope Not Hate pledge. It is an important campaign that what matters in this life is turning enemies into friends – not friends into enemies.

1 Corinthians 13 tells us we should show faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these things is love. You cannot love through hate, hate is driven by fear. Love banishes all hate. If you do not respect other people, you cannot fully respect yourself.

We are made in the image of God, no matter our colour, culture or ethnicity. I hope that the people of this great city will banish hate and embrace hope.

 Posted: 8 Oct 2009 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Newport WDL protest cancelled

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 7 October 2009, 15:34


I've just been told that the Welsh Defence League event in Newport on 24 October has been cancelled or at least postponed. However, the Swansea event on 17 October is still going ahead. We shall be launching an initiative around this very shortly.

 Posted: 7 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Manchester is out campaigning

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 7 October 2009, 04:25


Over thirty people were out campaigning against the EDL in central Manchester yesterday afteroon in the first of several leafleting sessions the HOPE not hate is organising ahead of Saturday's protest. In total almost 8,000 leaflets were distributed, with another 10,000 due to go out before the end of the week.

What was most encouraging was that about half were out on a HOPE not hate activity for the first time.

 Posted: 7 Oct 2009 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Skydive for HOPE, why am I doing this?

posted by: Rupy Kaur | on: Tuesday, 6 October 2009, 08:01


Rupy Kaur

Rupy Kaur

Hello!

I’m Rupy Kaur, I’m 22 years old and graduated in psychology last year with a 2:1 from the University of Manchester. I was born with cerebral palsy and use an electric wheelchair due to my limited mobility. I started off in a special needs school but fought to go to a mainstream school and finally succeeded at the age of 10. Since then, I went from strength to strength in terms of education.

During my time at university I was involved with my students’ union and became a disabled activist. I was the founder of the ABLED society which campaigned on various issues regarding disability such as personal care support provision and mental health. ABLED’s work expanded into women’s and LGBT campaigns and I was elected as a committee member of the NUS Disabled Students’ Campaign. Earlier this year I was elected to the Compass Youth Organising Committee.

These issues are extremely close to my heart. I believe that having an ambitious family has influenced my activism. I come from a Sikh family and my grandfather began life in the UK, after the war, as a ragman who had to fight prejudice and racism on his way to becoming a successful businessman. This ambition and willingness to break down barriers manifested itself in my uncle becoming the first Sikh to be admitted to a grammar school in Birmingham, in 1964.

I was born in Britain and was a northerner. I have Indian heritage of which I and my family were proud. Even though the previous generations of my family experienced racism, in all fairness at school I was never really conscious about the colour of my skin. I was conscious of the way I looked though. I used to hide my strawberry lip gloss and my Max Factor powder in my pencil case, and while the teachers did the register I used to doll myself up.

I’m not saying things are perfect in today’s society as I wouldn’t be campaigning if they were, but I believe it is a lot better than it has been in the past and active campaigning can secure our future.

The BNP

When I first heard of the BNP, I thought nobody would be that stupid as to vote for them. There have been many wars and nobody would want to incite hatred, would they?

The sad fact is there are people who support them.

I am lucky not to have been exposed to extreme racism but I wonder, if the BNP had been in power whilst I was at school, would makeup have been the only thing that worried me?

 Posted: 6 Oct 2009 | There are 9 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Putting the record straight

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 5 October 2009, 22:35


Since my last posting I have been inundated with comments attacking me for criticising Anton Du Beke for the use of the word 'Paki'. A Welsh EDL supporter told me that he didn't mind being called 'Taffy'. Someone from Newcastle said that he didn't mind being called a 'Geordie'. So, they all agreed, calling someone from Pakistan a 'Paki' is no different.

Well, actually it is. The term 'Paki' is offensive and used by many as 'nigger' or 'coon' was used in the past.

And for the record Laila Rouass is not even from Pakistan. Her mother is from India and her father is from Morocco. So calling her a Paki has nothing to do with her being from Pakistan but is simply an ignorant and offensive putdown.

 Posted: 5 Oct 2009 | There are 9 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Anton Du Beke should be sacked

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 5 October 2009, 18:52


It seems that my comment to the Daily Mirror has caused a bit of a stir today. For those who did not see the front page and page 11 of today’s edition I shall summarise. Strictly Come Dancing dancer Anton Du Beke made two racist and offensive comments to his partner Laila Rouass.

According to yesterday’s News of the World, which broke the story, he first said "Oh no! You're not a terrorist are you?" on being initially introduced to her. Then, on a separate occasion, he called her a ‘Paki’. So, when the Mirror rang up yesterday afternoon for a quote I deliberated for a minute or two and then said that I thought he should be sacked. I was on a train from Bath to Manchester and the reception was so poor that the journalist had to make several calls to conclude the conversation. I initially thought that maybe I had overstepped the mark, but on reflection I think I said exactly the right thing. Here’s my point:

1. The BBC has forgiven him because he apologised. However, according to the News of the World he initially denied saying it. The apology was not immediate and was only made after some time had passed and then only because he had been confronted by a newspaper.

2. I think the ‘terrorist’ slur was actually the more offensive of the two remarks. Of course ‘Paki’ is offensive and derogatory and shouldn’t be used but Anton Du Beke saw a woman with a dark skin and immediately thought of a terrorist. What makes someone think that a non-white woman, whom he has never met before, might be a terrorist? Obviously someone who sees non-white women as possible terrorists. He might now dismiss it as a joke but it is the fact that he thought it in the first place that is disturbing.

3. The case has been compared to that of Carol Thatcher, who was sacked after she refused to apologise for a comment about ‘gollywogs’ on the One Show. I think this is worse, partly because it was directed at an individual and secondly because it reflects a general Islamophobia which is rife in Britain today.

Now Anton Du Beke told the News of the World that he said these things in jest and that he is not a racist. Well, I have never met the person so I can’t judge but his comments were inappropriate and offensive. And I’m sorry, the ‘jest’ line doesn’t sit easily with me when one remembers that he made the ‘terrorist’ remark before even getting to know her.

In a week when the English Defence League is attempting to whip up anti-Muslim prejudice the BBC could take a stand for our modern society by deciding that his ‘jest’ is just a gag too far.

 Posted: 5 Oct 2009 | There are 17 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Stop this racist charade

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 4 October 2009, 22:38


Some idiots in the Home Office might be fooled by the English Defence League but the racist agenda of the hooligan gang is becoming more obvious by the day.

At the end of last week the EDL got hold of an email that had been widely circulated by the North West TUC advertising a meeting of trade unions to discuss the planned EDL protest for Manchester City Centre next Saturday. The EDL response was illuminating.

The EDL administrator – who publicly claims not to be racist – riled against “building mosques”, “uncontrolled immigration” and the “multicultural hell hole of a country” Britain had become.

The racist sentiments were also evident in the latest EDL posting to their members, where the woman who has been liaising with police said that many of their followers were planning to wear masks during the protest in opposition to the burka.

Despite the glaring racist agenda of the EDL the Home Office continues to bury its head in the sand. It refuses even to classify the group as right wing and says that they are not linked to hooligans.

If trouble erupts on Saturday the EDL, media and the police may be quick to blame anti-fascists and others. However, the Home Office’s refusal to accept that the EDL is nothing more than a crude racist attempt to whip up hatred and violence should make it at least culpable.

 Posted: 4 Oct 2009 | There are 7 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Farewell to the last survivor

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 3 October 2009, 12:58


photo by Mariusz Kubik

photo by Mariusz Kubik

The world lost one of the heroes of the anti-Nazi resistance yesterday with the death of Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Marek was one of 200 Jews who battled German troops for a month in 1943 before the Ghetto was razed to the ground. It was the single largest revolt during the Holocaust.

The Warsaw Ghetto was set up by the Nazis in 1940, as part of a wider operation to round up Jews across occupied Eastern Europe. Between 300,000 and 400,000 people were crowded into the Warsaw Ghetto, the largest of its kind in Europe.

In the summer of 1942 the Nazis began the forcible transportation of Jews from the Ghetto to the Treblinka death camp, in an operation codenamed Grossaktion Warschau.

In mid-January 1943, the Germans began their second wave of deportation, but this time it was met by an armed insurgency within the ghetto. While Jewish families hid in their "bunkers", Jewish Military League (Żydowski Związek Wojskowy, ŻZW) fighters, joined by elements of the Jewish Combat Organisation (Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa, ŻOB) engaged the Germans in two direct clashes. Hundreds of people took up small arms to fight the Nazis. They took control of much of the Ghetto, built defences and executed collaborators.

At its peak, in April 1943, the uprising involved 1,000 people. However, the Nazis struck back. Over 2,000 Nazi soldiers, including 821 Waffen SS troops, were sent in and within three days crushed the resistance.

The longest-lasting defence of a position took place around the ŻZW stronghold at Muranowski Square from 19 April to late April. In the afternoon of 19 April, two boys climbed up on the roof of the headquarters of the Jewish Resistance there and raised two flags: the red and white Polish flag and the blue and white banner of the ŻZW. These flags were easily seen from the Warsaw streets and remained atop the house for four entire days, despite German attempts to remove them.

The German commander of the assault, SS-Brigadeführer Jürgen Stroop, noted: “The matter of the flags was of great political and moral importance. It reminded hundreds of thousands of the Polish cause, it excited them and unified the population of the General Government but especially Jews and Poles. Flags and national colours are a means of combat exactly like a rapid-fire weapon, like thousands of such weapons. The Reichsführer [Himmler] bellowed into the phone: 'Stroop, you must at all costs bring down those two flags'."

The uprising was crushed and most of the ŻZW leadership were killed. The remaining fighters escaped the ghetto through the Muranowski tunnel, and relocated to the Michalin forest.

 Posted: 3 Oct 2009 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
And so the violence begins

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 3 October 2009, 06:19


Over 20 Muslim graves have been attacked and vandalised in a cemetery in south Manchester on Thursday night. Coming just a week before the planned EDL protest in the city, this horrendous act either was carried out to whip up tensions or is the consequence of the current wave of Islamophobia.

It will only increase concern, fear and anger over the EDL protest.

Yesterday I had a meeting with some unions and the North West TUC to discuss how we respond. Unfortnuately, attempts to establish one broad-based counter-protest – under the banner of the TUC – did not materialise but everyone agreed that the EDL protest was clear incitement and carried very real dangers for the communities of Manchester. While there were differences of opinion, strategy and tactics there was general agreement that we had to take on the EDL and its message of hate. The HOPE not hate campaign and several of the unions present will be embarking on a series of actions in Manchester over the next week to win the hearts and minds of local people.

Adding to the mix in Manchester next Saturday will be 30,000 Leeds Rhinos fans. Their team beat the Catalan Dragons last night to set up a final with either Wigan or St Helens. This makes the decision of Greater Manchester Police to allow the EDL to protest in the city centre even more daft.

 Posted: 3 Oct 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Manchester update

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 2 October 2009, 06:54


It appears that Greater Manchester Police have agreed to allow the EDL to gather in Piccadilly Gardens at 5pm on Saturday 10 October. There will be speeches, a two-minute silence and the singing of the National Anthem.

However, the police also appear willing to allow the EDL supporters to gather in a nearby pub from midday onwards – five hours before their protest.

Surely one of the lessons of Birmingham was the disastrous policy of allowing the football hooligans several hours to drink before they took to the streets.

 Posted: 2 Oct 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
NPD flop but still rake in the cash

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 1 October 2009, 10:12


The neo-nazi NPD polled badly in Sunday’s Federal elections in Germany and yet it will receive more than €1 million a year in state funding for its election campaigns. The BNP’s sister organisation polled just 1.5% of the vote, down from 1.6% last time. While its vote was higher in some regions in eastern Germany it certainly hasn’t been able to gain from the economic crisis.

With increasing talk of state funding of political parties over here I hope we have a higher threshold than Germany does. It seems crazy for a nazi party to receive so much public money for such a small share of the vote.

 Posted: 1 Oct 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments