HOPE not hate

Political

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A stain on Britain

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 31 December 2008, 08:41


Is there no limit to the insulting behaviour of the BNP? Their website now carries an appeal for the ‘Peoples Defence Fund’ – designed to fund the party against the bullies of the establishment. The sickening appeal, full of its usual lies and misplaced notions of self-importance, draws parallels between the treatment of BNP members in Britain to those of the Jews in Nazi Germany. Only in the warped BNP mind could the leaking of the BNP membership list by a disgruntled former member be compared to the ‘KRISTALNACHT’ pogrom against the Jews.

Much more fitting I think is the picture that accompanies the appeal. Under the headline: ‘A dark stain on Britain: abuse, beating, sex-slavery, rape, murder’ – there is none other than Nick Griffin and thirty of his followers. Welcome to be the BNP!

 Posted: 31 Dec 2008 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Energy in Cumbria

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 13 December 2008, 17:55


It may have been wet and cold but there was certainly energy in the room in the Unison office in Cumbria this morning. A group of trade unionists who had recently been to Poland with the Sefton Holocaust Project were meeting up again to discuss the trip and future related activities. The visit to the concentration camps had left a strong impression on those who went and there was a clear determination to make the link with the fight against the BNP back home.

Listening to them talk about their trip did give me a chance to reflect on my own trip to Poland a couple of years ago. I do what I do in my life because I passionately hate racism and fascism but from time to time it is important to be reminded of the true horrors of what we are up against. I think it helped to visit Auschwitz when it was minus 9 and deep snow made the place even more dreary and desolate. What I remember most isn't the glasses or stacks of shoes but it was the vast expanse of the place. To think that Nick Griffin, who has long claimed that the Holocaust did not happen, might become an MEP certainly motivates me to work all that harder to stop him.

I gave a short address to the meeting about the HOPE not hate campaign and then there was a discussion about how we could engage trade union members more directly. Three HOPE not hate meetings were arranged for early in the New Year, two in areas where nothing had been organised before.

I'm trying to have a night off tonight, however, the break will be shortlived. Over the next couple of days we will be finalising our campaign plans for next year's elections. It might not be the normal way to ease our way into the festive period but we are determined to hit the ground running in the New Year.

 Posted: 13 Dec 2008 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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A pause for thought

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 10 December 2008, 07:44


Yesterday seemed to go at 100 mph as I rushed from meeting to meeting. First up was a gathering of a small working group to plan out some future work in Barking & Dagenham. I then managed to catch some lunch with our designer and over a bowl of chilli we mapped out a new online strategy. Meetings are great but they do seem to just generate more work but I guess it's for the good in the lunchtime. Then it was straight back into Parliament for a meeting with a number of MPs from areas where the BNP is particularly active.The attendence wasn't great but the upside was that we were able to talk more in depth about a few areas and agreed some joint work.

In the evening I spoke in Ilford at a meeting of the Redbridge and Epping Together Group. If one wanted to see an example of a good local group this is it. It is broadbased, firmly established in the local community, does year-round campaigning and - as was evident in May's local elections - is successful.

I returned home to two emails which are worth a mention. The first was a story about a Tajik man who was beheaded in an apparent racist attack in Russia. He was a totally innocent man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Having been to Tajikistan this summer I saw the unbelieavle poverty in the country - a poverty that drives people overseas in search of work. He was a victim twice over.

According to one report this brings the number of racist murders in the country this year to 82 - a quite shocking total.

The second email was far more positive. It was from an activist from North Manchester Against Racism who attended our North West day school at the end of last month. She wrote to me thanking Searchlight for organising the event and explained how they were taking the campaign forward locally.

I have said it before and no doubt I will say it again. I am lucky because I get paid to do a job I love to do. There are many people out there who squeeze in anti-fascist campaigning where they can. They, in my opinion, are the real heroes of this struggle.

 Posted: 10 Dec 2008 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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A bright start to the week

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 8 December 2008, 08:23


It’s Monday morning and it’s time to start the week. I’ve just read an uplifting email from a woman from North Manchester Against Racism who attended our recent North West day school, which incidentally was a great success. She said that she had found the event really uplifting and fitted in with their own strategy of localised campaigning. As part of our online campaign she has got 15 people to fill in our HOPE not hate cards and was urging each of them to sign up their friends.

It is emails like these that give me the extra spring in my step.

It’s going to be a busy week, what with a number of fundraising meetings, speaking engagements at the House of Commons and Ilford, continuing our campaign against the BNP’s Racism Cuts Both Ways initiative and a couple of Christmas parties. In between, I have to find some time to plan out the January issue of Searchlight.

Incidentally, I received a call on Friday to say that another BNP councillor has been arrested. Can anyone shed any light on this?

 Posted: 8 Dec 2008 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments