HOPE not hate

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EDL gloating backfires

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 30 December 2010, 09:23


The EDL took great delight in reporting the death of Bertie Lewis, a 90-year-old from Bolton who recently spoke out against them. "This was the old clown from Bolton who went on tv being a little daft dhimmi mouthing off about edl. 1 less commie rat to worry about," wrote the EDL on their Facebook site.

The only problem was that Bertie had a distinguised war record in Bomber Command and it wasn't long before EDL supporters turned on their leadership.

Michael Jones said: "Man was a war hero, regardless of who he supported. Get a grip admin, you sound just like the idiots we oppose."

Wayne from Blackburn joined the fray. "Stuff like this gives the Muzzies ammunition to ridicule. Remove this post."

Anyway, unlike the EDL I would like to pay our respects to Bertie. He was born in Chicago and grew up in New York and was one of the few Americans to enlist with the RAF. He was 19 when WW2 broke out and two years later worked his way across the Atlantic shovelling coal on a Norwegian ship intent on joining the RAF. He was eventually to become a Flight Sargeant in Bomber Command and took part in 40 missions over Germany.

In more recent years he became an active anti-war campaigner and every weekend would take to the streets of Bolton to spread a peace message.

Last year he took part in a demonstration against the EDL in Bolton. He was knocked over by police but continued his protest from a chair. He later told the Bolton News: “I fought the fascists during the Second World War and if I let someone like the English Defence League, which are the enemy, get away with coming here and protesting then what did I fight the war for?”

 Posted: 30 Dec 2010 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Killers were EDL supporters

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 22 December 2010, 11:03


Daryll Jones and Mark Jackson

Daryll Jones and Mark Jackson

Day by day the true nature of the English Defence League is becoming clearer. Alongside fascists, racists, drug dealers and football hooligans we now have murderers.

It has been reported that two of the murderers of a vulnerable Lincoln man had links to the English Defence League.

Daryll Jones, 17, and Mark Jackson, 21, were also two known football hooligans and the target of a police operation to ban troublemakers linked to Lincoln City FC..

Jones and Jackson, of Yarborough Road, Lincoln, were convicted of killing football enthusiast and Asperger's sufferer Shaun Rossington. The victim, who suffered from Aspergers, was kicked and beaten to death in June. He suffered more than 40 separate injuries in the attack.

This is just the latest criminality linked to followers of the EDL and says much about the organisation.

 Posted: 22 Dec 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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EDL spokesman arrested

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 22 December 2010, 06:58


Guramit Singh, a spokesperson for the EDL, has been arrested for ‘intentionally causing religiously-aggravated harassment, alarm or distress’ following his hardline speech at an EDL demo in Peterborough earlier this month.

The Nottingham-based man has been bailed to return to police in Cambridgeshire in February.

 Posted: 22 Dec 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Griffin stuffed

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 21 December 2010, 15:42


Nick Griffin has today taken a right old stuffing after a judge ruled against him for the unfair dismissal of four former BNP employees. The BNP leader has been ordered to pay £45,000 in court costs within 28 days and pay another £40,000 in compensation to Steve Blake, Kenny Smith, Ian Dawson, and Nichola Smith. Some commentators believe his own legal fees could reach as much as £30,000.

It is also worth remembering that the BNP has still not paid the compensation for unfair dismissal to Michaela McKenzie, despite being ordered to do so last June. The compensation and legal fees is believed to have run into the tens of thousands.

All in all, it's turning out to be a pretty awful Christmas for Griffin.

 Posted: 21 Dec 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Chicken Griffin does a runner

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 21 December 2010, 08:57


Less than a week after announcing that he would contest the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election it seems that Nick Griffin has changed his mind.

First rumours began to circulate at the end of last week that Manchester organiser Derek Adams was going to be their candidate but now it appears it will be Anita Corbett.

Corbett has stood for the BNP in Royton, on the other side of Oldham, many times but three or four years ago she fell out with a succession of local and regional BNP organisers and left the party.

It is clear that Griffin realised that he would get squeezed by Labour and the Liberal Democrats and so he decided to withdraw rather than face the embarrassment of a poor result.

I'm sure party members will be heartened by the poor political judgement, weak leadership and cowardice he has shown all in one week.

 Posted: 21 Dec 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Judgement Day for the BNP

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 17 December 2010, 09:37


It's J-Day for the BNP as they learn the judges ruling in the case brought against them by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.

If the ruling goes against the BNP then they could be fined and liable for costs, which will probably run well into five figures. This could push them a step closer to bankruptcy. If they win they will have their costs covered and they will end what has been a disastrous year on a slight high and at least solvent enough to pay the wages of their staff and cover some of their bills.

With the party's debts believed to be in excess of £600,000 and with further legal battles ahead it is a ruling they simply cannot afford to lose.

The outcome of the case is likely to be known at 10am today.

In the meantime the HOPE not hate campaign is gearing for the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election on 13 January, which is being contested for the BNP by party leader Nick Griffin. While Griffin has no chance of winning he will use this election to rally his troops and increase. We, however, plan to limit his vote as much as possible and if the court case goes against him a poor result will cement his misery.

We are organising a Day of Action in Oldham on Sunday 9 January. More details will be released soon.

 Posted: 17 Dec 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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We've won

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 14 December 2010, 07:11


The EDL has withdrawn its invitation to Pastor Terry Jones to address its rally in Luton in February. In a statement issued last night the EDL backtracked and explained that new information had come to light about Jones’s extremist views. The EDL even tried to claim that it was Pastor Jones who had requested to come over and somehow out of politeness they accepted.

Of course this is all complete nonsense. The original EDL posting last week claimed they were “proud to announce” his visit. In interviews over the weekend it was clear that Pastor Jones knew very little about the EDL and that he had accepted their invitation to come over.

In truth, the EDL was forced to backtrack because the media took up our campaign and shone the spotlight onto his cranky and extremist views. Under pressure from some of its own members, the EDL leadership eventually realised that the crazy Pastor was even too extreme for them and would quickly become an embarrassment.

The cancellation of Jones’s invite only pre-empted the inevitable. Word had reached us that the Home Secretary, alerted to his visit by our campaign, would have blocked him coming into Britain.

This is a victory for the 10,000 people who signed our letter calling for him to be banned. It is also a victory for the people of Luton who will now be spared the dangerous rantings of this extremist which would have only made an already difficult situation even worse.

It is also proof that when we get together we can change things. There were some who argued that our campaign was curtailing freedom of speech and that we should have let this preacher of hate into the country. If we had listened to these liberal voices Jones would have soon been packing his case and heading for Luton. Now he is not and I for one consider that a victory for those people who would have had to endure the consequences of his hatred.

 Posted: 14 Dec 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Ban the hateful Pastor Jones

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 13 December 2010, 10:14


Jon Cruddas MP has written a good article in today's Guardian explaining why Pastor Terry Jones should be kept out of the UK.

You can read it here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/dec/12/ban-pastor-jones-extremists-violence

I've been deluged with emails relating to our campaign, many supportive, many abusive and some just asking questions. While I can't answer everyone individually I will try to draw out some of the common themes and answer them on my blog in due course.

Our campaign is still powering forward. Our letter to the Home Secretary has been co-signed by 7,284 names so far. You can add your name here: http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/Preacher-of-Hate

 Posted: 13 Dec 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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6,000 not out

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 12 December 2010, 22:03


The 6,000th name has just been added to the letter which will go to the Home Secretary asking her to prevent Pastor Terry Jones from entering Britain.

This is a really amazing achievement given it is a Sunday.

Our next target is to reach 8,000 which will make it our biggest online petition or letter of the year.

You can help us reach this next target by visiting: http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/Preacher-of-Hate

 Posted: 12 Dec 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The case for a banning Pastor Jones

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 12 December 2010, 19:43


I would like to take on those who believe that banning Pastor Jones will just give him and the EDL publicity and so the best course of action would be to allow him in, to speak and then to leave.

Unfortunately it is not as simple as that. Of course Jones and the EDL are self-publicists who see any media attention as a victory but I would argue that the concerns of what might happen if he is allowed in far outweigh the short term publicity he and the EDL gain from this present furore.

Jones's planned speech at an EDL rally in Luton is both dangerous and inflammatory. In indiscriminately attacking the Islamic faith he is attacking all Muslims. His presence will give encouragement to all racists in Luton and beyond whilst simultaneously provoking concern and fear within amongst Muslims.

Thousands of EDL supporters will flock to Luton attracted by Jones's fame and reputation buoyed up by his extreme Islamophobia. A taste of what we can expect was evident the last time the EDL marched in Luton. Then, in May 2009, 250 thugs went on the rampage, smashing shop windows, overturning cars and indiscriminately attacking innocent people. Thirty-five people were arrested for this trouble. Do we really believe that an EDL demo of many thousands, spurred on by the incendiary presence of Pastor Jones, will not lead to even greater violence?

Pastor Jones's appearance in the UK will only give ammunition to those Muslim extremists who argue that 'Christian' Britain is intrinsically an enemy of all Muslims. Do we really believe that they will sit back and allow Pastor Jones speak in Luton unchallenged? Only last month the head of the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, the police group that monitors extremism, said that the EDL had become a recruiting agent for Muslim extremist groups. Pastor Jones's visit will only boost the very groups that the EDL claim to oppose.

Extremism breeds extremism and Pastor Jones’s intervention will only add to the polarisation within and between communities, something that could have dire consequences.

I understand people are nervous about banning people and curtailing freedom of speech, but with freedom comes responsibility and it is unacceptable for an extreme few to whip up hatred and violence against others. Just as the Home Secretary bans radical Islamist preachers so she must ban radical Christian preachers.

For those who say that we are just increasing publicity my answer is simple. The Home Secretary this week announces that Pastor Jones will not be allowed into the UK and within a few days the story will be forgotten. The longer this issue drags on the more tensions will rise and the more publicity Jones and the EDL will get.

There is a deeper point here however, many of the people urging us to turn a blind eye to Pastor Jones’s visit do so from the comfort of fairly affluent communities and lifestyles. It reminds me of those who claimed that we were wrong to campaign for a ban on the EDL march in Bradford, arguing that a “few clashes” were the “price of living in a liberal democracy.” The fact that the EDL march was going through a predominantly Asian area of Bradford, a city which was still scarred by the 2001 riots and where its inhabitants were scared of a repeat, was lost on these London-based commentators.

For people living in the frontline of EDL intimidation – the Muslim communities and the citizens of all backgrounds in the towns and cities around England being targeted by the EDL – the threat of increased trouble is something that is both real and worrying. For the majority of these people anything to reduce the prospect of trouble is both welcomed and encouraged.

That is not to say we just rely on bans and actions by the authorities. Our huge campaigns in Bradford and Leicester show how we can mobilise the moderate majority around a positive community action. In Bradford over 6% of all adults signed our offline petition in three weeks over the summer holidays. The campaign was so big and involved so many people that the Bradford Telegraph & Argus claimed that it played a major role in changing the mood of the city.

In Leicester, another city targeted by the EDL, over 6,000 people attended HOPE not hate community events over the protest weekend. This, together with our close working relationship with the city council and the local police meant the EDL was unable to provoke a violent local response.

We are now preparing to co-ordinate an even bigger campaign in Luton to ensure that the extremists are sidelined and the threat of the EDL can be used positively to bring ordinary people together.

The HOPE not hate campaign strives to bring communities together around shared experiences and identities. We believe that the majority of people want to live together in peace. Pastor Jones's visit will do the very opposite and tear communities apart by increasing suspicion, fear, hatred and violence.

It is for all these reasons that we are calling on the Home Secretary to prevent Pastor Terry Jones from entering Britain.

You can co-sign our letter to the Home Secretary here:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/Preacher-of-Hate

 Posted: 12 Dec 2010 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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A funny...

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 12 December 2010, 16:01


As the 4,000th person co-signs our letter to the Home Secretary I thought I would just share this amusing story with you. As I was making my way over to the Sky News studios we stopped to ask directions from a man who was just pulling into a driveway. To my surprise this man was no other than Nick Knowles of DIY SOS fame...

It's a small world!

 Posted: 12 Dec 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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A new milestone reached

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 12 December 2010, 14:10


Over 3,000 people have now co-signed my letter to the Home Secretary. This would be remarkable in any context but even more so given that today is a Sunday. In fact, only 10,000 have so far opened the email I sent out but almost a third of these have signed up.

You can add your name to the letter here:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/Preacher-of-Hate

 Posted: 12 Dec 2010 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Home Secretary promises to consider our appeal

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 12 December 2010, 12:06


Sky News has just interviewed the Home Secretary about Pastor Jones's visit to the UK to address an EDL rally in the new year. We were pleased to hear her say that she would actively consider the request to prevent Jones from entering the country.

To help her make her decision I am now writing a briefing that will explain why Pastor Terry Jones should not be allowed in and answer those who believe that he should be allowed into Britain in the interest of free speech.

We are not just relying on the authorities to act against the EDL. The Hope not hate team is currently putting together a huge community campaign that will mobilise the mainstream majority in Luton against the extremists. This campaign will be peaceful, inclusive and positive. We are currently in talks with people across different communities and faiths in Luton in order to offer a positive antidote to the politics of hate. I shall reveal more about this in the next few days but it will be our biggest community campaign to date.

Over 2,000 have already co-signed our letter to the Home Secretary. You can add your name here: http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/Preacher-of-Hate

 Posted: 12 Dec 2010 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Doing the rounds

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 12 December 2010, 11:27


Our campaign against Pastor Terry Jones's visit to the UK to address the EDL rally in Luton is gathering pace. This morning I've been on Sky News, the BBC and I'm presently waiting to be interviewed by ITN news.

We also sent out an email to our supporters asking them to co-sign my letter to the Home Secretary to ban him from the UK. Over 1,500 have already done so.

You can add your name to my letter here: http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/Preacher-of-Hate

 Posted: 12 Dec 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Stop the preacher of hate

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 11 December 2010, 23:24


Tonight we've launched a campaign to call on the Home Secretary to prevent Pastor Terry Jones from entering Britain in the New Year to speak at an EDL demo in Luton. Jones is the Florida-based preacher who caused international outrage when he declared that the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks should be an international burn the Koran day.

Our campaign to stop the preacher of hate is the main front page story in tomorrow's Observer. I'm just on my way back from the Sky Studios where I did a TV and radio interview.

I've written a letter to the Home Secretary which I'm asking our supporters to co-sign. You can add your name here http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/Preacher-of-Hate

 Posted: 11 Dec 2010 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Stoke-on-Trent stands up to hatred

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 11 December 2010, 08:13


Faith and community leaders in Stoke-on-Trent have come together to express their concern and outrage at the attack on a mosque in Hanley last week. The Director of the Mosque, the Bishop of Stafford and many others have signed a letter, organised jointly by NorSCARF and HOPE not hate, which is going to the local newspaper early next week.

The mosque was attacked last week when a gas pipe from a neighbouring building was fed through a window. Fortunately damage was limited but the intent was clear.

The mosque has been at the centre of BNP propaganda for several years and earlier this year the EDL had a 3,000 strong demonstration in the city. Yesterday police announced that three youths had been arrested.

You can sign the letter here: http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/Believe-in-Stoke-on-Trent

 Posted: 11 Dec 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The strange goings on at the Posh

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 9 December 2010, 22:20


Last week we heard how market traders in Nuneaton experienced their worst Saturday’s trade after the town centre was virtually closed down to make way for the English Defence League march. Now we hear that Peterborough United, known by supporters as The Posh, have switched their home fixture against Rochdale to this Friday night so as not to clash with the latest EDL protest on Saturday.

Even more surprising is that EDL coaches and minibuses are being allowed to park at the Peterborough United ground before their supporters head off to local pubs.

Given that so many EDL supporters are convicted football hooligans I wonder whether the police will be enforcing football banning orders.

 Posted: 9 Dec 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments