HOPE not hate


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posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 30 March 2008, 20:38

Finally getting an evening to relax after another busy few days. After much stress and strain we managed to get our April edition of Searchlight off to the printers at the end of last week. Sonia mused after it had been finished that she was worried, for the first time ever, that the magazine wouldn't hit our printers deadline but a combination of working through much of the night and the tireless efforts of our designer saw it get off in time.

The Philosophy Football Hope not Hate night on Friday was a great success. Over 200 people crammed in to the Offside bar for an evening of film, music, comedy and speeches. It was a chance to let our hair down, whilst raising support for the cause. It was also great to see so many people who led the campaigns back in the 1970s together with younger people getting active for the first time.

In total 78 people signed up for our U-day, when, on the 29 April, we intend to leaflet 200 tube and railway stations around London. I have set myself a target of mobilising 1000 people for this day, so with 78 signed up on Friday and another 12 on Saturday we are almost a tenth of our way there. (Details of U-day will be put up on our website very shortly)

Saturday was spent fighting the wind and rain in Camden. Despite the awful weather we still managed to put out over 6,000 newspapers, with many more bundles being dropped off for local activists to deliver over the next few days. We dried out listening to Billy Bragg (again) and eating some fabulous home-made soup. A big thank you for everyone who came out, especially Cathy for organising the event (and food). Searchlight's Matthew Collins commented as the spread was brought out that it was clear that he and I weren't organising the day otherwise there would have been the usual pot of curry and nothing else.

 Posted: 30 Mar 2008 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Awaiting the nominations

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 27 March 2008, 23:26

The April issue of Searchlight has been put to bed so now it's time to turn our attention to the forthcoming elections. Tomorrow is the deadline for nominations for the London Mayoral and Assembly elections, though I guess there will be few surprises in the BNP slate.

There is still a week to go before nominations close for the London and Welsh local elections but already Searchlight is picking up information about BNP intentions. In several areas of the country it appears that the BNP is struggling to match the number of candidates it stood last year. That doesn't seem to be the case in the Eastern region where is appears that there will be several local authorities facing full BNP slates.

We will do our best to keep you informed of BNP nominations as they happen but if you hear anything before we do please do drop me a line

 Posted: 27 Mar 2008 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Weekend of Hope

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 17 March 2008, 08:12

A big thank you to everyone who took part in our Weekend of HOPE. We are still trying to calculate exactly how much literature was distributed but I can safely say that it was in excess of 125,000.

I did eight leafleting sessions over the weekend and my body is suffering this morning. But it was good fun (honest) except for the rain which cut short one activity yesterday morning.

Friday afternoon at the Angel tube was probably the best. There were five of us and together we handed out over 1000 newspapers in two hours. Several people took bundles of papers away to give out to their friends and at least two of the people we met have subsequently signed up as volunteers to the campaign.

Brick Lane yesterday was also good. The rain prevented us from holding a stall but we leafleted some of the local housing estates and then we focused on the covered food and clothes market. Several stall holders took bundles for their stalls, as did a number of local Indian restaurants and supermarkets.

There will be plenty more activities happening soon so please keep checking back with the main www.hopenothate.org.uk site for details.

Before I sign off I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at SERTUC who did a great job in mobilising local TUCs.

 Posted: 17 Mar 2008 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The newspapers are here

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 14 March 2008, 10:34

My body is aching! The lorry carrying 650,000 HOPE not hate newspapers has arrived and have been unloaded. Vans and trucks have been dispatched to every part of London and the newspaper is now going out.

Last night I was in Hackney for a meeting organised by Hackney TUC. There were people from several political parties and none and orders came in for over 20,000 newspapers. A great start to the campaign.

I'm now off for my second session of leafleting ...the second of many over the next few days.

 Posted: 14 Mar 2008 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The campaign is underway

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 11 March 2008, 21:57

The phoney war is certainly over. For the first time this year I really feel that the campaign is under way. I don't think I have stopped since 7am.

This morning I met up with representatives from the Sikh and Jewish communities to discuss some joint work ahead of the May elections in London. This was followed by another meeting this afternoon in Wandsworth, planning out events for our Weekend of Hope. A common theme running through all these meetings is our attempt to use the threat of the BNP to our advantage, to build lasting networks within and amongst communities, especially focusing on young people.

The planning for the Weekend of Action is gathering pace. At the last count we have activities planned in 26 London boroughs. In many places we are linking up with SERTUC, local TUCs and local trade union branches, while in other areas it is with faith and community groups. I have no idea as to how many newspapers we will get out in one day but it is certainly the biggest event we have ever organised.

I'm sure it is the same around the country. I managed to have a break from our London work to chat to some of our network around the country. I know that there are multiple events planned in Yorkshire this weekend, and other activities being organised in Stoke-on-Trent and Sandwell.

There'll be lots more on all this in due course

 Posted: 11 Mar 2008 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Back on stream

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 11 March 2008, 08:38

Apologies everyone for my long absence, it's been a hectic last few weeks. I would like to say that the worst is over but of course we are only warming up for May's elections.

Yesterday the first edition of our London tabloid, produced in association with the Daily Mirror, was printed. 650,000 copies. They will start going out later this week but please do get in touch if you want bundles of the paper to distribute in your workplace, college or community.

You can reach me at nick@stopthebnp.org.uk

It seems that we are going head to head with the BNP this weekend in London. It's our Weekend of Hope, with over 50 activities planned across the capital. It now seems that the BNP is also organising a big mobilisation for the same weekend. Should be fun ...but my bet is that we will deliver far more material than they can hope to put out.

If you want to get involved in the Weekend of Hope then visit our map here

 Posted: 11 Mar 2008 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments