HOPE not hate

Political

You are viewing blog items for March 2014.

Share on FacebookTweet this
A busy Saturday

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 29 March 2014, 07:34


It's been a busy day for the HOPE not hate team. In Liverpool, we held a stall at the North West TUC AGM and did a roaring trade promoting our new anti-BNP and anti-UKIP leaflets.

Our new anti-UKIP leaflet has been an amazing success. We printed 200,000 this week and have already delivered 170,000 of them to trade unions in the North West, Yorkshire, the East Midlands and London. With orders likely to come in from the North East, Wales and more in London, another print run will be made soon.

Northampton HOPE not hate were out distributing the leaflet, while down on the south coast HOPE not hate activists in Brighton were signing up dozens of new supporters with their street stall.

In London, twenty HnH supporters attended a training session and out of it new groups are likely to emerge in Croydon, Bexley and Bromley and Hammersmith. This is in addition to the newly formed groups in Camden, Harrow and Brent.

We are building towards our big national weekend of action, on 3/4 May, where there will be dozens of events across the country, many in areas where we have never been active before. In the last few days alone, we have nailed down activities in Bedford, Luton, Salisbury, Lytham St Annes, Grimsby, Plymouth and Reading.

A few days ago, HOPE not hate supporters were out on the streets of Coventry distributing a leaflet in response to the BNP, who had been out earlier that day.

We are entering the short campaign period and our activities are happening with increasing frequency. A new campaign section will shortly appear on our website and people will be able to follow all our activities.

 Posted: 29 Mar 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
new anti-UKIP leaflet

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 26 March 2014, 04:52


HOPE not hate has just produced a new hard-hitting leaflet focusing on UKIP. This leaflet explains why their racist anti-immigrant rhetoric is wrong, goes through the reasons why UKIP is not the party for ordinary working people and reveals some true facts about immigration that are conveniently ignored by the right-wing press.

This leaflet is perfect for trade union members and distribution in local communities being targeted by UKIP.

You can order the leaflet here:

http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/shop/ukip-leaflet

 Posted: 26 Mar 2014 | There are 6 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Students spread HOPE at University of Nottingham

posted by: Guest blog by Elisabeth Pop | on: Saturday, 22 March 2014, 17:23


Guest blog by Elisabeth Pop

Dozens of students were registered to vote and 1,000 flyers were hand delivered on University of Nottingham's Park Campus during yesterday's voter registration drive.

The event, taking place between 11am and 4pm, was a Campus Call Out day of action aimed at engaging and mobilising the student vote. It was organised by HOPE not hate with the support of the Romanian Student Society at the University of Nottingham.

It is only one of the 40 Campus Call Out events HOPE not hate is holding across the country in order to raise awareness about the elections, encourage voter registration and recruit more activists to the campaign of standing up to fear and hate at elections time, and beyond.

Alexandra Irina Pinzariu, the President of the Romanian Student Society and the International Students Officer at the University of Nottingham Students Union, felt strongly about supporting this HOPE not hate event. "For months now, we have seen anti-migrant rhetoric based only on myths, no facts, both from politicians and the media. Their target of choice has been mainly Eastern European migrants and the scapegoating continues even now, despite it being quite clear that there has not been an “invasion” of Romanians and Bulgarians and the EU migrants are not a "drain on Britain", but one of the major contributors to UK economy and society. We believe all students, both the ones who are British nationals and the ones who are EU nationals, have to exercise their democratic rights instead of allowing others to write their destinies for them. We think is it very important that young people do not allow others to divide us for their own gains, that on 22 May we show them that Our Voice is Our Vote and We Vote HOPE", said Alexandra Pinzariu.

Amongst those who registered to vote was Politics Undergraduate Student and British national Ellis Bater. He had the following to say to his fellow students, at University of Nottingham and across Britain: "Students do not have the right to moan that politicians do not listen to them, break promises made to them or do not take their needs or interests into account when they draft policies. When people in other parts of the world are willing to die for their right to vote and for democracy, but here students and young people seat on the side and take democracy for granted, it makes me angry and even more determined to ensure that my voice counts."

Abiodun Michael Temidayo Olatokun, Environment and Social Justice Officer at University of Nottingham Students Union feels very strongly about his work of training student societies and groups to carry out social justice actions and campaign for change. He welcomed the HOPE not hate campaign and said: "Campus Call Out is a great initiative. Students have to be reminded that they need to take ownership of key issue in our society, from social justice and tolerance, and recently standing up to racism and xenophobia, to involvement in the democratic process. More people, both students and the wider society, have to join forces and support the work HOPE not hate is doing to celebrate the values that bring us together. "

HOPE not hate Campus Call Out events have already taken place at UCL and University of Birmingham, with others to follow at University of Leicester, Warwick University, Cardiff University, University of Glasgow, three universities in Liverpool, and Manchester University amongst many others.

 Posted: 22 Mar 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
New areas getting organised

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 20 March 2014, 00:40


Of the 1,224 people who have signed up as volunteers in HOPE not hate's latest appeal, several dozen were offering to organise events in areas where we do not presently have a group.

In fact, we are confident that there could be as many as 53 new areas of activity as a result of our appeal. They include Aberdeen, Dumfries and Inverness in Scotland; Rotherham, Grimsby, Wakefield and York in Yorkshire; Uxbridge, Ealing, Bromley, Enfield and Walthamstow in London; Peterborough, Cambridge and Thurrock in the Eastern region; and Plymouth, Exeter, Bath and Swindon in the South West.

Even if only half of these people actually host an event, that is still 26 actions that might not have otherwise occurred.

Our organising team will now spend the next few days contacting as many of the 1,224 people who have offered to volunteer with the aim of integrating them into our existing groups or helping them join up with other new volunteers to set up new groups.

 Posted: 20 Mar 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Volunteers pouring in

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 18 March 2014, 16:23


A staggering 966 people have so far signed up to volunteer in our 2014 European Election campaign. Most are offering to leaflet, though some will be joining our letter writing circles and others are volunteering to help us out at events.

An exciting number are offering to host leafleting sessions, including many from areas where we do not currently have local groups.

The 2014 campaign is going to be our biggest to date, with hundreds of actions across the country and roughly 2,500,000 newspapers and leaflets to be delivered. Our big weekend of action will be on 3/4 May and then there will be a transport day on Tuesday 20 May, just two days before the elections. We will be beginning to advertise our big events soon, but in the meantime we will be encouraging people to sign up as a volunteer.

Our target is to get to 1,250 by midnight tonight. If you haven't already signed up then please do

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/local-activist

 Posted: 18 Mar 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
They want to hear it from you

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 18 March 2014, 10:57


Yesterday we asked our supporters to tweet three immigration facts that UKIP doesn't want Brits to know before Election Day.

Twitter is a great way to get the word out, but most of our friends and neighbours will want to hear these facts in person -- and our supporters are the best people to speak to them.

Sign up to become a HOPE not hate local activist and help us bring your friends and neighbours the information they need to know before they head to the polls:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/local-activist

 Posted: 18 Mar 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Mobilising students

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 14 March 2014, 15:48


Next week HOPE not hate launches Campus call-out, a campaign aimed at engaging and mobilising the student vote. Over the next few weeks, there will be events at least 46 colleges across the country in order to raise awareness about the elections, encourage voter registration and recruit more activists to HOPE not hate.

Each team organising an event has received a Campus Call-Out pack, which contains leaflets, T-shirts, posters, badges, stickers, voter registration forms and bunting.

Students are natural allies in the battle against fear and hate. A recent YouGov survey found that the attitudes of younger people were far more positive than older people – both in regards of sympathises to the EDL but also more generally to immigration, the EU and Islam. For example, 50% of 18-24 year-olds said that they were "less likely" to vote for a party which promised to "stop all immigration into the UK" compared to 20% of people over 60 and 28% in society overall.

Likewise, 42% of 18-24 year olds were less likely to support a party which promised to "reduce the number of Muslims and the presence of Islam" in the UK. This compared to 15% of those over 60% and 23% overall.

However, many students are not registered to vote and many of those who are, don’t. The electoral commission estimate that 22% of students are not on the electoral register and only 44% of those who were actually voted in the last General Election.

With voter turnout so low, encouraging students both to register and to vote could make a huge difference, especially in the European Elections where every vote counts. It is for this reason that HOPE not hate has teamed up with the National Union of Teachers to run this campaign.

If you want to get involved in Campus Callout or even organise an event in your college, then please sign up here:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/campus-call-out

 Posted: 14 Mar 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Tony Benn – another great loss in a terrible week

posted by: Graeme Atkinson | on: Friday, 14 March 2014, 15:46


Veteran Labour politician Tony Benn has died at the age of 88. He had been seriously ill for a long time and his passing, following the death of RMT leader Bob Crow earlier this week, leaves the progressive movement weaker.

An erudite writer and great communicator, Tony Benn was a tireless campaigner and parliamentary advocate of progressive and democratic causes. In fact, he was a giant in the pantheon of English radicalism, an ardent promoter of genuinely reformist socialism in Britain, never afraid to lend his name to campaigns opposing war and fighting for social justice and powerful trade unionism.

A consistent opponent of racism and fascism, he most recently voiced his concern about the grim situation in Greece and the baleful emergence of the nazi Golden Dawn. Throughout his career, he actively associated himself with anti-imperialism and anti-colonialism, not least in the Movement for Colonial Freedom, making him a target for the hateful antics of fascists like the League of Empire Loyalists.

His anti-imperialism also strongly underpinned his commitment to peace and his strong support for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

His loss will be particularly felt by the miners and their families with whom he stood so steadfastly with the miners during their Great Strike in 1984-1985, never wavering in his support for their epic battle for pits, jobs and communities.

Tony Benn was a man of true humility, always interested in other people and with no egotistical side to him.

He left a powerful, positive and lasting impression on all who met him and worked with him and will be sorely missed.

 Posted: 14 Mar 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Standing Up for HOPE in Birmingham

posted by: Guest blog by Elisabeth Pop | on: Wednesday, 12 March 2014, 10:25


Guest blog by Elisabeth Pop

On Monday, HOPE not hate was in Birmingham on a Voter Registration Drive. Hosted in the West Midlands Big Issue office, the HOPE not hate team approached Big Issue vendors in an initiative to get them registered and mobilised to vote in the upcoming European and Local Elections.

We were pleased to find that despite their vulnerable status most of the vendors who were British citizens had already registered, were aware of their democratic rights and keen to exercise them on 22 May.

But none of the vendors who were Romanian nationals, the majority of them Roma ethnics, even knew they have the right to vote in the UK in the Local and European elections, not to mention the need to register. Two thirds of them welcomed the initiative and registered on the spot. Amongst them Mr. Costel Ruse and Mrs Olimpia Ruse, a Romanian national and ethnic and his Roma wife. They told us that by registering and casting their vote they are standing up to all those British politicians who, one way or the other, insinuated all Romanians are Roma and that they are beggars, criminals, and a drain on Britain.

This group of vulnerable people are basically sending a clear message - they are part of their respective local communities, in Birmingham and across Britain, and willing to integrate because the vast majority of them are nothing like what the Daily Haters would have you believe. They also felt strongly about holding to account those Romanian politicians who for the past 25 years of so-called Romanian democracy have failed to address, substantially and meaningfully, Roma prejudice and discrimination in housing, education, employment and access to health care.

But a third of the Romanian Roma we spoke to did not want to register. Some out of fear, saying they want to keep their heads under the parapet, to sell the magazines and survive on a day to day basis, until they get on their feet and make a better life for themselves. Others out of apathy. They felt their vote, their voice was not heard in Romania, so it could not possible make any difference in Britain. Moreover, they saw no point in standing up and choosing to register and vote because, in their opinion, all UK politicians pick on immigrants, the UK media will never care about the truth – the truth doesn’t sell, and in Romania all political parties are as bad as each other.

It’s precisely for all these reasons that HOPE not hate is organising its biggest campaign to date #VoteHOPE #EP2014 – to empower our wider communities, both the apathetic and the vulnerable groups who live within, and who think they do not have a voice or that their vote does not matter. But also to remind racist, xenophobic and populist political parties and candidates that We Are the Many, We Stand for Our Britain and We will Vote HOPE.

 Posted: 12 Mar 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Bob Crow

posted by: Matthew Collins | on: Tuesday, 11 March 2014, 10:44


It is with great sadness that we have learned the awful news that RMT leader Bob Crow has passed away this morning.

Bob, who was 52, was a dedicated anti-racist and anti-fascist. He led the way in tirelessly confronting injustice both in the workplace and in wider society.

He was an absolute giant in the fight for equality and human dignity.

He actively campaigned for an educated and organised working class his entire life. The strength of the RMT union is testament to that commitment. His passion for his work and his members is an enormous loss to the Trade Union and anti-fascist movement.

To his family, friends and Comrades, we send our most sincere condolences.

 Posted: 11 Mar 2014 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
International Women's Day

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 8 March 2014, 08:24


Today is International Women's Day and to mark the occasion HOPE not hate has produced 100,000 women's leaflets. Teams of activists will be out around the country today, especially in Yorkshire where our local groups are distributing 40,000.

To get more involved in our campaign, please sign up here:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/plan-video-activist-sign

 Posted: 8 Mar 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Building campaign momentum

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 7 March 2014, 03:14


There were several HOPE not hate meetings around the country last night as we continue to gear up for the forthcoming European and Local Elections. The team were speaking at meetings in Leeds, Runcorn, Worcester and Brent and Camden.

From all accounts, the meetings were well-attended and plans drawn up at each for some action over the next couple of months. At the meeting in Leeds, the 25 people present agreed to set themselves a target of delivering an ambitious 60,000 leaflets during early May alone. At the Brent and Camden meeting, it was agreed to deliver 10-15,000 newspapers in each borough.

Over the past week, HOPE not hate has held over meetings in Oldham, Tameside, Rochdale, Chester, Shrewsbury, Burton, Nottingham, Northampton, Warwick, Loughborough, Colchester, Sheffield, Doncaster, Bradford and Brighton. Several new HOPE not hate groups have been formed.

Over the next couple of weeks there will be other meetings in Swansea, Cardiff, Southampton, Bristol, Daventry, Wellingborough, Corby, Boston, Birmingham, Lincoln, Harrow, Middlesbrough and Essex.

Our 2014 campaign is now entering a new, more public phase. Over the weekend over 100,000 women's leaflets will be distributed to mark International Women's Day. Then, from the 17 March, we launch Campus Callout, an initiative to register and mobilise students ahead of the elections. Actions are being organised at 41 colleges across the UK, with more being added to the list all the time.

We have a rolling programme of action over the next couple of months to build momentum for our big campaign weekend, on 3 and 4 May. We are producing 1,000,000 newspapers, customised into 39 different editions, and over 500,000 leaflets. Manchester is leading the way, with a goal of delivering 80,000 newspapers, followed by Leeds (60,000), Liverpool (45,000) and Brighton and Loughborough (40,000 each).

There will also be a Souls to the Polls initiative to mobilise faith communities and a campaign to engage and register UK-based EU citizens. Our campaign will culminate with Transport Tuesday, on Tuesday 20 May, where we will hope to organise at least 300 leafleting sessions at tube, train and bus stations across the country.

There will be several surprises along the way and a massive online campaign to complement what we are doing offline. All in all, this will be our biggest campaign to date.

If you would like to get involved in the campaign then please register your interest here:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/plan-video-activist-sign

 Posted: 7 Mar 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
Be the difference

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 5 March 2014, 21:40


Are you a student and would like to get involved in the HOPE not hate campaign? If so, get in touch and be part of initiative in colleges around the country later this month.

Called 'Campus call-out;, it is a campaign aimed at engaging and mobilising the student vote. Over a fortnight in March, there will be events at 40 colleges across the country in order to raise awareness about the elections, encourage voter registration and recruit more activists to HOPE not hate.

We have developed a Campus Call-Out pack, which is being sent to each participating college. Each pack contains leaflets, T-shirts, posters, badges, stickers, voter registration forms and bunting.

Students are natural allies in the battle against fear and hate but voter registration and turnout is low. Only 56% of 18-24 year-olds are registered to vote and 22% of students are not registered. Turnout at elections is poor and is falling.

With voter turnout so low, encouraging students to register and vote could make a huge difference.

So, if you are a student and want to make a difference then drop Owen Jones a line at owen@hopenothate.org.uk

 Posted: 5 Mar 2014 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

Share on FacebookTweet this
"UKIP is a racist party"

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 3 March 2014, 14:11


The front cover of a UKIP leaflet delivered in the North West. Is this anything different from what the BNP or NF would deliver?

The front cover of a UKIP leaflet delivered in the North West. Is this anything different from what the BNP or NF would deliver?

That's not me saying it but Telegraph blogger and political commentator, Dan Hodges.

Dan's latest blog, written after UKIP’s Spring conference, is instructive. Not only does he admit that his views on UKIP have changed over the past 12 months, but in this he is reflecting the uncertainly many of us felt about how to deal with UKIP.

Last spring, HOPE not hate began consulting its supporters about how we should respond to the UKIP threat. We, like many of the 3,000 people who responded to our survey, were unsure and hesitant. UKIP was not the BNP but it did play up to anti-immigrant fears.

A year on and I'm sure in my mind that our decision to take on UKIP is right. In fact, I'm more convinced now than ever. There has been a steady stream of outrageous and disgustingly racist comments by UKIP councillors and officials, most of which have gone largely unpunished by the UKIP leadership. Online, UKIP supporters have been ferocious in their attacks, sometimes stooping to levels worse than BNP or EDL supporters. And, probably worst of all, the party leadership has deliberately whipped up anti-migrant hysteria over the arrival of Bulgarian and Romanian migrants but then refused to apologise when their doomsday predictions failed to materialise.

I've long argued that our opposition to UKIP isn't solely focused against them as a political party. There is a cultural battle going on and they represent one side. Much of the polling done shows that for UKIP supporters their opposition to the EU or future immigration is tied up with their desire for a very different Britain from what we have today. It is a Britain without immigration, old fashioned in many of its social and cultural beliefs and one where Britain's place in the world is very different from what it is today.

There will be some who argue that there is a danger in taking on UKIP and calling them out for what they are. Some of these people will say that we should instead be focusing on why UKIP are doing well and reaching out to those with genuine concern about immigration and the impact - perceived or otherwise - on their lives.

It is not one way or the other. We can reach out to people and understand their grievances whilst also pointing out that UKIP is not the answer. We can address their concerns whilst also exposing UKIP for the party it has become. The danger in doing otherwise is to legitimise UKIP and the racist baggage they bring. It is time to take them on, whilst simultaneously offering people an alternative vision of the Britain we want to live in.

Dan sums it up perfectly at the end of his blog: "There is no longer any point in attempting to deconstruct Ukip in a vain effort to legitimise them. The laughter at Paul Eastwood’s jokes was genuine. Its slogan “Love Britain, Vote Ukip” was not appropriated from the BNP by accident. Nigel Farage’s ludicrous tale about the silence of the English north of Grove Park was deployed for a purpose.

"Nick Lowles was right and I was wrong. Ukip is now an overtly racist and extremist party. And the time has come to challenge them over it."

 Posted: 3 Mar 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments