HOPE not hate

Political

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Third time lucky

posted by: Rupy Kaur | on: Wednesday, 26 May 2010, 12:03


If any of you know me, you'll know for over the past 8 to 6 months I've constantly been talking about my skydive. It was originally planned for December 2009 but it was too windy. Then it was planned for March 2010 - it was too rainy. Even with the postponements I still kept making a riot. Now the skydive is planned for Saturday 5 June, 12 noon at Grange over Sands, Lake District, this year.

So why I am doing it? I'm doing the jump to raise awareness about fascism because if we ignore them their popularity will grow. The BNP got no seats during the election and a lot of this has been due to the tireless efforts of those involved with Hope not hate. I want to be part of its history. I was born with Cerebral Palsy and as a result I'm a wheelchair user. Hopefully this skydive will raise awareness within the disability movement.

In a way I'm glad it's been postponed twice. Hopefully the ‘3rd time lucky' rule will apply and when I jump it'll be a symbol of celebration for all the hard work Hope not hate have done and for all the success it will have.

This will be a good way to end this election season, but there will be another election before we know it.

Finally, I'd like to say thank you to those who have supported me with my quest and hopefully you'll be seeing some footage of me screaming very soon! If you have got a spare bob or two then please sponsor me.

 Posted: 26 May 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Back in business

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 18 May 2010, 08:36


Sorry for my silence over the last few days but I can assure you that it wasn't because I was doing nothing. A holiday can wait. No, last week I was busy putting together our post election issue of Searchlight and also a 16-page special on the Battle for Barking & Dagenham. I'm quite pleased with it, not least because it is a fantastic reminder of our campaign.

The BNP is struggling and Nick Griffin's position as leader is in question. I'll be exploring more of this over the next day or two but in the meantime here's a report into the UK elections on US National Public Radio:

http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/content.aspx?audioID=41984

Click download on the UK Election Analysis heading.

 Posted: 18 May 2010 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Thank you

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 9 May 2010, 17:06


I've had over 900 messages and emails following the crushing of the BNP in Barking & Dagenham and I've been quite overwhelmed by the kind words of our supporters.

Here are just a few:

"There's a certain sense of satisfaction and fulfilment that,through people with the energy and determination to organise a movement such as Hope Not Hate, a moral victory can be achieved. It is also reassuring to know that the people of Stoke and Barking, despite obvious problems with local issues, are not swayed by racism and hatred.

Well done!! I am sorry not to have been able to leaflet or attend rallies - but pleased I could support financially. I feel I've done a little bit to help such a good cause."

Jean, Worcestershire

"A great lift in spirits that my greatest fear in the Election has been prevented.

I am an activist in the LDs. When Margaret Hodge's victory came through on the TV, there was a cheer for this BNP defeat, led by our re-elected LD MP."

Alec, Aberystwyth

“First a big thanks to hope and hate organizers for the sacrifice you made to fight for us. It means my children and I can enjoy our life in barking without fear of racist abuse or attacks just because we are of a different colour. Thank you”

Judy, Barking

"Proud to be part of this anti-fascist campaign, proud of the people who voted against the BNP and wiped them out; let's hope they slink away back under the rocks from which they came. You Nick are a star in the sky, shining bright to show the world that we are still at heart a decent and tolerant society; well done!"

Annie, Oxfordshire

I discovered Hope not Hate by accident and quickly became hooked. The sheer optimism and enthusiasm of the posts triggered in me a feeling of oneness with the contributors. I love this organisation and feel humbled to have played a small part in a cause fought by honourable people that has resulted in such a fantastic victory. It makes me proud that the majority of decent people in this country refuse to be hoodwinked by bigoted racists. It is famously quoted that all it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing...well Hope Not Hate did something and consequently divided and defeated the BNP. Here is proof that when good people join together as a force against evil, they will succeed. I am proud to have played my small part in this victory and look forward to continuing the fight against ignorance and bigotry in the future.

Litchfield, Walsall

CONGRATULATION! I am sorry about not having been able to help your campaign actively. After all I am 90 years old. But I am with you all the way and support you in any way I can.

Inge, Sutton

“This victory means everything - it means ordinary people coming together to beat those whose intent is division and discrimination. It means so much because it has happened when it did - at a time when so many people (myself included) are disillusioned with mainstream politics and its lack of honesty and vision. That people recognised the danger and united under the banner of HnH is massive.

I went to Dagenham Docks unsure of what to expect. I went alone unsure whether I'd run into trouble - didn't want to bring anyone along in case things turned nasty.

I found like minded individuals and groups. Some aligned to political parties or causes, TUs or antifascists. Others, like myself who just wanted to stand up and say 'there is an alternative to voting bnp and if you are casting your vote that way, you better be sure you know what's in store'.

Next time I will know to bring friends. Because there will be a next time. As long as the bnp are able to target people's fear they will remain a threat. And as long as they do, I vow to play my part in stopping them.”

Joel, Tunbridge Wells

 Posted: 9 May 2010 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments

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We did it!

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 8 May 2010, 11:11


We did it, we did it, we did it. I've woken up this morning and I still quite believe it. Not just in Barking & Dagenham but all across the country. All but two of the 28 BNP councillors up for re-election have gone.

But it was in Barking & Dagenham were we had our biggest battle and the HOPE not hate campaign responded. Our campaign was phenomenal but it would not have been possible without our fantastic group of young volunteers who worked tirelessly, often seven days a week and 16 hours a day, over the last four months. And it could not have been possible without our supporters who turned out in their hundreds to help deliver our literature. On 17 April an astonishing 541 helped deliver 92,000 tabloid newspapers. Two weeks later 385 people put 55,000 ‘Apology' leaflets. And then, on election day itself, 176 people knocked up 6,000 anti-BNP voters.

Nationally, 3,773 people have donated to our campaign online, with another 500-700 sending in cheques. Without this financial support we could not have run the campaign we did.

And finally, our biggest thanks must go to the people of Barking & Dagenham who came out in their thousands and voted against the BNP. The BNP supporters were sometimes the most vociferous and often attracted the attention of the media, but the vast majority of local people simply did not want to be run by fascists. They turned out in huge numbers and gave a big rejection to the politics of HATE.

The BNP have been defeated in Barking & Dagenham but they haven't gone away. We owe it to the people of Barking & Dagenham that we will not simply walk away and their concerns are dealt with. The BNP still pose a serious threat in many areas of our country and over the coming months we will roll out our campaign nationally.

But that is for another day. For now, let us reflect on our biggest triumph and saviour the victory of HOPE over hate.

 Posted: 8 May 2010 | There are 6 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Weve done it

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 7 May 2010, 07:07


The BNP has been humiliated in Barking & Dagenham and Stoke-on-Trent and a huge thank you must go out to everyone who has got involved in the HOPE not hate campaign. We estimate that almost 1,000 people participated in the campaign in Barking & Dagenham over the last few months and 2-300 involved in our campaign in Stoke-on-Trent.

In the last ten days of the campaign alone we have distributed over 130,000 pieces of literature in Barking & Dagenham. There was material for pensioners, black and Asian voters, young voters, women voters and male voters who had been identified as opposing the BNP. We did attack leaflets, positive leaflets and polling day cards to turnout our anti-BNP voters. On Monday 385 people delivered 55,000 leaflets and even yesterday, on polling day, we had 175 people out knocking up the vote.

We played a major part in a highly successful campaign. The BNP is divided and defeated and the results in Barking & Dagenham and Stoke-on-Trent will have an impact on both the fascists and our own campaign in the months to come.

It’s been a great few months and it has been a pleasure to work alongside some really great people. You never know, we could well be having to do all this again in a few months.

ps, what has the HOPE not hate campaign meant for you? We are putting together some campaign stories for the next issue of Searchlight so drop me a line with your views: nick@hopenothate.org.uk

 Posted: 7 May 2010 | There are 24 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Nick Griffin concedes defeat

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 7 May 2010, 03:09


The results have not been declared but I understand Nick Griffin has conceded defeat in Barking. Nationally, the BNP has performed badly, a mixture of being squeezed by the mainstream parties, a strong anti-BNP campaign and internal infighting within their own ranks.

Obviously there is still the local elections to count tomorrow but the omens do not look good for the BNP. I understand that the BNP is likely to lose all its councillors in Sandwell and Chris Beverley is likely to lose his seat in Morley South.

 Posted: 7 May 2010 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Its tightening

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 6 May 2010, 18:25


People have been ringing me all day asking how it is going. I simply do not have a clue. The BNP vote is certainly coming out but so is ours. We have now had 120 people through the door and still they are coming. Three teenagers from Kent have just turned up, as has Scroobius Pip, the well-known poet/rapper.

Our bus has been touring around the borough and receiving a fantastic response.

My mind is starting to frazzle but with just under four hours to go there’s still a lot of work to do.

We still need volunteers so please do come down.

50-52 New Road, Dagenham RM9 6YS

 Posted: 6 May 2010 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Number 85

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 6 May 2010, 16:44


The 85th person has just walked through the HnH campaign door and there's still over five hours to go. Word is that the turnout is high so every vote counts. If you have some time, whatever it is, please do come down and help.

50-52 New Road, Dagenham RM9 6YS

 Posted: 6 May 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Billy Bragg's on the knocker

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 6 May 2010, 13:17


Billy Bragg has just arrived and been sent straight out knocking up anti-BNP households.

We've now had over 60 volunteers come through our door but we've still got a lot to do. Any help will be greatly appreciated. We are at 50-52 New Road, Dagenham RM9 6YS

 Posted: 6 May 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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"Amazing"

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 6 May 2010, 09:44


Just had a call from a woman wanting to help. She apologised that she had only a couple of hours to spare as she had to go off to work at 2pm. When I said that would be great and explained how she could help, she said: "Wow, it's really amazing to do something really good to help on election day".

She was just so enthusiastic. How great is that!

 Posted: 6 May 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Surreal

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 6 May 2010, 09:33


I have to say that it's a slightly surreal feeling sitting here in our Dagenham HQ. We have 22 people out now, with teams in Eastbury, Becontree, Heath, River and Village, but the office is surprisingly quiet, with just a handful of us here. After the (organised) chaos of recent weeks, especially of our Days of Action where our office was packed, it all seems a bit strange.

Anyway, we're expanding our operation. We had originally intended just to knock up in a handful of key wards but I'm so confident that we will get quite large numbers today that I'm doubling the number of wards we are going to cover. We will be out campaigning in both Barking and Dagenham & Rainham constituencies, so if you have any time please come down.

50-52 New Road, Dagenham RM9 6YS

 Posted: 6 May 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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All fired up and ready to go...

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 6 May 2010, 07:55


The polls have been open for 45 minutes and we already have 15 people out delivering polling day letters to identified anti-BNP voters. I've been on the phone to our key people around the country and they too are already out campaigning.

The BNP locally are flyposting. Their first of many illegal acts of the day I'm sure. I just wonder whether we'll see Bob Bailey out and about today after his violent assault on some local youths yesterday. I understand from our sources within the BNP that Richard Barnbrook was less than impressed with Bailey's actions and lost no time in whining and moaning to Nick Griffin.

I'm feeling pretty confident about Barking & Dagenham today - if we do the work. We have 6,000 voters to knock up in our key wards. Turn them out and I can't see how the BNP can win.

We really need all the help we can, so, if you have any spare time please come down to our campaign HQ. We are at 50-52 New Road, Dagenham RM9 6YS

 Posted: 6 May 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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BNP violence

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 5 May 2010, 21:08


By now many of you will be aware of the incindent late this afternoon involving the BNP's London Regional Organiser, Bob Bailey. This is the true face of the BNP: A grown and bloated man attempting to kick the head off of a young Asian youth broad daylight.

The BNP anger has been rising all day and this afternoon it exploded into violence.

This just reinforces the need to stop the BNP tomorrow. Sign up here:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/electionday

 Posted: 5 May 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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They hate it!

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 5 May 2010, 08:24


Another day and another leaflet. And the BNP hate it.

We've had teams out from 7am this morning giving out our latest HOPE not hate leaflet and the BNP really don't like it. Shame we have another 20,000 that will go out today.

We've other material to to deliver so please, if you have any spare time, come down and help. Our campaign base is 50-52 New Road, Dagenham RM9 6YS. It's 10 minutes walk (or a short bus journey) from Dagenham Heathway tube or five minutes walk from Dagenham Dock station.

All anti-fascists welcome!

 Posted: 5 May 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Help us finish the job

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 4 May 2010, 19:49


Help us finish the job

Help us finish the job

Over the past month, Hope Not Hate has taken to the streets, speaking out against the disgrace that is the BNP. The support for our movement has been unlike anything Britain has ever seen.

In the next 72 hours we won't be backing down. We've come too far and achieved too much. But only you can push us over the edge - and send the BNP back to the gutter where they belong.

By making a donation now you can help fund the final, crucial hours of this campaign. We need to keep the BNP out of Parliament and out of control of local government. We are beginning to set the agenda in Barking & Dagenham but we need to drive our advantage home.

Yesterday alone we delivered 55,000 leaflets in the borough. Now we have 90,000 eve-of-poll individually-addressed letters and leaflets ready to be printed - but we need your help funding them.

You have been really generous to us in the past. Please let us finish the job:

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

 Posted: 4 May 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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A message of thanks

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 4 May 2010, 13:17


I've been inundated with messages from people who turned up yesterday. Here's one from a woman who attended yesterday's Day of Action:

"To all that organised the events leading to the election on May 6th.

I attended the event on Bank Holiday Monday. It was my first time to attend such an event. I found it highly organised and a wonderful experience. I met alot of interesting and dedicated people.

I know the campaign is not over, but I wanted to say a huge thank you for uniting people from all walks of life to fight fascism."

 Posted: 4 May 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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What a day!

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 3 May 2010, 23:00


It’s 10.30pm and I’ve just got home. I’ve been out since 6.30am and I’m totally shattered – but what a day. The final tally was 385 people and 13 wards across Barking & Dagenham covered. That's about 55,000 leaflets. We could have done a lot more but we simply ran out of walks and leaflets. By 12pm we were rationing people to 100 leaflets each just so there was something for everyone to do.

What was even more amazing was that most of the people out today were totally new to us. There were people from across London, Essex and Oxfordshire.

And I really do think we are having an impact. The BNP has rushed out an appallingly tatty leaflet in response to our 12pp women’s booklet which only makes them look even more stupid and extreme. Griffin, interviewed on BNP TV, has begun to admit that our literature is hurting their campaign. If they were angry about the women’s booklet, which has gone to every woman in the borough, I dread to think about their reaction to the ‘Apology’ leaflets that went out today. In them we highlight the ineffectiveness of the BNP councillors and the extremism of some of their candidates.

We have little more than 48 hours to go and we will be driving forward our campaign. Given our turnout over the last few weeks, I’m confident that we will get 150 people helping out on Election Day – so many that we will probably be able to increase the number of wards we can cover. We have identified 16,000 voters who we will be aiming to turn out on the day and if we succeed then we will stop the BNP. It's that simple.

There is a lot to do but I’m growing in confidence that we can do it. The hysterical response from the BNP is a sign that we have them on the backfoot. And it is only going to get worse for them over the next 48 hours.

Thanks to everyone who came today and I hope to see you all before the campaign is over. There is a lot of work to do so any time you have will be greatly appreciated.

 Posted: 3 May 2010 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Another incredible day

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 3 May 2010, 11:25


Over 350 people have already turned up for our Day of action. Loads of young people and the vast majority coming out for the first time. And still they come. Quite incredible.

 Posted: 3 May 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The buses are on their way

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 3 May 2010, 10:04


Just got a call from Cathy who says there are 65 on their way from Camden and Hackney. Matthew tells me there are over 20 coming in from Fenchurch Street. 15 have already come and gone from our base so it's looking good.

 Posted: 3 May 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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All fired up and ready to go...

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 3 May 2010, 08:33


The room is laid out, the leaflets are bundled up and we are all ready to go. The only thing that is missing is my team! The arranged 8am start hasn't materialised but given the long hours we've been doing over the last few weeks it is perhaps understandable.

Our initial target for today was to cover six wards but as those signing up grew so has our target. We now hope to cover nine or ten wards, which is pretty amazing given that it's a bank holiday. Whether we achieve it only time will tell, but if the rain holds off I'm pretty confident.

The BNP appear rattled by our campaign. There is a mention of us on every leaflet and over the weekend they even distributed one dedicated to us. And they haven't seen the leafleting which we are putting out today. It's our hardest yet by far. Well, we must be doing something right!

Anyway, I'll try to blog during the day.

 Posted: 3 May 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Battle joined

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 2 May 2010, 11:12


The intensity of the campaign here in Barking & Dagenham is really picking up as we enter the final week of the campaign. The BNP was out in force yesterday and they even managed to ambush David Cameron who was making a visit to the area.

We were leafleting in three wards as well. Local activists were joined by 25 people from Norfolk HnH who came over to give us a hand.

The BNP appear rattled by our excellent women's booklet. They spent much of yesterday delivering a leaflet dedicated to attacking us. If they are reacting badly to that I can only imagine their anger when they see our hardhitting eve of poll leaflets.

There is a lot to do over the next few days if we are to stop the BNP from taking the council, so if you have any spare time then please do get in touch. Whatever time you have, whatever your ability, we can find something for you to do.

 Posted: 2 May 2010 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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BNP Crazy idea 3: The thought police

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 2 May 2010, 10:24


The BNP oppose most music young people listen to. They even oppose two people from different backgrounds falling in love. We want politicians to run our country not run our lives.

 Posted: 2 May 2010 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments