HOPE not hate


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Join the debate

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 30 July 2010, 18:41

Today we put up an article on this website where we argue against a counter-protest to the planned EDL march in Bradford. Simply put, we feel that Bradford simply cannot afford a riot and a counter-protest could actually be counter-productive.

You can read the article here.

We have also put the article up on the HnH facebook page and we've already had dozens of comments in response here.

While the article referred specifically to the Bradford EDL protest I do think there needs to be a wider discussion about how the anti-fascist movement deal with the fascist threat more generally. I'm not necessarily saying we jettison long-held anti-fascist positions, such as no platform, but we are living in a different world from ones when these positions were developed and we have to have an honest debate about what works, what doesn't, what tactics are productive and what are counter-productive.

Anyway, that wider debate will be for another day, but for now the discussion is about the Bradford EDL protest and whether anti-fascists should hold a counter-protest. I'm against one, as I outline in the article, but I'm interested in your comments.

* In a change to our previous position we are now going to upload comments to my blog

 Posted: 30 Jul 2010 | There are 16 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Building against the EDL

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 30 July 2010, 10:24

Deputy council leader Imran Hussain pledges his support to the campaign

Deputy council leader Imran Hussain pledges his support to the campaign

The next few days will be important for our campaign against the EDL march in Bradford. As part of the campaign to raise signatures our supporters are targeting about ten of the largest mosques across the city today with the hope of swelling the numbers signing up.

Separately, churches across the city are doing the same on Sunday.

On Saturday we hope to have dozens of activists out in Bradford. Some will be in the city centre while others will be going door to door in different parts of the city.

We've set ourselves a target of getting 10,000 Bradfordians to sign the petition, approximately 5% of all adults in the city, but I'm hopefully we'll get far more. We are currently at 7,200 so I'm hoping that we can reach our initial target by the end of the weekend, leaving us a week to really build it further.

 Posted: 30 Jul 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Political leaders unite against the EDL

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 27 July 2010, 15:20

Political leaders from across Bradford have been adding their voices to the Stop the March of Hate campaign, initiated by HOPE not hate. Quotes from the leaders of the four main parties have been carried in today's Telegraph & Argus, Bradford's daily newspaper, which is itself backing the campaign.

The newspaper also reports on a meeting between council leaders and local retailers, where concern was expressed about the impact the EDL protest would have on local businesses. One shopkeeper told the newspaper: "everyone was terrified about it and the damage it could cause to Bradford".

The full article can be found here.

 Posted: 27 Jul 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Telegraph & Argus backs our anti-EDL campaign

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 26 July 2010, 13:32

The Telegraph & Argus, Bradford's daily newspaper, has today come out in support of our Stop the March of Hate campaign. It is carrying our petition in the paper and on its website.

"Quite simply, it is something that this city does not need, want or welcome," the newspaper notes.

"We believe that if this march were to go ahead it could only damage community relations and threaten the prosperity and harmony of the city and district.

"More than in any other city, those of us who lived through the riots of nearly ten years ago know only too well what devastation displays of hatred and intolerance can cause."

The newspaper is just the latest of several influential organisations to back the campaign. The trade unions, Bradford University, political parties, faith leaders, the Chamber of Commerce and dozens of community groups have all added their support. On Saturday 80 people took part in a mass petitioning of Bradford City Centre and so far 6,000 people from within the city have signed up.

You can read the full story here.

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

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A busy weekend

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 26 July 2010, 08:41

Stop the march of hate in Bradford

Stop the march of hate in Bradford

The campaign against the EDL protest in Bradford is really beginning to gain momentum. Over 80 activists, almost all from Bradford itself, were out on the streets on Saturday collecting signatures for the Stop the March of Hate petition that will be delivered to the Home Secretary next month. A significant proportion of the people who came out on Saturday were totally new to us and for some it was their first ever political activity.

Almost 2,000 new names were added to the petition, bringing the numbers signed up to just over 6,000. And these are just people who live in Bradford. Over 1,500 of these names have been collected by churches across the city.

The campaign will step up again this week with a number of prominent figures in the city coming out in support .

Our initiative is also gaining momentum within the Muslim community. I was sent this link last night: http://www.themuslimweekly.com

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

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All stitched up

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 19 July 2010, 10:17

I’ve just been reading the statements from the four candidates standing for the BNP leadership. It is clear that the whole affair is being stitched up from the outset. The four candidates are Nick Griffin, Eddy Butler, Richard Barnbrook and Manchester organiser Derek Adams.

Adams seems more concerned with smearing Eddy Butler than winning himself. Comments like “if you feel that change is indeed needed” hardly gives the impression of someone who wants to win, whereas condemning Butler for “working with supporters who spread lies and black propaganda” gives a clear indication that Adams is standing as a spoiler candidate.

Barnbrook is standing to be a temporary leader until new elections are called. Whatever that means! It certainly will not create the “stability and unity” he claims to want. He hardly sells himself by opening up with the line that he is “dyslexic and partial to the occasional drink”. Hmmm

Griffin’s statement is interesting as it seems to refer directly to what is in Eddy Butler’s 150 words. Surely Griffin hasn’t read Butler’s statement before writing his own! He ends with an attack on “futile, time-wasting elections”. Griffin was never one for democracy.

It is clear that the BNP leadership has no intention of allowing Butler to win. Party critics are being suspended around the country, dirty tricks and smears are being employed and leadership candidates are being stood who seem more interested in attacking Griffin’s rivals than selling themselves. Of course, all this only comes into play if Butler gets the necessary nominations, a process which has been deliberately designed to make any challenge almost impossible.

No wonder so many disgruntled BNP members are walking away from the party in the belief that it can never be reformed.

 Posted: 19 Jul 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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A morning spread

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 18 July 2010, 10:49

Love it

Love it

There's something nice about a lazy Sunday morning. I've been out to buy a couple of Sunday newspapers, some fresh bread and a pot of Marmite. Some people love it, others hate it. I love it and there's nothing better than some fresh crusty bread, butter and Marmite.

I'm sure Nick Griffin is waking up this morning absolutely hating the black stuff. His infantile stunt of putting a jar on the BNP's election broadcast must go down as the most expensive jar in history. According to this morning's Sunday Mirror his stupid act is costing the BNP up to £170,000 in an out-of-court settlement.

Coming so soon after the settlement with Michaela Mackenzie during the course of an employment tribunal hearing of her unfair dismissal claim (which remains unpaid), and with further court actions pending, this is proving to be a very costly summer for the BNP. It might also be a very expensive summer for Griffin because, as leader of the party, he could be held financially liable if the party can't find the money.

 Posted: 18 Jul 2010 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Richard Barnbrook sacked

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 15 July 2010, 23:45

The infighting inside the BNP has taken a new turn with news that Richard Barnbrook has been sacked as the party organiser in Barking & Dagenham. He is being blamed for the party's defeat in east London but in truth he's been targeted because of his close association to Eddy Butler who is challenging Nick Griffin for the party leadership.

It seems pretty certain that London, the Eastern region and large chunks of the South West are in open revolt against Griffin. Eddy Butler's challenge is the most serious to date but with the rules heavily stacked against him perhaps the future for Griffin's opponents is a new party.

That's certainly what increasing numbers of BNP members are now starting to say.

 Posted: 15 Jul 2010 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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What is he up to?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 15 July 2010, 07:54

Michaela MacKenzie

Michaela MacKenzie

Nick Griffin's behaviour never ceases to amaze me. I know he is a life-long fascist, Holocaust denier and all-round unpleasant guy but sometimes, quite often in fact, I'm left wondering if he deliberately sets out to damage the far right party he is involved in. Be it factional disputes, wild and stupid business ventures or mad, counter-productive statements, Griffin seems to have the knack of scoring spectacular own goals.

And so we have another one. A few weeks ago Griffin and the BNP settled an employment tribunal with former employee Michaela MacKenzie. The settlement came after case had begun and Griffin had been proved to lie on numerous occasions. The BNP capitulated and accepted to pay an undisclosed amount to settle the case. So it was a bit of a surprise to find that he has reneges on the deal his signed in front of three judges.

The BNP, and Griffin personally, are now set for further legal punishment, hopefully at a great cost to the party.

Coming so shortly after Griffin boasted about the Northern Ireland call centre raising millions over the last couple of years the leader's behaviour is somewhat strange. And it appears that there are several other potentially quite costly legal cases (which some in the BNP argue could have been avoided) on the horizon.

Not that I'm complaining of course. Long may Griffin's strange behaviour continue.

 Posted: 15 Jul 2010 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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'Tommy Robinson' goes into hiding

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 13 July 2010, 09:25

Tommy Robinson / Stephen Yaxley-Lennon

Tommy Robinson / Stephen Yaxley-Lennon

The English Defence League has been forced to issue a statement to its supporters denying rumours that its leader has vanished.

"Tommy Robinson is still our leader he has not gone into hiding and has not left us," the statement reads. "Just because you don't see Tommy posting on facebook all the time does not mean he is not busy."

Of course, the EDL is telling porkies again. Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, has gone to ground following his expose as a former BNP member who has served prison time for a violent assault on an off-duty police officer.

Despite some initial bravado after his true identity emerged, Yaxley-Lennon is now a little bit nervous. He was initially named as Stephen Yaxley and he obviously hoped that this was enough to keep his fascist past and criminal conviction hidden. However, it wasn't long before Searchlight researchers discovered his full name and his past unravelled. Since then Yaxley-Lennon is trembling.

His disappearance isn't the only problem affecting the EDL. There is growing disquiet over decision-making and poor communication between the un-elected leadership and the activists.

The EDL statement gives an upbeat message about regional reorganisation and a forthcoming policy and activity document but the truth is different. Divisions are beginning to emerge and rivals are circling.

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