HOPE not hate


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Manchester madness

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 30 September 2009, 10:40

A little bird has told me that the English Defence League is putting back its protest in Manchester to 5pm. The organisers are claiming this is to allow people to travel to Manchester from around the country.

I'm not so sure, especially because football fans are quite used to getting up early to watch their teams on a Saturday afternoon. If it is true that the protest has been put back (from 2pm) I think it is to cause maximum trouble and disruption.

5pm will signal the half-time whistle in the England v Ukraine World Cup qualifier, which kicks off at 16.15.

It will also be an hour before 70,000 rugby league fans descend on Manchester's Old Trafford ground for the Super League final.

It will be as the market in the square where the EDL hopes to hold its protest begins to close.

It will also be as shoppers return to the bus station in the same square.

It will be as it is getting dark, making it much harder for the police to control events.

Alll in all this is a recipe for total chaos and is just more reason why the authorities should stop the EDL protest from happening.

 Posted: 30 Sep 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Calling the EDL what it is

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 30 September 2009, 07:06

Over the last few days I have been inundated with emails and blog replies from supporters of the EDL telling me that my description of them as ‘hooligans’ was unfair. I will take this point up when I have a bit of time over the next few days but I do use this word precisely because that is what most of them are. Just look at the facts. Nearly all their key people are football hooligans – many with related convictions and banning orders. Most of the people they are mobilising around the country are from the football hooligan networks. I do not call the EDL a fascist organisation because it is not (though this doesn’t make any less dangerous and of course there are many active fascists within it and at a senior level) but organically linked and driven by football hooligans it is. I should add racist and Islamophobic as well.

It’s certainly been a busy few days. I’ve been enjoying the sunshine down in Brighton this week, using the Labour Party conference as an opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones. At the same time I’ve been putting the finishing touches to our Organisers’ Academies, which kick off this weekend, launching our activist events in London, Manchester, Yorkshire and the West Midlands, and lobbying for the Home Office to take the threat of the English Defence League more seriously.

Last Friday’s fundraising appeal on the back of Barnbrook’s guilty verdict has been phenomenal. Over £9,000 has been raised, which has not only allowed us to pay for 150,000 leaflets to distribute across London but also helped us fund our next national weekend of action on 7/8 November. Over 750 people donated, of whom 424 did so for the first time to our campaign.

The English Defence League’s planned protest in Manchester has been taking up much of my time. I think this event – which EDL supporters claim is the ‘big one’ – is going to set the tone for similar protests over the next few months. Just how a group of racist football hooligans, some linked to the BNP, can be allowed to whip up trouble and tension in communities around the country is beyond me. The EDL protest is clearly an attempt to provoke and the sooner the authorities understand this the better. I have to say that some do – but others clearly don’t.

 Posted: 30 Sep 2009 | There are 5 comments | make a comment/view comments

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BNP blame Zionists for EDL

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 27 September 2009, 08:40

The BNP leadership are rehashing age-old conspiracy theories

The BNP leadership are rehashing age-old conspiracy theories

BNP leader Nick Griffin has claimed that the English Defence League is being manipulated and directed by Zionists to create a race war on the streets of Britain. Trying to distance the BNP from any potential problem, Griffin and his deputy Simon Darby have set out in an audio message their position on the hooligan-based group.

And surprise, surprise – it’s all the fault of the Zionists. Griffin explains how he initially thought the EDL was a State-sponsored honey trap to embarrass the BNP but now he doesn’t believe that even they would do that. In fact, he argues, there are far more sinister forces at work.

It is Simon Darby who begins to shine the light on those behind the EDL. “It’s been set up by a powerful organisation,” he tells his leader. “People with the power to manipulate, who are used to manipulating and have the organisational structure, the facility and the financial clout to promote it.”

“Let’s spell it out shall we,” Griffin responds.

Darby laughs, nervously. “Who’s going to do the spelling?” Obviously not him that's for sure!

“I’m going to spell it out,” his leader adds pompously. He goes on to pin the blame on those he considers responsible.

“Spelling it out in simple terms, you look at the owners of the Daily Express, the Daily Star and their interests. This is a neo-con operation. This is a Zionist false flag operation, designed to create a real clash of civilisations right here on our streets between Islam and the rest of us.”

He rants and raves a bit more, before adding: “I’ve no doubt that this is something designed to spark physical clashes between Muslim communities en bloc and the people who are coming in to hold a demonstration. They are out of it. The people who are going to get it in the neck, who are going to get the blame when it all goes wrong, are ordinary white working class communities.

“The people behind this are pushing for a low level civil war.”

Railing against the support given to the EDL from the Daily Star, he concludes that the real agenda of these Zionists is a civil war on the streets of Britain and to “nuke” Arab countries in the Middle East.

Now while Griffin is right to be alarmed and even outraged at the support the Daily Star is giving to the EDL – something we shall be taking up very shortly – his conclusion contains traditional nazi antisemitism. Suddenly the actions of one newspaper owner, if indeed that’s what it is, become an international Zionist conspiracy. The actions of a single British newspaper become the work of a “powerful organisation” who are “used to manipulating” and hell bent on a world war.

The Jewish community in Britain is alarmed and appalled at the rise of the EDL and the potential conflict it might cause. Jews are appalled because they have a proud history of opposing racism and fascism. But even from a self-interest perspective it would make no sense. Why would British Jews want race war on the streets as that would ultimately only lead to increased support for extremist groups – on all sides – and an increase in terrorism for which the Jewish community would be a target.

As for the Daily Star I think it is simply running an anti-Muslim campaign with an “English nationalist” agenda. Its support for the EDL follows the platform it has given over the last couple of years to the English Democrats, of which the Star’s TV critic Gary Bushell is a leading member.

Griffin is scared, though not necessarily for the reasons he gives in the interview. The EDL, backed by the Daily Star, is gaining momentum and the BNP could lose out. The hooligans following the EDL are increasingly voicing their contempt for the BNP, believing the fascist party is more interested in good jobs in Brussels than in defending the white race back home. There is now talk of the EDL turning itself into a political party and the BNP is getting left behind.

And I have to be sceptical over Griffin’s concern over a civil war on the streets. The Oldham riots were triggered by a gang of white men running down a street attacking Asians and their property. At the next BNP meeting, attended by Griffin, these men were given a standing ovation.

If Griffin were serious about opposing the EDL then he would immediately expel any BNP member associated with it. And he could start with booting out a BNP candidate in a forthcoming council by-election in the West Midlands who attended a recent EDL protest!

 Posted: 27 Sep 2009 | There are 16 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Activity reports

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 26 September 2009, 17:11

Anti-BNP groups have been out around the country today. I've had positive feedback from groups in Wolverhampton and Stoke-on-Trent. Activists have been out in Essex, across several parts of London and Northamptonshire. I was particularly pleased with the report from Thurrock where a small team put out 1,500 leaflets in Tilbury. With the BNP making a big push for the borough in next year's locals and General Election, it is vital we begin to organise here. After a long time trying it does seem as though we have a local group up and running.

More activities are planned tomorrow. There will be leafleting sessions in Burnley and Oldham, Ilford and Barnsley. Activists in Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton will be out again.

This is really the beginning. On Monday we will announce major activities across London and Greater Manchester, and campaigning in key by-elections in Barnsley, Cannock Chase, Penrith and Lincolnshire.

Obviously, activities are reliant on local organisers and building this infrastructure is our priority for the Autumn. Last week I sent out an email to those who had indicated an interest in becoming HOPE not hate organisers. So far 110 people have registered for our half day courses - almost all totally new to us. Interestingly, just over half are women, which is really encouraging.

 Posted: 26 Sep 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Another scalp

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 26 September 2009, 09:13

The suspension of Richard Barnbrook from Barking and Dagenham Council is the consequence of a strategy of repeated lies and misinformation that the BNP has used to whip up tensions and divide communities. There has been the claims of a secret ‘Africans for Essex’ housing policy, stories of gun ranges under mosques in Redbridge and even a DVD highlighting the case of a young Barking & Dagenham mother who had been waiting for a council house for five years only to be exposed as single woman from Wood Green, North London.

The one common strand in these cases has been their expose by Searchlight and the HOPE not hate team. In the latest case, it was one of our researchers who first realised Barnbrook’s claims of these murders were false and so alerted Barking & Dagenham councillor Val Rush, who went on to tirelessly take up the case.

And now our supporters are playing their part as well. Yesterday we sent out a financial appeal to our 130,000 supporters to help fund a leaflet telling Londoners the truth about the BNP lie machine. As of now we have raised over £6,600 – made up of donations by 538 people of which 338 had never donated online to us before. From a quick look at the figures it seems that 2,080 different people have donated to our campaign via the Internet in the last seven months.

In addition to the 150,000 leaflets we are already printing for distribution around London, we will also be able to do some more targeted work in Barnbrook’s own council ward in Barking & Dagenham.

so a big thank you to everyone and let's carry on exposing the BNP for the lying fascists they are.

 Posted: 26 Sep 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Win, win, win

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 25 September 2009, 11:35

Just heard some fantastic news. Yesterday there were three council by-elections and I'm delighted to say that the BNP performed poorly in all. In Broxtowe the BNP candidate polled just 3% of the vote. In Billericay, the BNP polled a mere 95 votes and came third.

Most encouragingly, in South Oxhey, the BNP also came third, 300 votes behind Labour. This is brilliant because the last time the ward was contested the BNP was just 12 votes behind. The BNP got 170 votes this time, with Labour winning with 487.

A big thank you must go to Sam and our HOPE not hate volunteers who campaigned hard in both South Oxhey and Billericay.

There's more good news on our fundraising appeal. Last night we launched a drive to raise £5,000 to help us fund 150,000 leaflets to tell Londoners the truth about the BNP lies. So far 285 people have donated £3,770. So another big thank you to all those people.

 Posted: 25 Sep 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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BNP caught lying - let's spread the word

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 25 September 2009, 05:20

Richard Barnbrook - the BNP's third highest elected official - has been exposed fabricating three murders in a high profile BNP campaign. He has been found guilty of bringing both the Greater London Authority and the Barking and Dagenham Council into disrepute - his lies show the depths the BNP are willing to stoop to in their vile propaganda war.

Over the last four years the BNP has made substantial gains in East London by whipping up fears and telling lies.

Now they have been caught out and we must make them pay. We have raised an appeal to raise £5,000 to print 150,000 leaflets to distribute around London. We want every household in Barking & Dagenham to know the truth about the lying BNP. We also want to warn the voters in other key areas of London exactly how low the BNP will go in order to win votes and stoke up fears within commnunities.

With the London elections now only just over seven months away there is really no time to lose. Please help us produce the leaflets we need:


 Posted: 25 Sep 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Here we go again

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 24 September 2009, 06:59

If ever there was any question about the potential danger posed by the English Defence League then it ended yesterday with the announcement that the hooligan-linked group is planning two more demonstrations in Oldham and Stoke.

People will remember that it was the violent incursion by 400 Stoke City hooligans through the Westwood area of Oldham in April 2001 which began a chain of events which eventually led to the riots. After weeks of rising tension and minor skirmishes, a group of Oldham hooligans and BNP activists ran through a predominantly Asian street, attacking people and property. A Crown Court judge later described this as “the trigger” for the Oldham riots.

Now the racist hooligans want to whip up trouble again.

Boasting in the Oldham Chronicle, the leader of Oldham EDL admitted hooligans are at the core of the group. “You can’t win a fight without people like that. The BNP are not working. It’s time to have a go. Whatever needs must.” He himself has convictions for assault and public disorder and served a two-year order banning him from football grounds.

The Daily Star has again emerged as the EDL cheerleader. Back in spring the newspaper backed an EDL protest which eventually led to 300 thugs running amok in a predominantly Asian area of the town. Yesterday, the newspaper carried a sympathetic article where the EDL claimed that they were not racist.


 Posted: 24 Sep 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Black Country BNP fire blanks

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 17 September 2009, 18:50

The Black Country BNP is making a lot of its campaigning in Wednesbury, Sandwell, but when it came to filling in the nomination papers for a pending council by-election the local BNP branch simply couldn't get their act together to return the forms in on time.

Perhaps it was because of this incompetence that the local branch is making such a big deal of its subsequent activity.

 Posted: 17 Sep 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Shouting loud

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 17 September 2009, 13:53

As police officers from around the country gather today to discuss the English Defence League let us hope that there is no ambiguity about the strength of feeling on this issue.

So far over 7,300 letters have been sent to Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire police in protest at the proposed EDL march in Leeds and 2,663 letters have been sent to the Home Secretary calling for the EDL to be prevented from coming to Manchester.

Later today I will be writing to Leeds City Council expressing our disappointment at their refusal to approach the Home Office for a ban. I’ll also be writing to every Leeds City Councillor reminding them of their duty to uphold good community relations and that the thousands of local people who have sent the council letters will not forgive their elected representatives if violence breaks out.

Meanwhile the BNP is getting in on the act with the release of a ‘Stop Islamic Colonisation — No More Mosques’ T-shirt. Their website claims this is by popular demand but it is clearly an attempt to tap in to the publicity generated by the EDL and its protests.

To add your support to the Leeds protest, please visit: http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/speakout/leeds

To add your support to the Manchester protest, please visit: http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/speakout/manchester

 Posted: 17 Sep 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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A life sentence

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 17 September 2009, 08:45

We’re all aware about the poor state of the public finances but it seems that the BNP might also be suffering from a shortage of money. The party has recently launched a scheme to allow members to join for life.

Billed as an “exclusive invitation”, BNP supporters are told that for £500 they can “show their dedication” to the cause. However, days into its launch the scheme is already being discounted to £395.

The advertising flyer calls it a “once in a lifetime opportunity”. But given that the BNP has sent out about 100 begging letters to its supporters this year alone I somehow doubt that anyone taking up this kind offer will not be hearing the sound of Griffin’s collecting tin again before long.

 Posted: 17 Sep 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Act now!

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 16 September 2009, 16:28

The people are speaking. As thugs, hooligans and fascists step up their plans to whip up hatred in cities and communities across Britain the authorities have to step in to act. And they are being told exactly that by HOPE not hate supporters across the country.

An incredible 6,363 letters have now been sent to Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police. Over in Manchester, over 1,630 letters have been sent in the last five hours to the Home Secretary urging him to prevent the EDL from coming to Greater Manchester on 10 October.

Racists are flexing their muscles across the country and Muslim communities are increasingly feeling isolated and vulnerable. However, it is vital that we all stand by these communities and not leave them isolated and left to defend themselves. In targeting Muslim communities the EDL and their racist and fascist friends are targeting modern Britain and we have a duty to stand shoulder to shoulder together.

We hear a lot about community cohesion and combating extremism – well, now is the time to act.

 Posted: 16 Sep 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Anti-Muslim violence spreads

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 16 September 2009, 08:00

Anti-Muslim violence appears to be rise as racists, hooligans and thugs become inspired by the antics of the English Defence League. While the media's focus was on Harrow, West London, last Friday night violence erupted in Swansea.

According to a news report four white men began hurling abuse at a mosque during Friday prayers before one ran in and began a fight. Before long 60 people were involved in a pitched battle in the street. Chairs and bottles were taken out of a local nightclub and used as weapons.

We have also learnt of the formation of the Scottish Defence League – based around football hooligans and well-known fascists in the Glasgow area. They have announced their intention to march in the city in November.

As police chiefs gather tomorrow to discuss the EDL this is just further evidence of how trouble can spread and spiral out of control across Britain until the authorities nip the problem in the bud now.

For more on the Swansea incident:


 Posted: 16 Sep 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Turning up the heat

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 15 September 2009, 23:44

In a few hours time we will be turning the heat up on Leeds City Council in an attempt to make them act against the intended EDL march in the city on 31 October. Over the last few days an astonishing 5,220 letters have been sent to the City Council and West Yorkshire Police calling on them to ask the Home Office for a ban. Given that only 9,800 emails were sent us by us last Friday this is an amazing response and indicative of the sense of concern over the potential violence that might arise.

However, so far the City Council has not budged. In a letter to councillors the Head of Communication acknowledged that the council has been inundated with protest emails but claimed “that local authorities do not have the power to deal with this kind of issue or prevent a march from taking place”. The letter went on to say that the council is working closely with West Yorkshire Police “to ensure the event passes peacefully”.

While legally the Council cannot ban the march it can make an application to the Home Office to prevent the EDL from whipping up tensions and causing trouble in the city. And that is what we are now focusing on. In a few hours time we will be sending out another batch of emails to push our total to 7,500 whilst simultaneously writing to the Council and every councillor urging them to act. They only need to look at what happened in Luton, Birmingham and Harrow to realise that an EDL protest – regardless of the best laid police plans – is likely to end in violence. This is the last thing Leeds and it is about time that the Council reflects the wishes of its people.People can send off a letter to the council here: http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/speakout/leeds

 Posted: 15 Sep 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Not in our name

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 15 September 2009, 08:33

The fight against racism and fascism was firmly on the agenda as the TUC kicked off its annual conference in Liverpool yesterday. A debate on the BNP was followed by a Not in our name vigil involving all delegates.

The conference was also addressed by Gee Walker, mother of murdered Liverpool teenager Anthony Walker. In a deeply moving speech, she told the conference:

"My son and what happened to him is the result of extreme racism. I know that if he was white he would still be alive today. When hate destroyed my son's dream, our community in Liverpool, in the UK and indeed the world was outraged and shocked. We were left devastated and we still are. The positives are that, at that time, we all embraced cohesion and diversity in all its forms. It was a time when race, religion and class and even our own football teams, Everton and Liverpool, sat side by side comforting each other at Anthony's funeral. Unfortunately, that was short-lived and already a lot seems to have forgotten my Anthony already and they have resorted back to their own comfort zones."

Gee's speech should be a timely reminder of the pressing need to combat racism and fascism wherever it raises its head. And with the election of two BNP MEPs the trade union movement gave its committment to do everything in its power to challenge hatred and racism in the workplace and wider community.

 Posted: 15 Sep 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Held up by the Queen

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 14 September 2009, 07:58

My last few days have been taken up with the issue of the English Defence League. Towards the end of last week I worked with the Guardian on their excellent report on the group, its politics and the people behind it – which was published in Saturday’s edition. On Thursday I recorded an interview with the BBC and then on Saturday I was live on Sky TV.

The Sky interview was amusing. I was supposed to be on at 12.30pm sharp but I was delayed because the Queen was arriving somewhere to hand out medals to the families of six servicemen who had died in Afghanistan. Through my earpiece someone in the studio said: ‘Sorry for the delay, at least you can say that you were held up by the Queen.’

Obviously it was a relief that yesterday passed off peacefully in Central London. A few dozen EDL supporters had turned out to protest at a pro-Palestinian rally. The fools of the EDL had been touting this event as a pro-Hezbollah march but of course it was nothing of the sort.

Last Friday we launched a campaign in Yorkshire to get a proposed EDL protest in Leeds city centre banned. We sent out 9,980 emails to our supporters and already over 3,550 emails have gone in to the authorities calling on them to ban the racist march. Later this week we will be making representation to the council and West Yorkshire police.

 Posted: 14 Sep 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Stop the EDL from marching in Leeds

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 12 September 2009, 07:32

Yesterday we launched a campaign to stop the racist football hooligans of the English Defence League from marching in Leeds city centre on 31 October. We sent out emails to 10,000 people in Yorkshire and within 18 hours over 2,150 letters have gone in to West Yorkshire Police and Leeds City Council calling on them to apply to the Home Secretary for a ban.

This is a fantastic start and shows the strength of feeling about this issue. However, we need more signatures.

If you would like to add your voice to the campaign please visit: http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/leeds

 Posted: 12 Sep 2009 | There are 7 comments | make a comment/view comments

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A question for the authorities

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 6 September 2009, 07:31

It would appear from initial statements that the police and the city council are content with events in Birmingham City Centre yesterday. In an email sent out from the council's Resilience Team they noted that: "In the main the protests and disruption were isolated to the New Street, Bennet Hill, Waterloo Street areas".

Now excuse me if I'm being particularly stupid but are these streets in the heart of the city centre? The clashes took place at 3.30pm – isn't that when the city centre would have been packed with shoppers?

The EDL promised a peaceful protest and claimed – to anyone who would listen – that they were not racist, opposed to Islamic extremism not all Muslims and were discouraging violence.

A cursory look at the photos and footage from yesterday shows all this was a complete lie. Their supporters throw bottles and bricks. They carried placards with slogans such as 'No More Mosques' and several of them gave Nazi salutes.

It would be interesting to know exactly how much the police and city council spent on yesterday's operation, which was after all allowing a bunch of racist thugs to intimidate shoppers and whip up racial hatred.

 Posted: 6 Sep 2009 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments

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posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 5 September 2009, 23:25

DCI Sue Southern of West Midlands police has tonight described the trouble on the streets of Birmingham as “unexpected”.

Unfortunately it wasn’t and over 2,500 people who wrote in to protest to Birmingham City Council knew as much.

 Posted: 5 Sep 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Violence in Birmingham authorities to blame

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 5 September 2009, 19:01

Unfortunately violence erupted on the streets of Birmingham this afternoon as the hooligan followers of the English Defence League descended on the city centre. While reports are sketchy, it seems that the hooligans ignored agreements with police and ran through New Street. According to press reports at the height of the trouble over 250 were involved.

Sadly it was all too predictable. For several days Searchlight and others have been warning the authorities of the potential trouble. The English Defence League is a collection of racist football hooligans from around the country and their sole intention is to whip up hatred. With several of its leaders already well known to the police as football hooligans it is hardly a surprise that violence has erupted today. However, despite the obvious the authorities repeatedly told us that they had the situation under control.

They did not and they should be held to account. West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council have failed the people of Birmingham.

If you have any more information please do post on here or contact me directly at nick@stopthebnp.org.uk.

 Posted: 5 Sep 2009 | There are 5 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The shame of a council

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 September 2009, 17:18

The political leaders of Birmingham Council should hold its head in shame. As it stands they are allowing a bunch of football hooligans to descend on the city with the sole intention of whipping up racial and religious tensions. Despite the protestations of the EDL leadership we know quite clearly that many of these thugs are coming 'prepared' for trouble. They are out to settle old scores and for many violence is second nature.

We are aware of hooligans from Bristol Rovers, Luton, Arsenal, Chelsea, Leeds, Chester, Wolves and even Newcastle making the trip down. They will be joining members of the Villa Hardcore, a Birmingham-based hooligan mob, most now in the 30s and 40s, many of whom have had a long association with the NF, Combat 18 and more recently the BNP. There is even chat that a large mob of Stoke might be coming into Birmingham to settle a score from a recent football fight.

We also know that many of the organisers of this event are banned from every football ground in the country.

And still the council and West Midlands Police refuse to act. No amount of promises of containment will do. They are allowing racist thugs to parade through the city centre and yet they have banned a positive, multicultural concert which was planned in response. Earlier this year the City Council refused to allow our HOPE not hate bus on council premises.

Birmingham appears to be standing alone. We are already in discussions with several councils in the north of England where the EDL is promising future demos and from our initial discussions it seems that they will all be applying to the Home Secretary for bans.

As it stands tomorrow's demo will be going ahead so let us hope it passes off peacefully. However, even if it does there will still be little to cheer. Racists would have still paraded through one of Britain's most multicultural cities in a clear act of intimidation. The city council would have failed the people it's meant to represent.

 Posted: 4 Sep 2009 | There are 6 comments | make a comment/view comments

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A dissenting voice

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 September 2009, 13:09

I wasn't going post this but there is a Conservative councillor in Birmingham who is seriously annoying me. Yesterday I sent an email to 120 councillors in Birmingham asking them to ban the march.

Among the numerous positive replies I received this one from Peter Douglas Osborn: "Have passed on your contact details to the police as prime suspects for causing disruption to our city.

Please stay at home.”

I wrote back to Peter Douglas Osborn explaining that I was a man of peace. He has now replied saying: “

I notice that you have given your name this time!”

I’ve just looked on the Birmingham council website and I find that Peter Douglas Osborn is chairman of the Planning Committee. It also seems that he is up for re-election next year...

 Posted: 4 Sep 2009 | There are 6 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Movement ...but the campaign continues

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 4 September 2009, 11:55

It’s been a busy 48 hours, largely trying to get Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Police to take the intended EDL march seriously.

Over 2,500 people have written to Birmingham City Council urging them to ban the march, which is incredible given that we only sent out 5,000 emails. Others have now joined the call to stop the Islamophobic demonstration. Birmingham Labour Party were supposed to be adding their voice to the campaign last night and I’ve just received the text of a letter sent to the Home Secretary by the Methodist church in the city.

Yesterday afternoon I wrote to all 120 city councillors. I got several really positive replies, which was really heartening, but one Tory councillor was less than polite but I’ll come back to him in due course.

Our office phones has been red hot with calls being made and received. There have been discussions with Home Office ministers, journalists and local politicians. We have even had a couple of abusive calls from the English Defence League themselves, who appear not best pleased that we have started to expose them.

As things stand the hooligan event is going ahead, however, last night the pressure appears to be having an impact because the police have introduced new restrictions on what the EDL will be able to do in the city centre. With hooligans from across the country preparing to descend on the city the police action is still not enough. We will continue to campaign for a ban on the protest until the last possible moment.

 Posted: 4 Sep 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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All systems go in Barnsley

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 1 September 2009, 17:25

Last week we sent out an email to our supporters in Yorkshire asking for their assistance in the crucial by-election in Barnsley. Thirty people responded to the call out - most getting involved with us for the very first time.

This is a report I received from Paul Meszaros, from HNH Yorkshire:

St. Helens ward election up-date

A fantastic day out in Barnsley on Saturday saw thousands of leaflets and direct mails delivered in St Helens ward. Activists from across the County turned out to help including one stalwart who had travelled down from York! Local activists were joined by car loads from Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield and delivered around 4,000 pieces of literature.

An addressed letter to women voters was particularly hard hitting and well received. Hope not hate activists have certainly seized on this opportunity to take on the BNP where they have had a free ride for too long.

Hope not hate will continue to campaign to ensure the BNP do not make a breakthrough in this election.

Paul Meszaros

HNH Yorkshire

 Posted: 1 Sep 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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A tale of two Britain's

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 1 September 2009, 11:20

Two weeks ago 800 supporters of the British National Party met in a field for their summer festival. It was by all accounts a dull affair, with a ban on alcohol and live entertainment, little for children to do and racist speeches galore.

Over this past weekend one million people descended on the Notting Hill area of West London for a proper festival. What began as a almost exclusively Caribbean festival in response to racism in the 1950s has changed into a celebration of modern London. While the event still keeps its Caribbean roots at its heart, it is now enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of others. White, black and Asian – all having a good time together.

There was even a HOPE not hate float in this year’s procession.

It was interesting to see the significant numbers of Eastern Europeans present – another reflection of the continually changing London.

Those attending the BNP’s festival will no doubt claim that they are defending their Britain. By it’s pathetic numbers, the RWB event does not reflect the modern Britain that far larger numbers of people identify with as was evident by the crowd in Notting Hill over the last couple of days.

 Posted: 1 Sep 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments