You are viewing blog items for March 2009.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 31 March 2009, 19:38
Just had a chat with Matthew and Sam and it seems that NUS conference has gone brilliantly. Matthew opened the conference as a guest speaker and his call to action was met with a thunderous standing ovation. The 1,300 delegates were also treated to a 5-minute film pushing our campaign day – Sunday 10 May – what we are calling Student Sunday, and a 12-page campaign pack.
Hundreds more people signed up to HOPE not hate and at least 50 events were organised for Student Sunday.
I think Sam is planning to write a report from conference himself for the website so I shall let him tell us more in due course.
Posted: 31 Mar 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 31 March 2009, 14:15
I’ve been around in this game for a long time, probably too long. I’ve seen most things and I guess I’m fairly immune to nazi and racist literature. However, from time to time I still get shocked at the antics of our opponents. And this is certainly the case with the BNP’s latest stunt.
The BNP has mocked up a poster claiming that Jesus would vote for the BNP if HE was alive today. Is there no depths the BNP would stoop?
I’m not a religious person but I find this disgusting and I’m sure most of our supporters do too. That’s why I have launched a petition to register our opposition to it.
The BNP probably think their latest stunt might get them a bit of attention. Yes, it certainly will – but of the wrong kind. We are going to let everyone know of the latest act and I’m sure, as a result, we will motivate hundreds more people to spread the message of HOPE not hate in their communities.
Posted: 31 Mar 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 30 March 2009, 22:42
Just had a call from Sam, our latest recruit to our team, with news of an RMT meeting attended earlier this afternoon. Sam Tarry is co-ordinating our youth and student campaign and was on his way to Blackpool for NUS conference when he stopped off in Preston to speak at the RMT’s North West Regional Council. By all accounts it was a fantastic meeting. The RMT threw their support behind the campaign and promised to get every branch in the region involved on Union Friday on the 15th May.
Sam’s now on in Blackpool where he’s linking up with the rest of the HOPE not hate team. I look forward to reporting on how they are doing tomorrow.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 30 March 2009, 17:18
I don't want to give the impression that I'm obsessed with numbers but I do want to throw a couple more into the ring. In the past seven days an amazing 4,556 new people have signed up to the HOPE not hate campaign. Most have been students, following the email sent out by the NUS late on Friday afternoon. However, Wales has been another area of strong growth, with our email list doubling in under a week.
This was due to the fantastic response to our open letter sent out last Thursday. We had an open rate of 440% - by far our highest to date. That means that over four times the number of people opened the email than were originally sent it. Almost a quarter of those sent the original email sent it on to other people and as a result over 500 new people have sined up in Wales alone.
Today has been really busy. The election is ten weeks away but we're already getting inundated with requests for information and assistance. Several more days of action have been arranged and people are contacting us from across the country to ask about setting up a local campaign in their area.
I've managed to find time to explore the 'Events tools' within the Blue State control panel. These will form a major element in getting our 25,000 online supporters to become offline activists. People will be able to find their local activity at a click of a button but, just as importantly, arrange their own local event if there isn't anything organised in their vicinity. It's all exciting stuff.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 29 March 2009, 22:27
It's now Sunday evening and I've managed to switch off from work for most of the day. Yesterday I addressed the AGM of the North West TUC in Manchester Town Hall. I must say that the building is one of my favourite Town Halls but obviously there were more important issues to discuss and debate.
I spoke about the threat we are facing, the potential of the union movement to make a decisive difference to the outcome, and finally what we, as HOPE not hate are doing. I was shocked but also delighted to hear that 35% of workers in the North West are members of a union - the greatest density anywhere in the country. That equates to 900,000 union members in the region. Double that if you include other adults in the household, that's 1.8m people. That's almost 40% of the electorate. In 1999, when there were European Elections but no local elections, turnout in the North West was just 19.5%.
My simple message to unions was this. If we can increase the turnout of union members so the turnout amongst them is disproportionally higher than the electorate overall then union votes will be worth more. If unions can engage with their members and convince them of the need to vote and vote for anyone other than the BNP then we can win. It's that simple...
We have just ten weeks left until polling day and there is a huge amount of work to do. It's time for all of us, local anti-BNP groups, unions and the political parties to step up and meet the challenge.
Posted: 29 Mar 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 27 March 2009, 17:00
It's Friday afternoon. If that wasn't bad enough, students across the country are heading home for their Easter holidays. It couldn't be a worse time to send out an email.
But within just 80 minutes of the National Union of Students sending out an email in support of the HOPE not hate campaign, 872 students have signed up.
The timing was not good but the enthusiasm of students to back the anti-BNP campaign is clearly there. I'll report back in tonight with an update on the sign-up figures and lots more besides.
Posted: 27 Mar 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 25 March 2009, 21:01
I’m currently many many miles away from Manchester but it seems that the campaign is continuing apace in my absence. Earlier today the Bishop of Manchester addressed a full council meeting at Manchester Town Hall to urge them to support the HOPE not hate campaign. (http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/news/article:1134-Bishop-slams-BNP)
In what has been described to me as one of the most eloquent condemnations of the BNP he drew a standing ovation from every councillor. At about the same time, less than a mile away, students at Manchester University were launching their HOPE not hate campaign. We already have hundreds of students signed up to the campaign and our target is to get 250 out on ‘Student Sunday’ in mid-May. Then, finally, from my bolt hole, where I am supposed to be working on a longer term project, I sent out an email to our Greater Manchester supporters asking them to join me in sending an open letter to five local newspapers denouncing the BNP’s attempts to hold a fundraiser in the city tomorrow night.
Within two hours of the email going out this evening, several hundred people had already signed up. This follows our really successful letter campaign in the East Midlands.
As I say, I’m meant to be working but instead seemed to spend much of today in the company of Todd Wolfson, of the Media Mobilizing Project. He and his colleagues are spearheading new forms of organising using new technologies, and from what he told me, to great success.
Now I’m off to meet an old friend for dinner. More on that later.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 25 March 2009, 15:11
Yesterday afternoon we sent out an email to our supporters in the East Midlands asking them to sign up to a letter that Roger McKenzie, the Regional Secretary of the TUC, was sending to a couple of local newspapers later today in protest of a BNP fundraising meeting in Ashfield tonight.
Hundreds of people have already signed up, which is fantastic. For those who are interested in statistics I can tell you that at 10am today, the open rate was at 120%, which is really impressive.
For those who don't understand what this means, it is quite simple. More people opened this email than were actually sent it by us. That means people have been signing it and passing it on to their friends who in turn have opened it. Hopefully, this figure will grow during the day.
If you live in the East Midlands and would like to sign the letter then go to:
posted by: Lorraine Fitzsimons | on: Tuesday, 24 March 2009, 16:17
Apologies for the radio silence on these pages, we’ve been having a hectic time lately.
The Yorkshire & Humber campaign is building at a fast pace and our activists and supporters are key to this.
The early phase of the campaign has been very much about building networks and our activist base, raising awareness of the European elections and signing people up to help.
There’s many strands to this.
Recently we’ve been building some exciting work with faith groups which will really broaden our reach – the churches in particular are getting on board, we’ll be mobilising large numbers of Muslim voters from around the region, as well as working with Jewish communities.
The women’s leaflet got a great launch this month at the TUC women’s conference, but this has got a much wider appeal and is spurring many women to use their informal networks to spread the word.
Friday is only a few weeks away and we’ll shortly be sending out the union toolkits and DVDs to many branches we’ve spoken at and worked with.
This month we spoke to a group of shop stewards at a large industrial workplace.
It really brought home how important trade unions are to the campaign, but also how much the BNP are active in workplaces and exploit worker concerns.
Our main intro leaflet has been circulated far and wide, and we keep having to get more printed.
This both mobilises new activists and spells out the main issues – if you can circulate these through your networks please get in touch.
We’ve been firming up lots of other campaign days around the region.
These will be concentrated in the final six weeks of the campaign, where we want to deliver over 300,000 leaflets to voters across Yorkshire & Humber.
One little snippet from last week was a call from someone who’d received a BNP leaflet through his door.
He requested 1,000 leaflets to deliver singlehandedly in his neighbourhood.
When I asked him how he’d heard about the campaign he told me he’d picked up our leaflet at his local theatre.
I’m sure it was one of the new activists who came to the dayschool who put them there!
Just goes to show how important each individual’s small interventions are – together we’re so much stronger.
Keep in touch!
Posted: 24 Mar 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 23 March 2009, 10:13
According to the weekend press a Cabinet seminar was treated to a presentation by Peter Taylor-Gooby, professor of social policy at the University of Kent and an expert on responses to risk. He told the gathered politicians that according to pollsters Ipsos-Mori there was no increase in anti-foreigner sentiment during the late 1980s downturn.
The Guardian even concluded: “fears of rising intolerance and anti-immigrant feeling during a recession may be misplaced.” One of the outcomes, the Guardian journalist suggested, was that the BNP was not the threat some predicted.
Obviously I wasn’t at the event so I have no idea what Taylor-Gooby actually said, but if this was his analysis then I’m deeply worried that a sense of misplaced complacency might set in. Britain is quite a different place now to the late 1980s and I fear that the current economic turmoil will be accompanied by a rise in anti-immigrant feeling.
Back in the 1980s the far right was divided, marginalised and politically inept. There was nowhere near the immigration that we have witnessed in recent years, especially the arrival of workers from Eastern European due to the expansion of the EU. The Conservatives were in power so opposition to the Government generally fell in behind the Labour Party and Europe was still divided by the Berlin wall.
Since then the world has changed. The BNP has transformed itself, nationalism is on the rise across Europe, the Labour Party has lost millions of voters and the perception that foreign workers are a threat to British jobs is widespread.
Posted: 23 Mar 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 19 March 2009, 22:20
Just why are we collecting these email addresses? That’s what I heard from one meeting last week. I wasn’t in attendance but this was reported back to me today. Well, it’s quite simple. We are collecting online supporters so we can create offline activists.
One of the biggest drawbacks of our local groups is a lack of activists. Every year we have great plans but sometimes these can’t be achieved because we just simply haven’t got the numbers of people necessary to reach our goals. We fall short and what activists we have get burnt out. Increasing our capacity is absolutely essential and building our email list is a major way of doing this. Over the next few weeks our emails will start to change and we’ll begin the process of turning our supporters into activists and when we do our capacity will be greatly extended.
Posted: 19 Mar 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 18 March 2009, 23:17
It’s the end of a very long day, one that started at 5am this morning and took me up to Manchester, across to Hebden Bridge, back to Manchester, over to Warrington and then, finally, back again to Manchester.
This morning we launched our Manchester HOPE not hate group at Manchester Cathedral. Forty people from a variety of different faith and community groups, students and the City Council leader, joined together to add their names to our Manchester pledge. There were four Bishops in attendance, a Holocaust survivor and a number of representatives from the Muslim community. There was real passion and determination from everyone to do everything they could to stop the BNP, not least from the Holocaust survivor who was quite an amazing person.
Following the launch I went up to Salford before heading over to Hebden Bridge for a spot of lunch and a chat with Paul and Lorraine, our Yorkshire HOPE not hate organisers. Over some fresh battered fish and chips and a pint of IPA I talked through our final campaign plan and they added in their thoughts. Then it was back to Manchester and on to Warrington, where I spoke at the North West Inter-Faith Forum. Most of the people there had seen or heard the news coverage of our Manchester launch and several passed me on their details for similar events in their areas.
It’s been a long day which, at 22.45, has just come to an end. But it’s been a good day as well. I’ve mentioned that our Manchester campaign is going to be really big, and indeed it will, but I’m getting really positive reports from some of our other groups as well. In addition, we are getting requests for speakers and local groups from across the country. Just today we’ve had invitations and requests from Newcastle, County Durham, Blackburn, Cumbria, Amber Valley, Bury, Leicester, Stoke-on-Trent, Wigan and South Wales.
Posted: 18 Mar 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 17 March 2009, 13:16
Just on my way down to London after a very successful meeting in Sandwell and Dudley. The Midlands isn’t my area for the elections but with Matthew speaking at the Executive of the Midlands TUC I filled in. Organisationally we are some way behind the North West and Yorkshire but if the actions agreed at my meeting today get put in place then the West Midlands will be catching up quickly. I’m particularly excited about our campaign in Coventry and surrounding areas.
I’ve just spoken to Matthew and it seems he had an equally successful meeting with the unions. We had set ourselves an initial target of raising £10,000 across the Midlands towards our online campaign and this has now been reached. That’s not to say we don’t need more but this was our first ask. With more money we can develop an even more sophisticated online campaign, one that will turn tens of thousands of online supporters into offline activists.
Just a correction from my previous post, I’ve been told that not all Data Protection requests require a £10 payment and this seems to be the case with the BNP letters. So, unfortunately, we won’t be receiving a financial boost from our opponents.
It’ll be good to be back in London, however briefly. My first meeting is with some Norwegian friends who are keen to establish a similar campaign to HOPE not hate over there. I’ll let you know how it goes…
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 17 March 2009, 06:35
It seems that the HOPE not hate campaign will soon be benefiting from a new stream of funding – from a surprising quarter.
The BNP is telling its supporters to deluge Searchlight (and other organisations) with Data Protection requests, its long awaited response to the publication of its membership list. In an article to be published in its next members’ bulletin, due out this week, it is hoping that thousands of supporters send out a number of letters to organisations such as ourselves using the Data Protection laws.
Quite aside from the futile nature of this action (Searchlight always thought this a possibility and ensured that it didn’t download the list) it might offer us a source of new money. Each request under the Data Protection Act must be accompanied by £10, so we would welcome thousands of BNP enquiries – accompanied by the £10 – as a contribution towards our anti-BNP campaign.
More amusing still, the BNP’s action might actually backfire. To my knowledge no-one used the email addresses of BNP members that were on the list. The same could not be said of Thurrock BNP who repeatedly sent out emails to a list of UAF supporters and councillors it obtained. Now, that might well be a case for legal action.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 15 March 2009, 16:15
Yesterday we brought together many of the organisers of local anti-BNP groups from across the North West to finalise our campaign for the final 12-weeks. Twenty-five people, representing 18 local groups met up in Manchester to hear me and others explain what we were going to do and also swap their own experiences and good practice.
If you believe the media the election, Nick Griffin has already won, but this certainly wasn’t the feeling of those present. In a strange way I think we might be helped precisely because our opponent is Nick Griffin. As I’ve said many times before, there is no ambiguity about Griffin and his politics. As a result his candidature is a real motivator and is certainly the cause of the increase in awareness of the BNP threat in the North West.
I explained what the HOPE not hate campaign would be doing and how our online supporters would be turned into off-line activists in the coming weeks. Local groups were asked to estimate how many HOPE not hate newspapers they thought they could distribute and then, after we went through ways to increase involvement, they were asked to increase it.
A couple of young activists from Rochdale initially said that they would take several thousand but then increased this to 25,000 after we showed that this could be done by just 125 people giving just one hour to the campaign. Not to be outdone, Wigan and Leigh United Against Racism, boosted by the hundreds of people from their area who have joined the campaign over the last few days as a result of the aborted BNP fundraiser in Leigh, agreed to take at least 40,000 newspapers, a figure matched by Preston and Oldham. However, it was Manchester who stole the show by promising to deliver an anti-BNP newspaper to at least 160,000 households in the city.
In the process they said that they would mobilise more people than the 221 who handed out 45,000 newspapers in Sandwell in 2007 and even the 715 who came out on U-Day in London last April. The gauntlet has been thrown down it is now up to Manchester HOPE not hate to make it happen!
Posted: 15 Mar 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 14 March 2009, 09:02
Last night I spoke at a meeting of Oldham United Against Racism and it was an opportunity to catch up with some old friends. I spent a lot of time in the town during and after the riots of 2001 and during that period made many good friends. With the subsequent collapse of the BNP in Oldham in recent years I’ve not spent much time in the town so last night was a good chance to catch up.
Like at my meeting in Rochdale the night before, there is a real awareness of the threat we are facing but also of the need to get active and organised. We are planning to try out a different form of campaigning in the forthcoming European Elections, one much more tailored to giving people the tools to spread the word through their own networks than simply coming out on a wet Sunday morning with the diehard activists.
I’ll be talking a lot more about this today when leading organisers from a host of North West anti-BNP groups and trade unions get together to discuss the final 12 weeks of the campaign. Yes, the election is only that far away!
Posted: 14 Mar 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Lorraine Fitzsimons | on: Friday, 13 March 2009, 14:39
At a packed conference yesterday the women's Trade Union movement gave its resounding support to the Hope Not Hate campaign against the BNP.
Over 350 women, representing 32 different unions and numerous local trades councils, attended the TUC Women's Conference in Scarborough. A motion from PCS and Unison on campaigning against the far right received overwhelming support, and had women queuing up to speak in favour.
They raised the astonishing misogyny of the BNP. London BNP candidate Nick Eriksen equated rape to force-feeding a woman to eat chocolate cake. How the BNP spread hate, divide communities and increase race hate crimes.
Their utter opposition to equality and rights for all makes the BNP incompatible with the trade union movement. Many unions have taken the steps to expel BNP members from their unions.
The new Hope Not Hate women's leaflet was launched at conference, and the unions have pledged to circulate this through their networks and to support Union Friday.
The fact is this is not just a women's issue or a trade union issue - it's universal. The BNP's hatred and contempt extends to so many groups in society - especially the most vulnerable - it's probably most of the population. In this turnout campaign, more than ever before, we need to show the relevance of this issue to everyone. As one trade unionist put it yesterday, "Everyone opposed to the politics of hate must vote."
Download the women's leaflet here - and pass it on!
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 13 March 2009, 11:47
I’m currently on the train heading back up to Manchester after a flying visit down to London. At 9am this morning we did a short video message with Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis, which will be sent out to his union’s activists next week. Dave made a clear denunciation of the BNP and the threat it posed to his members, as well as a really good endorsement of the HOPE not hate campaign.
Talking of unions, I spoke at length this morning with Lorraine, one of the Yorkshire HOPE not hate team. She had just returned from TUC women’s conference where she and the HnH campaign generally was really well received.
More good news on the union front came from a call I received this morning saying that the National Union of Mineworkers had agreed to a joint leaflet with the HOPE not hate campaign that will be distributed through former mining communities over the next couple of months. While the NUM only has a couple of thousand members it has a long and respected reach into many of the very areas which are now being targeted by the BNP. A joint leaflet would allow us to remind former mining communities of the despicable role played by the BNP during the 1984/5 strike.
posted by: Andy Vine | on: Friday, 13 March 2009, 07:05
A hunt is on for the new location of tonight's BNP fundraiser in Leigh. The BNP had intended the event to be held at the Pure nightclub but this was cancelled yesterday afternoon following the circulation of an open letter by a local parish priest. By last night the letter had been signed by almost 2,000 people, including several hundred from the local Leigh area.
The BNP or the owner of the nightclub notified the police that the event had been cancelled but Searchlight understands that an event is taking place though possibly at a new location.
A protest outside the nightclub, called by Wigan and Leigh United Against Racism, will go ahead as planned but plans have been put in place to relocate if another venue is found.
I would just like to add my thanks to all those who signed the open letter. Your action has played a vital role in disrupting the attempts by the BNP to spread its message of hate.
Posted: 13 Mar 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 12 March 2009, 13:23
We sent out an email this morning calling on people to co-sign a letter to the local press in Wigan and Leigh in response to a BNP meeting in Leigh tomorrow night.
I am delighted to say that 620 people signed the letter within the first hour of receiving the email.
This is really fantastic, so a big thank you to everyone who has signed the letter and a reminder to others to add their names.
Posted: 12 Mar 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 11 March 2009, 08:55
I am working far too much at the moment. With the election still 13 weeks away I keep thinking that I must pace myself so I don’t burn out before the election campaign proper begins. Sounds good in theory but it rarely turns out like this. Yesterday was a case in point. I had intended to stop at six, make some food and watch the football. In the end I didn’t start cooking until gone eight and finished my work for the evening at well after ten.
It was a productive day though, so I shouldn't really complain. We did an excellent video interview with NUS President Wes Streeting and together laid out plans for some joint working. I also managed to catch up with the Blue State Digital team and together we went through our campaign plan so they could begin to map out the online element of our strategy. Last night I spent about an hour on the phone with Ian Austin, the Labour MP for Dudley North. Ian is a long-time friend of Searchlight, and by that I mean since he was in his mid-teens, but today he is more helpful advising us on a media strategy than hanging round National Front demonstrations gathering intelligence. The media is set to become a key battleground in the European Election and could well determine if the BNP win seats or not. Any repeat of the 2006 media frenzy, which resulted in the massive BNP gains in Barking and Dagenham, will not bode well. However, a more responsible media approach, that focuses on the true nature of the BNP, will undoubtedly help us reduce their vote.
The BNP leadership is currently on a fundraising tour of the country. Searchlight’s intelligence identified a location in Bristol and Tim Lezard and the South West Searchlight team then took over and got the venue to cancel the booking. We have now found a couple of venues so work is now underway to get the owners to rethink. More shall be revealed about this later today.
Posted: 11 Mar 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Lorraine Fitzsimons | on: Tuesday, 10 March 2009, 23:36
In the forthcoming European Elections on June 4th the BNP need poll as little as 11% of the vote to gain an MEP. This would be a disaster for our region and for all our communities. The amount of money and credibility that the BNP would gain if they won a seat could transform that organisation possibly making it a permanent feature of politics. The malign influence of their racist and divisive views would be magnified threatening civil society throughout the region.
We are committed to ensuring that we don't wake up on June 5th to this nightmare and are seeking to build alliances across the region with all people of different walks of life, faiths and beliefs. Our common goal is the defeat of the BNP.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 10 March 2009, 08:43
Our campaign got a further boost yesterday when we received the support of Wes Steering, the President of the National Union of Students. I met Wes and Susan Nash, who heads up the Union’s Society and Citizenship work, yesterday afternoon at their London base to discuss the campaign and how the NUS could help turn out students in the June elections. A programme of joint work was agreed which has the potential of mobilising thousands of students over the next three months.
The main focus of our student mobilisation will be Sunday 10 May – which we are calling Student Sunday. On this day we hope to get student unions and student HOPE not hate groups to agree to leaflet areas around their colleges. Already, the HOPE not hate campaign at Manchester University has agreed to mobilise at least 200 students to cover the entire Manchester Withington constituency.
My meeting with the NUS followed an earlier Searchlight team meeting where we put the finishing touches to our campaign strategy. With some much going on around the country it is not often that we are all able to meet up so this was a really useful event.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 8 March 2009, 17:34
It’s been another busy weekend of meetings and planning, with HOPE not hate speakers attending events across the country. Yorkshire HOPE not hate held a meeting in Leeds on Saturday, which attracted several new people from across the county and a number of Days of Action were agreed. These will be announced shortly.
Matthew Collins spoke at the launch of Uttoxeter HOPE not hate on Friday night and then yesterday he went to an event in Worksop to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the Miners Strike (
For my part, I managed to stay London-based. On Friday we had another meeting with the Daily Mirror to finalise plans for their involvement in the HOPE not hate campaign.
With the election just under 13 weeks ago, I've been putting the final preparations to our campaign plan and over the next week or so I'll be meeting all of our key partners to explain the strategy and discuss how they can get involved.
Tomorrow we take on two new members of staff, one in London and one in the North West, with hopefully another couple joining us in the next few weeks. There is a lot to do but the HOPE not hate campaigning is certainly cranking into gear.
Posted: 8 Mar 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 5 March 2009, 23:17
Just back from a long and busy day in Manchester. At lunchtime I had a really productive meeting with the North West GMB region. They are really getting their act together up there and it should be a model for other unions across the country. After that I met a new member of the HOPE not hate team who is joining us on a part-time basis to work in Manchester. Together we then went to a steering meeting of the Manchester HOPE not hate group. As I’ve said before, this is really building up to be an exciting campaign, with support from all sections of the community, faith groups and the political parties.
Our target is simple but ambitious. During May the Manchester HOPE not hate team plans to put 1,000 people on the streets of the city and deliver 150,000 newspapers. Not only will this mean that every household receives a HnH newspaper but, and perhaps just as importantly for some of our team, it will smash all previous turnout efforts!
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 5 March 2009, 15:20
Twenty five years ago today one of the most bitter and devastating disputes erupted. Miners in South Yorkshire went out on strike, quickly followed by their colleagues across the country. For over a year mining communities were ripped apart, starved of money and, for many, their liberty, in an attempt to save their industry.
As we all know, they were not successful and their defeat destroyed whole communities. There were 187,000 miners in 1984; today there are just a couple of thousand. Mining communities were devastated and it is hardly a surprise that the BNP has enjoyed significant success in these areas in more recent times.
However, as we remember the anniversary of the Great Strike, it is also important to recall the attitude of the BNP at the time. The BNP bitterly opposed the National Union of Mineworkers and on several occasions called for the army to be brought to defeat the strikers. It was also an aristocratic BNP member, the late Lady Jane Birdwood, that helped back the breakaway miners who refused to join the strike. She funded their legal challenges and even bought a private coalmine in County Durham in the hope to drawing the NUM into a legal dispute which, she hoped, would eventually bankrupt the union.
The BNP claim to be on the side of working people but in one of the greatest disputes of the last century they sided with Thatcher and the authorities.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 3 March 2009, 19:50
The HOPE not hate campaign is reaching all corners of the globe. Here is a picture of Richard Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO (the US version of the TUC), with one of our HOPE not hate T-shirts.
Also in the picture are Patrick Eiding, President of the Philadelphia Council of the AFL-CIO, and Liz McElroy, the council's Political Director.
Trumka gave one of the most important speeches of the election campaign when he addressed the annual conference of the United Steelworkers of America in July.
It is well worth a listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QIGJTHdH50
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 3 March 2009, 08:48
When the HOPE not hate campaign linked up with Blue State Digital at the end of January our aim was to double our email list between now and June. Yesterday we hit our target after just six weeks. It is an incredible feat and proof not only of the success of our online strategy but the growing appeal of the HOPE not hate campaign.
The largest increase in new supporters was in the North West, with 5,300 new people signing up. Of these, an incredible 1,200 are from the Liverpool postcode area alone.
Our online campaign is being back up with an equally impressive offline campaign. At Manchester University we have collected over 700 names and email addresses and, separately, Unison North West has signed up hundreds of its members across the region.
We anticipate our list will grow further over the next few weeks as over 150,000 email invites to join the HOPE not hate campaign go out.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 1 March 2009, 07:56
A senior NPD official has broken ranks and blown the lid off the true nazi politics of the party. In an interview with Der Spiegel, Uwe Luthardt describes the NPD as a deeply radical party where Hitler salutes and financial irregularities are common – and which is bent on restoring the German Reich.
Sounds pretty much like the BNP to me ….
To read the full interview:
Posted: 1 Mar 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments