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Campaign phase

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 23 April 2014, 07:50


With just four weeks to go until Election Day, HOPE not hate has moved into its campaign phase. Today we launch our new website and begin building our weekend of action in earnest.

We hope that people like the new website. We believe it is brighter, positive and more campaign-focused than the old site. It contains all the elements of the old site but in a more user-friendly way.

We will be building on the site over the next few weeks, with more features, investigations, videos and election information going up.

Most of our attention now is being focused on our big Weekend of Action, on 3 and 4 May. We have put up details of 86 events on our website, but there are also several others where we are organising offline. These include Barking & Dagenham, Thurrock, Middlesbrough and Newcastle.

To find the nearest event to you, click here

Other events will be added in the next couple of days, bringing the total number of actions to about 100.

Over seven hundred people have so far signed up for these events online, with many more being mobilised offline.

If there is not an event near you but you are prepared to help organise one then drop me a line at nick@hopenothate.org.uk

 Posted: 23 Apr 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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HAPPY EASTER and HOPE from Boston

posted by: Guest Blog by Elisabeth Pop | on: Tuesday, 22 April 2014, 11:38


It has been dubbed the “town that had enough” (Daily Mail), “little Poland” (The Telegraph) and the “most Eastern European town in Britain” (The Guardian), because according to Oxford's Migration Observatory this town’s non-UK born population rose from 1,727 in 2001 to 9,790 in 2011.

This Good Friday, HOPE not hate was in Boston, Lincolnshire, itself the district that has the largest number of non-British EU passport holders outside of London. Both the town and the district have been at the heart of the UKIP and BNP rhetoric of the British Isles being full, turning into a foreign looking and sounding land and about to explode due to a mass invasion of immigrants taking British jobs. The scene is further populated by EDL Lincolnshire, who organised its most recent march in Grantham this February.

In this atmosphere of hate, HOPE not hate organised a fun day that brought together British community members with their Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish and Romanian neighbours, in the celebration of Easter.

Rachel, a British national and one of the local HOPE not hate supporters, told us the idea to organise the “Boston Easter Together” event came naturally: “Whether you are religious or not, Easter is a time of Peace and HOPE. So what better time to bring everyone together, to have music, traditional Eastern European Easter games and food, children’s arts and crafts. What we showed today is that Boston is coming together, that we care about community cohesion, that our neighbours are our friends, and that through generosity and sharing we are stronger.”

Ziedonis, the leader of the Latvian community in Boston, stressed this is just the first step: “It is so nice to see children from so many countries happy, dancing and painting eggs. Across Eastern Europe we have so many traditions in common at Easter, so it was great to be able to share them with our British friends and family. This is Boston at its best, coming together, in shared values, as a big local community, showing those who want to come between us that we are strong and united. Next year’s event, in the town centre, will be even bigger.”

The idea of shared values and identities and the need to stand up to the hatters resonated both with the settled community and the European citizens, proud British residents. But so did their other joint struggles to address social and economic issues in Boston, irrespective of the residents’ ethnic or racial background, for better wages, against exploitation and against landlords who charge some of the highest rents in the country.

The HOPE not hate team is in the process of putting together a video from the “Boston Easter Together” event, which will go live this week, but, more importantly, will continue to work closely, in the months and years to come, with the wider community in Boston for Peace and HOPE.

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

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Partnership working

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 18 April 2014, 11:14


One of the really exciting developments in our 2014 is working with other organisations. For too long anti-fascists have operated independently of other organisations, especially anti-racist organisations, but this year we are making a determined effort to rectify this. Not only is it the correct thing to do, but, given how the political threat is anti-migrant rhetoric rather than fascist parties as in the past, it is even more important now.

This year HOPE not hate is working closely with a wide range of organisations to challenge racist myths, present a positive case for immigration and a multicultural society and bring new and old communities together. Today, in Boston, Lincolnshire, HOPE not hate is organising a fun day in the town centre that seeks to bring Eastern European and settled communities together to celebrate Easter. On a longer term level, we are working closely with the TUC on a campaign for better wages for both migrant workers and local people.

Another example of our partnership working is with London Citizens with whom, yesterday, we dropped off the first 150 of our Faith Packs, to be used in a Voter Registration and Voter turnout campaign across London. Hundreds of these packs are being delivered to churches across the capital as part of a pilot to engage with faith communities ahead of the elections. Almost 100,000 leaflets aimed at the Muslim community are being produced to be distributed across Yorkshire and the North West.

It is hoped that successful partnerships forged this year can be delivered and strengthened in the future, both so we are able to build community resilience against racism and extremism but also to start winning on issues that are important to local people.

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

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The funding of far right parties is being debated today

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 16 April 2014, 15:39


Today the European Parliament is taking an important step forward in the campaign to make sure that extremist parties, like the BNP, cannot exploit the European Union to fund their politics of hate, both in the UK and across Europe.

Last year, with your help, HOPE not hate launched a campaign to restrict the BNP’s access to European funds for their political operation in the UK. The European Parliament has now responded and a report on EU funding of political groups along with their recommendations is being voted on today.

This vote will change the legal status of international coalitions of political parties represented in the Parliament (the BNP is a member of the Alliance of European Nationalist Movements, along with sister extremist parties like Jobbik).

These groupings will have to apply for the legal status to be treated as a single political group and as such will subject to oversight of a new independent authority. If they secure the legal status of a political group, their activities will have to be seen to uphold the values of the European Union, which includes the respect and inclusion of minority groups. There will also be greater scrutiny over their finances.

This is a good step forward in the fight for more transparency and less political hate in the system, but it’s not an ideal solution. The best solution is to make sure that extremists aren’t representing us in the European Parliament in the first place, so do your bit and get involved the HOPE not hate campaign to oust Nick Griffin from Brussels in 36 days.

UPDATE - The European Parliament voted to support this change in legal status. In terms of UK parties, the Conservative Party, UKIP and the BNP voted against the changes. The Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru voted in favour.

 Posted: 16 Apr 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The anti-UKIP vote

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 15 April 2014, 12:17


There has been a lot made of UKIP's appeal to working class Labour voters in the last few weeks but today's Independent gives food for thought about how Labour should approach the UKIP threat.

While UKIP might appeal to some traditional Labour voting communities, (though many of these voters have broken with Labour a long time ago), the party also scares many other Labour voters.

According to the Independent, 55% of Labour voters viewed UKIP as a far right party, compared to 28% who did not. And only 26% of Labour voters believed that UKIP offered people a “realistic alternative political vision of Britain”.

It appears that the Labour Party nationally is worried to take on UKIP for fear of alienating their voters. However, as this research shows, far more of the voters will be relaxed with a more combative stance and - as we saw in the past with the BNP - such an approach could even be a vote winner.

 Posted: 15 Apr 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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More literature needed

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 11 April 2014, 09:19


The debate between Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg appears to have shaken many people into action as orders are now pouring in for our anti-UKIP leaflet. In the last ten days we have sent out 200,000 of these leaflets to local anti-racist groups and trade union branches across the country.

Among the latest orders are Calder Valley, Colchester, Chelmsford, Redcar and Portsmouth.

In addition, we have already dispatched 100,000 of a new anti-BNP leaflet for the North West, where we are campaigning to boot Nick Griffin out of the European Parliament. Among those ordering the leaflets are activists in Halton, Burnley, Pendle and Manchester.

So many leaflets have gone out that today we are ordering another 200,000 anti-UKIP leaflets and 75,000 more anti-BNP leaflets.

To order the anti-UKIP leaflet, http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/shop/ukip-leaflet

To order the anti-BNP leaflet http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/shop/bnp-leaflet

Nationally, we are focusing on our big weekend of action, on 3 and 4 May, where we hope to distribute at least 1,000,000 newspapers and leaflets. We currently have 67 events organised but this is expected to grow to over 100 by the weekend itself. Many of our events will be in areas where we have not campaigned before.

We will begin advertising these next week, but in the meantime we have launched an appeal to raise £10,000 to fund all the extra newspapers and leaflets we are wanting to distribute.

So, if you are worried about the prospect of UKIP winning the forthcoming European Elections and want to defend and promote our multiracial society, then please make a donation:

https://donate.hopenothate.org.uk/page/contribute/supplies-are-running-out

 Posted: 11 Apr 2014 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Happy anniversary everybody.

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 2 April 2014, 23:08


Today marks the tenth birthday of HOPE not hate -- that's ten years we have been working together to build a better Britain. To celebrate, I'm sharing my hope for the Britain we'll build over the next ten years.

Join me -- take a picture of yourself holding up your message of hope for Britain and share it with the hashtag #HopeForBritain

We've achieved a lot together over the past ten years. We've driven the BNP from Barking & Dagenham and out of council chambers across the country, united communities against the EDL, stopped anti-Muslim activists Pam Geller and Robert Spencer from entering Britain and even persuaded the Daily Star to drop its supportive coverage of the EDL.

And we're not stopping. We will keep campaigning for a simple reason: we believe in a fairer, better, more inclusive future for Britain.

Share your hope for Britain now:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/share-your-hope

If you're camera shy, you can simply tell me your hope for the future in words here:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/share-your-hope

And thank you.

Eddie Izzard x

 Posted: 2 Apr 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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A busy Saturday

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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new anti-UKIP leaflet

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


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

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

You can order the leaflet here:

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

 Posted: 26 Mar 2014 | There are 5 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Students spread HOPE at University of Nottingham

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


Guest blog by Elisabeth Pop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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