posted by: Matthew Collins | on: Tuesday, 11 March 2014, 10:44
It is with great sadness that we have learned the awful news that RMT leader Bob Crow has passed away this morning.
Bob, who was 52, was a dedicated anti-racist and anti-fascist. He led the way in tirelessly confronting injustice both in the workplace and in wider society.
He was an absolute giant in the fight for equality and human dignity.
He actively campaigned for an educated and organised working class his entire life. The strength of the RMT union is testament to that commitment. His passion for his work and his members is an enormous loss to the Trade Union and anti-fascist movement.
To his family, friends and Comrades, we send our most sincere condolences.
Posted: 11 Mar 2014 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 8 March 2014, 08:24
Today is International Women's Day and to mark the occasion HOPE not hate has produced 100,000 women's leaflets. Teams of activists will be out around the country today, especially in Yorkshire where our local groups are distributing 40,000.
To get more involved in our campaign, please sign up here:
Posted: 8 Mar 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 7 March 2014, 03:14
There were several HOPE not hate meetings around the country last night as we continue to gear up for the forthcoming European and Local Elections. The team were speaking at meetings in Leeds, Runcorn, Worcester and Brent and Camden.
From all accounts, the meetings were well-attended and plans drawn up at each for some action over the next couple of months. At the meeting in Leeds, the 25 people present agreed to set themselves a target of delivering an ambitious 60,000 leaflets during early May alone. At the Brent and Camden meeting, it was agreed to deliver 10-15,000 newspapers in each borough.
Over the past week, HOPE not hate has held over meetings in Oldham, Tameside, Rochdale, Chester, Shrewsbury, Burton, Nottingham, Northampton, Warwick, Loughborough, Colchester, Sheffield, Doncaster, Bradford and Brighton. Several new HOPE not hate groups have been formed.
Over the next couple of weeks there will be other meetings in Swansea, Cardiff, Southampton, Bristol, Daventry, Wellingborough, Corby, Boston, Birmingham, Lincoln, Harrow, Middlesbrough and Essex.
Our 2014 campaign is now entering a new, more public phase. Over the weekend over 100,000 women's leaflets will be distributed to mark International Women's Day. Then, from the 17 March, we launch Campus Callout, an initiative to register and mobilise students ahead of the elections. Actions are being organised at 41 colleges across the UK, with more being added to the list all the time.
We have a rolling programme of action over the next couple of months to build momentum for our big campaign weekend, on 3 and 4 May. We are producing 1,000,000 newspapers, customised into 39 different editions, and over 500,000 leaflets. Manchester is leading the way, with a goal of delivering 80,000 newspapers, followed by Leeds (60,000), Liverpool (45,000) and Brighton and Loughborough (40,000 each).
There will also be a Souls to the Polls initiative to mobilise faith communities and a campaign to engage and register UK-based EU citizens. Our campaign will culminate with Transport Tuesday, on Tuesday 20 May, where we will hope to organise at least 300 leafleting sessions at tube, train and bus stations across the country.
There will be several surprises along the way and a massive online campaign to complement what we are doing offline. All in all, this will be our biggest campaign to date.
If you would like to get involved in the campaign then please register your interest here:
Posted: 7 Mar 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 5 March 2014, 21:40
Are you a student and would like to get involved in the HOPE not hate campaign? If so, get in touch and be part of initiative in colleges around the country later this month.
Called 'Campus call-out;, it is a campaign aimed at engaging and mobilising the student vote. Over a fortnight in March, there will be events at 40 colleges across the country in order to raise awareness about the elections, encourage voter registration and recruit more activists to HOPE not hate.
We have developed a Campus Call-Out pack, which is being sent to each participating college. Each pack contains leaflets, T-shirts, posters, badges, stickers, voter registration forms and bunting.
Students are natural allies in the battle against fear and hate but voter registration and turnout is low. Only 56% of 18-24 year-olds are registered to vote and 22% of students are not registered. Turnout at elections is poor and is falling.
With voter turnout so low, encouraging students to register and vote could make a huge difference.
So, if you are a student and want to make a difference then drop Owen Jones a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: 5 Mar 2014 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 3 March 2014, 14:11
That's not me saying it but Telegraph blogger and political commentator, Dan Hodges.
Dan's latest blog, written after UKIP’s Spring conference, is instructive. Not only does he admit that his views on UKIP have changed over the past 12 months, but in this he is reflecting the uncertainly many of us felt about how to deal with UKIP.
Last spring, HOPE not hate began consulting its supporters about how we should respond to the UKIP threat. We, like many of the 3,000 people who responded to our survey, were unsure and hesitant. UKIP was not the BNP but it did play up to anti-immigrant fears.
A year on and I'm sure in my mind that our decision to take on UKIP is right. In fact, I'm more convinced now than ever. There has been a steady stream of outrageous and disgustingly racist comments by UKIP councillors and officials, most of which have gone largely unpunished by the UKIP leadership. Online, UKIP supporters have been ferocious in their attacks, sometimes stooping to levels worse than BNP or EDL supporters. And, probably worst of all, the party leadership has deliberately whipped up anti-migrant hysteria over the arrival of Bulgarian and Romanian migrants but then refused to apologise when their doomsday predictions failed to materialise.
I've long argued that our opposition to UKIP isn't solely focused against them as a political party. There is a cultural battle going on and they represent one side. Much of the polling done shows that for UKIP supporters their opposition to the EU or future immigration is tied up with their desire for a very different Britain from what we have today. It is a Britain without immigration, old fashioned in many of its social and cultural beliefs and one where Britain's place in the world is very different from what it is today.
There will be some who argue that there is a danger in taking on UKIP and calling them out for what they are. Some of these people will say that we should instead be focusing on why UKIP are doing well and reaching out to those with genuine concern about immigration and the impact - perceived or otherwise - on their lives.
It is not one way or the other. We can reach out to people and understand their grievances whilst also pointing out that UKIP is not the answer. We can address their concerns whilst also exposing UKIP for the party it has become. The danger in doing otherwise is to legitimise UKIP and the racist baggage they bring. It is time to take them on, whilst simultaneously offering people an alternative vision of the Britain we want to live in.
Dan sums it up perfectly at the end of his blog: "There is no longer any point in attempting to deconstruct Ukip in a vain effort to legitimise them. The laughter at Paul Eastwood’s jokes was genuine. Its slogan “Love Britain, Vote Ukip” was not appropriated from the BNP by accident. Nigel Farage’s ludicrous tale about the silence of the English north of Grove Park was deployed for a purpose.
"Nick Lowles was right and I was wrong. Ukip is now an overtly racist and extremist party. And the time has come to challenge them over it."
Posted: 3 Mar 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Guest blog by Elisabeth Pop | on: Thursday, 27 February 2014, 15:09
Guest blog by Elisabeth Pop
Central and Eastern European migrants living in UK are self-organising ahead of the 2014 EU elections. When asked why did they not work together at the last EU elections, their leaders unanimously agree that coordinated support for the campaign was triggered by the unprecedented hate media which scapegoated them for all the ills in British society and by the Prime Minister’s proposals to stop in-work child benefits for migrants working in Britain and redefining altogether what a “worker” is.
The Polish, Romanian and Bulgarian communities in the UK have also been joined by some of the UK’s largest and more established European diasporas — the Italians, the Spanish and the Germans — all of whom feel very strong about the need to stand up and help defeat Eurosceptic, populist or xenophobic candidates and parties in the May election. There are talks about engaging the French, Greek, Hungarian and Slovak communities as well. In all, these angry and frustrated EU nationals account for 2.4 million EU migrants contributing to the British economy and society, people willing to come out and vote for HOPE, for Our Britain.
The Federation of Poles in Great Britain have already engaged the Polish community with letters stating: “This may be your last chance to vote in Britain” and “Your future and that of your family, community and friends may depend on it”.
Oana Romoncea, a spokesperson for the Romanian community told HOPE not hate: “In the past few weeks, the Romanian Cultural Centre has approached over 100 key contacts in the Romanian student organisations, diasporic media, churches and cultural organisations in the UK asking them to mobilise for voter registration and turn out. This year's European Parliamentary elections will find the largest number of Romanian citizens living, working or studying in another EU country. It is essential that these Romanian citizens are aware of their right to vote in the country where they are currently residing and are familiar with the necessary procedures for voter registration. This information will enable them to exercise this key democratic right of taking part in elections”.
The Federation of Poles in Great Britain have officially joined forces with the Romanian Cultural Centre in London, the Federation of Italian Associations in the UK and the New Europeans civil project to mobilise EU citizens residing in the UK to vote in the Local and European elections. The EU Migrants Voter Registration Drive launch took place last night.
But even before this, there were signs of the Romanian and Bulgarian migrant communities self-organising against the tidal wave of hate coming their way. At the end of last year, Dr. Tommy Tomescu and Mr. Emil Rusanov set up the Alliance Against Romanian and Bulgarian Discrimination (AARBD). Dr. Tomescu, a Romanian dentist working in the UK since 2010, feels that the British people are very tolerant and an open minded society, but that the media and too many politicians “decided that is best to act in their self-interest and obtain a short political gain, even if on the long term they will hurt the UK interest by portraying the country as an unfair place. The history has shown us that the politicians which are having as an electoral strategy the denigration of a group of people will end losing on the long term.”
The campaign has received significant media coverage and support from the two communities, but has also been approached by other Central and Eastern European communities who want to protest together against the discrimination they are all facing. However, there is evidence of far-right Polish elements wanting to climb on board the campaign. This is a chilling reminder of how active right wing extremist forces are across Europe, both in terms of political parties and grassroots movements, with less than 3 months to go until the elections. It highlights just how important the voter mobilisation and turn out of all those who want to Say NO to hate and fear, and choose HOPE, in Britain and Europe, really is.
Posted: 27 Feb 2014 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 14 February 2014, 12:34
We are sorry to inform HOPE not hate supporters that the lecture that Czech Roma organiser and activist Ivanka Concova was scheduled to deliver at the Wiener Library on 18 February has had to be cancelled because of injuries sustained when Ivanka was attacked by racists.
3 March 2014:
It has been reported by Ivanka Concova that she was not the victim of a racist attack but that the incident in which she suffered injuries was a case of common assault.
Posted: 14 Feb 2014 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 12 February 2014, 18:00
In 100 days our country will vote on UKIP's xenophobic agenda. That means we have just 100 days to fight the lies and fear they're peddling.
We've created a 100-Day plan stop them from filling the European Parliament with their anti-migrant and scapegoating agenda, and this plan has a role for each of you.
So, here are the top 5 steps of the Plan (believe it or not the full list is longer):
1. Fight the headlines -- UKIP's anti-migrant scare tactics already fill our newspapers, and they're only getting worse. Your donation supports our rapid rebuttal team whose job it will be to expose their lies.
2. Spread the hope -- Britons deserve to know what a vote for UKIP really means. Just £15 will pay for 1,000 leaflets outlining their fear-filled agenda and £100 is enough to fund 500,000 online ads.
3. Empower the next generation -- Your support will fund Campus Call Outs at dozens of universities where we'll register and mobilise student voters.
4. Celebrate the real Britain -- Our diverse culture deserves to be celebrated. Help us fight anti-migrant rhetoric with a campaign that celebrates the many faces of real Britain.
5. Get out the vote -- Make sure everybody has a voice on Election Day. We're working with faith-based and community groups to ensure every eligible citizen is ready and able to cast their vote on May 22.
Together, we will defend multiracial Britain against UKIP's threatening politics and the media's lies. Donate to our 100-Day Plan now:
Thank you for your support,
Posted: 12 Feb 2014 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 10 February 2014, 10:15
Just had this report in from our group in Leicester about work they did last week on campus:
"Last week the University of Leicester’s HOPE not hate Society were encouraging students to use their vote to keep hate groups such as the BNP out of office.
From a stall in their union, the society assisted students with filling out registration forms, provided details on local candidates and even convinced some students to join in the local campaign!
Even a young school boy on a university tour decided to take a leaflet, seemingly impressed with our message of a community standing together.
Apathy and resentment towards voting can be all too common, something the far right knows and routinely exploits. But to see so many people registering and hearing our message of HOPE was infinitely encouraging! In the European Parliamentary elections, where the average voter turnout is around 34%, just convincing people to go and vote can make a huge difference!
Whilst this is one step in a long campaign to oust the hate groups from British politics, this can definitely be seen as a positive sign that people are willing to say no to hate in Leicester!"
Posted: 10 Feb 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 7 February 2014, 20:33
As the Winter Olympics in Sochi begins, HOPE not hate joins with other freedom of expression, gay rights organisations and international authors in calling for repeal of Russia's oppressive anti-gay and blasphemy laws.
Some will say sport should never be mixed with politics, but as during the years of apartheid, sometimes sport becomes political – particularly when it is cynically used by oppressors as a means to gild their 'crown' and divert attention from repression and state-sanctioned hatred.
Like all sports fans, we hope that Sochi will go ahead: but we hope, too, that the peoples of the world will unite and make sponsors, and the Russian President alike, take note when we say "no to hate". Already US games sponsor, AT&T, has voiced its opposition to Putin's controversial "gay propaganda" restrictions.
Join us as the Games begin, and join past and present Olympians (in the Principle 6 campaign) who are calling for a repeal of Russia's anti-gay laws now.
Posted: 7 Feb 2014 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments