posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 22 October 2016, 08:28
Over 13,000 people have put their names to the cards which we will deliver to the bosses of the BBC and Channel 4 in support of Fatima Manji and Gary Lineker, who have both been targeted by bigots, bullies and racists for either their faith or for caring about refugees.We want to tell their respective employers that the ignorant bigots do not represent ordinary decent people. Please click here to add your name to our cards
Posted: 22 Oct 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 21 October 2016, 13:37
Will you stand with me alongside Channel 4 News reporter Fatima Manji, and Match of the Day commentator Gary Lineker?
Both have been singled out for abuse by the press, and the far right, simply for their clothing & faith (Manji) and for speaking up for refugees & human dignity (Lineker).
HOPE not hate is creating huge cards (6ft x 4ft) offering them our support which we will deliver to their employers next week.
Will you co-sign it?
This week the press regulator IPSO failed to take action against former Sun editor, Kelvin MacKenzie, over his criticism of Channel 4 News for letting Fatima Manji report on the Nice terror attacks in a hijab.
She quite rightly reacted to the ruling by saying it was now "open season" on Muslims.
And The Sun has today rounded on Gary Lineker for having the audacity to offer his support for refugees in Calais. In a front-page story, the paper echoes those on the far right - like EDL founder Stephen Lennon and UKIP - who have called on the BBC to sacked the Match of the Day presenter.
HOPE not hate rejects these attempts to bully, abuse and silence these TV presenters and plan stand in solidarity with them.
Please add your name to our huge cards
Last week almost 20,000 of you backed our call to stop US nazis attending a gig in Scotland. Our pressure worked and we got the event cancelled.
Today, we want to show positive support for the two TV presenters being attacked for their religion and daring to care.
Next week we will deliver two huge cards to the management of Channel 4 and BBC offering our support to the presenters and urging them to reject the call of bigots and racists.
Please join me in standing with Fatima and Gary
Posted: 21 Oct 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: APNI Brescia | on: Wednesday, 19 October 2016, 19:53
This evening he got down from his bunk, took the sten gun that was there under his jacket, he slipped into the truck, started the engine and calmly and serenely with the most beautiful smile in the world he went to do his duty without hesitation or fear, it was a simple matter; normal.
So now he drives through the streets of the Oltrepò Pavese, of Milan, along the lake between Como and Dongo. His companions singing Fischia il Vento with him. We must stop Fascism, we must defend Italy, the trees, the rocks, the people, the precious caresses, the scent of the chestnuts, the sun that rises between the peaks of the mountains, a butterfly that rises from the dew in the fields. I cry.
Tonight he has left us. Arturo, Giacomo Bruni the last survivor of those fifteen lads who at Dongo made fascism pay its dues. Lower the flags to half mast, close our eyes for a moment and dream powerful dreams like he did, we’ll continue to fight to make his dreams become a reality!
A partisan has died, a man has died, one of my friends has died, my father. As a pale sun rises between the hills of Oltrepò, a woman says a prayer, a glass of red wine, two old Partisans tell stories of their youth, stories like a beautiful fairy tale that must never end.
But the eyes they close and a sigh whispers “Stay well”. Safe journey Arturo. Be assured I will always walk by your side, hills, mountains, streets and city squares. Your smile will show me the way.
Bella ciao Arturo, don’t stop, I hear the coughing of an engine. An old truck emerges from the mist to make the climb pushed along by the wind.
An emotional tribute to Giacomo Bruni the Italian Partisan by ANPI member Ivano Tajetti, who was also a friend of Giacomo's. Translated into English by Marz Colombini
Posted: 19 Oct 2016 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 16 October 2016, 19:20
I have great news. The nazi gig in Falkirk has been cancelled. We have WON!!
The announcement came a few minutes ago when the organiser, Vicky Pearson, threw in the towel and called off the event.
Citing adverse media attention and the likelihood that the US band members would be refused entry into this country and the venue would cancel the gig, she broke the news to people who had bought tickets.
This came shortly after the Scottish Justice Minister called on the Home Secretary to block entry to Bound for Glory band members.
While obviously we will remain vigilant to ensure that she is true to her word, we can celebrate a huge victory for people power.
This has happened because of you. By signing our petition and emailing MPs, you helped generate the pressure that led to the gig being cancelled.
Huge questions remain about the role of Police Scotland, who, we know, have been in full knowledge of the gig details for some time and appeared ok with the event going ahead.
Anyway, that is for another day. Today we should celebrate a huge victory. A big thank you to the thousands of our supporters whose pressure has forced this cancellation.
We have WON and in the process showed what we can do when we work together.
Posted: 16 Oct 2016 | There are 13 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 15 October 2016, 17:44
Yesterday I called on our supporters to co-sign a letter calling on the Home Secretary to refuse entry to the UK of band members of the US nazi group, Bound for Glory. An incredible 13,500 people have so far co-signed our letter.Our initial information was that the gig was in Edinburgh. We have now been told that it is in fact set to be held in Falkirk, halfway between Edinburgh and Glasgow, and is scheduled to begin at 2pm and last until 10pm.
This could not be worse. After eight hours of drinking, over 500 pumped up nazis will be let loose in the town just as locals are enjoying their night out.
We have also learnt that the Bound for Glory band members will be flying into England on Wednesday morning, from where they will travel up to Scotland.Please click here to add your name to our letter to the Home Secretary We can stop all this. In addition to our letter to the Home Secretary, we are also writing to the Scottish Government and Police Scotland calling on them to halt the gig.
Yesterday I asked Police Scotland if they were aware of the gig and were liaising with its organisers. They sent me a bland statement saying that they were "taking all necessary steps to confirm the time, date and place of the concert."
Then I received a tip off last night that not only were the police aware of the gig but had been liaising with the organisers for some time.
This is unacceptable and further proof that only people power will stop this nazi jamboree. The police are there to protect us not facilitate a nazi gig, especially one where over 80% of the audience will be from England and Germany.Fortunately, lots of you agree. Scottish MSPs, faith leaders and members of the public have all been in touch to offer their support. We are also talking to the rail unions about what they can do in the event the gig goes ahead. HOPE not hate is determined to stop the gig from happening. Please co-sign our letter and let's gig this gig stopped. Please click here to add your name to our letter to the Home Secretary
Posted: 15 Oct 2016 | There are 15 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Paul Meszaros | on: Thursday, 13 October 2016, 09:31
Paul Meszaros reads a riveting new biography of war-time fascist broadcaster, Lord Haw-Haw
Colin Holmes, Emeritus Professor of History at Sheffield University, has written a riveting political biography of William Joyce, or ‘Lord Haw-Haw’.
Joyce was the infamous war-time traitor and ‘other’ interwar British fascist leader, aside from Oswald Mosley.
Holme’s book is a triumph on many levels: scholarly, well-researched and erudite, as well as very accessible and fast-paced. Although we think we know the ending this book it never fails to delight. It reads as a political thriller, a riveting page turner.
Too often some of the fascists of this period have been treated by biographers and others with kid gloves. There have been deliberate attempts to gild or protect the reputations of some of these individuals that can only serve as an attempt at political rehabilitation.
This book provides the antidote to that. approach. It places Joyce in context, as a committed fascist leader whose story is important for our understanding of that period, for the rise of fascism and also for the way that many, including many from the ruling elite, were (and can be) seduced by the false promises of fascism.
Holmes has assembled an impressive range of sources which includes printed books, official archives (in Ireland, Britain, Germany, Russia and the United States), documents in private archives, and parliamentary debates, as well as popular literature and film. He has made particularly effective use of Joyce’s prison correspondence, offering his readers a much wider selection than any previous biographer of these defiant yet anguished final letters.
Holmes is particularly critical of other biographies that are either incomplete or soft. This book not only corrects these omissions, it builds a picture of Joyce through time as a bully, an egotist and intriguingly as a narcissist.
Whatever else Joyce was, Searching for Lord Haw-Haw clearly demonstrates that Joyce remained an unrepentant fascist. He stayed with the Nazis to the end – he was captured near Flensburg, the last bolt hole of the Nazis in 1945 – and never apologised for his beliefs or retracted any of them. He believed he had committed himself to the decisive ideology of his time and (in his eyes) it was an act of pure madness for Europe to reject National Socialism.
Holmes also convincingly demonstrates that Joyce remained an unrestrained anti-Semite. Whereas some fascists expressed their Jew-hatred in coded form, Joyce’s hostility was always viciously overt. He reveals how Joyce was an exterminatory anti-Semite, too: he can be found recommending that Jewish Communists should be shot and claiming that Britain’s Jews should have been hanged from London’s lamp posts. He viewed his Jewish enemies as greasy scheming, powerful Oriental parasites who must be stamped out.
In addition, Holmes writes of Joyce the traitor. It traces his growing fascination with Hitler (the book contains one particularly telling photograph illustrating this obsession) and navigates the twisted path which in the summer of 1939 led Joyce to Berlin. It is for his broadcasts from there between 1939 and 1945 that he is best recalled in Britain today. Some have suggested Joyce was always a figure of ‘radio fun’. But Holmes does not buy this argument, writing instead that Joyce’s early broadcasts – as the Wehrmacht was effortlessly smashing its way through Western Europe – were extremely powerful and threatening.
“A miracle might save us otherwise we are done,” Sir Alexander Cadogan of the Foreign Office wrote at the time; Joyce gleefully capitalised on such fears and through his broadcasts succeeded in heightening them. And he remained fully committed to National Socialism. His final drunken recording made in Hamburg in 1945 had him thumping the table for emphasis and proclaiming unashamedly: “Es lebe Deutschland. Heil Hitler. And Farewell.” Holmes finds the time to emphasise the fear that Joyce created by informing us of a Sheffield woman so terrified by his broadcast that she gassed herself.
In tracing these aspects of Joyce’s political life, Holmes throws a net over the social-political circumstances of the time which encouraged such fascist and pro-Hitler sentiment. Fascism never emerges out of a vacuum. He is well-informed not only about Joyce but also that murky world of Britain’s fellow travellers including some of society’s “great and the good” who, given the right circumstances, were prepared to betray their country and align themselves with Hitler. Here he paints particularly scathing portraits of Oswald Mosley and his wife Lady Diana. This is an important corrective to the attempts at revision by groups such as the Friends of Oswald Mosley.
Finally, Holmes emphasises that if fascism is to be understood – and by implication contained – it is important to look beyond merely social context. He is the first of Joyce’s biographers to delve into Joyce’s personality. Not by attempting to psychoanalyse him, but by examining his actions, considering his written work, and assessing his speeches, concluding that Joyce was a narcissist, totally consumed by a suffocating sense of self-love as well as an oppressive, overpowering feeling of self-belief. As a result, Joyce was convinced he understood better than anyone else the politics of his day. And, whether in Britain or Germany, he schemed tirelessly against those who, he believed, stood in his way as he endlessly thirsted for power.
In fact, Joyce is on record as stating that if he had been at Hitler’s right hand, advising him on strategy, Germany would have won the war by 1941. The influence of this narcissism needs to be fed into the history of fascism and our full understanding of it. Not all fascists are infected by such narcissism, but Joyce certainly was and doubtless others were (and are).
As it stand, this is an important book for all anti-fascists, an important tool in helping us to understand and know our enemy.
Searching for Lord Haw-Haw. The Political Lives of William Joyce by Colin Holmes, (Abingdon, Routledge, 2016), xiv+494 pages. £14.99 (paperback)
Posted: 13 Oct 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 5 October 2016, 17:45
We are disappointed that at a time when there has been a spike in hate crimes, the government has chosen to ramp up rhetoric on immigration with a proposal to force businesses to reveal how many foreign workers they employ.
We believe that all immigration policy should be evidence- rather than emotion-based, and that in the aftermath of the Brexit decision a serious and rational debate needs to commence on future immigration policy.
There is certainly a need to discuss whether the training and education opportunities available to young people are providing them with the skills to get good quality jobs in our new and emerging industries.
It is particularly disappointing that in the aftermath of the referendum, rather than providing calm and measured leadership, the government is in danger of being seen to be pander to the very fear and insecurity that gives rise to division and hatred.
Posted: 5 Oct 2016 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: David Emmett | on: Tuesday, 4 October 2016, 08:05
Today marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, when the East End of London united to halt Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists (BUF) marching through Stepney.
We are launching a special website to commemorate the events of 4 October, 1936 and their enduring significance. We profile Stepney and rising tensions, the Jewish community, the Battle itself and its legacy, including interviews with historians and Cable Street veterans such as Alf Gallant, Walter Lawrence, Sam Needleman, Bernard Kops, Dorris Pampel and Queenie Beer.
In the 1930s East London’s Jewish community had to face not only the grinding poverty of the East End but vicious antisemitism which sought to lay the blame for such conditions at their door. When Mosley attempted to save his failing party by exploiting such tensions, announcing a march through the heart of the Jewish East End, antifascists began to organise. After many attempts to ban the march, Jews and non-Jews alike allied in their tens of thousands to physically bar Mosley’s path.
Eighty years later it remains the modus operandi of far-right groups to blame genuine social-economic grievances on vulnerable (often recently settled) communities. In the 1950s racists targeted Caribbean populations; in the 1970s and 80s the National Front (NF) targeted Bengalis and Bangladeshis settling in East London.
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s the British National Party (BNP) ruthlessly exploited inter-communal tensions throughout the UK. More recently the English Defence League (EDL) attempted to march past the East London Mosque in Tower Hamlets several times, and Britain First (BF) has decamped outside the mosque with beer cans and placards, agitating for a fight.
For each new threat, there have been activists ready to meet the challenge, and Cable Street is the bedrock from which all British antifascist movements have been built. The people of Stepney did not have such a heritage, and had to figure it out for themselves and organise as best they could. They stood up to fascism, and took the beatings and arrests, in order to give us this foundation.
Today, the barricades of Cable Street have become icons of communal resistance in defiance of fascist provocation. We have a legacy of 80 years of organising from which to learn when combating those who seek to exploit fears to persecute and divide.
HOPE not hate can trace its lineage back to the organisers of Cable Street, through the 43 Group, 62 Group, to Searchlight and beyond. Our campaigns, which seek to expose the flag bearers of hate and emphasise what unites us rather than what divides, form part of a vibrant, diverse and, most importantly, effective antifascist movement.
That’s why we are launching our new website today, to commemorate the courage and hard-work of those present at Cable Street 80 years ago. It is vital to keep the memory and spirit of the event alive and to ensure that the timeless lessons of 4 October 1936 are not forgotten.
Visit our new website: www.cablestreet.uk
David Emmett is a researcher for HOPE not hate
Posted: 4 Oct 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Joe Mulhall | on: Thursday, 29 September 2016, 21:46
As a researcher at HOPE not hate, a historian of fascism and a proud member of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust Board of Trustees, I read yesterday’s comments by vice-chair of Momentum Jackie Walker with a mixture of shock and sadness.
Speaking at a much-needed training session on antisemitism at the Labour Party conference, Walker asked: “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust Day was open to all peoples who’ve experienced Holocaust?”
It is. Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) commemorates the Holocaust, victims of Nazi persecution and the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Even the most cursory of glance at the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website would reveal this information on the home page.
Walker, who was previously suspended from the party over alleged antisemitic comments on Facebook, also appeared to denigrate the need for security at Jewish schools – at a time of heightened terror risks and international attacks against Jewish targets in Europe over the past few years – stating: “I still haven’t heard a definition of antisemitism that I can work with.”
Walker has since offered half an apology for any offence caused, though she does not seem to have fully retracted her statements regarding HMD. However, the question remains why she made such ill-informed statements in the first place.
To say things aren’t made clear, as Walker suggests, is clearly a result of her failure to engage with Holocaust Memorial Day itself. Anyone who has attended any of the thousands of HMD events (there are about 5,500 every year up and down the UK) would know how inclusive they are, especially the wonderful national event. Those who watched last year’s national commemoration on TV or in the audience will not have forgotten the heartbreaking and shocking film, The Bosnian War, featuring Omarska concentration camp survivor Kemal Pervanić.
The charge that HMD is not inclusive enough was also recently levelled by students during the National Union of Students (NUS) conference. Why has such a fallacy seemingly gained traction on parts of the Left? Sadly, the short answer seems wilful ignorance.
The Holocaust was a unique historical event and the scholarly literature surrounding it is vast. The Final Solution was designed to exterminate every single Jewish man, woman and child, thus marking this genocide out as unique in the modern age. Either purposefully or by mistake, some appear to misunderstand declarations of uniqueness as an attempt to detract from the suffering of other groups in other conflicts and facing other persecutions. It is nothing of the sort.
For some, undermining the uniqueness of the Holocaust can be a means to undermine the legitimacy of the state of Israel, which they argue draws this legitimacy from the ‘use’ or even ‘abuse’ of the Holocaust. While criticism of Israel and its policies is perfectly acceptable, any attempt to minimise or relativize the Holocaust for political aims in this manner is shameful. Paradoxically it also undermines the legitimate Palestinian struggle.
While the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is absolutely right to commemorate subsequent genocides, and does so proudly, one can’t help but ask why Walker has an issue with commemorating the mass extermination of six million Jews in its own right?
Clearly her latest statements are bad enough but it is worth remembering that she has been caught out before, writing on Facebook: “What debt do we owe the Jews?” and stating that Jews “were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade”.
The myth that Jews were behind the slave trade is an import from the American antisemite Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, who pushed the idea in a book titled The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews: Volume One.
The conspiratorial antisemitism of the book was exposed by all serious scholars with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at Harvard University calling it: “The Bible of new anti-Semitism” and stating that it, “massively misinterprets the historical record, largely through a process of cunningly selective quotations of often reputable sources".
In 1995 the American Historical Association issued a statement condemning "any statement alleging that Jews played a disproportionate role in the Atlantic slave trade."
The fact that Walker repeated this antisemitic trope shows that she is, at the very least, susceptible to believing negative antisemitic stereotypes. When viewing her latest comments in the context of her history of similar prejudicial statements, it seems clear that her position at Momentum should also be untenable.
It is true that some people on the Right are using antisemitism as a charge to attack the Left, yet it is also true that there is a problem with leftwing antisemitism. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Jeremy Corbyn’s comments yesterday condemning antisemitism as evil are a welcome departure from general denouncements of ‘all prejudice’. Now it is time to move beyond words and condemnations and to act against those engaging in or being sympathetic towards antisemitism within the Labour Party.
Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of HMDT, has released the following statement:
The Holocaust was a threat to the fabric of society and it is right that everybody should commemorate the events of this appalling period of history.
We are extremely shocked and saddened that Jackie Walker has questioned the aims and basis of Holocaust Memorial Day, a day when people of all backgrounds come together to remember the Holocaust, and indeed all victims of Nazi Persecution and subsequent genocides which have taken place in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
Commemoration of the Holocaust should be a universal responsibility and does not prevent or undermine commemoration of other genocides.
With more than 5,500 activities in local communities across the UK, Holocaust Memorial Day effectively brings together vast numbers of people to commemorate the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.
Visit the HMDT website here:
Joe Mulhall is senior researcher for HOPE not hate @JoeMulhall_
Posted: 29 Sep 2016 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Jemma Levene | on: Wednesday, 28 September 2016, 11:12
I remember returning from a night out with fellow Jewish students to hear the terrible news that Yitzchak Rabin had been brutally assassinated by a fanatic. We sat and cried, both for a great man, and for our realisation that Israeli society would be forever altered and because prospects for a genuine, lasting peace in the region looked shattered.
However, one man never gave up. Shimon Peres spent the rest of his life working to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict, tirelessly promoting a two state solution both at home and on the world stage.
However, he was not just a man of diplomacy, he created genuine facts on the ground, through his foundation, the Peres Centre for Peace, which has engaged over a million Israeli and Palestinian young people in combined sports, arts and technology programmes, as well as established shared medical and agricultural training and resources.
He once said
"Optimists and pessimists die the exact same death, but they live very different lives!"
Today, we mourn a pioneer for peace, and hope his legacy lives on through those who have been and continue to be inspired by his example.
Posted: 28 Sep 2016 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments