HOPE not hate

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Go directly to jail: Do not pass Go

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 27 November 2014, 22:06


Former C18 leader Charlie Sargent is back behind bars after being involved in a fight outside an Essex pub in the company of many of his old C18 friends.

Sargent was released from prison last year after being convicted for the murder of Chris Castle in 1997.

Castle, a close friend of Sargent's rival Will Browning, was lured to a mobile home in Essex where he was attacked and stabbed by Sargent's friend Martin Cross. The court had heard that Sargent was the prime motivator behind the murder and he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

The murder followed an often violent internal struggle for control of the nazi group. Sargent was subsequently exposed by ITV's World in Action of being a police informer.

He was released on licence last year on the proviso that he did not associate with any of his old C18 friends and he did not get involved in any violence.

Sargent broke this agreement from almost the moment he got out of prison and began meeting his former associates. He would meet his friends and plot his revenge against his old C18 enemies from the dark recesses of pubs in the hope of not being seen. Unfortunately for Sargent, HOPE not hate was monitoring his activities from the moment of his release.

Among those he associated with were:

* Tim Ryan, a former C18 and British Movement activist who himself is on licence after being convicted of possession of a gun, that was discovered buried in his mother's garden.

* Eddie Stampton, probably the most hated man on the British far right, and currently active with the southern faction of the National Front and co-ordinator of the British Golden Dawn.

* Rob Hitlon, a close associate from Sargent's C18 days and a long-time activist in the UDA.

* Frank Portinari, leader of the UDA on the British mainland, and convicted gunrunner.

* Andy Frain, a leading Chelsea hooligan and C18 supporter, who Sargent had little time for until they were in the same prison.

But Sargent was not just content to enjoy a social drink with his old friends. Free from prison, he actively tried to stir up trouble and re-open old feuds with Browning and others he blamed for his downfall.

Another of Sargent's old C18 friends, Warren Glass, attempted to get Sargent an invite to the wedding party being held for the lead singer of Section 88, but was unceremoniously told by the British Movement that the former C18 leader was not welcome.

Sargent also made contact with Mark Atkinson, who had sided with Browning during the original split but who has since gone his own way with the Racial Volunteer Force. Sargent was hoping that Atkinson would publicly turn on Browning and do re-open old wars.

Sargent was also working with Eddie Stampton to produce their version of the C18 story. However, Sargent was always careful to remain in the shadows and get others to do his bidding. So you can imagine his anger when Stampton posted a picture of the two of them together in a pub garden in Royton, Essex, earlier this year. Sargent demanded it was taken down but not before HOPE not hate researchers had copied the picture (thanks Eddie).

Finally, and most worryingly, Sargent and friends were actively looking for the home address of Darren Wells, Will Browning's former sidekick, who went on to work for me inside C18. At one point the Sargent faction was convinced they had traced Wells to an address in Essex but this proved to be a false lead.

Sargent's luck finally ran out over the weekend of 15/16 November, whilst out drinking with Andy Frain, Eddie Stampton, Rob Grey and his brother Steve, in a pub in a small village in Essex. As the beer flowed so the group became rowdy and the nazi salutes began. Sargent went outside and returned with a bloody nose, to which the others piled out to confront his assailants.

The police were called and though the men attacked decided not to press charges, Sargent's involvement was logged. He had broken his licence, was arrested and tonight is back in prison. And, with the evidence we are passing over to the Probation Service, hopefully for a long time.

Read the full story of Combat 18 in White Riot

 Posted: 27 Nov 2014 | There are 12 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Are you in the 85%?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 21 November 2014, 07:49


UKIP has just won another parliamentary by-election and they are clearly on a roll. Meanwhile, the other political parties are in a panic, trying to “out-UKIP” UKIP and the media is scurrying around looking for the next defections.

What a mistake.

Opinion polls give UKIP the support of just 15% of the population. Where are the other 85%? The problem is we are quiet – even silent.

That can change, right now if we make a stand.

UKIP’s backward-looking populism doesn't represent me or the Britain I want to live in. If you agree then please stand with me and let's mobilise the 85%.

HOPE not hate will shortly be unveiling its 2015 campaign strategy. We’ve consulted widely, studied what works and what doesn't and have formulated a clear plan which I will shortly share with you. I promise it will be exciting, nuanced, targeted and effective.

But today my ask is simple. I want you to join me in saying proudly that we are part of the 85% and that we refuse to dance to the “UKIP tune”.

By signing the pledge, you’ll be making a commitment to help defeat the politics of fear and hate..

Make the pledge now

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/im-with-the-85

We need to find our voice before the political debate gets even more poisoned. Trying to “out-UKIP” UKIP is a recipe for disaster as it only gives them added legitimacy. Instead, we need politicians to tackle the underlying economic pessimism that’s driving support for UKIP by offering voters an achievable vision of a better tomorrow.

UKIP offers one vision of Britain, HOPE not hate another. We know many people have lost all hope, but UKIP’s fear-mongering and scapegoating is not the answer. As YouGov president Peter Kellner wrote in yesterday's Times: “The wrong way to fight UKIP is to accept its agenda and fight on its ground”.(1)

We are the 85%.

We are sleepwalking into a UKIP disaster unless we act now. Make the pledge and let’s get to work.

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/im-with-the-85

 Posted: 21 Nov 2014 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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On the run

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 12 November 2014, 11:53


One of Anjem Choudary's closest confidants has skipped the country for Syria despite being on police bail and having been in custody less than 24 hours before. Abu Rumaysah left the country on 27 September on a coach to Paris with his wife and children, before making his way to Syria to live in the Islamic State.

Abu Rumaysah, whose real name is Siddhartha Dhar, was one of the nine people arrested by police in a crackdown on the al Muhajiroun network. He was released from police custody on Friday 26 September but instead of surrendering his passport he boarded a coach to France with his family.

He was a leading light in Choudary’s UK network following his conversion from Hinduism some 13 years ago. He fronted up the Sharia4UK group and more recently Need4Khilafah, both of which were proscribed by the British Government, and over the summer had been doing more and more television and radio interviews for the group.

This news of his departure will be deeply embarrassing for the authorities, especially as he had made no secret of his desire to live in the Islamic state. On 14 August, in an interview with Channel 4 News, he said that only the security services stood in the way of him going to Syria.

He also used twitter to demand the right to go and live in the Islamic State and in several messages to me and others claimed that he had no intention of fighting but merely living out there with his family. He even re-stated his desire to travel to Syria on the evening of Friday 26 September, shortly after being released from police custody. In one exchange he even stated that it would be to everyone’s benefit if he left the country.

Later that evening, obviously with his mind made up, he stopped using twitter and began packing his bags.

Rumaysah’s departure will be a huge embarrassment for the police and security services and raises all sorts of questions about their ability to monitor extremists, especially given that this man had been in their custody less than 24 hours before he absconded.

 Posted: 12 Nov 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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HOPE not hate & STUC 'Our Future Free from Racism' Programme

posted by: Glasgow HOPE not hate | on: Monday, 10 November 2014, 11:20


HOPE not Hate groups across Scotland are proud to be included in events forming part of this year’s STUC 'Our Future Free from Racism' Programme, the annual St Andrew’s Day Anti-Racism March & Rally on 29th November being the focal point.

All those opposed to racism and the far right are welcome to come along and take part in one of the many free events running from 13th November to 6th December and help make Scotland a 'Future Free from Racism'.

Greater Glasgow HOPE not hate was established in September 2012, mainly in response to an upsurge in “street activity” by the far right BNP and Scottish Defence League which saw them touting their politics of hate to members of the public.

Over the last two years, local people in Ayrshire, Dumfries and Edinburgh have joined the initiative to set up their own local groups and stand up to racism within their own communities.

The new groups campaign regularly against the far right and discriminatory policies in a variety of ways, ranging from public meetings, street stalls, film nights, community partnerships and working in close association with the trade union and labour movements.

Full programme can be found at: www.glasgowhopenothate.org & www.stuc.org.uk

 Posted: 10 Nov 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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HOPE not hate debates

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 7 November 2014, 17:52


In a new departure, HOPE not hate is starting what we hope will be the first in a series of debates on key issues around dealing with extremism and hatred.

Following a lively exchange on a closed Facebook page, political activist David Toube and author and communications advisor Nick Ryan agreed to debate the nature of the Islamist threat in an open exchange of letters.

Next week, David and Nick will reply to one another's letter but in the meantime we would welcome your contributions to the debate

HOPE not hate debates.

 Posted: 7 Nov 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Putting our MPs on the spot

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 7 November 2014, 07:57


We've had an amazing response to our call for our supporters to ask their own MPs where they stand on the Government's decision to withdraw funding from rescue operations in the Mediterranean. 486 of Britain’s 650 MPs have already been contacted, some of whom have already responded.

We will be collating the replies as they come in and producing a leaflet for distribution in constituencies where the MPs strongly support the Government decision.

Today we will be compiling a list of those MPs who have not yet been contacted so we can ensure that everyone gets asked.

If you’ve not already done so, then ask your MP where they stand:

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/speakout/dont-let-them-drown

 Posted: 7 Nov 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Where do our MPs stand?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 5 November 2014, 19:16


The Government's decision to withdraw funding for rescue boats in the Mediterranean will lead to more deaths while doing nothing to address the underlying causes of migration. Over 20,000 have signed our petition to the Home Office, but now we want to put our individual MPs on the spot.

Are they willing to go on record and defend this decision?

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/speakout/dont-let-them-drown

With the General Election only six months away our politicians are vulnerable, especially those in marginal seats. Do they really want to be known locally as MPs who refuse to rescue drowning people?

I have drafted a letter which you can send to your local MP. Just put in your postcode, alter the letter if you want and press send. It's as simple as that.

Migration is the consequence of war, persecution and poverty. We need our politicians to address these issues rather than run after UKIP with a cheap stunt that will only lead to more deaths.

Please send a letter to your MP

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/speakout/dont-let-them-drown

 Posted: 5 Nov 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The debate has still to be won

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 5 November 2014, 15:50


The news that Eastern European migrants have contributed billions more to the British economy than they have taken out is welcome news to all those who have battled against the anti-immigrant scaremongering peddled by some politicians, media and academics.

However, these figures alone will not alter the political debate over immigration, free movement of people and Britain's membership of the European Union.

I'm not surprised by these figures as I recognise that the vast majority of Eastern European migrants work hard and pay their taxes. National statistics don't, however, mean much for those people who feel they are losing out because of globalisation and membership of the EU and currently focusing their anger on immigrants.

What is still required is a robust political and economic strategy that offers people the prospects of a better tomorrow. Until that is done, UKIP will continue to win votes and our ability to push an anti-racist message in these communities will have limited success.

 Posted: 5 Nov 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments