You are viewing blog items for February 2015.
posted by: Owen Jones | on: Thursday, 12 February 2015, 10:42
On Saturday 7th February, around 1000 English Defence League protesters descended on the town of Dudley, their third demo in the town in the last five years, protesting against the construction of a new Mosque and community centre. For weeks, much of Dudley had been anxious that this rally would pose a similar threat to the EDL’s violent protests in 2010, which cost Dudley’s taxpayers over £150,000 in damage. Houses and cars were damaged, steel fences broken down and hurled at police, windows smashed, cars vandalised, homes, restaurants and a Hindu temple attacked.
Though this year’s march was less chaotic- the EDL failed to match their anticipated 2,000 with the significant majority bussed in from outside- the march caused massive disturbance to the town. West Midlands Police were forced to draft in hundreds of extra officers from as far away as Wales, and hundreds of thousands of pounds were lost as the majority of shops and businesses in the town centre closed in fear. Anxiety was whipped up in the town by the EDL’s hatred.
Dudley Central Mosque, the community at the centre of controversies responded to the protests with a great gesture of peace, opening up their doors to provide food, hot drinks and shelter from the cold to local people and anti-racist supporters. Around 300 people joined together in the mosque, for an amazing show of love and generosity in the face of hatred. Following this, together with Dudley Borough Interfaith Network, they are planning to open the mosque to help educate people about their religion, and dispel fears in the wider community.
HOPE not hate have collected around 400 messages of HOPE from the community in response to the EDL’s presence on Saturday, which have been on display this week in a pop up shop in the centre of Dudley town, just a stone’s throw from the site of the rally. Dudley has sent a clear message, that we will not tolerate hatred and division in our town. We are the many, and we stand for HOPE.
Posted: 12 Feb 2015 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Owen Jones | on: Saturday, 7 February 2015, 12:11
On the morning of the 31st January, 200 people made their way up the hill through the previous night’s snow to the sound of Djembe drums calling from St John’s Parish Hall, to celebrate HOPE. Rise Up for St Thomas’s, an event to celebrate multiculturalism in Dudley bought together local groups from the community to stand up for all that is good in our town.
The bright yellow hall buzzed with activity, with choirs and bands from local Churches entertaining the crowds as they were decorated with henna and face paints, colouring pens, paints, feathers and copious amounts of delicious curry.
The event closed with a balloon release, where people attached messages of hope for their community to balloons, which were released in unison. This represented the strength of Dudley’s community, quite literally “rising up” for hope over fear and hatred. Local resident Dominic said “It was a joyous sight seeing hundreds of balloons making their way to the skies with their messages of hope”.
Rise Up showcased some of the best and most diverse of Dudley. Dudley has not always had a reputation as a hot bed of multicultural peace, with a history of BNP councillors, huge EDL rallies and a presence of far right splinter groups. With the EDL planning to return to the town on Saturday the 7th of February, Rise Up sent a clear message from the community that most people in Dudley stand for multiculturalism, unity and hope.
Posted: 7 Feb 2015 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 7 February 2015, 08:49
Yesterday afternoon UKIP leader Nigel Farage took to the airwaves to claim that HOPE not hate was behind an angry demo which prevented him from opening a party office in Rotherham.
It wasn't the first time he has made such a claim and it won't be the last. But like all other similar statements, Farage was not able to provide a shred of evidence to back up his claim.
The truth is that Farage is smearing us because he knows our campaign can hurt his party's prospects in May.
Rather than deal with the racists and oddballs we expose within his party, he prefers to attacks the messenger in the hope that this will neutralise our examination of the party and cause the media to be wary of us.
Sadly for Farage his tactics will have the opposite affect. The more he attacks us the more determined we are to expose the bigotry within UKIP and its damaging policies, which do nothing to address the real issues facing people.
We are just three months from the General Election and what will be our most sophisticated and targeted campaign ever. We've amassed some of the best organisers around to run our campaigns in the seats UKIP will be looking to win; we have commissioned election analysts to map our key constituencies so we know who to target and with what messages; and we are building an army of determined and dedicated supporters who will campaign around the clock to prevent UKIP from winning.
So we say bring it on Mr Farage, smear us as much as you like because we take your attacks as a badge of honour and it only makes us more determined to stop you.
Sign up and get involved and let's give Farage even more reason to worry about us.
Posted: 7 Feb 2015 | There are 5 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 6 February 2015, 22:31
HOPE not hate would like to make it abundantly clear that it was not involved in demonstrations against UKIP leader Nigel Farage in Rotherham today, as Mr Farage has falsely claimed.
Faced with a hostile local crowd, Mr Farage took to the airwaves and during an interview with Iain Dale's LBC, issued the bizarre (and frankly paranoid) claim that we were "violent" and "anti-democractic", as well as being "anti-British".
This is not the first time Farage has claimed HOPE not hate is a violent organisation but just as on previous occasions he has not been able to provide a shred of evidence to back up his claims.
So, once again, we challenge him to back up his claims or withdraw them.
The truth is that Farage and UKIP attempt to smear us because we have repeatedly exposed the extremism within its ranks, the oddball statements of its supporters and its bizarre and damaging policies.
Rather than address the extremists and racists within its ranks, Farage prefers to smear the messenger in the hope that this will neutralise our examination of his party. Sadly for Farage, his tactics will have the opposite affect. The more he attacks and smears us the more determined we will be to expose UKIP for the anti-immigrant bigoted party it is.
We are just next three months from the General Election and I can promise our supporters that we will be running our most sophisticated and targeted to date. We are amassing some of the best organisers and campaigners around to run our operations in the key seats UKIP will be looking to win; we have commissioned some of the best election analysts to map our key constituencies so we know who to target and with what messages; and we have an army of determined and dedicated supporters who will campaign around the clock to prevent UKIP from winning.
So let us be absolutely clear, Farage lies about us because he is scared of us and our ability to prevent his party from winning seats in May. So we say bring it on, smear us as much as you like because we take his attacks as a badge of honour and it only makes us more determined to stop him.
Posted: 6 Feb 2015 | There are 10 comments | make a comment/view comments