posted by: John Page | on: Sunday, 26 February 2017, 12:16
HOPE not hate has teamed up with Leeds University to host a conference, 23-24 March: ‘A future for post-industrial communities?’
Over the last couple of years, one of the areas we have increasingly focused on has been those communities whose past was industrial, confident and proud, but whose present is in many ways the opposite. These communities are often the target of provocative marches by the far right. In many cases, as people feel helpless, the narratives of blame and division have begun taking hold.
We have started to work with our friends at the New Economics Foundation, with regeneration groups and with academics to explore the issues in these communities, believing that whatever the challenges, a community is more effective when it is inclusive. Our training on community organising can help a community to address issues, and when a community can effect change, it does not need to look for someone to blame.
We have had organisers in Rotherham, Methyr and Dudley, seeking to find the issues that really affect their communities and we have identified a key theme. In each of these areas there are huge inequalities of health. A boy child born on one side of town has a life expectancy 10 years lower than in another part of town. This is a national disgrace, and there is much that an organised community can do to address it.
That is why we are hosting a conference with the aim of bringing key players: charities, community groups, academics, health professionals, and activists together, to explore what can be done to change the cycle of despair that too often exists in these communities.
Posted: 26 Feb 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: By Tom Godwin and Harriet P.D | on: Friday, 24 February 2017, 13:59
Monday 20th February saw actions and events take place across the UK to highlight the contribution of migrants to the UK. The idea of “One Day Without Us” was to think about what our society would be like without migrants.
The HOPE not hate Welsh team’s contribution was a short video, compiled with the help of volunteers and filmed and edited by Marcos Schneider.
What would Wales look like without migration? We began by asking our friends and volunteers what they thought.
For Sue and Fran - who speak in the video about their family history - it was clear: Many of us would simply not be here.
This short video is a selection of some of these conversations. We spent a couple of days filming. It was a lot of fun and helped us understand a lot about ourselves and our own families and communities in the process.
For our filmmaker, Marcos Schneider, the project was about “showing that in all our diversity, we ultimately share a common human experience… We wanted to spread a positive message that can help turn strangers into friends and neighbours."
Posted: 24 Feb 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Mahmooda Qureshi | on: Thursday, 23 February 2017, 14:00
Up to 16 organisations in Birmingham came together to organise the event 'One Day Without Us'. The event was coordinated by Hope not Hate, Birmingham.
The idea was to bring people of various backgrounds together, to socialise over food from 4-6pm, to socialise, have a few speeches, a few positive stories and be entertained at the end to celebrate the Diversity of our British Culture.
The food was provided free by the The Real Junk Food Project, Birmingham. The Afghan community made some food for us to share too!
We had a short talk by Mary from the TUC, highlighting the important contribution migrants and refugees are making in the workforce, and how we would collapse without their hard work. We had a speech from our Local Birmingham Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transparency, Openness and Equality. He enlightened us with what the city council is doing and have done to support migrants and refugees coming to the UK, especially in Birmingham. Other speeches were from ASIRT (Asylum Support and Immigration Resource Team), Right to Work UK
We had some inspirational stories from people of different backgrounds who have settled in the UK, who are making a positive contribution to British Society. Mohammad Fahim, running a community centre in Walsall from Afghan background, Mirsad, Bosnian, who is a writer and artist, Anand Kumar, a senior physiotherapist in the NHS.
The day ended in the café from 7-9pm with some great, lively entertainment from various groups from all ethnic backgrounds:
7pm Daz Dolczech and Ann Jones will be performed some classic Mamamatrix tunes, along with some revolutionary songs
7:25pm Dave Rodgers, a singer, performer, scriptwriter, songwriter and researcher is a long-time political activist and campaigner shared some of his music with us.
7:50pm Ake Achi from Right2Work sang some of his songs.
8:15pm Celebrating Sanctuary present Seikou Susso and Dan Wilkins playing the kora, a traditional West African Instrument, the 'African Harp'. Celebrating Sanctuary works through the arts to raise awareness of the contributions that refugees make to the UK, in particular to the city of Birmingham.
It turned out to be such a great event, supported by so many people. We felt the love going beyond race, religion and culture!
Posted: 23 Feb 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Jemma Levene | on: Thursday, 23 February 2017, 10:34
Well done everyone for all the activity over the weekend, and continuing through this week. If you have not viewed (or better still shared) our 'let them stay' campaign video then please watch it here It has now been viewed on Facebook alone by nearly 2 million people in just a few days.
Richmond community fun day
Our Richmond group held a community fun day, featuring free food, games, local stories and conversations about what we can do to promote inclusive values locally. Hosted by Amigos in Whitton, the day saw people creating a handprint chart (well done for not covering our generous venue in paint!), and hanging messages saying what they love about the community.
Find a Common Flavour – Lambeth
Food somehow always brings people together, and in Lambeth this weekend we used food to talk about local diversity, giving out snacks from different cultures and collecting people’s favourite recipes. Lots more recipes to come…watch this space!
Difficult Conversations Training in Kingston
We ran our hugely relevant Difficult Conversations training, and later this week we are planning how to put what we learnt into action on a local housing estate.
Cambridge Unitarians hosted over 40 people of all faiths and none to join in pledging their support for migrants and refugees as part of the #1DayWithoutUs national event. Minister Andrew spoke about why HOPE not hate work is more crucial than ever.
This was followed by a public rally where HOPE not hate organiser Elisabeth Pop spoke about the rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Cambridge and how no community, even one as liberal as Cambridge, should take its community cohesion for granted, and about the need to speak up for tolerance and inclusivity and hold those who spread fear and hate accountable.
Qamar Nizam from Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum spoke about the need for solidarity across ethnic backgrounds exemplified about Khidmat Sisters, a project run by women to support other women in need. Their latest event brought together mothers who were Lithuanian, Syrian, Palestinian, Polish, Saudi, Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi.
On Monday, 20 Feb, for the actual UN Day of Social Justice, Cambridgeshire HOPE not hate took part in the #1DayWithoutUs event organised by EU migrants in Peterborough. We got a great reaction to the petition asking MPs of all parties to pledge not to vote for any.
In the evening, together with Cambridge Migrants Organise, we run a World Café where migrant leaders spoke about their worries and hopes, how we can best support each other and how to get migrant voices heard at the 4 May county council and super mayoral election.
As well as al kinds of activities and gatherings, over 70,000 leaflets were dispatched for this week of action, and whether volunteers took 1,000 or 50 they are all heroes.
Below are just a selection of the great photos that people have sent in.
Posted: 23 Feb 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: John Page | on: Wednesday, 1 February 2017, 00:08
On 20 January, HOPE not hate groups across the country joined int he international protest: 'Bridges not walls'. Below are just a few of the pictures our supporters sent in.
Eileen Kinsman sent this picture from Aberystwyth; where they clearly give the message; doubling up with posters and banners!
Emma Beacham sends pictures from Abingdon! 50 people turned up to be a part of the lovely view that includes banners, posters and a beautiful bridge! Here we have a HOPE not hate supporter starting young!
In Lewisham after their session of leafleting Hilary Moore and friends use a poster for their photo opportunity! It was a Labour NHS day of action too, so double whammy for them!
In Cambridge over 40 people gathered by the Mathematical Bridge; a show of solidarity on Cambridge streets was reported by Cambridge News! Among the voices of HOPE determined to build bridges not walls were HNH supporters, representatives from migrant and refugee groups, trade unions, Cambridge University staff and activists from the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green Party. How encouraging that people from across the political spectrum came forward to show their solidarity!
In Watford the photo op was covered by the Watford Observer who noted that people were getting the message to 'build bridges not walls!' Lots of smiling for the camera!
At London Bridge Thom Haig did a great job taking pictures to include this stand alone banner on the bridge and the view from opposite the bridge! You can see the crowd gathered on the bridge and the great message on a great banner!
Sutton supporters Building Bridges gave out leaflets at Sutton station and then it was time for photos! I am glad that everyone was wrapped up warm!
Here is a picture of supporters in Trafalgar Square! Both the message of Jo Cox More In Common and Bridges not walls represented here.
One of our canine supporters modelling our campaign shirt!
Posted: 1 Feb 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: John Page | on: Friday, 13 January 2017, 16:17
Book launch with Jane McAlevey on 14 February in London
Many of the organising strategies that we use at HOPE not hate have their origins in America, in the trade union organising drives of the 1950s and the African American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. That is why we are particularly pleased to be co-hosting (with the Southern and Eastern Region TUC) a book launch with Jane McAlevey on 14 February in London.
Jane is both an activist and a scholar, having worked in the environmental, social justice and trade union movements, before taking time out to complete her Phd.
In her latest book: No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age, Jane investigates the underlying failures that lie behind the recent setbacks and defeats for the trade union and progressive movement. In doing so, she lays out a strategic way forward that applies whether you are organising in the workplace or the community.
Jane presents a dozen case studies of unions and social movements seeking to effect change in the twenty-first century. As she analyses each case, she identifies the reasons for the movement’s success or failure. She shows that what victorious movements have in common is the use of grassroots mass organizing.
In the context of the deep divisions revealed by the Brexit campaign, the Trump victory, and the ascendency of ever more divisive narratives, Jane’s work, and the opportunity it provides us all to reflect on our own strategies is both timely and essential.
The event is free, but you must register to attend.
Come and join the debate, because, we may be down but we aren’t out.
Posted: 13 Jan 2017 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Jemma Levene | on: Wednesday, 14 December 2016, 07:56
Our December Weekend of Action saw HOPE not hate groups across the UK getting busy. Many delivered our leaflets to local areas
Others held Hate Crime Intervention training
In Bournemouth and in Liverpool, candlelit vigils allowed people to come together to celebrate peace and unity
while in Bangor, a More In Common festival saw diverse people and families from the community enjoying each other’s company
It was great to see so many people get involved for a weekend of HOPE not hate action to finish off the year in style!
Posted: 14 Dec 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: John Page | on: Tuesday, 13 December 2016, 16:04
In the aftermath of both the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump, there is a new interest in what is happening in ‘post-industrial’ communities.
These are communities that a generation or more ago were thriving, where industry (coal, steel, manufacturing and the docks) provided well-paid jobs and the workforce believed that if they worked hard, they would be able to provide for their families, their children could get an education and would ‘get on in life’.
Very often these jobs have now gone and with them the networks that held the communities together. Some mainstream commentators appear surprised that in these areas, decades of decline and the loss of good jobs has led to an almost complete breakdown of trust in the political process.
HOPE not hate is therefore pleased to announce that we will be co-hosting a national conference on the issue of post-industrial communities with the Leeds University’s Centre for Employment Relations Innovation and Change (CERIC).
To register visit: https://goo.gl/forms/eZTdvP7CWpPEAPgv1
For people living in post-industrial communities, their concerns may be about jobs, housing and the uncertain future for their children, but they are also often worried about immigration, primarily because of its perceived impact on employment and wages, the impact of rapid demographic changes on their community and the effect of migrants on demands for already-stretched local services.
None of these concerns are themselves inherently racist, but there are plenty of racist organisations keen to exploit these fears.
These communities have more than their share of problems, and they have a right to be angry. But increasingly that anger is finding its outlet in the form of ‘finding someone to blame’ rather than organising to take effective action.
HOPE not hate has been working in these communities for years and one of our key objectives has been to builds sense of shared identity between different communities.
We are now determined to step up our work in these areas, and are in the process of building a wide coalition of groups (including faith groups, academics, community groups and trade unions) prepared to invest time and resources in supporting these communities, to help rebuild the networks that once existed but which have declined with the loss of industry.
HOPE not hate and CERIC will be bringing together academics, charities, community activists, trade unionists, and more, to discuss the problems facing these communities and the strategies that can deliver real change and build cross community solidarity.
To register interest to attend, or deliver a session, please visit: https://goo.gl/forms/eZTdvP7CWpPEAPgv1
Posted: 13 Dec 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Tom Godwin | on: Monday, 12 December 2016, 15:54
Since October, our organisers in Wales have been running an ongoing project training over 160 people on how to navigate difficult conversations with people who hold prejudiced views.
We understand that if you want to change someone's point of view, the most effective way is to listen to them, engage with their concerns and only then question some of their underlying assumptions.
Using this training in Cardiff, our activists have been having conversations about immigration on the doorstep, in partnership with a local refugee centre. We experienced a level of distrust and distance. One person said that they weren't allowed in 'that centre for the refugees'.
The great news is that we had the opportunity to invite people along to an event at the refugee centre, and one woman, who had initially said, 'I will never set foot in there', decided that she would indeed come down and find out about the refugees and their centre. She enjoyed herself and is now one less hostile and more sympathetic person in the community.
This is a pilot project we hope to extend to other towns and cities where we are hosting trainings/canvassing sessions.
Posted: 12 Dec 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Elisabeth Pop | on: Monday, 12 December 2016, 15:52
If you ask people living in Watford what they love most about their town, the vast majority will say "the people" and its diverse makeup. And it is exactly this sense of community cohesion that our Festive Watford event celebrated.
The event took place in the Holywell estate, one of the more deprived parts of town, and almost 200 people joined us, including those from ethnic minority and faith communities, who brought traditional foods to share.
Kicking off the show were the children from the Polish Association, giving a fantastic display of traditional folk dances and songs, followed by a performance from local celebrity Arjun playing a dhol drum, a staple of Punjabi Sikh culture. The Watford Muslim Youth Centre was represented by a group of eight girls performing a Mini Munshidaat – songs and a poem praising the Prophet Muhammad.
But our event was not just about celebrating diversity and the multicultural fabric of Watford. It was equally important to showcase and celebrate our common values and common love for Watford, a home to us all. It was haeartwarming to see and hear people from all backgrounds singing modern carols with Rock Chorus and joining in with popular traditional carols performed by Leggatts Community Choir.
To close, Rabbi Levine from Watford United Synagogue spoke of a real sense of community togetherness. While we might be going through challenging times at a national level, we must never take for granted the community cohesion we enjoy in Watford, he said. We all agreed that we need to come together more often, and that we can work to get the media to showcase positive stories of integration.
In the New Year, Watford HOPE not hate will seek to build on the success of this event and the vision of unity that brought people together from so many and various communities as One Watford .
Posted: 12 Dec 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments