You are viewing blog items for March 2016.
posted by: Tom | on: Thursday, 24 March 2016, 13:26
This Saturday will see the National Front come to Swansea for their so-called “White Pride” march.
We’re sick of them in Swansea. These boozy racists have stumbled off trains into the city centre before, and they’ve always been met with opposition. This year we’re using their visit as an opportunity to celebrate the diverse and welcoming Swansea that we love.
HOPE not hate volunteers started this week by posting 6000 leaflets through doors. Each leaflet with instructions on how it can be folded into an Origami Swansea Swan. The leaflet asks people to take their Swan on a journey with them this week, to celebrate the places they love in Swansea.
The response was immediate and beautiful. With people tweeting images of their folded Swans around the city, and Swansea Swans popping up in windows in support of HOPE not hate.
We also set ourselves a challenge at the beginning of this week, to fold 1000 Swansea Swans for HOPE, and to use it to meet our neighbours. On Tuesday we joined asylum seekers and refugees on Carmarthen Road to fold over 200 Swansea Swans. On Wednesday we welcomed young people to join us and the Ethnic Youth Support Team on St. Helen’s Road, where we reached our 1000 Swan target.
The most talented Origami wizards were the youngest. Yahya basically threw the rule-book out the window when he folded not only several Swansea Swans, but an intricately crafted Welsh Dragon!
The White-Pride nuts of the National Front will be seeking to provoke and divide us when they stumble into Swansea this Saturday. They have already failed. We have had a wonderful week of coming together, making new friends and allies.
Earlier this year the far-right group the North West Infidels were met with a multicultural festival in Anglesea. People simply turned their backs on the fascists, and they went home. It was brilliant. This Saturday from 12:00 in Swansea there will be again be a cultural celebration in Castle Square in the City Centre. Look carefully and you might see a few Swans....
Posted: 24 Mar 2016 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Elisabeth Pop | on: Thursday, 17 March 2016, 16:20
Today we’re launching a ground-breaking voter registration campaign across London, in partnership with the amazing ice cream makers, Ben & Jerry’s.
It comes off the back of a specially-commissioned YouGov poll by both HOPE not hate and Ben & Jerry’s, which reveals the increasing depth of political disengagement among young people.
For an entire month, the Don’t Get Frozen Out campaign will be taking to universities, colleges, and local communities across the capital, helping young people register to vote and getting engaged in the political process.
What’s more, Ben & Jerry’s will be giving out free ice cream at every location we visit, too.
The stats, compiled by YouGov, speak for themselves.
Young people are twice as likely not to be on the electoral register than the population at large. And of those who were on the electoral register for the General Election last year, just over half (54%) of 18-24 year olds bothered to vote.
There are also 35% fewer 17-year-olds on the electoral roll today (‘attainers’ who can register to vote ahead of their 18th birthday), because of changes introduced last autumn to the way we have to register to vote.
In London, 329,000 have fallen off the register since last May – equivalent to a city the size of Nottingham!
Our new partnership with Ben & Jerry’s is a really exciting initiative for HOPE not hate and one that will hopefully help us reach tens of thousands of young people.
Over the next four weeks we’ll take to the road with Ben & Jerry’s and their ice cream van, registering young people in universities, colleges and local communities.
As long as young people don’t engage in the democratic system, then their views will continue to be ignored by politicians. That can lead to disaffection and alienation, allowing extremism to thrive.
So join us, get involved and let’s make sure that young people don't continue to be frozen out.
Posted: 17 Mar 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Owen | on: Wednesday, 2 March 2016, 10:26
Barking and Dagenham has, unfortunately, long been the front line for the HOPE not hate campaign, and also the home of our greatest success story in 2010; hitting the BNP for six in the Local and General Election. So, a perfect location for HOPE not hate’s 2016 Student Conference.
Back in 2010 the BNP had become the official opposition on the local council with 12 councillors, and looked poised to take control and gain their first MP. But, through a massive community mobilisation campaign from HOPE not hate, where hundreds of activists were involved, HOPE prevailed and beat the BNP from the borough.
Times have changed in the area. It is much more diverse but the issues are still there. Housing, schooling and health are all grave concerns for residents and issues that are ripe for distortion by right-wing groups trying to gain political ground. HOPE not hate’s work is far from over.
[Picture: Image 2 Caption: HOPE not hate activists delivering HOPE in 2010]
Students are often a vital part of any campaign and that is no different at HOPE not hate where they are an integral part of our community work. With local elections around the corner, we invited our leading student societies to Dagenham to learn about grassroots community engagement and to develop their skills, which can be then be taken back to their campuses.
Students from England and Wales joined us on a cold Saturday as we shared campaign techniques and then headed out to the streets of Dagenham to put those skills immediately to practise.
It was wonderful to see the students dive straight into canvassing, listening to local residents and providing us with vital feedback that will help shape the local campaign in the months to come.
To get involved with the East London campaign or learn more about HOPE not hate’s campus activities please contact Owen at [email protected]
Posted: 2 Mar 2016 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments