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HOPE not hate

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posted by: Jemma Levene | on: Wednesday, 29 June 2016, 09:40

I think it’s fair to say that the last month has knocked many people’s confidence in the Britain they know and love.

From the brutal murder of Jo Cox, to some of the toxic images and messages distributed during the Referendum campaign, as well as the reports of hostility and even hate crimes against Europeans living and working in Britain since the announcement of the result, there’s a feeling that something has changed for the worse.

At HOPE not hate, we have been as horrified as everyone else by the reports of the surge in racism since the Referendum result. However, we would caution that, while serious, these are the actions of a minority of individuals who were racists before the vote and just as racist afterwards. It is likely that they have the attitude that their time has come and see the result as vindication of their repellent views. They may (wrongly) feel that they now have carte blanche to act on their disgusting views.

I strongly believe that, as a whole, Britain is not more racist, and no less welcoming to Europeans and other groups than it was before the vote. Most of Britain is rightly horrified by the actions of a scattered bunch of racists. A quick look at social media finds Britons sharing great memes celebrating the contribution of Europeans to our society, and the diversity of modern Britain.

It would be a huge mistake to assume that the vast majority of people who voted to leave the EU were motivated by racism. People voted to leave for a whole number of reasons, only some of which were related to concerns about immigration.

In fact, there is a danger that such an assumption will actually push people from working-class communities who voted heavily for Brexit towards the politics of fear and hate at the very time we should be reaching out and helping them step away from such negativity.

Later this week, we will launch a campaign called #MoreInCommon to bring divided communities together and challenge the narratives of fear and hate.

The campaign will include:

  • Holding over 100 meetings across the country, to develop plans to bring communities together around the #MoreInCommon theme
  • Building solidarity with communities under attack and calling on the authorities to do more to defend them and demand that EU migrants have a right to stay in this country
  • Beginning an initiative to engage with those working class communities that have been targeted by the politics of fear and hate
  • Using our political arm, HOPE not hate Campaigns, to prepare for a snap General Election to ensure that anti-immigrant and racist candidates are defeated.

But for us to be successful we need your help and your ideas. Please click the link below to let us know what you can do to help locally, what networks you can access and skills you can offer.

 Posted: 29 Jun 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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EU Referendum: Find the Facts

posted by: Jemma Levene | on: Friday, 10 June 2016, 20:28

The European Referendum can seem a confusing business. Politicians and public figures are locked in heated arguments and the statistics are hotly disputed by each side. It’s a vastly confusing business.

But no-one should feel they can’t vote because they don’t have the right information to hand. That’s why we’ve created Find the Facts, a new mini-site packed with neutrally-sourced information about some of the key topics connected to the EU debate.

With plenty of quirky touches, national activities and interactive elements, this campaign will reach people who are otherwise turned off by the whole referendum debate.

As well as our fact-packed mini-site, we’ll be garnering publicity with a series of fun street activities designed to encourage people to think about the issues. If you would like to get involved, then please sign up here.

In the meantime, please share Find the Facts on your social networks and help us dispel any confusion during the next 13 days until the Referendum.

Find the Facts:

#FindtheFacts #EUreferendum

 Posted: 10 Jun 2016 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Democracy under threat

posted by: John Page | on: Wednesday, 8 June 2016, 11:43

Last year the government truncated the transitional arrangements for voter registration. This meant that vast numbers of people who had been on the electoral register were taken off.

It was particularly problematic for young people who, for the first time, needed to register individually (it had previously been the responsibility of the ‘head of the household’).

HOPE not hate (alongside other groups) have been working hard to get people who are entitled to vote, back on the register.

It is therefore truly shocking that the Government’s website ‘crashed’ last night as hundreds of thousands of voters sought to register on the final day of registration before the EU Referendum.

In a democracy, everyone entitled to vote should have the opportunity to exercise their vote. Unless the register is re-opened then this will not happen.

That is why HOPE not hate are launching a petition calling on the Government to reopen the register.

Please help by signing the petition and then sharing it on social media, blogs, email and by word of mouth.

 Posted: 8 Jun 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments