Hope not Hate
HOPE not hate
|Type||Civil Rights campaign
|Product||campaigning, lobbying, media, research|
|Nick Lowles, chief executive|
Hope not Hate (stylized as HOPE not hate) is an advocacy group based in the United Kingdom that "campaigns to counter racism and fascism," and to "combine first class research with community organising and grassroots actions to defeat hate groups at elections and to build community resilience against extremism."
It was created in 2004 by Nick Lowles, a former editor of anti-fascist magazine Searchlight (from which it split in late 2011). It is backed by various politicians and celebrities, and has been backed by several trade unions.
Founded in 2004 by Nick Lowles, former editor of the anti-fascist Searchlight magazine, Hope not Hate functioned as part of the latter organisation until 2011, when the two parties split. As a standalone organisation, HOPE not hate took with it two of the three units of Searchlight: Searchlight Educational Trust (SET), a charity; and Searchlight Information Services (SIS), its research and investigative function. The organisation now consists of HOPE not hate Educational Ltd (a charitable wing) and HOPE not hate Ltd (focused on campaigning and investigative work).
HOPE not Hate is primarily financed by voluntary contributions from individual donors.
During late 2012 and early 2013, the Searchlight Educational Trust (SET), which later renamed itself to HOPE not hate Educational Ltd (HNH Ed: the "charitable wing" of HOPE not Hate), received three separate payments totaling £66,000 thanks to a funding agreement signed by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Conditions in the funding agreement prohibited the funds to be spent on anything other than "educational work", which also included a prohibition on political campaigning. The focus of the allocated funds was to establish community partnerships in four key areas which were prone to EDL activity, including sharing positive local stories and strengthing community bonds.
Initially established to counter the electoral rise of the far-right British National Party (BNP) the HOPE not hate campaign "mobilises communities by providing an alternative to the politics of hate". It encourages voters to support alternatives to far-right extremist movements; it also publishes allegations of violent activities by anti-Muslim organisations such as the English Defence League and more recently has also focused on Islamist extremists and issues of communal division, such as grooming. It presented a 90,000 person petition to the European Parliament protesting against the election of Nick Griffin as an MEP and a 33,000-signature letter (delivered via The Daily Mirror) criticising far-right groups for using the murder of Lee Rigby to push their "own agenda". The group regularly holds nationwide bus tours during elections, sponsored by The Daily Mirror.
The organisation has increasingly focused upon community-based campaigning, particularly building what it calls "community resilience" and focusing more on women voters. It has launched initiatives in support of British foods, Hate Crime Awareness Week, and reported extensively on the activities of the anti-Muslim counterjihad movement of Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, and bloggers such as "Fjordman". It linked hundreds of EDL supporters in this network with the Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik.
Fear and Hope survey
In 2012 the group published original research looking at the attitudes of voters towards far-right political parties in the UK, which concluded that nearly half of those polled by a Populus Ltd survey supported the creation of an English nationalist, anti-Muslim political party. Nick Lowles recently claimed that politicians, including the Labour Party, need to address the way they talk about immigration and move away from encouraging "hate speech". Liz Fekete, of the Institute for Race Relations (IRR), has said that Lowles has not taken a hard enough line against racial narratives on the grooming issue.
In 2013 the organisation initiated a nationwide consultation among its supporters about the UK Independence Party (UKIP). The move attracted considerable criticism from some on the right. It went on to campaign vociferously against UKIP during the run-up to the 2014 European elections. UKIP won more UK MEP seats in the European Parliament than any other party.
Lowles is one of the founders of a new (2013) anti-child sexual exploitation initiative called CAASE (Community Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation), featuring many Muslim and Christian organisations, victim support groups, survivors organisations, and local community networks. The network is a response to multiple "grooming" cases reported in the British press.
Al-Muhajiroun and Islamist extremism
In November 2013 the organisation unveiled research into the al-Muhajiroun Islamic extremist network: in a 60-page report 'Gateway to Terror', authored by Nick Lowles and Joe Mulhall, it alleged that with its partner networks al-Muhajiroun had sent up to 300 fighters to Syria, linked a further 70 individuals to terrorism offences or suicide bombings, plus proof of what it said was links to the Westgate shopping mall attack in Kenya, connections to al-Shabaab and a plot by French security services to kill Abu Hamza in the late 1990s.
On 16 October 2014 the organisation launched a new blog, Generation Jihad, which it said would "be a forum to monitor, expose and understand militant jihadism and extreme Islamism".
Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller
Following a 26,000 signature petition handed in by HOPE not hate to the UK Home Secretary, on 26 June 2013 the US anti-Muslim bloggers Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller were banned from entering the UK. Geller and Spencer had been due to speak at an English Defence League march in Woolwich, south London, where Drummer Lee Rigby was killed. Home Secretary Theresa May informed Spencer and Geller that their presence in the UK would "not be conducive to the public good". The decision, which they cannot appeal, may be reviewed in between three and five years.
The campaign publishes an eponymous bi-monthly magazine; in 2011 it commissioned an opinion poll on electoral attitudes towards English identity, faith and race, published as the Fear and HOPE survey. In 2012 it issued a report on the counterjihad movement, the Counter-Jihad Report; and in the same year produced a 75th anniversary guide to the Battle of Cable Street. In 2011 Matthew Collins, a former National Front and British National Party member and part of the group's investigative team, published Hate: My Life in the British Far Right (ISBN 978-1-84954-327-9). In June 2014 Collins and Hope not Hate published original research into what they termed a far-right, Christian fundamentalist organisation, Britain First, revealing its links to Loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland and preparation for conflict, after the group held controversial 'Christian Patrols' and 'mosque invasions' in various cities in the UK. In response, Britain First issued a press release threatening "direct action" against any journalist repeating "any inaccuracies or lies peddled by Hope Not Hate”.
The group works closely with several organisations, including the Extremis Project, the Islamic Society of Britain, Faith Matters (which runs the Tell MAMA anti-Muslim violence helpline), the Community Security Trust, Stonewall, Galop, the Holocaust Educational Trust, the Christian Muslim Forum, No To Hate Crime, the Jewish Gay & Lesbian Group, Mencap, British Muslims for Secular Democracy, Scope, the Coexistence Trust, Student Action for Refugees, the Survivors Fund, Show Racism the Red Card, as well as many police forces and overseas (non-UK) partners, such as The Southern Poverty Law Center in the USA and Expo in Sweden.
Prominent supporters of Hope not Hate include businessman Lord Sugar, boxer Amir Khan, singer Beverly Knight, actress and screenwriter Meera Syal, TV presenter Fiona Phillips, chef Simon Rimmer, songwriter Billy Bragg, entrepreneur Levi Roots, singer Speech Debelle, actress and singer Paloma Faith, presenter Dermot O'Leary, Baroness Glenys Kinnock and comedian Eddie Izzard.
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- Woolley, Simon. "Hope not hate secure EDL conviction". OBV. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- Lowles, Nick. "EDL leader threatens to broadcast anti-Muslim film". HOPE not hate. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- Lowles, Nick. "Grooming – an issue we can no longer ignore". HOPE not hate. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
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- Lowles, Nick. "Homophobic hate preachers set to gather in York". HOPE not hate. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
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- Palmer, Alun (1 June 2013). "Hope Not Hate letter to Mirror condemning far-right extremists signed by 33,000 people". The Daily Mirror. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- Woodall, Woodall. "Fighting the far right". The Young Fabian Blog. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- Chakelian, Anoosh. "Hope Not Hate's target audience is women". Total Politics. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- Townsend, Mark (14 April 2012). "Far-right anti-Muslim network on rise globally as Breivik trial opens". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- Lowles, Nick. "Counter-Jihad Report". HOPE not hate. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- Townsend, Mark (1 September 2012). "British far-right extremists voice support for Anders Breivik". The Observer. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- "Fear and HOPE survey". Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- Readings, George (28 February 2011). "Searchlight's 'Fear and Hope' paints a fascinating and concerning picture". Left Foot Forward. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- Elgot, Jessica. "Labour Must Stand Up Against Immigration Hate Speech, Says Hope Not Hate's Nick Lowles". Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- Fekete, Liz. "Grooming: An Open Letter to Nick Lowles". Institute of Race Relations. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- Lowles, Nick. "Opposing UKIP We Could But Should We". Opposing UKIP, we could but should we?. HOPE not hate. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- Humph, The. "'HOPE not hate' can't be serious with this Ukip question, can it?". The Commentator. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- not hate, HOPE. "Purple Rain". HOPE not hate. HOPE not hate. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
- "UK 2014 European election results for EU Parliament". BBC. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
- Nye, Catrin (10 May 2013). "Grooming 'coalition' launched to tackle child sex abuse". BBC. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
- Joe Mulhall, Nick Lowles. "Gateway To Terror". HOPE not hate. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- Sophie Robehmed, Ian Johnston (25 November 2013). "Gateway to terror: British Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary 'sent hundreds to join al-Qa'ida in Syria'". The Independent. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- Whitehead, Tom (25 November 2013). "French spies and a neo-Nazi plot to kill Abu Hamza". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- Lowles, Nick. "Generation Jihad: an introduction". HOPE not hate. HOPE not hate. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
- "US bloggers banned from entering UK". BBC. June 26, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- "Anti-Muslim pair banned from UK". Daily Express (UK). June 26, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- Rawlinson, Kevin (June 26, 2013). "Anti-Ground Zero Mosque campaigners Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer barred from entering Britain to speak at an EDL rally". The Independent (London). Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- Elgot, Jessico (June 26, 2013). "Pamela Geller And Robert Spencer Banned From The UK By Home Office, Due To Speak At EDL Woolwich Rally". The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- Lowles, Nick (26 February 2011). "What Britons really think about immigration". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- Lowles, Nick. "Fear and HOPE". HOPE not hate. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- Whelan, Brian (20 June 2014). "Britain First: inside the extremist group targeting mosques". Channel 4 News. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- Bienkov, Adam. "Britain First: The violent new face of British fascism". Politics.co.uk. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Britain First - Army of the Right". HOPE not hate. HOPE not hate. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- Datoo, Siraj. "Britain First Leader Threatens To Turn Up At Journalists’ Homes If They Repeat Claims About The Party". Buzzfeed.co.uk. BuzzFeed. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Third Successive Year for Mirror's Hope Not Hate Tour – Trinity Mirror plc". Trinitymirror.com. 15 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-09.
- "Eddie Izzard joins Hope Not Hate anti-racism party". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2009-10-09.
- "Daily Mirror Hope not Hate anti-racism campaign gets under way". The Guardian (London). 15 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-09.
- Faith, Paloma. "A very special message". Paloma Faith (Facebook Page). Retrieved 17 March 2014.