You are viewing blog items for March 2009.
posted by: Lorraine Fitzsimons | on: Tuesday, 24 March 2009, 16:17
Apologies for the radio silence on these pages, we’ve been having a hectic time lately.
The Yorkshire & Humber campaign is building at a fast pace and our activists and supporters are key to this.
The early phase of the campaign has been very much about building networks and our activist base, raising awareness of the European elections and signing people up to help.
There’s many strands to this.
Recently we’ve been building some exciting work with faith groups which will really broaden our reach – the churches in particular are getting on board, we’ll be mobilising large numbers of Muslim voters from around the region, as well as working with Jewish communities.
The women’s leaflet got a great launch this month at the TUC women’s conference, but this has got a much wider appeal and is spurring many women to use their informal networks to spread the word.
Friday is only a few weeks away and we’ll shortly be sending out the union toolkits and DVDs to many branches we’ve spoken at and worked with.
This month we spoke to a group of shop stewards at a large industrial workplace.
It really brought home how important trade unions are to the campaign, but also how much the BNP are active in workplaces and exploit worker concerns.
Our main intro leaflet has been circulated far and wide, and we keep having to get more printed.
This both mobilises new activists and spells out the main issues – if you can circulate these through your networks please get in touch.
We’ve been firming up lots of other campaign days around the region.
These will be concentrated in the final six weeks of the campaign, where we want to deliver over 300,000 leaflets to voters across Yorkshire & Humber.
One little snippet from last week was a call from someone who’d received a BNP leaflet through his door.
He requested 1,000 leaflets to deliver singlehandedly in his neighbourhood.
When I asked him how he’d heard about the campaign he told me he’d picked up our leaflet at his local theatre.
I’m sure it was one of the new activists who came to the dayschool who put them there!
Just goes to show how important each individual’s small interventions are – together we’re so much stronger.
Keep in touch!
Posted: 24 Mar 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Lorraine Fitzsimons | on: Friday, 13 March 2009, 14:39
At a packed conference yesterday the women's Trade Union movement gave its resounding support to the Hope Not Hate campaign against the BNP.
Over 350 women, representing 32 different unions and numerous local trades councils, attended the TUC Women's Conference in Scarborough. A motion from PCS and Unison on campaigning against the far right received overwhelming support, and had women queuing up to speak in favour.
They raised the astonishing misogyny of the BNP. London BNP candidate Nick Eriksen equated rape to force-feeding a woman to eat chocolate cake. How the BNP spread hate, divide communities and increase race hate crimes.
Their utter opposition to equality and rights for all makes the BNP incompatible with the trade union movement. Many unions have taken the steps to expel BNP members from their unions.
The new Hope Not Hate women's leaflet was launched at conference, and the unions have pledged to circulate this through their networks and to support Union Friday.
Rotherham Hope Not Hate activist and Community union member Shabana Ahmed speaks in favour of the motion
The fact is this is not just a women's issue or a trade union issue - it's universal. The BNP's hatred and contempt extends to so many groups in society - especially the most vulnerable - it's probably most of the population. In this turnout campaign, more than ever before, we need to show the relevance of this issue to everyone. As one trade unionist put it yesterday, "Everyone opposed to the politics of hate must vote."
Download the women's leaflet here - and pass it on!
Posted: 13 Mar 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Andy Vine | on: Friday, 13 March 2009, 07:05
A hunt is on for the new location of tonight's BNP fundraiser in Leigh. The BNP had intended the event to be held at the Pure nightclub but this was cancelled yesterday afternoon following the circulation of an open letter by a local parish priest. By last night the letter had been signed by almost 2,000 people, including several hundred from the local Leigh area.
The BNP or the owner of the nightclub notified the police that the event had been cancelled but Searchlight understands that an event is taking place though possibly at a new location.
A protest outside the nightclub, called by Wigan and Leigh United Against Racism, will go ahead as planned but plans have been put in place to relocate if another venue is found.
I would just like to add my thanks to all those who signed the open letter. Your action has played a vital role in disrupting the attempts by the BNP to spread its message of hate.
Posted: 13 Mar 2009 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Lorraine Fitzsimons | on: Tuesday, 10 March 2009, 23:36
In the forthcoming European Elections on June 4th the BNP need poll as little as 11% of the vote to gain an MEP. This would be a disaster for our region and for all our communities. The amount of money and credibility that the BNP would gain if they won a seat could transform that organisation possibly making it a permanent feature of politics. The malign influence of their racist and divisive views would be magnified threatening civil society throughout the region.
Posted: 10 Mar 2009 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments