HOPE NOT HATE – 12th – 13th March 2016

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Hope Not Hate is a Non-Profit and Non Party Political organisation that are anti fascist and anti Hate. They are concerned with building hope and community for all within society.

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Nick Knowles is the founder of HOPE NOT HATE

I mentioned that I was attending this two-day workshop a few posts back. I was really interested in what this group were about. They are very much involved in creating harmony and hope within communities. Their role is to counter hate rhetoric that is being spread by far-right movements and political organisations such as UKIP.

They do not use counter demonstrations or aggressive techniques.

There was so much valuable information given over the two days that it will be difficult to pinpoint it all. I got to meet and know a lot of amazing people who are working really hard on very worthy projects.

A few things that stuck out:

– You don’t have to change minds completely – just plant seeds of doubt.

– Don’t get caught up in argument – stay focused on your core.

– The power of “Your Story” (this one was very interesting and reminded me of Chris Glynn’s session last Wednesday and the discussion about narrative. They talked about the power of narrative for evoking connections in people. Use a truthful story as lies ring out. Everyone can tell a story – why do we tell stories? Stories connect to your head and your heart.

Every story had 3 elements:

Challenge ->>> Choice ->>> Outcome ->>> Values and Morals

We were set a challenge within our groups to write our own individual story and relate it back to each other in less than 2 minutes. It was a very personal but powerful exercise. It helped me to consider where my driving force comes from. It also helped me to learn about my fellow attendees. It would be a great bonding exercise if it weren’t so personal.

One of their projects is getting people out to vote. They are not telling them who to vote for, just how important that they do. 11,000 people who are paying council tax are not registered to vote in Hackney. 8,000,000 approximately, still not registered to vote in the UK….that is a scary statistic.

After a wonderful ‘FREE’ lunch we came back to talk about the challenges that you can face when trying to organise events either as individuals or as groups.

Challenges

  • Too Introspective
  • Not Knowing How
  • Lack of Opportunity
  • Opportunities to get involved (work opp)

When approaching a community or person:

– Find a common issue and work together on the issue, inviting the whole community together – creates bonds

– Find the common value and stay focused on the solution

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Power Mapping

– Use Power-Mapping (Similar to a mind map) to figure out who are the key players

– Separate them out into 3 key areas: Allies – Neutrals – Opposition

– Rank them is order of vested interest

– Who in the Neutrals might be swayed?

– Understanding the relationships between players can also be of benefit

Some times players might seem unlikely allies – for example businesses may have Corporate Social Responsibility initiative and may jump at the chance of free advertisement could attribute there business with a positive image.

Go to the people who might block you and try to relate to them – find a common tread.

Remember: Hate organisations and their poison rhetoric are symptoms of deeper problems within a society. Fear and instability cause people to look for someone to blame.

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Battle of Cable Street 1936 London

Jewish people were being targeted by scarily similar rhetoric that is being used today against the refugees. 100,000 protestors stood up against the fascists.

* Book – Flag Stays Red – First Communist MP in the UK – This is a book on community organisation. In it Phil Piratin MP says “ We didn’t know what we were doing”, they only knew why. Look at chapters 3 and 4.

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Listening

Another fundamental element to working successfully with the community is having the ability to effectually ‘Listen’.

Listen, especially if you are not in your own community. The residents will know what is important in their area. They know what issues are and if they need addressing. Bring people together so a solution can be found.

Doing the Unexpected

Sometime doing things that are unexpected can trigger a more effective response i.e. Zombie March, Cows in the Supermarket (Farmers protesting on the price of milk.

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