Rise in hate warning as group seeks change

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Hope not Hate campaign. Pic by Aaliyah Rugg © JMU Journalism

Liverpool is a city that prides itself on its multicultural society, however, one group says it is in danger of returning to some of the darkest days of the 1930s.

The ‘Hope not Hate’ organisation held a meeting at the weekend to discuss the rise of hate and offered training on how to deal with those who have prejudicial views.

Tom Godwin, Hope not Hate ambassador since 2014, told JMU Journalism: “I spent a number of years trying to get refugees to tell their stories to try and break down barriers of prejudice.

“Now, I’m more devoted to looking into the root causes of why people have prejudice and how we can actually come together.”

The organisation began in 2004 when the British National Party (BNP) was gaining increasing support in northern towns and it appeared traditional anti-racism tactics were failing.

Members of the group seek to challenge and defeat the politics of hate and extremism within local communities, providing workshops and discussions all over the UK.

YouTube: Sarah Williams, JMU Journalism

Anti-fascist activist, Val Walsh, told JMU Journalism: “I think Liverpool is very different from when I came here from London, with regards to all the equality issues. I think Liverpool was very kind over other cities, whereas now if you look at the size of [gay] pride backed by the city council, it’s unbelievable.

“It’s our responsibility to secure the future of the next generation. If we don’t get active and organise, if we don’t believe in these issues that are being dismantled, then we are going to move back to the 1930s, that’s a serious prospect.”

Mr Godwin held a session to discuss the ideologies behind Brexit and its possible effects on Liverpool and offered training on how to speak to those who he describes as ‘argumentative’.

One participant told the group that white supremacy is still an issue and it is ‘safer’ for those of a white racial background to make a stand and speak up, supporting the anti-racist and anti-fascist issues.

YouTube: JMU Journalism

About Aaliyah Rugg, JMU Journalism