September 19, 2017

Welcome to HOPE not hate

By Nick Lowles, Founder of HOPE not hate

HOPE not hate is a unique type of anti-fascist and anti-extremist organization.

For the past 14 years, we’ve been leading the fight against fascists and extremists internationally – using a potent blend of research, undercover operatives and public engagement to close down the space white supremacists and racists operate in.

We deconstruct extremist organizations from the inside out.

We are driven by data so we know what we need to do and who we need to speak to.

We help build communities that are inclusive, celebrate shared identities and are resilient to hate.

In the UK, we have been instrumental in the political defeat of several far-fight political parties over in the UK, in the banning of a dangerous neo-nazi movement by the British government, and recently led the campaign to prevent UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader, Nigel Farage – a close friend of Donald Trump and prominent Fox News contributor – from being elected to the British parliament. More recently, we helped defeat a pan-European attempt by far-right activists to harass humanitarian rescue ships in the Mediterranean.

Our multi-disciplinary approach makes us the most effective anti-extremist international organization out there.

And now we are coming to the US.

We are coming to the United States because we have to. In our increasingly interconnected world, what happens here impacts on Europe. What happens in Europe has an impact on what happens in the United States.

Last year Britain voted to leave the European Union (commonly known as Brexit). This would not have been possible without the intervention of Breitbart and Cambridge Analytica. Likewise, Brexit gave Donald Trump a huge boast and convinced him and his supporters that anything was possible.

One of the main protagonists behind the Hillary Clinton conspiracy stories was Paul Joseph Watson, a 32-year-old man who lives in a flat in London. More recently, the ship charted by far right activists from across Europe in the Mediterranean was funded primarily by Americans.

It is simply no longer possible to fight hate in one country. Just as the far right have gone international, so must we.

By setting up in the US, we will be launching an international operation to monitor and combat racists and nazis wherever we find them.

But this is just part of what we do.

HOPE not hate specializes in engaging with hard to reach communities and around the issues some prefer not to address. In the UK, this has meant engaging in the communities that have the most negative attitudes towards immigration, multiculturalism and Islam.

We work at a community level, where we have pioneered techniques to engage divided neighborhoods, develop shared identities and use Socratic questioning and empathetic listening to bridge divides.

Our approach is to understand the anxieties of people and communities and then find ways to overcome negative and prejudices. We win trust of people by treating them with respect and understanding, displaying fairness and by attempting to address real areas of concern whilst simultaneously working against hate groups.

By emphasizing what we have common and through that by building shared identities, we hope to isolate extremists and build community resilience against hate.

Much of our work is about identifying and empowering community figures so they are better equipped to tackle fear and hatred themselves. We certainly wouldn’t profess to have all the answers, but our approach has proved successful in the UK and so – through seeking partnerships with local groups at a community and state level – we hope to implement some of these approaches in the US.

We are launching HOPE not hate in the US because we believe that we can make a difference. Our lead story – the year-long infiltration of the Alt Right by one of our supporters – is reflective of our approach. But over the coming weeks and months we will be rolling out other elements of our work.

So, if you want to effectively oppose hate, in the communities and by undermining hate groups, then please sign up to get involved. Together, we CAN make a difference and ensure HOPE wins out over hate.