Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A message from Friends of Hackney Nurseries

Apologies for short notice -- we have only just heard that about these huge cuts to nursery budgets in Hackney, and we want to mobilise people to help try and save them, so we are organising an emergency public meeting THIS THURSDAY 22ND APRIL 6:30 P.M. -- further details below. It is outrageous that Hackney Council/The Learning Trust should think that they can get away with attacking services to women and working-class people in this way, and just before the election.

We have local elections in Hackney, including for our elected mayor, as well as the General Election. Even if you don't live in Hackney, you can bring this up at any hustings meetings you go to, because this is part of a nationwide problem, and the Daycare Trust just published a report saying that childcare issues are almost the most important voting issue for women … now there's a surprise!

If you would like to help, but cannot make this week's meeting, please send us an e-mail --

Thanks, Friends of Hackney Nurseries

(After successfully fighting against huge cuts to council and community nurseries in the 1990s and early 2000s, Friends of Hackney Nurseries is being re-activated to fight against Hackney Council and the Learning Trust's plan to impose cuts of upto 60% in this year's grant to community nurseries, and indeed to fight for even more and better childcare provision locally. JOIN US!)


Media release -- 20th April 2010, for immediate release

From Friends of Hackney Nurseries,

Just a couple of weeks before the election, Hackney Council and the Learning Trust have delivered a devastating blow to Hackney's community nurseries

Despite Diane Abbott telling us in her election address that "Only a Labour government will protect our schools, hospitals and public services", community nurseries have been told in the last few days that, with immediate effect, they will be having cuts in their budget of up to 60%. This means cuts of £40 to £50,000, which will lead to the serious threat of nursery closures, and hardship and distress for parents, workers and children.

Jules Pipe, who is standing for re-election as Labour mayor of Hackney, has been boasting recently that “For the fifth year in a row Hackney’s part of the Council Tax will not increase," and he claims that "Investment in services for Hackney residents is at the heart of spending plans for the coming financial year – at no extra cost to the tax payer."

The people of Hackney would like to know how he can square this with the devastation that is threatened to our nurseries. The withdrawal of public funds will affect all nurseries, and consequently our children's opportunities will be diminished, and nursery staff will have to spend valuable time struggling for their financial survival. Hackney's nurseries have always fought to remain inclusive, affordable, and professional, but it is impossible to achieve that by relying on parents' fees alone to meet all the costs.

Dawn Primarolo, Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families, said recently, "We are spending a billion pounds a year on early years education, and even in these tough times we have said we will sustain this over the next three years, because that's how crucial we think excellent early years provision is for children and families, and for our economy." In which case, we would like to know why our share of the money is not coming to Hackney’s nurseries.

Friends of Hackney Nurseries is organising an emergency meeting to campaign against these cuts. If you want to help us defend good quality, affordable childcare in the borough, for our children now, and for future generations, please come to our meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday 22nd April at The Bath House Children's Community Centre, The Old Warm Baths, 76 Shacklewell Lane, London E8 2EY. You can contact Friends of Hackney Nurseries at

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hackney unites against BNP election threat

Over 50 anti-BNP campaigners from Hackney turned out in support for Hope not Hate on Saturday, travelling to Barking and Dagenham to distribute newspapers warning voters of the threat of the party’s racist beliefs.

The community group Hackney Unites mobilised volunteers to participate in the Day of Action co-ordinated by Hope not Hate throughout the country, in areas targeted by the BNP ahead of the general and council elections on May 6th.

John Page from Hackney Unites said ‘The effect of the BNP and their politics of hatred controlling a multi-million pound budget of a London borough would be poisonous. If we do not stop them in Barking and Dagenham, then we can be sure they will begin to set their sights on creating racial and religious tension here in Hackney’

The worry that BNP power gained in any London borough could spread to Hackney, was echoed by many of those who came to make a stand.

Abby Brown, a writer and Hannah Walker, a social worker, said that the BNP threat is significant to everyone, not just places where candidates are standing.

Carys Afoko, a publicist, feels strongly that the BNP is a problem but says ‘Hackney is an amazing place with a solidarity and strong community action against racism and facism. Our success story here [of campaigning against the BNP] is an example to other boroughs’.

The day was a resounding success. The sunny weather saw over 500 people from all over London manage to distribute 91,000 campaign newspapers in Barking and Dagenham. The large turnout meant newspapers had been distributed to all areas by lunchtime, and that papers were also distributed to extra areas in neighbouring Havering. All the campaigners celebrated the day’s achievements at Hope not Hate’s headquarters and were treated to lunch and a performance from Barking local, Billy Bragg.

Hackney campaigner Denis Lenihan, a trade union worker, said the day was successful in joining all parts of London together and for everyone to see the wider support anti-racism and anti-facism campaigning has.

The BNP are trying to gain control of Barking and Dagenham’s £200 million budget in council elections. The BNP candidate for MP and party leader Nick Griffin is looking to win their first seat in parliament in the borough.

Hope not Hate campaigns against the BNP, with the support of community groups, trade unions, celebrities and the Daily Mirror, campaigning at a localised level to warn people of the racist beliefs of the party.

Written by Lynsey Barber (for

Thursday, April 15, 2010

We need your help, this Saturday to stop the BNP.

We originally booked a coach to take activists to Barking and Dagenham for the mass distribution of Hope not hate materials door to door this coming Saturday. However, as the coach is now full, we have upgraded to a double decker bus. Our colleagues in Barking and Dagenham are on the front-line of the battle to stop the BNP gaining control of the council and its £200 million budget. They deserve all the help we can provide.

I know that Saturdays are a precious day, but please consider giving up this one Saturday to help stop the BNP.

In case you have forgotten, this is what the former leader of the BNP on Stoke Council said about the party recently:

"There's a vein of Holocaust denying within the BNP that I cannot identify myself with” and "They've still got senior members of the BNP who will be candidates in the general election that have Nazi, Nazi-esque sympathies."

That is an insiders view.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, a leading BNP activist in Suffolk plead guilty to possession of an explosive substance without an explosives licence. He faces further charges of having an explosive substance under suspicious circumstances and possessing a prohibited weapon.

This is the real face of the BNP, and in three weeks time they hope to win control of Barking and Dagenham council. We can help to stop them by getting on the bus on Saturday and delivering the Hope not hate tabloid paper to the people of Barking and Dagenham.

Our double decker bust is leaving Mare Street, by Hackney Town Hall, at 9.45am on Saturday 17 April.

Please sign up for the HOPE bus:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

An invitation to the Haggerston Pool Campaign Candidates Breakfast at Laburnum Boat Club on Saturday 24th April

The invitation is to the Haggerston Pool Campaign Candidates Breakfast at Laburnum Boat Club on Saturday 24th April...

This will include:

A very rare opportunity to have a short tour of the long closed Haggerston Pool

A chance to find out from Haggerston Pool Community Trust about the plans that are underway for its re-opening

A chance to meet prospective candidates for the local Ward, Hackney Mayor and Parliament - and let them know what you think about Haggerston Pool and other local issues - in a friendly, informal setting


9.30am - 11am : Tours of Haggerston Pool - tours will take about 15 minutes - numbers of participants at any time are limited, so please come early to ensure a place. Access is pretty restricted due to Health and Safety considerations (in agreement with Hackney Council). Hard hats will be provided - and please wear shoes not sandals.

10am - 12 noon: Coffee and croissant will be available at Laburnum Boat Club in Laburnum Street behind Haggerston Pool from 10am - 12 noon - along with a chance to speak to the candidates - as well as other local community members and activists.

We have invited the parliamentary and mayor candidates as well as all the candidates from Haggerston, Hoxton, Queensbridge and De Beauvoir wards who also have a keen interest in the re-opening of Haggerston Pool, alongside representatives from local TRAs and local community projects.

Letting us know...
We really hope that you are able to come along to this event and look forward to seeing you there - and it would be really helpful if you could let us know so we can judge the numbers for access to the pool and buy the right amount of breakfast...

RSVP to email:

With thanks and best wishes,

Liz Hughes
Secretary, Haggerston Pool Community Trust

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

He fought the Nazis - will you?

Hope Not Hate

Volunteer for Hope Not Hate's Day of Action

When I enlisted in the army 66 years ago, I did it for Britain.

Now I need you to do something for me.

The BNP is trying to strangle our great nation with the same extremist and fascist agenda that Hitler's Nazis threatened us with decades ago. Today, the war isn't being fought on the battlefield - but in the ballot box.

Hope Not Hate is on the front lines of our fight. They're organising to make sure modern-day Nazis aren't elected on 6 May and to preserve the Britain for which I fought so hard. If I had my health I would be out there with them. But I can't - so I'm writing to ask you to volunteer for me.

Please join Hope Not Hate's Day of Action this weekend - the campaign has laid on transport to help you get to the areas in which you are needed the most:
I was barely in my twenties when I went to fight for Britain. I left home with friends - all young lads like myself - and many never returned.

Today, the BNP salute and say "Heil Hitler" - and they support the same all-white Britain. They're proud of what the Nazis did to my friends, and what they did to millions of innocent people throughout Europe.

We didn't fight with our lives on the line years ago just to be right back here today.

We need to do everything we can to stop the BNP from being elected to local councils and to Parliament. Those boys lost to the war would proudly go door-to-door with Hope Not Hate to fight against the fascist BNP today.

There are no tanks and no guns in this fight - but we still need your courage to speak out.

Attend a Hope Not Hate event this weekend and join the fight against fascism:
The elections on 6 May are personal to me - and I hope they will be to you. I'd like to thank you in advance for your service.


Kenneth Riley
Normandy Veteran - Tank Division

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Message from Hope not Hate

The election has been called. The date has been set. We now know two truths: that the local elections and the general election will take place on 6 May and that what we do in the coming weeks will decide if the BNP win or lose.

The stakes could not be higher. In five weeks' time the BNP could take control of its first council and have a hundred new councillors across the country. Nick Griffin could become an MP with a swing of just 3.8%.

So it's time to get to work.

We need you to join us on the front line of this battle - the BNP are throwing money at the electorate in an attempt to secure their victory - you can stop them right here, right now.

We need your help - find your nearest key event and RSVP today to fight back where it matters most:

If we don't fight back right now the BNP will be in control of a council with an annual budget of £200 million a year and even have two MPs. They'll spend this money not on bringing communities together, but on dividing us and spreading fear, hatred and intolerance.

Over the last few months, we've been working hard in all the areas under threat from the BNP but now we are focusing in on those areas that are most at risk. We are making it as easy as possible for our supporters by organising transport into these areas.

We are zeroing in on the BNP heartlands, taking the fight to them. With your support we can defeat them in their strongest areas and stop this fringe minority from taking power and spreading their hate.

This election is what we make of it - please find a local meeting place near you and join us in one of our key target areas to ensure that we beat the BNP on 6 May:

I know with your help we can make a real difference in these targeted areas. Let's get at it.