[NetBehaviour] Finsbury Park attacks..

Ann Light ann.light at gmail.com
Mon Jun 19 18:34:20 CEST 2017

Hi Michael,

I hadn't heard of the organisation SUTR, but I've now joined... Thanks for
your bit in making this country decent - your work in Harlow sounds really

Thanks Furtherfield for enduring and caring and being a focus for so much
good work and many good people.

In sorrow,

On Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 5:19 PM, Michael Szpakowski <m at michaelszpakowski.org
> wrote:

> There clearly has been a rise in Islamophobia recently , fuelled in no
> small measure by the government's attempt to scapegoat all Muslims with the
> despicable Prevent strategy. We also saw the beginning of an attempt by May
> to ratchet this up with her 'Enough is enough' speech towards the end of
> the election campaign.
> I wanted to say, though, that it's important not to sink into despair.
> I've been very active around Stand up to Racism over the last year and
> I've experience some interesting and often counter intuitive things.
> When Arek Jozwik was killed in Harlow last year the vigil we organised a
> couple of nights after was attended by significant numbers of the white
> working class poor who live in the area. These will statistically have been
> 'leave' voters...
> We've campaigned pretty much every week since then, largely around
> opposition to racism ,in the town centre on Saturday mornings. It was
> certainly not always easy going but there was always a minority of people
> willing to engage. ( especially the young, in a prefiguring of the huge pro
> Corbyn upswell)
> We also held a 60 strong rally against racism in early March -again very
> much dominated by the under twenties.
> What changed the atmosphere completely was the Labour manifesto - all of a
> sudden people had hope, focussed on improving the lives of all not
> 'competing for resources' ( a myth of course - stop spending millions on
> Trident, on wars of intervention and tax the rich and resources would be no
> problem, but a potent myth especially in the absence of hope that things
> might change). Even after the two horrendous attacks in Manchester then
> London this enthusiasm and this change of atmosphere was maintained -we
> heard very  little overt racism and experienced next to no hostility.
> This has continued since the election with the humiliation of both May and
> UKIP - what was interesting last week though was that although the racists
> were in a small minority they were coming out with all sorts of filth
> around Grenfell ( but once again large numbers of people were signing the
> May must go, people not profit, working class lives matter ,petition ).
> In short I'd put forward three propositions.
> (1) Racism  and Islamophobia are clearly a major problem and  one
> encouraged by this weak and nasty government
> (2) We are not, though, powerless bystanders -whether it's directly
> combatting the racists through SUTR or offering hope through agitating for
> this government to go and for us to have the very real chance of one
> committed to a real improvement in the lives of ordinary people there is
> lots of very concrete, very practical work to do.
> (3) Although there will be some ways in which artists can bring their
> specific talents to bear in this ( I have got very good for example at
> making large banners each week:
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/szpako/35212704985/
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/szpako/34239170983/
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/szpako/34159735663/
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/szpako/34929717326/
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/szpako/34062471264/
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/szpako/34223234740/
>  )
> we should participate along with as many and diverse people as we can in
> organising, protesting, demonstrating... This is not a time for any sort of
> guild mentality but for getting stuck in.
> I particular urge anyone in the UK not a member of Stand Up To Racism to
> join today.
> http://www.standuptoracism.org.uk/
> best wishes to all
> Michael
> _______________________________________________
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> NetBehaviour at netbehaviour.org
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