Brexit: Organising for Dangerous Times

“I am truly worried about our country. We are living in dangerous times.” So says Nick Lowles of Hope not Hate as reports arrive of a rise in racist and xenophic attacks across the country in the wake of last Thursday’s Brexit vote.

“The decision to leave the EU has been quickly followed by a wave of racist and xenophobic attacks against Eastern Europeans and others across the country,” writes Lowles in his latest plea to members.

HnH Brexit pic“There is massive economic uncertainty about our future and the two main political parties look set for months of bitter infighting over the future leadership of their respective parties. A November General Election seems certain.

“In fact, the only political leader happy is UKIP’s Nigel Farage.

“In these worrying times, we need HOPE not hate more than ever. We need a message of HOPE to challenge the narrative of fear and hate and we need an organisation that is capable of bringing our communities together.”

“Over the next few weeks, HOPE not hate will:

  • Hold over 100 meetings across the country to develop plans to bring communities together around the #MoreInCommon theme
  • Build solidarity with communities under attack and call on the authorities to do more to promote them and demand that EU migrants have a right to stay in this country
  • Begin an initiative to engage with those working class communities that voted heavily for Brexit
  • Prepare for a snap General Election to ensure that anti-immigrant and racist candidates are defeated.

“With the political centre in disarray and the threat from Nigel Farage’s UKIP growing by the day, the work of HOPE not hate is needed more than ever.”

To build its campaign, Hope not Hate needs support and is calling for people to get involved. Click here to sign up.

Compass is also calling for support for its post-Brexit campaign for a new kind of politics.

Under the heading ‘Time to start organising’, Compass organisers write:

“This is a moment of great threat for our country and all of us living here. It is the job of progressives to come together and turn this threat into an opportunity; to figure out what we want our country to be and how we can get there.

“We can see more than ever that our political system is badly broken, and over the last few years the Compass network with others across the UK have been thinking long and hard about how we might fix it.

“More than ever, now is the time we need to get together and start to do it. We need a new electoral system and we need to devolve power. No one yet knows what this will look like. In the wake of Brexit, we need to build our links with progressive Europeans, and make sure we are acting in solidarity.

“And if one thing has become clear in the days since the vote, it is that more than anything we need an alliance of people, parties and social movements to halt this terrible shift to the right, and start to strategically build alternatives. But we can’t do it alone – we are asking Compass supporters old and new to step in at this crucial time and donate to our post-Brexit campaign.

“In the weeks and months ahead, Compass plans to host some of these conversations. We will start to build spaces to join together the disparate elements of the progressive left, in all parties and none, who want a much more equal, democratic and sustainable society.

“The old tropes and ways of doing politics are showing themselves to be over; it is time for something new. And there are glimmers of hope in other places of new forms of democracy – we see it most clearly in places like Barcelona where citizens platforms meet political power, now we must explore new forms of democratic political power here in the UK.

“In response to the current crisis, Compass will be launching a series of events on the idea of a progressive alliance with politicians, activists and organisers from across the spectrum who feel the scale of the crisis and want to respond accordingly. We need your support to put on events that will take place across the UK and will explore questions like:

  • What could a progressive alliance look like?
  • How possible is it?
  • What can we do to start to make it feasible?
  • How do we build popular engagement and support for an alliance of progressives?
  • How can we organise locally to support a national alliance?

“In the run up to an election that could be only months away, it feels like these conversations are urgent. Hopefully, the first step will be an event in the next week or two. We would like to host an open discussion with leading progressive politicians on the idea and practicalities of a progressive alliance.

“This first event would be held in London and live streamed around the country through events run simultaneously by Compass local groups and other interested groups and organisations. We will simultaneously host online conversations to ensure that as many voices as possible can participate.”

Compass need to raise £10,000 for their campaign and are asking supporters to donate here or send cheques to Compass, Impact Hub Islington 5 Torrens St London EC1V 1NQ.

“As we on the left analyse what went wrong and why, UKIP – whose initial mission has been fulfilled – will be working out how to morph into a populist workers party of the right so that between them and the Tories, they can annihilate progressive forces for good; and progressives need to respond to this. Compass believes that only a progressive alliance of parties can break the logjam of our political freedom and start the process of building something new.”