Blog | Page 170 | Not in Our Town

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December 10, 2008 - 9:00pm
By Jody McDevitt, a resident of Billings, Montana In a small town in Northern Ireland, surrounded by farmland where sheep and cows graze the green hills and valleys, the story of Billings, Montana is gaining an important audience. Northern Ireland was known in the second half of the twentieth century as a place of sectarian conflict, widely called the “Troubles,” in which a Protestant majority with British political allegiances (Loyalists) clashed with a Catholic minority with an Irish cultural identity (Republicans). The peace process which was set in place in 1998 has resulted in greatly reduced violence and significantly increased prosperity for this small country–and for the first time, opened the country to migrant workers from other parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa.
December 10, 2008 - 9:00pm
Troubled by rising conflict and xenophobia, a network of Jewish women from Ukraine is saying “Not In Our Town” to intolerance. Community activists from Project Kesher, a Jewish women’s organization, gathered in Kiev last month to share stories and talk about the impact of an ongoing Not In Our Town initiative in their communities and in the region. Project Kesher’s year-old Not In Our Town program includes leadership training, workshops, exhibitions, posters, educational programs and special creative events to educate the younger generations about tolerance. The program began in May of 2007 at a summit attended by Project Kesher community leaders from the United States and throughout the former Soviet Union. A film crew from The Working Group was in attendance to document the kickoff of Not In Our Town Ukraine.
November 29, 2008 - 9:00pm
In the aftermath of the hate crime murder of Marcelo Lucero, community leaders and members have taken a strong stance against the anti-immigrant atmosphere that led to his death. Leaders from seven civil rights organizations held a news conference on Monday in Washington to denounce not only the killing of Lucero, but also the anti-immigrant actions and behaviors of politicians and the media that they see as conducive to such hate crimes.  
November 12, 2008 - 9:00pm
    Last Tuesday, November 4, 2008, the United States elected its first African-American president: Barack Obama. While many people around the world celebrated the historic moment, other responses took the form of ugly race-related incidents, sending a reminder that this election does not mark the end of the fight against intolerance and hate. TORRANCE, CA: This past Sunday morning, a few Obama supporters in Torrance awoke to an ugly message: their houses, cars, campaign signs, and trees where they had displayed Obama signs and stickers were defaced by hate graffiti. The vandalism included spray-painted swastikas, “Go Back to Africa,” “N****R,” and “Hitler.” Police are investigating the acts of vandalism as hate crimes. One resident, who found four swastikas painted on her car and her “Yes We Did!” banner torn down, said that many of her McCain-supporting neighbors had expressed their concern and support for her, saying, “This shouldn’t happen ever, and it was a hate crime.” Read more:
November 12, 2008 - 9:00pm
In the wake of the killing of Marcello Lucero by a group of local teenagers, the Long Island Council of Churches released a statement condemning the apparent hate crime. In the release, they state: “In assaulting these two unarmed men, this gang of cowards betrayed everything that America stands for and that the good people of Patchogue have worked so hard to build in their community. It is particularly tragic that this occurred just before our nation prepares to celebrate Thanksgiving. Imagine where we would be today if Massasoit and his people had hunted down the Pilgrims.” The Working Group recently spoke to Rev. Thomas Goodhue, executive director of the LICC, about responding to Marcello’s murder. “You need to come together publicly,” says Thomas. “This is a time when you need to cross traditions and barriers yourself. My word back to the political leaders is to urge them to be in a Latino church this weekend.”