After the murder of 75 year-old Mohammed Saleem in Birmingham, people came together for a vigil. Credit: ITV. On June 4, a mosque and Islamic cultural center in Muswell Hill, North London was burned to the ground. The letters ‘EDL’, the acronym of the anti-Muslim group English Defense League, were found graffitied on a nearby wall. Hours after the news broke, EDL members took to Facebook with comments such as “Burn them all”, “love it!!” and “shoulda been full.”
As our country deals with the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon earlier this month, many commentators have been anticipating an anti-Muslim backlash. Some hate crimes motivated by hostility to Muslims have been reported, including the valdalism of an Oklahoma City mosque this weekend. However, ABC News argues that the Muslim community has defended itself against backlash by quickly coming forward to condemn the bombings, and by fighting radicalization internally.
This is the first in a series on hate crime in the UK. This month marks the 20th anniversary of the high-profile murder of Stephen Lawrence, a young black man who was killed by a group of white men chanting racist slogans while he was waiting for the bus in London. Since her son’s murder in 1993, Doreen Lawrence has campaigned for better community policing and increased opportunities for black and minority ethnic youth in Britain. CREDIT: The Guardian At the time of Lawrence’s murder in 1993, hate crime laws did not exist in the UK, but by the time the case was tried in 2011 his kilIlers were given sentence enhancements for racial bias, and religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity had also been recognized as protected categories under British law.
This Saturday as the Ku Klux Klan rallies across town, Memphis, TN residents will gather for a day of events that celebrate the city’s diversity and cultural life.
In early February the Memphis, TN City Council voted to rename three parks whose names are associated with the Confederacy and the Ku Klux Klan. Renaming the parks would be a victory for racial equality nationwide, say local activists. Memphis resident Kennith Van Buren told The Huffington Post. “How can we have unity in the nation when we have one city, right here in Memphis, which fails to be unified?” The Ku Klux Klan protested the University of Mississippi's efforts to ban a racist chant in 2010. Not In Our Town covered this protest and response here. In response to the park renamings, the Ku Klux Klan has applied for a permit to hold a protest in Memphis on March 30. A representative told Action News 5, a local television station, that he was expecting “thousands of Klansmen from the whole United States” to descend on the city in protest.
From Oak Creek Patch: About 100 people attended a candlelight vigil Sunday night at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin for victims of the Newtown school shootings. Credit: Mark Schaaf Oak Creek Stands for NewtownMass shootings are happening all too often across the country, and no one knows this better than the residents of those communities affected. The residents of Oak Creek, WI, understand the pain these shootings cause—just four months ago, a white supremacist shot and killed six people at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. That’s why Oak Creek stood with Newtown, CT, on Sunday, holding a vigil to remember the 26 people killed in a shooting rampage at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday. Read the full story about the vigil on Oak Creek Patch.
Today we uploaded three new files to the Not In Our Town Action Kit: Materials from West Virginia's successful multi-pronged action campaign titled, West Virginia: No Place for Hate. Though this counter-protest occured in 2010, we believe these resources remain relevant and inspiring today. West Virginia leaders came together after Fred Phelps' Westboro hate group announced it would picket Catholic and Jewish institutions in the two towns, a local university, and a mine where more than a dozen miners had recently lost their lives. The Not In Our Town Action Kit is a hidden gem on NIOT.org, compiling resources from communities standing up to hate and intolerance. In addition to these materials from West Virginia, you will find:
The hate group known as the Westboro Baptist Church has put Olympia High School on its picketing schedule, arriving tomorrow morning with its messages of hate. When OHS Principal Matt Grant received the news, he began conversations with the school district and police. He met with students that wanted to craft a non-confrontational response. He also reached out to his colleagues through Not In Our School, receiving support and advice from successful counter-action organizers, such as educator Daisy Renazco, who supported her students when the WBC visited Gunn High School several years ago. The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), a Topeka, KS-based hate group known for their anti-gay ideologies, begin their protests at the state capitol today, which is the deadline for opponents of marriage equality to turn in the signatures needed to put Washington’s marriage equality law up for a vote. Olympia Unity in the Community organizes a community response.