A Year Ago We Launched Our Fight Hate With Rights Crowdfunder. Here’s Why The Campaign Is More Important Than Ever
Opinion

A Year Ago We Launched Our Fight Hate With Rights Crowdfunder. Here’s Why The Campaign Is More Important Than Ever

By Rahul Verma, News Editor 29 Aug 2018
Justice

A year ago RightsInfo launched a crowdfunder to create a film to counter the rise of extremism and hate. However, the message of human rights is needed now more than ever.

We conceived #FightHateWithRights, a series of short films interviewing survivors of genocide, in response to the rise of extremism, such as the fascist, far right rally in Charlottesville, America, and fascist marches in cities across England, last August.

#FightHateWithRights is More Relevant than Ever

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/08/Charlottesville_%27Unite_the_Right%27_Rally_%2835780274914%29_crop.jpgA far right rally in Charlottesville, USA in August 2017 is one of the reasons Rights Info launched a crowdfunder for its #FightHateWithRights campaign Credit: Anthony Crider Wikipedia Commons

Unfortunately #FightHateWithRights is more relevant than ever because far right extremism shows no sign of receding and, if anything, is on the rise.

Earlier this month, the former head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Unit Mark Rowley told Newsnight: “For the first time since the Second World War we have a domestic terrorist group, it’s rightwing, it’s neo-Nazi, it’s proudly white supremacist, portraying a violent and wicked ideology.”

We have a domestic terrorist group, it’s rightwing, it’s neo-Nazi, it’s proudly white supremacist

Mark Rowley, former head of Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Unit

And we’re not alone our struggle. Just this week, the city of Chemnitz in the east of Germany erupted in violence, with mobs of far right extremists hunting ‘foreigners’ and reports of extremists openly using Hitler salutes.

The Warning Signs

Video Credit: RightsInfo

Charlottesville, neo-Nazi terrorism in Britain, and the violence in Chemnitz are just a handful of the clear warning signs pointing to the rise of extremism.

And, as our #FightHateWithRights campaign highlights, standing up for fundamental human rights is a vital way of countering hateful, de-humanising ideologies.

Small cuts to liberty lead to dehumanisation and worse.

Adam Wagner

Each of the survivors we interviewed point to the erosion of liberties and freedoms as a precursor to genocide, with RightsInfo founder Adam Wagner explaining that the road “is paved with the denial of rights”.

‘Not So Much Ignored As Denied’

Video Credit: RightsInfo

Speaking to RightsInfo at the time. Holocaust survivor Ruth Barnett explained: “I don’t think the warning signs were much ignored as denied.

“It simply wasn’t happening. It’s nothing to do with me. I’m only one person, I can’t do anything about it anyway. I think that was probably the attitude of most people and still is today.”

I think that was probably the attitude of most people and still is today.

Ruth Barnett

Similarly, Rwandan Eric Murangwa, who only survived death at the hands of a Hutu mob because he was a renowned footballer, added that he could never have foreseen “it was going to be as horrible as it turned out to be.”

‘We Keep Ignoring Lessons At Our Own Peril’

Video Credit: RightsInfo

However, speaking less than a year ago in our final film, all three of the survivors we spoke to warned that lessons had not been learned.

Kemal Pervanic, a survivor of the Bosnian genocide, explained: “We keep ignoring lessons at our own peril.”

“Certainly the sessions of the Holocaust have not been learnt,” Ruth finishes. “The fundamental lesson that all human beings are equal as human beings, we’re a long way from accepting that.”

‘The Worst Response To Intolerance Is Indifferance’

Video Credit: RightsInfo

You can find the #FightHateWithRights videos in one handy place here, as well as articles and analysis outlining how standing up for human rights is vital in preventing the rise of extremism and genocide.

Featured Image: RightsInfo

About The Author

Rahul Verma News Editor

Rahul is Rights Info's News and Social Media Editor. He is an experienced reporter and editor with a passion for social justice and equality. To email Rahul, drop him a line.

Rahul is Rights Info's News and Social Media Editor. He is an experienced reporter and editor with a passion for social justice and equality. To email Rahul, drop him a line.