Our union is at the forefront of fighting the far right

Our union has always been at the forefront of fighting the hatred of the far right in our communities – that’s why we’re proud supporters of HOPE not hate. So I’m delighted to have become a patron of the HOPE education action fund.

Taking the fight against that hate into our schools is vital. Working with young people to challenge far-right radicalisation is more important than ever, because we know they are being targeted by far right groups.

Young people are being exposed to the bile and toxic lies of the fascists more than ever, but these days their approach is more insidious and subtle. Social media is a force for good but it can also be a force for evil. Stopping them in their tracks is all of our responsibilities.

Our union doesn’t just believe in the power of education, many of our members are a key part of our education service. UNISON school staff members provide pastoral care and keep schools safe, well run and accessible to all young people.

The work HOPE not hate will do in schools supports this. They will talk to young people about empathising with others, challenging prejudice and about being an upstander rather than a bystander.

The HOPE education fund provides resources and materials for school on far right radicalisation. This includes a ‘Signs of Hate’ guide to help teachers and schools keep up to date with the way the far right are operating.

I’ve always pledged to use UNISON’s reach and power to stop the far-right and challenge them wherever they try to recruit and organise. We can never be complacent or assume the job’s been done. The fight against fascism and racism and for justice and equality is at the heart of this union.

You can become a member of the HOPE education fund too – find out more about how you can support the fight against the far-right.