As the ERW (Extreme Right wing) grows online and off, there is a critical need to respond to reduce the appeal of them and keep our communities safe, but how can we do this?
To start, we need educated people on the ground, who understand what extremism is, how it operates, recruits, and seeks to divide communities. To do this we recommend that people receive specialist training from people like our partners Small Steps. They provide training explaining not just what the ERW is & operates, but signs to look out for and alternatives to ERW messaging. For more details, please email – email@example.com, as instructed.
Once people have been trained locally, this can develop into a supportive network, as people attending training are encouraged to network, as you never know when you may need support & training attendees can also join the Support Hub as instructed in their training. Here training attendees can get access to – films, podcasts, links, mentor support items and keep updated.
Never alone, locally engaged people can support each other. Everything from letting others know about local ERW activity like a demonstration or locally placed stickers so people can be on the lookout so the local council can be notified and get the offending items removed.
Additionally, training attendees can also reach out – to Small Steps for training or Exit Hate for advice as you may become aware of someone supportive of extremism or a family who has a loved one involved and need support. Here we would also recommend that you have a look at ACT Early for advice - https://actearly.uk and of course there is always your local Prevent team, simply search – Prevent and your local town/city and something should come up.
Believing Prevention should start before the extremist activity starts, we recommend people get trained as soon as they can, so if someone does make some pro-extremist comments or someone asks you for support, it isn’t a shock and you know why people can get involved, remembering that in many cases, people are Victims NOT Monsters from your training.
Understanding that people succumb to extremist messaging for many reasons, when people are highlighted, what we need is the creation of Safe Spaces, so their opinions are listened to, heard and alternatives can be given, showing how ALL extremism is wrong and often solves nothing, but makes things worse, as extremist involvement results in victims being harmed, those involved harmed, their families and the community this activity takes place in as well.
There are no winners when extremism rears its ugly head, with people being used and our communities being divided.
To challenge and reduce extremism, we need upskilled, caring local people who are empowered to listen, without judgement who can find out why someone has become supportive of extremism and supported to see how any involvement harms not just the victims of extremism, but those involved and their families and this is why Exit Hate exists, to offer FREE, non-judgemental support to people, most would walk away from.
By passing on our lived experiences, we can show how people can change, but they need help. Everyone from loving family members who don’t understand what is happening, but can show they love and care for the person, to their friends, who while not supportive of the person's extremist views, know if they leave them, this will open up the door, for more extremist manipulation and with it, the person involved will become more engrossed, as the extremists seek to bring people to them and away from their family and friends.
Additionally, local professionals might see people showing traits of support for the ERW from someone and instead of not knowing what to do, they know the best thing to do is engage, provide a safe space, listen and then offer alternative viewpoints.
Without such critical support from people the case knows, the door can never properly be opened to people like Exit Hate, who can provide unique support, because they have been there and lived this life, so mentors understand, will never judge and can talk about how change is possible, and people can get a better life away from hate and extremism.
Never easy, extremism can be challenged and reduced.
Instead of counter-demonstrations which can lead to confrontation, we believe the best way to reduce extremism, is to reduce the need for it i.e., by having difficult conversations and listening to why people are angry, feel voiceless and ignored. By doing this people won't have to reach out to extremists in the first place, instead, they can be shown yes there are issues which need looking at, but the best way to do this is together, where people can be listened to and solutions to issues sought.
Yes, we may not agree on things and yes there may be some heated discussion, but this is much better than us losing thousands of people to extremists, who don’t care and will only use people.
Moving forward, we need mutual respect for all, giving people places to talk where there is no judgement or fear of reprisals. Via education, extremism can be reduced, but it will take time and needs dedicated people who understand how people become involved and see The Individual, Not The Extremist.
If you need training on what the ERW (Extreme Right Wing) is and how to reduce please contact – firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
If need advice or just fancy a chat about the ERW, because you are supportive and want to leave or know someone involved and need support then please reach out to Exit Hate at – email@example.com or call 0800 999 1945.
Alternatively, if you want to request support, then please complete Exit Hate’s Support Request Form at – https://forms.gle/G26c2c15HoM5G4D4A
Once received, this will be reviewed, and an assessment call will be arranged. From this people requesting support may receive a number of support options including mentoring support.