Obama's web team in UK racism fight

The web strategists behind Barack Obama's successful presidential campaign are throwing their weight behind a UK campaign to counter racism and fascism.

Obama: at his history-making inauguration
Obama: at his history-making inauguration

Blue State Digital (BSD) will work with the Hope Not Hate campaign to build up grassroots support over the internet.

In particular, it is attempting to stop the BNP winning a seat in the European election and has already invited thousands of people to join the campaign online.

Hope Not Hate was founded by Searchlight, the anti-British National Party organisation.

BSD, which has offices in New York, Washington and Boston, opened a London office in December 2008.

London director Matthew McGregor said: ‘BSD will be working closely with Searchlight, developing messaging, email and fundraising campaigns to help supporters org­anise and mobilise – and then fight back against the BNP’s message of racism, intolerance and hate.’

Mark Hanson, senior consultant at Staniforth and Lab­our Party strategist, said: ‘We are seeing a lot of groups trying or claiming to adopt Obama techniques but I am impressed by Hope Not Hate. It has grasped that building support is about reaching people who have a network of friends who will act if asked to.

‘It is then crafting the app­eal and transmitting the req­uest in a powerful way as opposed to getting hold of a huge email list and broadcasting at them. BSD mastered that art in the US election and the Hope Not Hate appeal is good in that it is a simple ask and a very powerful one.’

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