Prevent Watch

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AUDIT REVEALS THE U.S. IS POURING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO CVE INTERNATIONALLY

In 2015, the Obama administration hosted its first Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Summit, which brought together local, federal, and international leaders to discuss “concrete steps” to take to “develop community-oriented approaches to counter hateful extremist ideologies that radicalize, recruit or incite to violence.” Domestically, this summit resulted in the establishment of new roles in the government (full-time CVE coordinator, CVE task force, etc.) along with millions of dollars earmarked in CVE grants. For example, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provided $10 million in federal grants for Fiscal Year 2016 to support “programs, projects, and activities that prevent recruitment or radicalization to violence by interrupting those efforts, building community-level resilience to them, and identifying the early signs of radicalization to violence and providing appropriate interventions through civic organizations, law enforcement or other entities.” Although purportedly designed in the interests of national security, CVE programs threaten the civil rights of U.S. […]

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Bradford festival boycott over counter-extremism funding

Many writers and activists have withdrawn from the Bradford literature festival (BLF), after it was revealed that the festival received funding from a form of the Government’s Counter-Extremism Strategy, Building a Stronger Britain Together (BSTB). BSTB is a Government programme that provides “funding and support for groups involved in counter-extremism projects in their communities”. [1] Part of the 2015 Counter-Extremism Strategy, it operates alongside the PREVENT strategy and funds over 230 groups, as specified on the Government website. [2] [3] It is the first time that the festival has accepted the funding after its establishment in 2014. Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, a spoken word artist more publicly known as “thebrownhijabi”, was the first to withdraw from the ten-day festival. She announced her withdrawal on Wednesday through a statement on social media. Read more

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Six pull out of Bradford festival over counter-extremism funding

Six writers and activists have pulled out of the Bradford literature festival (BLF) in protest after it emerged it received funding from a government counter-extremism programme. The group withdrew from planned appearances after learning that the 10-day event, which was founded in 2014, has accepted money provided as part of the Home Office’s counter-extremism strategy for the first time. The Home Office programme, Building a Stronger Britain Together (BSBT), provides “funding and support for groups involved in counter-extremism projects in their communities”. Separate to the counter-terrorism Prevent strategy, BSBT is part of the 2015 counter-extremism strategy and funds more than 230 groups. Read more

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Bradford Literature Festival withdrawals: Prioritising principles over promotion

Within the past day, a number of scheduled participants for the Bradford Literature Festival have announced their withdrawal from the event, on account of the Festival’s acceptance of counter-extremism funding. These participants include poet Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, organiser Sahar Al Faifi, ex-NUS President Malia Bouattia, activist Lola Olufemi, authors Waithera Sebatindira and Hussein Kesvani – and all should be rightfully applauded for their principled stances. The Bradford Literature Festival had accepted funding from the Building a Stronger Britain Together (BSBT) fund, which comes under the 2015 Counter Extremism Strategy. The list of fundees of the BSBT strategy is publicly available on the Home Office website, and spans Muslim organisations as well as sports teams, cultural organisations, social enterprises and supposedly ‘antiracist’ groups such as Hope not Hate, Faith Matters and Show Racism the Red Card. Read more

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Tower Hamlets Council rejects bid to divert an extra £300k into anti-extremism programmes

At a full council meeting, Liberal Democrat Rabina Khan, supported by two Conservatives members, tabled a budget amendment that would see cash taken from the communications budget and given to the Prevention of Violent Extremism Family Support Team. The motion was submitted last minute after the publicity surrounding IS teenager Shamima Bergum – one of three schoolgirls from Bethnal Green who left to join the terrorist group in Syria in 2015. Now aged 19 and with a newborn son, she was found in an Syrian refugee camp by the Times last week after reportedly leaving Baghuz. Read more

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Over £5 million awarded to community groups to fight extremism

Community organisations across the UK will receive more than £5.3 million for projects countering extremist views and to build resilience within communities, it has been announced. Minister for Countering-Extremism Baroness Williams awarded the funds as part of the Building a Stronger Britain Together programme, which aims to protect communities and empower them to challenge extremism. It funds more than 100 groups with grants of up to £200,000 and is estimated to reach around 175,000 people across the UK. Read more

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Leeds asks Home Office for funds to tackle extremism

Vital Projects to ward vulnerable Leeds youngsters away from the threat of radicalisation could gain hundreds of thousands of pounds in Government funding. Leeds City Council has named 10 organisations it wants to receive Home Office support to build critical thinking skills and give young people “an ability to refute extremist messages and ideology” during 2018-19, according to a report. Read more

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LA mayor turns down $425K in federal funding to counter violent extremism after opposition from civil rights groups stalls process

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office has turned down a $425,000 federal grant to counter violent extremism after a wave of opposition from civil rights organizations, which said the program would target and vilify Muslims. Garcetti’s office, which was to administer the grant after securing City Council approval, told the Department of Homeland Security Tuesday Aug. 14 that it will not accept the funding, said Alex Comisar, spokesman for the mayor. Read more