ƒmWe, the undersigned, believe that giving uncritical coverage of fascists by the BBC and other media outlets is wrong, dangerous and diminishes political debate in Britain. We call on the BBC, as a key democratic institution, to refuse to allow violent political views to be broadcast unchallenged.

The BBC and other national broadcasters and press publications have to reflect seriously upon their responsibilities particularly at this time. Is it compatible with democracy for news editors to remain neutral on giving racist agitators a platform to justify their political views to millions of people? Should they form no opinion on allowing their outlets to act as a recruiting sergeant for violent racists?

BBC News – Manchester African-Caribbean community centre closed after racist threat

We accept that the BBC should not be “banning” particular views from being aired. We want racist and other views based on hatred to be consistently challenged and countered whenever they are aired. Choosing to give fascists a platform is not a neutral act, each time a fascist is allowed to speak without challenge, racists are emboldened to carry out their violent agenda. We have seen this in West London and Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire and across the UK in recent days.

The BBC recognises that DAESH or Al-Qaeda because of their violent beliefs and means should not be allowed to portray their arguments without critical comment. This principle should be consistently applied to fascists. We believe that racism is not a legitimate part of democratic debate. Those who organise to destroy the lives of people of colour and migrants cannot be quietly listened to.  We all have a responsibility to stop racists and we believe as a democratic society, we cannot allow those who despise these values to use the BBC as a rallying cry.

Freedom of speech means allowing individuals to express themselves. Freedom of speech does not mean all views are equally valid, some views are inherently anti-democratic and broadcasters have an important responsibility to point this out.

We cannot stand aside while racists use our democratic institutions to victimise and terrorise migrant communities and British people of all backgrounds.

The names below were collected in just under 72 hours last week, please add your name to the comments below if you agree with the open letter and wish to make your voice heard to the BBC

25.07.16 Update: The BBC replied to the open letter, see screenshot below or link here

Samantha Asumadu

Justin Baidoo

Jude Wanga

Petra Davis

Rupinder Kaur

Kiri Kankhwende

Chimene Suleyman

Rohail Ahmad

Zoe Samudzi

Minna Salami

Joy Goh-Mah

Zoe Stavri

Jamal Mehmood

Onyeka Igwe

Sunny Singh

Tina Gharavi

London Campaign against Police and State Violence

Pragna Patel Director of Southall Black Sisters

Claire Heuchan

Adam Elliott-Cooper

Owen Hatherley

Lucy Michael

Adunni Adams

Judith Amanthis

Remi Joseph-Salisbury

Malcolm Richards

Imran Arif

Marie Thompson

Kadra Abdinasir

Lacara Barnes-Rowe

Diane Leedham

Dawn Foster

Lawrence Davies

Bridget Byrne

Huw Lemmey

James Bu

Jay Springett

Jules Holroyd

Daniel Trilling

Liz Harvey Kattou

Hilary Aked

Robert Beckford

Sarah Reed

Susie Symes

Yasminah Beebeejaun

Rebecca Draper

Robert Armen Kazandjian

Anna Coatman

Isabel Soto

Grace Mansah-Owusu

Martyn Reed

Ada Mau

Amirah Iqbal

Ronald Kuykendall

Lisa Newton

Alex Denney

Hannah Walker

Eric Olund

Lauren Simpson

Philip Moore

Julia Schönheit

Joseph Guthrie

Michael Washington

Jemma Desai

Ornette D Clennon

Amrit Wilson

Sophie Mayer

Samm Haillay

Shane Thomas

Jess Chandler

Kesiena Boom

Zita Holbourne

Black Activists Rising Against cuts, BARAC UK

Ashley Clark

Victoria Redclift

David Osa Amadasun

Isabel Stevens

Kavita Bhanot

Gavin McGregor

Jacqui Davies

Melanie Richter-Montpetit

Radha Patel

Sarah Nwafor

Joseph Brooks

Sally Mumby-Croft

Derek Oakley

David Bell

Marika Roset

William Twyman

Marie Thompson

Katy Collins

Brenna Bhandar

Alberto Toscano

Nottingham Solidarity Federation

Dezzie Dimbitsara

GJagdish Patel

The Monitoring Group

Maurice Mcleod

Daniel York

Samira Sawlan

Line Langebek

Sujata Aurora

Maya Goodfellow

Elhum Shakerifar

Llion robertse

Manish Agarwal

Sarah Wishart

Sarah Robinson

Joseph Middleton-Welling

Jane Clifford

Philip Unciano

Abdul-Azim Ahmed

Isobel Bowditch

Nicholas Middleton

Dr Shazad Amin, MEND

Guilaine Kinouani

Preti Taneja

Maria Lehmden

Kandace Chimbiri

Kathryn Medien

Stephanie Phillips

Nazmia Jamal

Geraldine Lee-Treweek

Huma Munshi

Ania Ostrowska

Liz Trafford-Owen

Nic Wistreich

Gavin Booth

Kalpana Wilson

Agata Pyzik

Siana Bangura & Team No Fly on the WALL

Dhanveer Singh Brar

Matthew Kieran

Daniel O’Rourke

Marika Sherwood

Nazia Mirza

Ben Crowe

Howell Williams

Patrick McManus

Daniel Mackenzie

Rochelle Rowe

Thomas Barlow

Kam Sandhu

Hope Dickson Leach

Lydia Crudge

Holly Tarquini

Joe Glenton

Morgan Quaintance

Sarah Hurson

Elaine Swan

Shemi Leira

Mark Boothroyd

Sarah Pett

Frances Grahl

David Wearing

Andrew Leedham

Musab Younis

Nick Bradshaw

Alex Ramon

Niall Martin

John Faulkner

Parvathi Raman

Ashley Thompson

Navtej Purewa

Elisa Van Waeyenbergel

Emily Skye

Jendella Benson

Kate Oakley

Sidra Foster

Hicham Yezza

Brianna Walker

Kate Harrison

Muneeza Inam

Marlene Ellis

Isaac Eloi

Tony Warner

Karen Wilkes

Feyzi Ismail

Lars Peter Laamann (SOAS, University of London)

Elaheh Rostami-Povey

Diane Middleton

Caroline Leonard

Vera Chok

Merle Cady

Gargi Bhattacharyya

Lisa Palmer

Golnaz Hossieni

Alessandra Mezzadri

Daniel Allington

Miranda Brawn

Arzu Merali

Eulette Ewart

 

 

 

286 thoughts on “Open Letter: The BBC must stop uncritical coverage of fascists

  1. I fully agree – I was shocked by the same BBC programme and complained to the BBC for the first time ever (PS: no response yet).

    Like

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