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MP Luciana Berger was recognised at the No2H8 Crime Awards for her fight against prejudice by being presented with the Jo Cox Award at the ceremony in September 2018. Berger stated that she felt mixed emotions about the honour: while happy to receive it, the fact it only exists due to the tragic death of Jo Cox in 2016, Berger’s friend and colleague, added a layer of poignancy to the moment. You can read more about Jo Cox in the PDF attachment to this post.

The No2H8 Crime Awards were founded by Fiyaz Mughal OBE, who commented on Berger’s history as an active campaigner against hate dating back to her university days.

Fighting Anti-Semitism

Luciana Berger has been a prominent anti-Semitism campaigner throughout her life and career. Richard Benson, the Chair of the No2H8 Crime Awards, stated that Berger had been attacked publicly over the fact that she is Jewish and, rather than let that happen, has spoken out vociferously time and again and stood up to those that practice intolerance, hatred and prejudice. Benson went on to call Berger a “hero against hate” for her actions. Berger herself talked about the
almost constant abuse she has suffered since age 19 for her beliefs, abuse which escalated once she entered the limelight as a Member of Parliament.

Online abuse has been particularly prevalent, with Berger once receiving upwards of 2,500 hate-related tweets in just one day. She also received personal death threats following the murder of colleague Jo Cox. Berger chose to fight rather than ignore the hate or step back, resulting in five internet trolls being prosecuted to date. Earlier in the year, the MP received a round of applause in the House of Commons after speaking out about the amount and depth of online abuse she has been subjected to since her teens. This abuse comes from both the right and the left and even from within her own party.

In the short video attachment, you can learn more about the Jo Cox Women in Leadership Programme.

Upstanders not Bystanders

The theme of the 2018 No2H8 Crime Awards was ‘Upstanders and Not Bystanders’, celebrating those individuals and organisations that took the time to stand up in public and decry hate speech and crimes. More than 350 people gathered for the event, which runs annually and was in its third year in 2018. These people included numerous anti-hate campaigners from all walks of life, including senior politicians, who pledged to work to drive hate crime from Britain in all its forms. Luciana Berger commented on her status as upstander not bystander, saying that she would not wish to be seen as someone who would stand by and that she and everyone else at the awards had a responsibility to encourage others to stand up to hate as well.

The No2H8 Crime Awards

There was a total of 13 individual awards presented at the 2018 No2H8 Crime Awards, of which the Jewish News has been a media partner from the beginning. Awards included Lifetime Achievement and Outstanding Contribution, as well as special awards for community volunteers, young people and law enforcement officers, among others. Founder of the awards Fiyaz Mughal has also established several other social enterprises focused on tackling hate issues, including anti-Muslim reporting service Tell MAMA and Faith Matters. Other politicians who received nominations included Anas Sarwar, Paula Sherriff and Stella Creasy.

In the infographic attachment there are details of the aims and objectives of the Jo Cox Foundation.