Opinion Former Article

NUT Blair Peach Award 2011

Jason Hill is the winner of the NUT's inaugural Blair Peach Award.

The NUT's Blair Peach Award is named after the past president of East London NUT who died during an anti-racist demonstration in Southall, London on 23 April 1979. On the day of his death, Blair Peach was showing solidarity and marching against the presence of the far right National Front.

Modern day equivalents to the National Front continue to promote racist and fascist views and it is vital to the National Union of Teachers that they do not gain a foothold in British politics. That is why we use our political fund to campaign vigorously against the BNP during election periods and support the work of organisations such as HOPE not hate and Unite Against Fascism.

The Blair Peach Award was set up in March 2010 to recognise members or groups within the NUT who have done exemplary work in schools and Union divisions on equality and diversity issues.

The award, presented on the thirty-second anniversary of Blair Peach's death, goes to Jason Hill, the president of the NUT's Stoke-on-Trent division. The city was a major target for the BNP in the 2010 General Election. Thanks in part to Jason's efforts, which included extensive leafleting, public meetings and activities with other anti-fascist groups, the BNP was beaten into fourth or fifth place in the three Parliamentary constituencies, and lost in all of the City Council wards they contested. Jason also organised a vigil by local anti-fascists against an EDL demonstration in Stoke on 24 January 2010.

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

"There are very many NUT members up and down the country who do exceptional work in promoting equality and diversity. Often their work is little recognised in wider society. It is right and proper, therefore, that the NUT should pay tribute to the vital contribution being made by our members in combating prejudice and discrimination. We are proud of the work our members do and delighted that Jason Hill has won this year's award."

ENDS

For further details contact Caroline Cowie on 0207 80 4706/ 07879480061

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