Mosque to be built in Hereford

Muslims in Herefordshire are firmly on the way to building the county’s first mosque.

The Herefordshire Muslim Society has been renting the Kindle Centre for prayer for a number of years but feels it is outgrowing the space and needs a centre of its own.

The society has so far raised around £40,000 through individual donations. They aim to register as a charity and to find a suitable location in the centre of Hereford.

Despite the fact that the society has been getting on with its business peacefully for years, this move will be controversial.

So let’s lay our cards on the table: as anarchists we don’t believe in a god–whether a Christian, Muslim, Jewish or whatever god–and we reject the teachings of their disciples on earth.

What’s more, religions have proved divisive and destructive and great atrocities have been committed by their followers throughout history.

Islam is no exception and the beginning of this century alone has seen Muslim fanatics commit numerous attacks on innocent people resulting in the death of thousands.

All religions have their lunatic fringes as well as the conservative movements that are discriminatory, intolerant and in some cases abusive. These must be opposed (including Hereford’s own).

Yet these people are in the minority and whilst a few sick and twisted nutjobs have been stealing the headlines, millions of other Muslims have been disgusted by what has been carried out in their name. The vast majority of followers–although believing in something we find hard to see any sense in–are peaceful and compassionate individuals.

Our objections to any realised mosque in Hereford–if any–must be based on genuine fact and not suspicion, idle gossip or a fear of something we don’t understand.

Intelligence and rationality are the order of the day here.

Hereford Racecourse: To Close or Not to Close?

Last week news broke that Hereford Racecourse is set to close at the end of the year.

Tony Kelly, managing director of Arena and Northern who operate the course, said: “Hereford is owned by Herefordshire County Council and run under a lease arrangement.

“Attempts to extend the lease, which has 17 years remaining, have been unsuccessful. Despite being unviable for several years we have supported the racecourse but much-needed investment, required to breathe new life into the racecourse, cannot be justified in the absence of a long-term future for the business.”

Since then, there has been talk of alternatives to closure, such as the proposal for a hotel to be built as part of a 125-year lease on offer from Herefordshire Council.

If it does close, not everyone will be sad to see the racecourse go. In recent years, the horse racing industry has come under scrutiny from numerous animal rights groups and campaigns, one of which being Animal Aid and their ‘Race Horse Death Watch’ campaign.  This has followed a number of high profile falls and deaths at races, notably the Grand National earlier this year.

We will have to wait and see what becomes of Hereford Racecourse, but it does raise the question; if it is to close, what will the council do with the space? A large housing development? A recreational space with top sporting facilities? A second (or by that time, possibly a third) city centre? Time will tell.

Protest planned as animal circus visits Hereford

Protests are planned as Circus Mondao, a travelling circus that uses animals, arrives at Hereford Racecourse.

There has been a call-out advertising the planned protest published on Indymedia UK. Animal Aid Hereford have also said that a peaceful protest will take place on Thursday, via their facebook page.

The protest is planned to take place on Thursday 19th prior to the 7.30pm show, at Hereford Racecourse. This is in opposition to the use of captive animals for entertainment and profit.
The shows start on Wednesday 18th April and run until Sunday 22nd.

Those who cannot make the demonstration have been asked to consider contacting the racecourse with complaints;

General enquiries:

Call 01432 273560 or email  info@hereford-racecourse.co.uk

Events and venue hire enquiries:

Call 01432 273560 or email  events@hereford-racecourse.co.uk

Hereford Heckler #21 out now!

The latest issue of the Hereford Heckler, and the last in its current format, is now available online and will soon be hitting the streets.

This issue includes;

  • An exclusive article on the council sell-off of all its service
  • Taxpayers to pay for £27m new road
  • Child poverty ‘significant issue’ for Herefordshire
  • ‘We’re back!’ – the low-down on the Heckler, what we’ve been up to and what we’re doing next
  • Charles Pickles, executive board member of ‘Hereford Futures’ and blood-thirsty huntsman
  • City printing firm closes
  • The campaign against the government’s Workfare schemes
  • The battle over supermarkets in the county
  • and much more

To view or download this issue, click on the image below-

Child poverty a ‘significant issue’ for Herefordshire

More than 4,000 children and young people in the county are now categorised as living within the worst indicators of child poverty in the UK.

A report for Herefordshire Council labels child poverty as a “significant issue” and hopes its findings will help tackle the problem.

An area categorised as Golden Post-Newton Farm is the worst for overall deprivation and is also one of the UK’s worst for unemployment.

Much of Hereford’s South Wye area also has the highest level of young people not in education, employment or training.

Linking the child poverty problem with the ESG development, the Hereford Times commented: “It’s hard, for instance, to see the promise of a new shopping centre when you are paid so far below the rate of inflation you can barely afford to buy.

“It’s tough to hear talk of mass housebuilding when you’re one of the 5,000 on a housing waiting list with little if any hope of ever entering the market.

“… There are two counties in Herefordshire – one a place defined by possibility and potential, the other the prospect of food on the table.”

Urgent action is needed to eradicate poverty in the county, but we should be under no illusions that help will come from those in power.

Too often poverty is seen as an unfortunate situation people fall into through their own poor management. Yet, what these grim times teach us is all that’s needed is to be made redundant and even the well-off middle manager will soon slip into poverty.

In the here-and-now we must look to ourselves and each other to improve our own situation. Joining a union or banding together at work to fight for better wages and conditions is essential. Taking on slum landlords with neighbours to get repairs done at home is also important.

Many of these things involve nothing more than asserting rights we already have yet the results can make a real difference.

But in the long term we must fight to overthrow the cause of poverty: capitalism. This system cannot be reformed; we need revolution.