A GROUP of Jewish residents in Stroud and their friends have gathered today to promote Holocaust Memorial Day and expose and challenge what they described as racism and ‘support for Holocaust Denial’ in The Light.

The Light is a controversial publication handed out on Stroud High Street on a weekly basis.

The group of Jewish residents are handing out leaflets from a stall on the High St, holding placards opposing the publication, and talking to people about the Holocaust and Holocaust Memorial Day - which is held on January 27 every year.

There will also be a Holocaust Memorial Day event in Stroud on Sunday, January 30 at 2 p.m. in Park Gardens, featuring speeches and readings, together with performances of anti-fascist songs played by the Stroud Red Band.

Hannah Boss said: “‘The Light’ newspaper, distributed through the “Stroud Info Hub”, has set itself up as a champion of freedom, but in doing so has brought on to the agenda much more sinister ‘freedoms’ than the right to speak out about the vaccine.

“In the November 2021 (Issue 15) edition of ‘The Light’, they sought to defend the racism of Graham Hart.

“He was convicted in August 2021 of Inciting Racial Hatred for broadcasting foul antisemitism, including denying the Holocaust, saying that Jews should be ‘wiped out’, making light of Auschwitz, and suggesting the diary of Anne Frank was a fraud.

“To invite people to empathise with an antisemite and to downplay the harm their words and calls to action can cause is to promote antisemitism.

“To defend someone like Hart and minimise the harm their words and actions cause is to promote hatred.”

Today’s event follows previous opposition to the attendance of Sandi Adams, who has also published Holocaust denial and antisemitic content on her website as a speaker a ‘Freedom Rally’ held in Stratford Park, on November 7 2020.

A group had then written an open letter to the organisers of the event calling on them to withdraw the invitation to Adams.

Jeremy Green said: “Many of us have become increasingly concerned about The Light, the so-called 'truth-paper' distributed in the High Street on the anti-vax Information Hub.

“For some time it's been giving platforms to figures from the extreme right.

“The last straw was a spirited defence of a Holocaust denier, in issue 15.

“Whatever we think of how to best deal with Covid, none of us should have anything to do with a paper that defends spreading racist hate, and we don’t want to see it on our streets.”

The group of Jewish residents of Stroud and their friends are inviting people to join them in making their opposition to The Light being handed out locally by signing their statement at tinyurl.com/TheLightStatement.

The statement reads: “We the undersigned are residents of Stroud town and do not want to see The Light paper being distributed where we live.

“We have our own criticisms of the government’s approach to the pandemic.

“However, we are alarmed by The Light's use of the pandemic to push support for antisemitism, Holocaust denial and racist hate speech - as well as for denial of climate change, NHS-bashing, and other reactionary views.”  

The Light however claims that it is an independently distributed truthpaper, exposing corruption and crimes by governments, corporations and individuals.