The firm behind President Barack Obama's online election campaign have been signed up to help anti-racists take on the British National party in the European parliament elections in June.
Blue State Digital (BSD), which used the latest internet technology to mobilise millions of people behind Obama, has been employed to help create a grassroots network across the UK as part of the campaign to stop the BNP leader, Nick Griffin, becoming the far-right party's first MEP.
The firm began work last week and has already signed up thousands of supporters and donors. As part of the first stage of its campaign BSD and an anti-fascist magazine, Searchlight, has sent thousands of emails asking each recipients to forward it to five friends and make a small donation. The software means campaigners can then track who opens the emails, where they are sent and what happens when they arrive at the other end - tailoring future emails to groups and individuals
"The crucial thing about this campaign is that everybody is given a task so they become activists with a stake in what we are doing," said Nick Lowles, who is leading the Hope not Hate drive. "The software allows us to tailor emails to different groups and get information out there to hundreds of thousands of people. We have had more small individual donations in the past two weeks than we have had in three or four years and the technology is already allowing us to build a vibrant, bottom-up activist movement."
The BNP is standing candidates across the country in the European elections and analysts believe they could be on the verge of an important breakthrough.