The election of three Nazi councillors in Burnley should serve as a warning to us all. British Nazis, like their counterparts in France, have exploited racial tensions and social deprivation to promote race hatred and division.
You probably remember the now legendary " Rock Against Racism" Carnivals in the 1970s, featuring the likes of Aswad, The Clash, Steel Pulse and Elvis Costello that helped beat back the rise of the National Front, or the 150,000-strong Rage Against Racism Carnival in Brixton in 1994, the last time the BNP got councillors elected, where artists like the Manic Street Preachers, Incognito and Rage Against The Machine united black and white against the Nazis.
The time is surely right to hold a similar event in Burnley. Anti-Nazis are the majority in Burnley and elsewhere. We want to bring Asian, black and white together in a positive show of unity to celebrate our multi-racial and multi-cultural society and music.
Unfortunately at this time, Burnley Borough Council has taken the decision to ban the ANL from organising a Carnival in Burnley. We will be doing all we can to overturn this mistaken decision and hold a huge positive music event in the town next Spring. For the moment, though, we have decided to press ahead with holding a Carnival in Manchester, in the belief that music can unite and give confidence to the anti-Nazi majority - not just in the north west but in towns and cities across the country.
We are asking artists if they might support the ANL in any of three ways:
1. Play at the carnival in Manchester
2. Donate a tune to a compilation CD we are putting together (Doves and Coldcut among others have pledged tracks already).
3. Publicly support the ANL by signing a statement we are circulating to musicians and artists, and agreeing to be quoted as ANL supporters in our press releases etc.
MANCHESTER will now host Love Music Hate Racism, the one-day free music carnival organised by the Anti Nazi League. Ms Dynamite and Doves will headline the event on Sunday 1 September, which promises to bring together the cream of the country's black, white and Asian musical talent in a vibrant celebration of multi-racial unity against the divisive Nazi politics of the BNP. The move to Manchester's Platt Fields Park comes after Burnley Borough Council's disgraceful and cowardly decision to ban Love Music Hate Racism. Burnley is the epicentre of Nazi activity in the North West. The Lancashire town has three BNP councillors and was hit by race riots last year instigated by Combat 18, the violent Nazi terror group that acts as the BNP's unofficial "security" force. Burnley's Labour-run council has done nothing to stand up to the BNP: instead, it persistently bans anti-racist activity in the town.
Nevertheless, Love Music Hate Racism will go ahead in nearby Manchester. The event promises to attract music lovers across all the communities of the North West. It will energise the anti-racist majority in the region and kickstart a grassroots campaign against BNP and its racist thuggery.
The Manchester Love Music Hate Racism carnival will be the first in a series of anti-BNP music events to be held around the country. The "Rock Against Racism" gigs of the 1970s demonstrated how youth culture could be a powerful political force against the National Front. Love Music Hate Racism promises to repeat that success by generating a positive mass movement that will drive the Nazi BNP out of the mainstream and into oblivion.
DRAFT RUNNING ORDER
- Sona Fariq (punk/indie)
- Miss Black America (indie)
- Billy Bragg
- Rodney P & Skitz (hip hop)
- Kissmet (bhangra)
- The Shining (rock/indie)
- Doves (rock/indie)
- Ms Dynamite (r&b/garage)
- Moorish Delta 7 (hip hop)
- DJ Woody/Krispy (hip hop)
- Killa Kela & Normski (hip hop)
- Out da Ville (hip hop)
- MC HardKaur (hip hop)
- Wesley J & Sharkey P (garage)
- Heartless Crew (garage)
- Phi-Life Cypher (hip hop)
with live video mixing from VJ Funkcutter
- Bigga Fish DJs/MCs (garage)
- DJ Asha & MC Chickaboo (r&b/garage)
- Daze & Sappo (drum&bass/jungle)
- Nicky Blackmarket & MC Foxy (drum&bass/jungle)
- Bobby Friction & Juttla (asian drum&bass)
- Shortee Blitz (hip hop/r&b)
- Roots Ting (dub reggea)
DJ Woody (Burnley)
"It would have been more poignant for it to have been in Burnley, and for the town to have had a free show of this quality."
Moorish Delta 7
"Our music has always been life music as well as entertainment. We feel it is necessary for people to stand sometimes and be counted. Racism is something that has effected black people in every way in every walk of life for so long. And it is not dead. The Anti-Nazi League's "Love Music Hate Racism" concert is part of raising awareness of the fact that racism is unfortunately alive and well in 2002. We must continue to combat it together."
Killa Kela & DJ Skelektrik
"Taking influences and getting inspiration from all sorts of cultures and backgrounds is what music is all about. The Anti-Nazi League's fight is making sure we can live in a society where this is possible."
"If getting together artists like myself at the Love Music, Hate Racism Carnival to represent my culture and beliefs in a music-based setting is going to drill a message of anti-racism to 10,000s of people - then HELL YEAH! I'M DOWN! I'm proud to be one of those Asians representing for my people on the day. I believe that there are a lot of people like me, who have seen and gone through hardships from bullying at school to being a victim of civil war. Through hip hop music, artists like myself can reach an international stage bringing messages of peace and harmony."
"There's been a lot of tension in the north west of the UK and anything we can do to help ease that pressure will be a massive bonus to the community there. We always promote the feeling of unity and the power we generate at our gigs is so positive that you can't help but get involved and appreciate the company around you. Playing at the Carnival will be massive for us as it'll give us the opportunity to expose a mass of people to music they wouldn't normally hear. We see it as education and the more educated the people are, the more they can appreciate that differences are not a negative, they're positives. We're so lucky in the band as we can play on both sides of the fence and once we get more people playing with us, the fence will not exist. Don't fight, unite..."
"Educate the narrow minds they see what they want to see" [from Genaside II - 'Narra Mine' 1991]
"Music is universal, something that brings joy to everyone regardless of their background. Things have improved a great deal over the last 20 years or so in terms of racism, but there's a danger of complacency about the nazis. We have to continue the fight."
"We've got to do something to represent the true people of the UK, for our multicultural society. The British National Party doesn't actually represent the vast majority of people in Britain. It's time for inequality to cease and justice to prevail."
"We find it hard to believe that today some people still have prejudices over race, colour or creed. If these same people are standing up to voice their opinions we can't just sit back & let it go unchallenged."
"We got involved as soon as we were approached, for all the obvious reasons. It's scary what happened in Burnley, with the BNP getting on the council, ad so when these sort of events are organised they need to be supported. We're only here for a short time and you have to stand up for what you believe. If as a band we can help raise awareness of what's going on, then we will."
Seymour, Miss Black America
"It's not hysterical to compare what the BNP are doing now to what Hitler did to start with. People laughed at Hitler's Nazis at first, but we know what happened there in the end. We have to stop the nazis NOW. The Carnival is a great opportunity to bring people together - that's what music can do".
"We want to be involved so that we can blatantly make a protest and show the nazis that they are fighting a losing battle. September 1st in Burnley is a chance for everyone to show love and unity through music".