Rock Against Racism

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Love Music Hate Racism
TRB were early supporters of RAR
and played at the first Carnival Against The Nazis with X-Ray Spex, Steel Pulse and The Clash in London's Victoria Park for 80,000 people in April 1978

Rock Against Racism

Rock Against Racism logo In September 1976 a group of musicians and political activists came together to form Rock Against Racism, after rock star Eric Clapton suggested at a Birmingham concert that Enoch Powell was right, and Britain was ‘overcrowded’. RAR’s founders wrote to the New Musical Express announcing the launch of the organisation.

Rock Against Racism aimed at promoting racial harmony through music, and was one of the first organisations to mix black and white bands at gigs. Under the simple slogan "Love Music Hate Racism" it stood for "Rebel music, street music. Music that breaks down people's fear of one another. Crisis music. Now music. Music that knows who the real enemy is."

RAR worked closely with the ANL and organised concerts and festivals all over Britain, attracting thousands of people to the biggest anti-racist events since the 1930s. These activities were important in building support for anti-racism in schools, workplaces and the community, as well as in exposing the Nazis in the National Front.

Of course this didn’t mean that institutionalised racism, for example discrimination in jobs, housing and education, was beaten, or that racial harassment stopped. It did, however, mean that organised fascism and the hatred and violence that went with it had been destroyed at this time, and this helped in creating a far more positive racial atmosphere in Britain in the 1980s.

 ‘Darcus Howe said he had fathered five children in Britain. The first four had grown up angry, fighting forever the racism around them. The fifth, he said, had grown up ‘black at ease’. Darcus attributed her space to the Anti Nazi League ... ’
Journalist PAUL FOOT

Nazis are no fun - Rock Against Racism badgeThe most memorable Rock Against Racism event was the April 1978 "Carnival against the Nazis". A huge rally of 100,000 people marched the six miles from Trafalgar Square through London's East End - the heart of National Front territory - to a Rock Against Racism concert in Victoria Park, Hackney.

X-Ray Spex, The Clash, Steel Pulse, and the Tom Robinson Band were on the bill - a diverse selection of music for a diverse multi-cultural crowd.

When the Anti Nazi League was relaunched in 1992 people began organising benefits and gigs all round the country. Large numbers of black and white bands played at these events, which culminated in the organisation of an Anti Nazi League Carnival in May 1994. Over 150,000 marched through South London to the Carnival in Brockwell Park, celebrating the defeat of the Nazis in the recent local elections, and affirming their belief in a multicultural society.

Today the Anti Nazi League is campaigning again in the name of Love Music Hate Racism - a demonstration of the positive energy ofthe music scene against the hate-fuelled beliefs of the British National Party, National Front and Combat 18.

Links:
Anti Nazi League
Love Music, Hate Racism

 
 
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