Socialist Worker

Artists call for anti-fascist unity

Issue No. 2095

“It’s important that we’re still organising events against the Nazis. Today we have a lot more nationalities in Britain, but racism is still prevalent.

“The Nazis used to be called the National Front. Now they’re the British National Party. It’s more subtle now, so it’s more dangerous. You used to know who the enemy was because they marched through the streets – now it’s not as clear.

“Music is a way to draw people into the campaign. Someone in the US told me, ‘Ten years ago I was a racist.’ He says that our music changed his life – and made me realise that it’s all worth it.

“It was fantastic to be part of Rock Against Racism in the 1970s. Our music was reggae and roots, and punk was around too – both could see the ills in our society.

“The music industry today feeds young people with negativity. But I think people want to hear about reality again.”

Selwyn Brown of Steel Pulse, who played 1978 carnival

“I was born in Hackney, east London, into a melting pot of races and cultures which carved me into what I am today – spreading racial harmony through music.”

DJ Hype, playing at carnival this year

“This has got to be the most important event of the year. Dozens of the best acts around, a huge celebration of multicultural London – and a chance to help stop those BNP racists gaining a foothold in the capital.

“We’ll be there doing our bit, so bring everybody you know and join us! And the whole thing’s free – so put your hand in your pocket and give generously to the anti-racist cause.”

Peter, Drew, Mick and Adam from Babyshambles, playing this year’s carnival

“The passion and sense of cultural solidarity that Rock Against Racism brought to a generation of youth 30 years ago is set to ignite a new generation.”

Red Saunders, Rock Against Racism founder

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Tue 1 Apr 2008, 19:27 BST
Issue No. 2095
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