Socialist Worker

Love Music Hate Racism has deep roots in community

by Anindya Bhattacharya
Issue No. 2139

This year’s Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) carnival will be a key event in the battle against the fascist BNP. It takes place on Saturday 30 May, just five days before the European elections, in Stoke-on-Trent—a city where the Nazis have nine councillors.

Like previous LMHR carnivals, this year’s event will involve artists from across Britain’s diverse music scene in speaking out and campaigning against the BNP.

Activists up and down the country also organise gigs in schools, colleges and clubs around the year to raise money for and awareness of the fight against the Nazi BNP.

Stewart Baxter works on music and arts projects with young people for the Warren community centre in Hull. He has worked with LMHR to put on anti-racist events in the city.

“It started a couple of years ago when we got funding for a big anti-racist event in the city,” Stewart told Socialist Worker.

“So we got in touch with LMHR and got together.

“Since then we’ve had two big events in the city as well as a summer festival last year. We’ve also had lots of smaller events, such as gigs in the cafe here at the centre.”

This work has helped build links with a broad network of people opposed to racism, including bands, promoters, refugees, students and black community groups.

“People are now putting on their own LMHR events, both in Hull and in surrounding towns and villages. We’re looking into getting some local bands together and doing a tour of schools later this year.

“It’s made a lot of difference in the city. Older people who’ve been around a few years tell me it’s the best stuff that’s happened here since the Rock Against Racism era.”

The Nazis have been trying to take advantage of the nationalist climate built up by the “British jobs for British workers” slogan at the centre of recent strikes. The BNP held several street stall in towns and cities across Britain last weekend.

These included stalls in Liverpool, Carlisle, Barnsley, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Manningtree in Essex. The BNP is looking to solidify these one-off events into a permanent street presence.

The BNP also plans to hold a “day of action” in Liverpool on 14 March. Groups in the city who are mobilising a counter demonstration against the Nazi presence.

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