There are just three weeks to go until the Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) festival in Stoke on Saturday 30 May.
The event is a key chance to hit the fascist BNP in one of its target seats – the West Midlands.
It is also an opportunity to galvanise and involve new anti-fascist activists.
Coaches have been booked from across Britain. In the Black Country, for example, there is transport booked from Stourbridge, Dudley, Wolverhampton, West Bromwich, Oldbury and Walsall.
Campaigners in Stoke itself are busy working to get a large local turnout.
Julia from LMHR in Stoke said, “We are working to create a lasting movement on the ground.
“We need to make sure that this is not just a big event that arrives and then moves on, but that it creates a sustainable impact in Stoke for the future.”
The festival is co-organised with Stoke City Football Club and Stoke City Council, and is being held in Stoke City’s Britannia football ground.
Julia is working with schools and youth clubs to involve young people in a “battle of the bands” event.
She explained, “We are running a competition called Road to Britannia in the run-up to the festival. We’ve had lots of interest and entries from unsigned bands in the area.
“We’re putting on a special heat for singer-songwriters to get involved.
“I’m also working with five youth clubs in the area to involve young people alongside DJs, rappers, graffiti artists and street dancers.
“During the festival we are going to run workshops for young people and offer some people the chance to appear on stage with some of the artists who are appearing.
“We’ve had lots of support from many different sections of the community in Stoke.
“We’re also making 15 foot banners from each of the youth clubs to bring along to hang in the stadium during the carnival.
“All these youth clubs are in areas where the BNP has support, so it’s important to engage the community there.”
For info or tickets for the Stoke festival or to get involved in your area, go to » www.lovemusichateracism.com
A sell-out crowd of more than 150 people gathered in the community centre in Arbury, a working class area of Cambridge, to enjoy a Love Music Hate Racism gig featuring local ska band Big Ten and others.
Councillor Mike Todd Jones introduced the event by saying that the vibrant, mixed, joyful nature of the gig was anathema to the Nazi BNP.