September 26, 2008 14:57

Dirty Pretty Things, Reverend, Babyshambles slam 'Nazi' festival

Billy Bragg, Late Of The Pier and Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly also sign protest letter

Dirty Pretty Things, Reverend, Babyshambles slam 'Nazi' festival
Dirty Pretty Things, Reverend And The Makers' Jon McClure, Babyshambles' Drew McConnell, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly and Late Of The Pier are among those who have signed a letter condemning the right-wing festival which caused havoc in a Somerset village last weekend (September 20).

Other musicians to signing the Love Music Hate Racism letter include Billy Bragg, Roll Deep, The Specials' Jerry Dammers and Akala.

Right-wing record label ISD organised an event in Redhill to commemorate the late right wing singer Ian Donaldson, which involved 800 people waving swastika flags, drinking and chanting, causing dozens of complaints to be made to police.

In response the above acts have signed an open letter condemning those involved.

"As anti-fascist musicians we were horrified to read that 800 fascists gathered in Somerset at the weekend for a rally and concert in memory of Ian Donaldson," the letter read.

"Donaldson described himself as a 'Neo Nazi' and [his band] Screwdriver, who raised funds for both the National Front and British National Party, were instrumental in setting up Blood And Honour, a network of bands promoting Nazi ideology through music.

"It will come as no surprise to anybody familiar with Screwdriver that the footage of the weekend's rally shows Nazi flags and members of the audience seig heiling.

"Unfortunately despite the demise of Blood And Honour the use of music by fascists to spread their ideas is not a thing of the past, with the BNP's Great White record label being used to produce music targeted at young people.

"'It's a great way of getting our message to children' BNP leader Nick Griffin was quoted as saying in a documentary about the label shown on TV last year, 'because they will listen to songs again and again and pick the words up straight away, whereas maybe one in 100 would bother to listen to a speech'.

"Rallies like the one that took place at the weekend stand for the ugly politics of racial violence and ultimately the politics of Hitler's holocaust and a desire for an all-white Britain. Events like this have no place in Britain."

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