Former Morrissey fans are set to hold an anti-racism party in Manchester on the same night that the singer will perform in the city.
The party is protesting Morrissey’s comments about the far-right leader Tommy Robinson, who was jailed for 13 months.
“It’s very obvious that Labour or the Tories do not believe in free speech … I mean, look at the shocking treatment of Tommy Robinson,” Morrissey told blogging site Tremr earlier this month.
“I have been following a new party called For Britain which is led by Anne Marie Waters,” he added. “It is the first time in my life that I will vote for a political party. Finally I have hope. I find the Tory-Labour-Tory-Labour constant switching to be pointless.
“For Britain has received no media support and have even been dismissed with the usual childish ‘racist’ accusation. I don’t think the word ‘racist’ has any meaning any more, other than to say “you don’t agree with me, so you’re a racist.” People can be utterly, utterly stupid.”
Morrissey is set to perform in Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl on 7 and 8 July. His former fans will be holding the “One Nation Under A Groove” protest party at the nearby Revolution bar in the city’s Deansgate Locks from 3pm until midnight on 8 July.
Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam told The Guardian that he had organised the event “in response to Morrissey’s divisive views, and his support for the far right”.
“Manchester is our home. It’s a city built on immigration, a city with an amazing legacy of great bands and wonderful clubs. Music brings people together. Strangers become brothers, sisters. All this positivity spreads into the city and beyond.”
A Facebook event description for ‘One Nation Under A Groove’ reads:
“In recent years, the ex-Smiths singer’s views on race have become particularly strident. Morrissey has described the Chinese people “a sub-species”, heavily criticised Angela Merkel for opening German borders to refugees, and has gone on record supporting far-right figures like Anne Marie Waters and EDL founder Tommy Robinson. He does, however, claim to have “Muslim friends”.
Morrissey hasn’t lived in the city for thirty years – he lives abroad in tax exile – and has now joined the ranks of various right-wing politicians, tax exiles, tabloids, and media hate-slingers seeking to divide our community.
Manchester is our home, it’s a city built on immigration, a city with an amazing legacy of great bands and wonderful clubs.
How do we counter the hate? Let the music do the talking; by throwing a free party, a celebratory all-dayer of beautifully diverse soul-filled, hope-filled music…
Expect; solidarity, love, unity, positivity, reggae, funk, soul and disco.”
Entry to “One Nation Under A Groove” is free and organisers said Morrissey fans were welcome to attend before or after the singer’s concert.