Back in the dark days of the early Seventies, spurred on by the like of Enoch Powells “Rivers of Blood” speech, the National Front and associated far Right groups were on the rise, and were generally making life miserable for any immigrants in the vicinity.
Rock Against Racism, founded in 1976, was punk music’s attempt to raise awareness of the issue, and to counter the brainwashing of young people by, well, a bunch of jack booted thugs. They organised series of huge marches and multi-cultural gigs, supported by the luminaries of the day, such as The Clash, Buzzcocks, Steel Pulse, X-Ray Spex, Stiff Little Fingers, Aswad and Elvis Costello, to persuade people to turn their back on the fascists and embrace the melting pot of modern Britain.
In 2002, driven by the rise in activity of the National Front and BNP, the Anti-Nazi League and Unite Against Fascism relaunched the concept, this time called “Love Music, Hate Racism“, and carrying forward the founders of Rock Against Racism ideas, in that modern music is influenced by many cultures and traditions, and that it can be used to bring different kinds of people together. The modern run of gigs have been supported by Ms Dynamite, Hard -Fi, Akala, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, Estelle, Lethal Bizzle, Roll Deep Crew and Basement Jaxx amongst a horde of others.