Sunday, 22 June 2008

A message from Oxford Love Music Hate Racism

Lethal Bizzle helped build the national march and carnival on 21st June by meeting with local MC's and rappers including Mr ShaoDow, Provokal, n-zyme, MC Muzzy Blax and some DJ's from OX4fm. 

Our music is living testimony to the fact that cultures can and do mix. It unites us and gives us strength, and offers a vibrant celebration of our multicultural and multiracial society. Racism seeks only to divide and weaken us. Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) was set up in 2002 in response to rising levels of racism and electoral successes for the Nazi British National Party (BNP). 

We use the energy of our music scene to celebrate diversity and involve people in anti-racist and anti-fascist activity – as well as to urge people to vote against fascist candidates in elections. LMHR has helped to mobilise against further BNP election victories, in the tradition of the Rock Against Racism (RAR) movement of the late 1970s. 

There have been now been over 400 LMHR events, from large outdoor festivals to local gigs and club nights. Top artists who’ve performed at LMHR events include Ms Dynamite, Hard -Fi, Babyshambles, Akala, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, Estelle, The View, Lethal Bizzle, Roll Deep and Basement Jaxx. Just as important are the up-and-coming bands, DJs, MCs and their fans who have performed at or organised their own local LMHR nights. 

We want to create a national movement against racism and fascism through music, so it’s vital everyone gets involved however they can. 

Dozens of bands and DJs from across Oxfordshire have already helped us raise funds for the national carnival and to spread the message. 

Over 60 people went on the LMHR subsidised coach to the 100,000 strong carnival to celebrate diversity and to oppose racism. Photos of the carnival can be found at 

The fascist British National Party’s London fuhrer, Richard Barnbrook, has managed to con a small minority of Londoners into voting for him, to scrape onto the London Assembly via the cross-London party list - largely through votes won in outer London boroughs like Barking & Dagenham and Havering & Redbridge . Without the anti-fascist campaigning prior to the election, and particularly the 100,000 strong Love Music Hate Racism Carnival, the BNP would undoubtedly have gained more seats in London. The Carnival showed the mass audience opposed to racism and fascism which can build the bigger united anti-fascist movement that can stop the Nazis. The BNP gained a further ten seats nationally, though this is far less than their target thanks to consistent campaigning against them. 

The BNP represent the politics of hate and division. BNP members like David Copeland have been involved in planting bombs in London. Only last month BNP Nick Eriksen one of the BNP candidates in London was forced to withdraw his candidacy, after he was exposed for writing sexist, racist and offensive comments on a blog in which he uses the name “Sir John Bull” visit for quotes from his blog. 

Barnbrook must not be allowed to settle comfortably into his ill-gotten office, but must be resisted at every turn. Our aim must be to prevent the BNP from turning their assembly win into a respectable platform for spreading racist poison in London. 

Weyman Bennett from Unite Against Fascism said: “Several members of BNP have convictions for racial hatred this includes the leader of the BNP Nick Griffin. In the past other fascists leaders have use the democratic freedoms in order to destroy everybody rights and freedom of speech. ” 

Drew McConnell, of leading LMHR-supporting band Babyshambles, said: “Multicultural Britain should be celebrated. Immigration is not to blame for unemployment or housing problems, and does not negatively affect the economy, but the BNP tell us this is actually the case. We want them to know they’re not fooling us. Everyone knows the BNP are a Nazi organization, and they can’t hide behind their suits forever.” 

We still need artists to join us and play gigs in Oxfordshire to help us raise funds and spread the word. We also need volunteers to put up posters and handout leaflets at gigs. Contact us if you can help