ANL CARNIVAL ATTRACTS 30,000 TO ROCK'N'RAVE AGAINST THE NAZIS
Glorious sunshine and a positive vibe contributed to a day that will be remembered for years to come as a militant celebration of multi-racial unity and a decisive blow against the race-hatred of the Nazi BNP.
Love Music Hate Racism kicked off with a 3,000-strong march from Manchester Town Hall to the carnival site. Underground garage stars Heartless Crew were at the front of the demonstration, with MCs Bushkin and Mighty Moe leading vibrant chants against the BNP. The march was a sea of red and yellow, with protestors carrying 'lollipop' placards bearing the Anti Nazi League's distinctive arrow logo.
The carnival started off with a tearing set from upcoming indie stars Miss Black America on the main stage. The second stage featured the cream of the country's hip-hop and garage talent, including Out Da Ville, Phi-Life Cypher and the indefatigable Heartless Crew. The dance marquee was also buzzing all day, with storming drum'n'bass sessions from Nicky Blackmarket & MC Foxy and local heroes Daze & Sappo.
The day ended with a beautiful acoustic set from Doves, followed by an extraordinary performance from chart-topper Ms Dynamite. The 21-year old r&b star performed songs from her new album before plucking seven local youngsters from the audience onto the stage to sing and MC alongside her.
Throughout the carnival, artists spoke, sang and rapped about the need to combat racism and beat back the Nazi BNP. The event was much more than a pop concert - the positive vibe went hand-in-hand with an active and militant political spirit. Love Music Hate Racism was the first major anti-racist event to be held in the North West since last year's race riots and May's election of three BNP councillors in Burnley.
The huge local support for the carnival demonstrates that the vast majority of ordinary people in the region emphatically reject the virulent racism of the BNP. Love Music Hate Racism was free, open to all and held on public land. It posed a stark contrast to the BNP's dismal "Red, White and Blue" rally, held last month in Sawley, Lancashire. Despite massive publicity, the BNP's invitation-only "festival" attracted no more than 400 hardcore Nazis and could only go ahead on private land behind police lines.
The next step for Love Music Hate Racism is to hold a similar carnival in Burnley, the epicentre of Nazi activity in the North West with three BNP councillors. The carnival was originally planned for the town, but had to be moved to Manchester at the eleventh hour after Burnley town hall chiefs capitulated to the Nazis and banned the event.
Thousands of people attending the Manchester carnival signed a petition condemning Burnley Council's cowardice and demanding that an anti-Nazi event be held in the town next spring. The petition was also signed by all the artists performing at Love Music Hate Racism and will be handed in the council. Stuart Caddy, leader of Burnley Council, has refused the Anti Nazi League's request to accept the petition personally.
Fresh from its Manchester success, Love Music Hate Racism
will now go round the country, promoting a series of gigs, raves and
club nights against the BNP and other Nazi organisations. Love Music
Hate Racism will energise the anti-racist majority across the country
and prove that music can be a powerful force in fighting fascism and