This is a video about today’s Put People First demonstration in London, England. Many ten thousands of supporters of workers’ rights, the environment, and other progressive causes marched there, just before the G20 summit.
This video, in Spanish and German, is about an anti Afghanistan war demonstration in Berlin, Germany.
Next Tuesday, March 31, there will be an intergovernmental conference on Afghanistan. It will be at the Congrescentrum, Churchillplein 10, in the Hague, the Netherlands.
Officially, the conference is about bringing democracy to Afghanistan. Does not sound really credible from governments most of whom have so far basicallly brought occupation, war, and death to Afghanistan.
Now, it turns out that there will also be no democracy around the conference hall in the Hague. According to polls, most Dutch people oppose the war in Afghanistan (like most people in Britain and Germany; nearly half of United States people; etc.). However, this majority view among the people will not be allowed to express itself in a peaceful demonstration in the Hague. The authorities wanted to allow just fifty demonstrators locked behind fences in a protest pen some distance from the conference hall.
The organizers of the anti war protest, the Dutch Stop NATO coalition, rejected this new neutered form of the constitutional right of free speech. They have announced that they will demonstrate near the conference hall anyway on Tuesday 31 March.
It is not just United States Republican politician John McCain using songs by artists like ABBA, or Chuck Berry, who do not want their songs used for the US Republican party. It is not just the George W. Bush regime using music by Eminem and other Bush opponents for torturing prisoners.
Anyone who knows the Manics will understand how laughable this could be if it weren’t so offensive. The Welsh group–who have considerably more widespread fame in Britain than here in the States–have spent the fifteen years writing their own brand of deconstructed post-punk from a decidedly socialist point of view. They have played shows in Cuba (one of the few British bands to do so), they have been open admiration for socialist union leaders like former National Union of Miners leader Arthur Scargill, and have written more than a few songs expressing a keen disgust for the kind of racist filth the BNP thrive on.
Though it’s easy to roll our eyes at this kind of thing, there’s an undercurrent to this story that is a bit disconcerting. The BNP have gained a few seats in recent elections by presenting themselves as a respectable party looking out for the little guy while spreading their venomous anti-immigrant screed. The use of this song is a small part of their attempt to paint themselves as dynamic, hip, and compassionate. But make no mistake, if the BNP were in power, the Manic Street Preachers would be one of the first groups in front of the firing squad for creating “degenerate art.”
The Manics are well aware of this, and the video was promptly taken down from the BNP’s site after Sony served them the order. This small incident only highlights the need for groups like this to be fought tooth and nail.
ANTI-FASCIST campaigners called for a national movement to defeat the far-right BNP on Thursday after its leader Nick Griffin defended a party leaflet which labels ethnic minorities “racial foreigners”: here.
Foreign and Cuban rock bands will come together on the stage of the fifth Brutal Fest 2013 Rock Festival, to take place February 14 to 24 in Cuba: here.