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Folk Against Fascism

Vic Smith 12 Jun 09 - 06:06 PM
jeddy 12 Jun 09 - 06:39 PM
Jack Campin 12 Jun 09 - 07:28 PM
Ruth Archer 12 Jun 09 - 07:59 PM
Azizi 12 Jun 09 - 08:13 PM
Azizi 12 Jun 09 - 08:16 PM
The Sandman 12 Jun 09 - 08:47 PM
Azizi 12 Jun 09 - 09:25 PM
Ruth Archer 12 Jun 09 - 09:31 PM
Azizi 12 Jun 09 - 09:34 PM
Azizi 12 Jun 09 - 09:54 PM
Ruth Archer 12 Jun 09 - 10:39 PM
SPB-Cooperator 13 Jun 09 - 01:41 AM
Anne Lister 13 Jun 09 - 04:27 AM
Andy Jackson 13 Jun 09 - 04:59 AM
Ruth Archer 13 Jun 09 - 05:02 AM
The Sandman 13 Jun 09 - 06:06 AM
Rifleman (inactive) 13 Jun 09 - 11:19 AM
Dave the Gnome 13 Jun 09 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,coolkieless Rifleman 13 Jun 09 - 12:32 PM
Anne Lister 13 Jun 09 - 12:51 PM
Darowyn 13 Jun 09 - 01:12 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 13 Jun 09 - 01:42 PM
Stringsinger 13 Jun 09 - 02:14 PM
Ruth Archer 13 Jun 09 - 02:17 PM
Dave the Gnome 13 Jun 09 - 02:38 PM
GUEST,ifor 13 Jun 09 - 02:48 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 13 Jun 09 - 02:54 PM
Dorothy Parshall 13 Jun 09 - 02:54 PM
Peace 13 Jun 09 - 03:16 PM
The Borchester Echo 13 Jun 09 - 03:30 PM
Wolfgang 13 Jun 09 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 13 Jun 09 - 04:05 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 14 Jun 09 - 03:03 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 14 Jun 09 - 03:14 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 14 Jun 09 - 05:10 AM
theleveller 14 Jun 09 - 05:28 AM
Andy Jackson 14 Jun 09 - 05:30 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 14 Jun 09 - 05:32 AM
Andy Jackson 14 Jun 09 - 05:32 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 14 Jun 09 - 05:35 AM
GUEST,Silas 14 Jun 09 - 06:03 AM
Richard Bridge 14 Jun 09 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,Joe P 14 Jun 09 - 06:18 AM
The Sandman 14 Jun 09 - 06:25 AM
SPB-Cooperator 14 Jun 09 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,Silas 14 Jun 09 - 06:31 AM
Richard Bridge 14 Jun 09 - 06:37 AM
Fred McCormick 14 Jun 09 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,Silas 14 Jun 09 - 06:45 AM
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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Vic Smith
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 06:06 PM

It does happen, Greg. We managed to get Sherrifo booked into a number of folk clubs on those tours - including our own in Lewes, of course.

Other recent guests at our club have included Abdul Tee-Jay giving a wonderful evening of Palm-Wine music from Sierra Leone which - like Southern African harmony - fits well into the folk club setting and Musa M'Boob's masterly drumming in a pairing with Roger Watson's melodeon.

And the guest list at the Magpie's Nest has included a locally-based Congolese band.

Get me to tell you the story of Rev. Gary Davis staying at our flat after the folk club some time; I remember it really well though it was nearly forty years ago now.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: jeddy
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 06:39 PM

hello all,
i can't see why it should even be an issue if the person sitting next to you is black and singing or white and singing, as long as everyone is having a good time and hopefully singing in tune( me included) it's all good. why should anyone be offended by what we sing? we sing songs of love, compassion, gaitey, and strife, which anyone who understands the language could identify with. why would anyone want an all white folk club on purpose? i always thought that anyone was welcome ,if you know anywhere like that,, please tell me so i can make sure i never go there.

i join in with the bits i can of foriegn singers so i wouldn't have thought there would be an issue. (if i don't like the song i simply go for a smoke break) lol

take care all

j x x


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 07:28 PM

Perhaps we won't have any more silly comments on that particular subject now.

Azizi's comment was mistaken but not silly. You'd need a fairly close-up experience of the sociology of British folk ritual to see what those acts meant. For someone the other side of the Atlantic, generalizing from the semantics of blackface minstrel shows (which nobody here is advocating) was an intelligent guess.

I still haven't had any response to my query about what the BNP might be up to with regard to the Scottish folk scene. Excalibur did include a few Scottish numbers in their catalogue so they're not totally ignoring us. Nobody know more?


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 07:59 PM

"Azizi's comment was mistaken but not silly. You'd need a fairly close-up experience of the Azizi's comment was mistaken but not silly. You'd need a fairly close-up experience of the sociology of British folk ritual to see what those acts meant. For someone the other side of the Atlantic, generalizing from the semantics of blackface minstrel shows (which nobody here is advocating) was an intelligent guess."

It's more than a guess: Azizi has been party to the various mudcat discussions about the roots of blacking up in minstrelsey, as well as those about Padstow Darkie Days. Personally, I think the issue of whether blacking up is acceptable is far from an open and shut case within the folk world, and that even "a close-up experience of the the sociology of British folk ritual" doesn't necessarily tell you what those acts "mean". But I'd prefer not to discuss it on this particular thread.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 08:13 PM

I remain unconvinced that there is no historical connection between the British custom of blackening up and the American blackface minstrel shows (which toured widely in Britain). That said-I admit that I don't have-(as Jack Campin) phrased it-"a fairly close-up experience of the sociology of British folk ritual" and therefore I don't know what blackening up means to different populations of British people-including those who blackened up in the past (and sung minstrel songs, including songs with the "N" word) and those who blacken up now (who may or may not sing minstrel songs, including those with the "N" word-a word I find offensive regardless of the race of person singing it.

In 2005 and 2007 I asked if any research studies had been done on the attitudes about blackening up that are held by People of Color in the United Kingdom.

"Subject: RE: Folklore: Padstow 'Darkie Days'
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 03:43 AM

I repeat a question I asked in 2005: Have there been any research studies of the impact of UK blackening up traditions on self-esteem and group-esteem of people of colour in the UK and on White people in the UK? If so, what were those studies and what were their results?"
thread.cfm?threadid=87981#1943998

-snip-

It is now 2009 and I'm asking the same question. Surely some reputable research has been done on this subject. I would appreciate it if someone could point me to reports of such studies.

As I wrote earlier in this thread or another recent Mudcat thread about the BNP, I realize that everyone who supports the Folk Against Fascism group and its mission will not agree on everything. Regardless of the rationale that most British Mudcatters have made for blackening up (that it is a disguise) and regardless of the comparisons that some African performers have made to the British custom of blackening up and the custom of using white ashes or white face and body paint in traditional African rituals and blackening up, I still don't like the British custom of blackening up. Because I am an American, I realize that I don't have to like it, but again, I wonder how Black Britons and other British people of color feel about this. I also wonder what Black Britons in general and other British People of Color consider to be "British traditional folk music". Perhaps it's as difficult if not impossible for one definition of "British traditional folk music" from British People of Color as it is from Mudcat members in general. However, I don't think that this is a tangential question to the mission/issues of the Folk Against Fascism group.

My bottom line is that I very much believe in what I consider the mission of Folk Against Fascism (which as I understand it) is that people are uniting and taking pro-active steps to ensure that hate groups such as the BNP aren't successful in their attempt to expropriate British folk customs, including folk music, in support of the BNP agenda.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 08:16 PM

Joan, I posted my comment before reading yours.

I agree that the discussion of blackening up should not continue on this particular Mudcat thread. FWIW, I'm not interested at this time in in continuing that discussion beyond what I wrote in my preceding comment to this thread and my previous comments in other Mudcat threads.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 08:47 PM

I do not view black singers singing in folk clubs with hostility.
Folk club organisers ,have the right to book who they wish.
These decisions will vary,Vic Smith will have had a different booking policy,say to the Ruskin house folk and blues club,or to Traditions at the Tiger,what is wrong with that.,is there any evidence that any organisers are racist,if there is then name them if not shut up.
if an organiser of an event or a society,wishes to promote English traditional music,as does the EFDSS,then they only become racist,if they exclude other nationalities,from participating.

Mission Statement & Strategy
MISSION STATEMENT:

The English Folk Dance and Song Society will develop its resources, namely the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, Cecil Sharp House, its professional staff and its members, to:

• maintain itself as a centre of excellence for the study, practice and dissemination of traditional English folk song, dance and music;
• provide national and local outreach services that enable and increase access;
• celebrate diversity and promote equality.
are you suggesting that the EFDSS,should put up a notice saying Whites only at Cecil Sharp House,if you are, then it is you that is racist.
if the EFDSS has a brief to promote English traditional music and song,is it not reasonable to accept that other Folksong clubs if they so wish should not do the same.
do you criticise BLUES CLUBS for promoting one specific music,and excluding English Traditional music,no I bet you dont,neither do you criticise Cajun Music Clubs for promoting Cajun Music exclusively.,do you criticise the Northumbrian Pipers society for promoting Northumbrian Pipe tunes.
please answer these questions


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 09:25 PM

Captain Birdseye,

If you are specifically asking me a question or questions, I would appreciate it if you would address those questions to me by name.

If you are asking if I criticize clubs that focus on specific music genres for specializing in specific music genres, of course I don't.

With regard to British folk clubs that focus on "English traditional music", my point is that I'm not sure what "English traditional music" means and I'm not sure if everyone in England-including Black Britons (in general) and other British People of Color-agrees on what that referent means. Ditto for English folk music-which I gather from reading Mudcat threads isn't necessarily the same thing as "English traditional music".

In addition, I don't agree with your comment (one that I read before on this thread or other threads from you and/or from others) that "if an organiser of an event or a society,wishes to promote English traditional music,as does the EFDSS, then they only become racist,if they exclude other nationalities,from participating.
There are other ways that racism can be expressed and/or condoned apart from excluding "other nationalities" from participating.

[my italics added for emphasis]

BTW, I assume when you wrote "other nationalities" that you meant what Americans would refer to as "race" since quite a number of People of Color are British, that is-they are the same nationality as White British people.

As I write this, I'm mindful that I learned from some other Mudcat discussions that there is not only a difference between what many Americans and many British people mean by "race" but there is also a difference between what many Americans and many British people mean by "Black [people]". The referent "People of Color (PoC) as I am using it to refer to all those persons who are considered [in the USA at least] to be non-White) has become widely used in formal & scholarly discussions at least among PoC.

The fact that sometimes British English and American English are "foreign languages" to their residents may mean that we don't always "get" (understand) the nuances of what people are saying on this international discussion forum. Added to that is the fact that there are also Canadians, Australians, people from other European nations, and other folks posting on this forum and probably also on this thread-and add to that fact that we also include colloquial expressions and are each speaking from our own experiences, it's a wonder that we appear to understand each other as well as we do.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 09:31 PM

The current phrase that equates with PoC in Britain is BME (black and minority ethnic). But it's primarily used in government and funding circles. Most British people still just say black.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 09:34 PM

Here's one reason why as an American I'm concerned about the issues of White supremacists organizations/political parties such as the BNP:

"Guys like this [former politician/current television news commentator Pat Buchanan] really do scare me

The xenophobia, the ultra-nationalism, the utter contempt for rule of law... if the Republican Party becomes the party of this clown, and of Sarah Palin, they may lose more of the electorate, but we have also lost something important. I the only person who misses an Eisenhower-style Republican Party? Conservative, wrong, but not hateful? I would like to see a real opposition party based on real ideas, based on some kernal of rationality - even if I don't agree with their specific policies.

Maybe in a changing nation clowns like this asshole undermine Republican electoral chances. Maybe they will be marginalized for a generation or until they change or until they fall apart completely. But unexpected disasters can and do happen. Economies can melt down, violent events can take place, and the public is easily stampeded. It scares the crap out of me to see the opposition turning into this sort of nativist nationalist - indeed fascist - opposition. "

by ivorybill on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:26:41 PM PDT

**

"This is ugly but no doubt true

As whites become a minority] this type of interest-group "white nationalism" will inexorably increase.

Even in Europe the demographic changes resulting from immigration are driving a massive increase in far-right white racial separatist and supremacist politics. WHith the US's much deeper heriatage of racist exclusivism and lack of a leftist tradition to siphon social tensions into class-based politics, racial confrontation politics on the part of whites, especially among the marginalized, poor, working-class, and small-town population, is very likely to be one of the dominating features of AMerican politics for the next 30 years."

by ActivistGuy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:57:44 PM PDT

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/6/12/741739/-MSNBC,-Pat-BuchananWhite-Supremacists

MSNBC, Pat Buchanan & White Supremacists
by BarbinMD
Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:50:06 PM PDT


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 09:54 PM

Joan, thanks very much for that information. I wasn't familiar with that "BME" term.

With regard to "black"/"Black", I learned from another Mudcat thread that in Britain some Asian people such as those from Sri Lanka and Pakistan are also called "black". This is different from the custom/definition in the USA. I recognize that this is tangential to this thread. However I believe that this example points out the difficulties that are inherent to an international discussion forum.

I recognize that and understand why most of the members of the Folk Against Fascism group are now and probably will always be from Britain. However, if more Americans join the FaF group, there will be other examples such as the "nationalities" means "races" in Britain that demonstrate the differences in terminology that are between us and which may cause problems if not properly explained and understood.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 10:39 PM

"This is ugly but no doubt true

As whites become a minority] this type of interest-group "white nationalism" will inexorably increase."

This is one of the scare tactics used by the BNP to whip up paranoia: they talk aobut whites becoming a minority in Britain in just a few decades due to unregulated immigration. They talk about being "flooded". But immigration into the UK is, in fact, strictly regulated. And Britain is still 92% white.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 01:41 AM

Goid point... flooding implies that the UK popylation would rise from aproximately 60 million to 90 million in a short period of time. I hink in my lifetime (nearly 50 years) it has risen by about 6 million.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Anne Lister
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 04:27 AM

Oh, Greg, if you meant me when you referred to "multicultural compulsion" then I wish you would read such comments in context. Your wish to invite performers to your club or session is great and I have often wished (and expressed that wish) that we had more diversity in our clubs and festivals.   
But what I am trying very hard to say is that where a folk club wants to concentrate on traditional English music (and wants to define that in whatever way they choose) there should be no implicit or explicit interpretation that they would be a home for BNP supporters. As things stand, I can go to a Welsh language or Welsh folk music music event, an Irish language or Irish folk music event, Breton, Scottish, Bengali, Jamaican .... fill in the defining culture for yourself - and none of these will be under any kind of pressure to include other cultures. But make that "English" and all of a sudden we're slightly ashamed to put our heads over the parapet.

Make the choices you want. I too would go out of my way to hear South African black unaccompanied singers - although as people have a tendency to sing along in most UK folk clubs I wouldn't necessarily think that was the best venue for hearing their voices.

And I used the phrase "multicultural compulsion" because I have lived with that in my professional life for some time, both in teaching and in storytelling. Too often it's a matter of lipservice to qualify for funding or political approval rather than an intelligent choice. If you're making intelligent choices, I'm in your corner.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 04:59 AM

Azizi: You said it yourself:
"My bottom line is that I very much believe in what I consider the mission of Folk Against Fascism (which as I understand it) is that people are uniting and taking pro-active steps to ensure that hate groups such as the BNP aren't successful in their attempt to expropriate British folk customs, including folk music, in support of the BNP agenda."

That is why I am supporting FAF. Any diversions into yet more discussion of Darkie Days and Blacked up Morris, only dilutes and distracts from the present mission. You have agreed that Americans have a diifferent view of this than us over here. Let's leave it at that for now and concentrate on the real issue. Other threads exist to discuss blacking up in all its guises.

FAF Andy


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 05:02 AM

"As things stand, I can go to a Welsh language or Welsh folk music music event, an Irish language or Irish folk music event, Breton, Scottish, Bengali, Jamaican .... fill in the defining culture for yourself - and none of these will be under any kind of pressure to include other cultures. But make that "English" and all of a sudden we're slightly ashamed to put our heads over the parapet."

That statement is worth examining in the context of the wider discussion here.

We shouldn't forget that it's in large part the legacy of the pre-BNP (the National Front) which got us to this place. They did such damage to the whole concept of English nationalism in the 80s, by linking it to racism, that it has never recovered. Now those very same people (many of whom now run the new-look BNP) are capitalising on the legacy THEY CREATED to say to white English people, "All these other cultures can celebrate their identity - why can't you? Why should you have to be embarrassed?"

I find it incredibly perverse that they present themselves as the solution to a problem they not only created, but would, if they became more powerful, both strengthen and perpetuate.

I can't believe there are people who fall for their rhetoric.

The other thing to say to people who tell us that the BNP are nothing to worry about, and that they will always be on the political periphery, is that it only took a tiny minority back in the 80s to bring English nationalism into such disrepute that 25 years later it has not yet recovered.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 06:06 AM

Azizi,I was adressing Greg Stephens.
nobody accuses the hammersmith irish centre of being racist because it promotes Irish music,nobody accuses CAJUN MUSIC CLUBS of being racist because they specialise in one kind of music,you cannot have one rule for some and another rule for others.
Iam in favour of multi national folk music clubs ,I am also in favour of clubs/ societies that promote exclusively one kind of music.
what I am fighting against,is the BNP hijacking our music,and the attitude of certain people to dictate what club organisers should have as booking policies,leave that up to the organisers,if you dont like it start your own club,instead of whingeing on this forum.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 11:19 AM

"the BNP are nothing to worry about, and that they will always be on the political periphery"

try telling that to several cities where there are more than one BNP member sitting on council, Stoke-on-Trent comes to mind.

While I'm posting this,I'm listening to Sandy Denny's wonderful recording The North Star Grassman and the Ravens, Late November at the moment, and I got to wondering what, if anything, Sandy would have made of all this.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 12:17 PM

Dick, Greg does indeed organise some very good multicultural sessions and concerts. Although I am sure he needs no-one to fight his corner for him I do know he could be too busy to respond for a few days.

I don't think anyone is advovating that traditional English music should be somehow banned or restricted. All we are saying is that it is simply because most clubs do have a image of English exclusivity, rightly or wrongly, then it does encourage organsisations lik ethe BNP to latch on to them.

As you say, we have Irish centres, Cajun clubs etc. I, for one, have sung and English song at an Irish club. I have not been to a Cajun club but I am pretty sure they would be happy with me squeezing out an Englsh tune in a Cajun style. As long as the BNP know that English music is inclusive of other cultures we will have nothing to worry about.

Greg is one of the people that is that is doing just that. Alongside playing and promoting some very fine English music and it is doing the cause of FaF no good to argue between ourselves!

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: GUEST,coolkieless Rifleman
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 12:32 PM

"BNP know that English music is inclusive of other cultures we will have nothing to worry about."

I'll rest easy in my bed knowing that.........


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Anne Lister
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 12:51 PM

Ruth, yes, I was aware of the history and all the various reasons why Englishness has been a difficult thing to deal with. And this is precisely why I'm concerned that we shouldn't feel we have to be defensive if some of our folk clubs continue to concentrate on what they've always concentrated on. I think it's interesting that Dick and I are making substantially similar points - he lives in Ireland, I live in Wales, and both of us can see the difference in countries that are proud of their own culture.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Darowyn
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 01:12 PM

My idea seems to have gone down well.
There is every possibility that the Birmingham based Urban Jungli Project will be recording a set of British Folk songs.
It's a sort of reverse multi-culturalism, by which people with roots in other cultures are invited to share their take on the native one.
I can't be bothered with all the arguing on here, I just want use our music to lay down a marker about what the real Britain is, as a counter to the racist and factional nonsense that is coming out of the woodwork recently.
Let's get some FAF gigs sorted!
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 01:42 PM

How promising and interesting too.
I suspect that younger people (of whatever background - but in particular including British folk) will generally be more interested in becoming involved that kind of positive pro-action than some of the older folk enthusiasts who may prefer a more conservative form of action. Though to be fair to DeG there (who isn't I believe a yung'un?), that was an excellent post IMO...

Inevitably some forms of participation in FaF, will be more reserved than others, while some will be more dynamic and challenging. I believe what matters is not that all participants agree on a single *unified method of action*, but that each do what they *enjoy* and are *happy to*, while maintaining a *unified purpose*.

Though there can never be any harm in trying something new once in a while for anyone...?

I think the thing to hopefully attempt to maintain in view throughout, is that the music is there to be shared and enjoyed. If people are not genuinely enjoying their form of activism (though of course there are unpleasant challenges for those in very public view), then something needs to be reconsidered.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Stringsinger
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 02:14 PM

Azizi,

I think your post on the atrocities in Nigeria fit well within the "Folk Against Fascism"
agenda. It has to be recognized that throughout history and the world, Africans and African-Americans and Blacks, Asians, Hispanics all have been victimized by fascism which contains the component of discrimination by race and culture. To isolate "Folk Against Fascism'' to a local problem regarding the BNC is short-sighted. FAF must address the larger issues in order to be effective in informing how folk music is used as a social force for change.

What happens in Africa affects us all. It resonates in communities all over the world.

At the present time, fascism is rearing its ugly head in many countries including the US.
Mussolini's definition of fascism prevails today in the form of corporate tyranny in the world's economy. It impacts on every country in the world.

Power, greed and money are the three major components of fascism and the capitulation
of world leaders to this ideology are evident. At stake are the goals of the IMF, NAFTA and the other financial bodies that promote "Free Trade" without "Fair Trade". The former is fascistic, the latter, anti-fascist.

Thanks for keeping us informed about Africa.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 02:17 PM

"Let's get some FAF gigs sorted!"

There's a meeting at the beginning of July to discuss a concert tour of major venues, but it will be important to have events of all sizes, appealing to different types of audience.

More news as it becomes available, but it's all looking quite exciting.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 02:38 PM

Crow sister - How did you guess? :-)

Rifleman - Stop siniping :-P

David el Gnomo antigua


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: GUEST,ifor
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 02:48 PM

When some BNP members made appreciative noises about Bellowhead John Boden gave a suitable response.He put an anti fascist sticker on his fiddle and spoke out against the BNP.
ifor


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 02:54 PM

"To isolate "Folk Against Fascism'' to a local problem regarding the BNC is short-sighted."

The FaF has a very *specific* focus to raise awareness of the BNP's activities, because English/British traditional music and folk customs are being *specifically targeted by the BNP* for far-right wing propaganda.

As RA explained below, the organisation was created to counter propagandist activities of the BNP targeting English traditional music and custom. It could have been called: "Campaign to raise awareness about, and challenge the British National Party's politicisation of Traditional English and British music and customs." But it would be less catchy. However I think the Facebook page makes the remit very clear.

No doubt if the organisation develops and gains momentum, the brief could be expanded in time to encompass broader issues. But IMHO it's far too early to demand it extend itself beyond this immediate challenge, at such an early point in its conception.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 02:54 PM

Multiculturalism took on new meaning for me last night when the International Folk Dance group (Seattle), out of close to 40 dances we did, enjoyed the Greek dance Syrtos to the music of Ruby Love, Cat Stevens and the Turkish dance Sweet Girl to the Beatles Do you Need Anybody. No one complained about "tradition"; everyone had fun. Tradition is important to the point that is becomes a hindrance - maintained without being worshipped?

"Dissent is the ultimate form of patriotism."


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Peace
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 03:16 PM

"Dissent is the ultimate form of patriotism."

I don't agree.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 03:30 PM

If we're down to sloganising, here are two from The English Acoustic Collective:

Traditions must be respected but conventions can be broken and
The gold you are searching for is in your own backyard.

Multicultural artistic collaboration is not new (Boka Halat/Edward II/Ale Möller Band, to start a long list) nor is dancing to whatever were the pop tunes of the day (the tunes in the Playford Dancing Master didn't fall from the C17 sky).

The focus of FaF, as well as safeguarding trad music from the threat of hijack by the BNP will also cover extension of this phenomenon, down through the ages. It's what English musicians have always done and they will not be deflected.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Wolfgang
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 03:52 PM

75 years ago, the Volk was for fascism, not against.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 04:05 PM

Don't forget to write to your MP asking them to put English traditional arts and music into the National Curriculum - (in a safely teacherly way, of course)!

It won't take long to establish that it came from here, there and everywhere and belongs to everyone and no-one, and always did/will.

Waiting for a reply from mine.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 03:03 AM

Folk isn't alone in being targeted by the BNP. Seems anything seen to be classically British or English, is fair-play to be borrowed as BNP propaganda. Fortunately not everyone is willing to allow their traditions to serve the BNP's political agenda.

Royal British Legion (a non political organisation) have publicly demanded that Nick Griffin cease co-opting their poppy emblem in memoriam of war dead, as BNP political propaganda.
Nick Griffin hasn't been simply wearing the poppy on rememberance day like everyone else, but throughout his entire political campaign in Europe.

Open Letter to the Guardian

This is another example of their political advertising on the back of remembrance of war dead. A prior example was to be found during a remembrance day service where a wreath of poppies emblazened with the BNP slogo and a message which read: "You fought bravely to keep this country for your own. Rest in Peace. Now it's our turn." greatly distressed people who had gathered for the service.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 03:14 AM

Jesus can anyone imagine what their campaign strategy is like? Where do they get this stuff from?

Next we'll be seeing Griffin et al, gathering pridefully round the local war memorial, while wearing 'Beefeater' uniforms, tucking into Lancashire Hot-Pot followed by Eccles Cakes, before having a hearty singaround of pure unadultarated English folk songs. I reckon they'll top it off with a nice fireworks display, a brass band, and Last Night at the Proms style flag waving fest.

The BNP notion of Britishness is a surreal pastiche. It'd be funny if it wasn't so eerie and macabre.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 05:10 AM

Crow Sister....I'm 54 years old..and whether folks on here like it or not..I *remember* a time when what you've put above was is EXACTLY what DID happen.

OK, so times have moved on, a great deal, and now most prefer Chicken Korma to Lancashire Hot Pot, but...and it's a big BUT....but one of the reasons why the BNP is getting the support it is, imo, is because for decades we've never been allowed to mention our past, our memories, or to think back..

I was brought up on Roast Beef and Roast Potatoes..My Dad loved Eccles Cakes..I used to love seeing the Beefeaters, on a rare trip to London, soaked up the history, loved it all. I still love it, the Kings and Queens, the houses and castles..

There is NOTHING wrong with who we are. We are England...and that encompasses our memories, our past, present and future....

Now those memories also include the tantalising scent of curry drifting down the High Street, the Notting Hill Carnival, the Imagined Village and so much more, all of which have *enriched* this nation, but let us also remember our past too.

Hell, every other country in the world is allowed to, so why not us?

My childhood was NOT racist. My father went to war to ensure that scum like Hitler didn't win, that facists didn't rule the world..but to say what you've said above, is stirring nothing but anger, in my opinion, although I realise you may not have meant it that way.

I had a wonderful childhood, grew up in a wonderful country, but I've watched my country tear itself apart, because it lost sense of who it was, where it was going. It absorbed the hatred poured down on us by so many, when ALL countries have bad things in their past. Yes, we had slavery, but we also had William Wilberforce! Many other countries also had slavery, including the African nations themselves...Not ALL thing within the British Empire were bad...Yes, much was appalling, but there was some good there too.

My kids still have the occasional plate of Roast Beef and Yorkshire puddings, and that does NOT make them racist.

Neither does loving the sound of Church Bells, or seeing cricket being played on village greens...I don't give a flying duck what colour skin the players may have...It's the esssence of watching something that has been enjoyed for so long, that is part of who we are..

It's no different from loving folk songs for the same reason...

I get so sick of the way the racist label is flung around at innocent folks.

I'm English, I'm also British, but more importantly, I'm just one of the Human Race...and I see souls, not colours.

I loathe the BNP, but I love the country I grew up in...and the way it's changed too, in the areas where it's changed for the better...but I hate the way we've been made to feel so wrong, for so long...when England, in particular, (as the book goes) is one of the most welcoming and tolerant nations in the world!

So REJOICE over our Lancashire Hot Pot, and serve it up next to the Curry, because the Hot Pot is AS important as the Korma...

And THAT is what has been forgotten for so long....

AND...it is THAT which is feeding the BNP's success...

In my ever so humble opinion...

And no, I did NOT vote for them, before the usual bunch come in here yelling 'nasty little racist' at me...

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: theleveller
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 05:28 AM

Lizzie, I think what Crow Sister is saying is not that these things are bad - of ocurse they aren't - but to highjack them and make them part of a fascist agenda devalues them and implies that those of us who have contrary views to these thugs - and who enjoy the diversity of food/culture/music/people which is part of the REAL Britain are being unpatriotic and subversive when, in fact, the exact opposite is true. For a view of the true diversity of England, look at the England In Particular website and the absolutely wonderful book that they produced.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 05:30 AM

Lizzie:
You re absolutely right these are all the things that many of us love and enjoy. But I think that is the reason Crow Sister mentioned them. It is the thought of the BNP using them for their own devious means that offends. I think you are both right, if that's possible on a Mudcat thread!

FAF Andy


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 05:32 AM

You are missing my point quite entirely LC. But I don't have time to explain. And err 'thank you' too I guess, whatever that means...?


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 05:32 AM

What leveller said...


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 05:35 AM

What they said.. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 06:03 AM

Good post Lizzie !


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 06:10 AM

Hello, another suspicious GUEST!


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: GUEST,Joe P
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 06:18 AM

Who has ever been accused of being racist for eatig roast beef?

Whats this thing about not being allowed to celebrate our 'Englishness'? Its a myth.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 06:25 AM

I agree with Lizzie.
we can be proud and wish to promote our music culture,and still appreciate the music and cultures of others.
I play sing English Scottish Irish ,traditional music,I also listen to reels to ragas on my wireless,and have a music collection that is very catholic.
I believe it is agood thing that the English folkscene has clubs with different booking policies,some english/scottish Irish traditional,some blues some contemporary,some all these things,some with performers form other parts of the world.
but if a club chooses to specialise[booking policy wise] in one kind of music,be it English traditional or African music or French music,the organiser has every right to do so,without being called racist.
I cant think of a single club that has ever stopped a performer from singing a song[other than the club Ewan and Peggy were involved in ,over 40 years ago],when Lisa Turner was stopped from singing Single Girl,or was she reprimanded after?.
did anyone accuse those organisers of that club of being racist.
I think it is a great idea ,if people want to organise multi cultural folk clubs festivals societies,I also think it is great ideas that societies/ clubs want to concentrate as Comhaltas and EFDSS do on Irish or English Traditinal music.
The two can co exist together,.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 06:27 AM

Lizzie,

We are lucky to live in a country where we can makr choices about how we wish to live our lives (within the law)

To take the Roast Beef of Old England analogy.

If we want a Sunday roast all we have to do is go to the supermarket and buy what we want, or even go to the local pub if we dint want to cook. Also in that supermarket we could buy the ingredients for a curry, a stir-fry. The choices we have reflect the diversity of cultures (and food tastes). But noone is condemning anyone who wants the roast beef.

However, BNP wold argue that because we have the choice of other foods we are losing the right to roast beef which is a twist of logic and quite frankly round spherical objects which for some people is a delicacy.

The same applies to culture which includes folk music. We have the choice of (English) folk music, all forms of folk music, roots, classical, reggae, pop, rap etc etc. As long as enough people have an interest in any type of culture, it will continue.

The main barriers to the continuity of folk is not some conspiracy o put down folk but more straightforward issues like pub landlords making more money from juke boxes, pool tables, restuarants and so forth.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 06:31 AM

Richard, your paranoia is starting show again. I am not a 'suspicious' guest, I post fairly regularly, but do not set up cookies on computers that I do not own.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 06:37 AM

Ah, but, Silas, despite the old saw that just because one is paranoid does not prove that "they" are not out to get one, the antics of the identity thief "Hoff Bridge" proves that "they" ARE out to get me.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 06:40 AM

In the midst of all the invective I'd like to remind people that today would have been the eightieth birthday of Anne Frank.

Where has he gone
My dearest son?
Perhaps during the uprising
The cruel enemy killed him

Ah, you bad people
In the name of God, the most Holy,
Tell me, why did you kill
My son?

Never again
Will I have his support
Even if I cry
My old eyes out
Were my bitter tears
to create another River Oder
They would not restore to life
My son

He lies in his grave
and I know not where
Though I keep asking people
Everywhere

Perhaps the poor child
Lies in a rough ditch
and instead he could have been
lying in his warm bed

Oh, sing for him
God's little song-birds
Since his mother
Cannot find him

And you, God's little flowers
May you blossom all around
So that my son
May sleep happily

From Henryk Górecki. Symphony No 3. The Symphony of Sorrowful Songs


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 06:45 AM

Richard, let there be no doubt, they are out to get you.

Just need to know just who 'they' are....


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