Over 300 people packed into a Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) gig in Barking last Saturday.
The crowd—mostly young and a mix of black and white—crowded into the Barking Broadway Theatre.
This was the first gig LMHR has been allowed to hold in Barking. But bands were told by the theatre not to make political comments from the stage.
So ska band, The King Blues, decided to take their protest to the steps of Barking council instead where they held an impromptu unplugged session just before midnight.
Gig-goers joined the band with chants of “Whose streets? Our streets!”
Itch Fox of The King Blues said, “The BNP can try and stop us, but they can’t stop the people’s voice. At the end of the day, we will rise up and people will hear the truth.”
Other performers on the night included spoken word collective Words in Motion, grime veteran MC Ghetts and duo Where’s Huey?
Alys Zaerin, one of the organisers, said, “It was a fantastic gig.
“The audience was overwhelmingly from Barking and Dagenham.”
Shereen, 14, helped sign up people at the gig to Unite Against Fascism activity.
She said, “People were asking if the BNP can win, and would they have any power even if they did.
“I said they were a threat, and look at how they got onto the BBC and got lots of coverage.
“I signed up young people from Dagenham to come out with UAF next Sunday.”