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Posted on 28 August 2013 at 10:39 GMT

Manic Street Preachers take legal action against EDL

Last month news emerged that the Manic Street Preachers are taking legal action against the English Defence League (EDL) for using one of their songs to promote an upcoming demonstration.

It's unbelievable that these racist thugs would use an anti-fascist anthem by a socialist band to promote a demo of hate, however the far-right do have previous experience in this field.

The BNP, who use ignorance to peddle racism have shown they are just as ignorant when it comes to popular culture and music, as they have also used a song by a socialist musician to further their bigotry, in this case "A New England" by Billy Bragg.

The Manics' song "If you tolerate this your children will be next" took its name from an anti-fascist slogan used during the Spanish Civil War where anti-fascists from all over Europe fought Franco from taking over the country. The band are horrified that their track was being used in the promo.

Hot on the heels of this news, a story has come to light in France that Black Metal singer Kristian Varg Vikernes, originally from Norway, was arrested on terrorism charges after his wife bought four high-powered rifles.

The story runs deeper than this though as Vikernes is a known racist and has links with neo-nazi groups around Europe.

He was also one of 530 people to who, Vikernes' fellow Norwegian Anders Breivik sent a copy of his manifesto. Breivik murdered 77 people in 2011 as part of his 'war on Islam'. Vikernes was released from prison in 2010, after serving 15 years for the stabbing and murder of a fellow musician in 1994 and was also convicted of burning down churches.

Music can respond to a vast divergence of events, sometimes admittedly in a reactionary way - like with Viknernes. But the Manics aren't the only anti-racist band out there and come from a great tradition going back to the Specials, the Clash and the Rock Against Racism campaign to name a few.

Scott Jones

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