Following a report by anti-fascist charity Hope Not Hate, it appears that a neo-Nazi group intend to hold a music gig in Newcastle city centre this weekend. Followers of the group ‘Northern Nationalists’ have been told to meet at a city centre “wine lodge” at 4pm on Saturday 16th March, before heading to another venue where the gig will commence.
The nature of such an event means that concrete information is hard to come by, with a no photography, recording or social media policy. Hope Not Hate have however managed to procure promotional material for the concert, dubbed the ‘Blood and Honour Violent Storm Memorial’. The event is an annual memorial for four members of the far-right band ‘Violent Storm’ who died in a car crash in 1992. Blood and Honour, consisting of British and European followers, have travelled the country ever since, and for 2019, Newcastle has unfortunately been chosen as its venue.
Camera-shy far-right bands Brad, Gentlemen Thugs and Whitelaw are rumoured to be performing at the event, as part of “the independent voice of rock against communism”.
There is expected to be a large showing from the white-supremacist, anti-communist rock music fan contingent, who are willing to pay the £10 entry fee; especially considering the last time Newcastle’s far-right raised their heads over the parapet and into the public eye, when a dozen men from ‘National Action’ dressed in black, stood by Grey’s Monument and held a banner stating “Hitler was right”, before the entire group was outlawed by Home Secretary Amber Rudd.
This unfortunately comes at a time when the recent attack on the Islamic Bahr Academy in Elswick remains fresh in the memory. Amongst other acts of vandalism, the perpetrators daubed a red swastika upon the wall. Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes, condemned the attack in the strongest of terms as “appalling racist hate crimes”, and asserted that these messengers of hate have no place in Newcastle.
This strong resistance from local political figures, as well as pubic opposition – as seen at the National Action event -, hopefully suggests that if the far-right decide to show their face again, they will be met with fierce resistance that asserts Newcastle's opposition to fascism in all its ugly forms.