The Northern Carnival against the Nazis, a rally and concert held on 15 July 1978 in Moss Side, Manchester, was a defining moment in establishing anti-racism in the city and beyond.
Dubbed ‘the day it became cool to be anti-racist’, the Carnival galvanised North West communities against racist groups, including the National Front. A rally of 15,000 people marched all the way from Strangeways prison to Alexandra Park joining a further 25,000 for an afternoon of music, dancing and unity.
Co-organised by Geoff Brown of the Anti-Nazi League (ANL) and Bernie Wilcox of Rock Against Racism (RAR), the Carnival featured incendiary live performances by pop-punk superstars Buzzcocks and Steel Pulse, the UK's leading reggae band of the period. Support came from Moss Side reggae band Exodus (later X-O-Dus) and China Street from Lancaster, who had released a single on EMI called ‘Rock Against Racism’.
This letter, sent to the Manchester RAR Committee in May of that year shows the London RAR Committee's misgivings about a proposed carnival in the North.
"We appreciate your enthusiasm and understand your desire to stage a similar event in the North but the RAR Committee is adamant that such an event should not take place under the RAR banner at this time."
The MCR Committee went ahead anyway, proving them wrong, the condescending feckers.
Artefact added : 3rd December 2020