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Music on the Streets

Music as Protest

Leeds used music to campaign against racism in the 1970s and 1980s. This short film with Marcia Brown explores the origins and impact of the Rock against Racism movement in Leeds. Rock Against Racism (RAR) was a grass roots movement which organised gigs to show resistance to the growing popularity of the National Front. Starting in London in 1978, it soon spread through the UK. This film was made as part of the Leeds Music Sound Bites display at Leeds City Museum, on until April 2018.

Melody Maker Newspaper 1979: 'The Gang Of Four'

Use the film to spark a discussion about music and activism. Music can change the world – what would you change? What do you believe in? How can you showcase that? How far have we come since the 1970s?

Use Khadijah Ibrahim’s poem at 8:52 as starting point for your own performance poetry and build it into music. 

See the Supporting Links for more information about the original 1978 movement and carnival in London and images from Leeds.