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Anti Racism / National Front in Coventry, c.1960-80

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P Rae
West Midlands
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1 of 5  Thu 18th Oct 2018 4:39pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2018  Total posts:3

Dear All, My name is Paul, and I am conducting a research project at the University of Wolverhampton, which is looking into local (West Midlands) reactions to several small anti-immigration groups, Enoch Powell, the National Front and state racism from the late sixties to the early eighties. Such reactions were not entirely political, but cultural, religious, autonomous etc. I was wondering if anyone on the forum could provide any information on the Coventry National Front, Coventry Against Racism and Fascism, The ANL gig which the Specials headlined, graffiti, notes on marches, infiltration into schools, or anything that you may feel is relevant however small. The project encompasses a litany of secondary literature from the press, internal group documents, fanzines, political pamphlets, photographs, film archives, letters, and oral interivews with several participants. However, I feel I could use more information and personal testimony from the people of Coventry in the project, especially as so much political/ personal activism/agency is never recorded. If anyone could help, or point me in the direction of someone who can, it would be greatly appreciated. Also, as it is a sensitive period of post-war history, I have added my institutional email address to my account, if you would rather get in touch directly. Thank you Historic Coventry Forum users, I look forward to hearing from you, Paul
Anti Racism / National Front in Coventry, c.1960-80
Helen F
Warrington
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2 of 5  Fri 19th Oct 2018 4:07pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:1304

Sorry I can't help you but hello anyway. Wave
Anti Racism / National Front in Coventry, c.1960-80
NeilsYard
Coventry
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3 of 5  Sat 20th Oct 2018 1:17pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1957

Hi Paul - Mark Osborne has this great site which features a load of images from the Festival Against Racism gig from June 1981 which featured amongst other The Specials / Hazel O'Connor etc. here. There are also photos of the Carnival Against Racism gig on Hearsall Common from April 1979 featuring the terrific Coventry Punk band Squad which was Terry Hall's first band (though he had left before this gig). You should contact Mark via his website for permission to use any of the photos though if needed - there are contact links in the Blog section. There is a thread on here about Coventry bands and I mentioned before that I rode my bike in to the Butts gig unchallenged - got bored after 5 minutes and rode off back to my grandad's house who lived up the road without realising I missed what was probably a seminal moment in 2-Tone History. Incidentally I live back in Earlsdon now where that gig was performed and also where 2-Tone HQ is - 51 Albany Road as seen in this BBC Documentary. It's still there unchanged - it was Jerry Dammers' flat - even the Poodle Parlour is still there! Edited by member, 20th Oct 2018 1:31 pm
Anti Racism / National Front in Coventry, c.1960-80
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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4 of 5  Sat 20th Oct 2018 6:25pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2640

P Rae The 'rivers of blood' speech by Enoch Powell in '68 was partially what he saw happening in Coventry and the Midlands during the fifties. They came in answer to the shortage of workers after the war, but the flood was so great it caused problems with housing, medical etc - it wasn't so much racism as culture, like the doctor's surgery, nine out of ten patients were Asian; benefit like unemployment, again over two-thirds were Asian. These were the things that caused unrest, they unbalanced the housing shortage, they ignored some of our laws like twelve people in a four seater car, but it needed time for people to learn to live together. The Indian Government allowed them to sail here with only £3 in their pocket, so they went straight on benefit, to the annoyance of the English residents. It's all down somewhere, I'm sure. Now if you want to know real racism then I witnessed that between white and coloured USA troops, a battle of broken bottles, plates and glasses being used, and that was 'rivers of blood'.
Anti Racism / National Front in Coventry, c.1960-80
P Rae
West Midlands
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Thread starter
5 of 5  Mon 22nd Oct 2018 5:37pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2018  Total posts:3

Hi, Helen F, Neilsyard and Kaga simpson, Many thanks for your replies. @Neilsyard, I really appreciate the link to the youtube video, I had never seen that before. Thanks for your time, and, If anyone would be interested in participating in an oral history interview/ questionnaire who was contemparaneously around in the West Midlands during the 70s and involved in any of the aformentioned activity, then I would be delighted to hear from you, Paul
Anti Racism / National Front in Coventry, c.1960-80

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