Tag Archives: skinheads

Black Bear Apologizes for Oi!Fest, Santos Party House Closes Down

Whenever a large racist skinhead show makes its way to town it leaves a disastrous trail in its wake.

As many of you have been watching, NYC Antifa and antifascists from around the country have been raising the profile of the neo-Nazi Oi!Fest 2016 concert coming to New York City.  Oxblood, Offensive Weapon, Battle Zone, Close Shave and others fill out a line-up that has become the edge of the “white noise” music scene.

The show was originally booked at the Black Bear Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This was not overly surprising as the bar had been a venue to the controversial Operation Equinox tour from the nationalist post-industrial website Heathen Harvest. Though the racist side of neofolk is often less known to venues, antifascists called in and made it incredibly clear what Heathen Harvest was promoting and the problematic behavior of several of the bands on the bill, including Blood and Sun.

This time the show was less ambiguous, and made up of a more working-class fascist contingent rather than the esoteric mysticism of the neofolk crowd.

After the announcement came in, people went to their social media and called in to share their disappointment with Black Bear once again siding with Nazis. This time Black Bear Bar eventually caved in and canceled the show. They quickly put up an apology, backtracking for their booking.

It is with deep remorse, shared by all members of the BlackBear Bar team that we write this statement expressing our apologies to our neighbors, customers, patrons, friends and the artistic community for our part in the Oi fest, which was scheduled at BlackBear this past weekend. We have decided to cancel the remainder of this event and sincerely regret our negligence in allowing this to happen

To best grasp how this happened, it’s important to understand the nuance of the day-to-day operations of a music venue. There are a number of team members, both internal and external, which allow us to provide quality programming seven days a week. This community includes a number of outside promoters. Many of these promoters are folks with whom we have worked for a number of years and built strong, trusting relationships with.

One of these promoters brought us this event, with a short list of bands who would take part in the weekend, including Oxblood as a headliner, who did meet our booking standards. It wasn’t until much later, and after much assurance to the contrary, that the problematic nature of this event was brought to our attention. Obviously we should have and take full responsibility for the lack of oversight.
We acted as fast as we could and have cancelled the duration of the program. We have made it clear to the parties involved that we want absolutely no part in the values represented by and through this event.

As one of the last independently owned and operated creative spaces in Williamsburg, Black Bear has hosted all forms of diverse creative expression, from GLBTQ parties, Latino, Asian, hip hop, R ‘N B, Burlesque, performance art, progressive political events, and community outreach initiatives. For that we take full responsibility and would like to extend our sincere apologies to the community for our negligence. We can assure you all that this incident has been eye opening to us, and forced us to readjust our booking procedures. We will continue to host events that meet our highest standards and promote tolerance and inclusiveness in all forms.

While Black Bear was the venue, the promoter, a man named Curtis, was who brought it to them. He later issued another statement trying to defend against the growing backlash.

The purpose of this letter is to sincerely apologize to Black Bear Bar, New Island Presents and our community for my part in renting Black Bear Bar to promoters for May 28ths shows. As a venue finder, I occasionally work with these entities to book various shows with promoters looking for venues, which is the case here. Unfortunately we did not properly screen this event.

Let’s be clear, neither the venue nor I have any association with this group of people outside of allowing someone looking to rent or(sic) venue without thoroughly enough screening the show. Neither the venue nor myself had any involvement in booking or promoting and of the bands for this night.

While we had no behavior issues of any sort at this event, it becomes apparent that their(sic) are underlying political tones to the genre that can be very offensive. The show was explained to us as a punk rock show and underlying details were obscured. We missed the mark.

I would encourage members of our community to not lay blame to the venue for said show as they always (sic) professional, considerate and host to a huge variety of wholesome music. Once again, I sincerely apologize for my role in this event and hope our community can allow us some understanding and forgive.

While Black Bear did host the first night of the show, they canceled the second night leaving Oi!Fest without a venue. That is when they went to the Santos Party House, a club that is co-owned by Andrew WK and the rapper Despot (among several others). Antifascist organizers reached out to Andrew WK and Despot via social media to ask them why their venue would host such an event. While Andrew WK remained silent, Despot was angered by the insinuation that he had anything to do with it and lashed out. Santos even bent over backwards to host the neo-Nazis and canceled the band Emergency Protocol’s show to clear the venue.

Someone known as New York Year Zero on Twitter came out to the venue to see exactly what type of people were at this show. His photos reveal pretty clearly that this was a group closely allied with neo-Nazi street scenes from the U.S. and Europe, and claims that it was a non-racist skinhead were false.

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Skinheads at the show were reportedly Seig Heiling even though they were asked by promoters not to because it ends up as photographic evidence.  The code-word they use to refer to this is “waving to Kyle.”

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Things were apparently not doing well for the Santos Party House as they closed down the day after Oi!Fest, even though there were still dates booked later into the summer.

The bands in question have remained relatively silent throughout the affair, with only Oxblood going to their Facebook page to post a picture from the first night filled with angry skinheads moshing. The most popular (by Nazi standards) bands on the bill have tried their best to avoid clear associations with their Nazi roots, but those connections are clear when their rhetoric is stripped away.

Paul Dirk, a member of Close Shave, also played for neo-Nazi bands like Razors Edge and English Rose who released albums on well-known Nazi labels like Dim Records. They are known for other acts like Panzerknacker, Ultima Thule, Combat 84, and Celtic Warrior.

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Close Shave

As Anti-Fascists Online reported, Close Shave has tried to become a more mainstream Oi! band by hiding their Nazi roots.

Like many other far right bands they try to hide the fact in public and go to great lengths to deny it but the proof is in the pudding as they are still writing right wing lyrics to their most recent songs.

They have played with many of the notorious White Power bands in Britain such as the gigs they did in 1989 – May 6th in Loughborough with Violent Storm, English Rose, Skullhead and Guttersnipe Army, May 13th in Consett with Skullhead, and another in Consett on October 28th with Skullhead and Brutal Attack. Not to mention a more recent gig with American boneheads Brassic.

They’ve also played support to Skrewdriver during Skrewdriver’s nazi period. In fact over the years Close Shave have play­ed with al­most every Nazi / RAC band doing the rounds. They even name check Skull­head on one of their Link Re­cords re­lea­ses.

In 1993 Close Shave played a gig in Germany with nazi band Razors Edge and a few others. That gig was recently released on DVD. The cover shows white Skinheads attacking black people.

Close Shave still regularly play with extremist right wing bands and RAC bands.
Every year in Blackpool there’s a “secret” gig for fascist bands who aren’t welcome at the Rebellion festival. Close Shave is regularly part of that line-up. Not only does the band play, but it have they also played a part in organizing it.

Offensive Weapon has followed Close Shave’s lead in attempting to create a complicated smokescreen that provides some level of cover for their politics and history. They have released an album with the openly neo-Nazi record label Pure Impact, and the lead singer often wears an “Anti ANTIFA” shirt that is popular among the Nazi subculture. They attempt to describe themselves just as “patriotic,” but when their lyrics and relationships are put on the table, it ends up just being a cowardly attempt at avoiding their associations.

Battle Zone has a more obvious history, as they were a staple in the British neo-Nazi skinhead scene until their first break-up in 1994. The lead singer, Alex Ellui, moved to Peru from England after pressure from his “comrades” in Combat 18. They have tried to be “non-political” since then, but that is merely a way of avoiding the complications that racist organizing brought them in the past. While they try to avoid explicit politics in their lyrics, they continue to tour with bands that do and keep the racist skinhead scene close to their heart. They even get nostalgic on occasion and bring back earlier racialist lyrics in their songs and join in at Rock Against Communism events.

While many of the bands try to hide behind relationships with nationalists of color, their crews and goals are obvious. What is even clearer is that the community around them is not going to tolerate their attempt at holding public events. Not only were antifascist organizers ready when Oi!Fest began in NYC, but the rest of community revolted against the venues that were bold enough to host them. The response from the Black Bear Bar is a good sign that bands like this will be hitting the black list, and that anti-racist values are being set as a standard for music and art venues in the city.

This should also send a message to non-racist Oi! bands to make sure an avoid the racist side as it looks like shows like Oi!Fest are intended to appeal to the non-political Trojan skinhead crowd as well.

Big thanks to much of the research from The Brooklyn Vegan, NYC Antifa, Anti-Fascist Online, New York Year Zero, and others.

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Black Bear Cancels Oi!Fest Amid Antifascist Protest, Nazis Move to Santos Party House

Feeling the force of antifascist pressure from NYC Antifa and others, the Black Bear Bar in Brooklyn finally decided to cancel the Oi!Fest 2016 skinhead concert they were hosting.  The bar had provided cover to the neo-Nazis organizing the concert, just as they did previously by supporting the neofolk Operation Equinox tour, using the few multi-racial members of the skinhead bands as a cover.  As people have noticed, this group of nationalist skinheads have reached out to nationalists of color to create a more “multi-racial” fascist subculture, and one that often confuses those looking for traditional racial separatism.

It was this multiracial character that Black Bear used to defend themselves as antifascists descended on their social media.  On Facebook, they spent all evening defending themselves against allegations of aiding Nazi gangs.  People from around the country, but especially New York, posted on there, sharing stories of Black Bear regularly supporting “Rock Against Communism” shows and using traditional Nazi insignia in the bar.  The bar repeatedly tried to point to Asian and Latin American members of some of the bands as proof that this was a non-racist skinhead show, yet members of the community immediately posted information about neo-Nazism in Latin and Asian communities that they were attempting to create alliances with.

In a recent article, the Southern Poverty Law Center took a special look at the inclusion of people of color in this otherwise racialist scene .  They pointed out that many of these street fascist movements, which this brand of skinheads inhabit in the United States, have had several attempts to “rebrand” themselves using a tenuous multi-racial alliance.

From the 1980s to the mid-2000s, the dominant brand within the far-right sector of skinhead subculture was neo-nazism, and such interracial co-mingling would have been unthinkable. In truth, there have always been skinheads of varying degrees of “whiteness” across the world who have sought to uphold strains of far-right politics.

A prime example of how race is falling away as the dominant organizer within the extremist skinhead music scene occurred in 2013.

Bound For Glory, one the first neo-nazi skinhead bands to emerge here, toured Japan with Aggro Knuckle, one of that country’s oldest skinhead bands. The two also released a split-record together. In that way, NYC Oi! Fest is an important microcosm of the landscape of “hate music” worldwide. Last year’s installment brought bands to New York City from as far away as Finland and Mexico.

“Oi,” after all, encapsulates a broad range of skinhead-oriented punk and rock ‘n’ roll. Most Oi! fests and concerts book bands who offer little-to-no political overtones or messages. Their songs and the shows themselves often revolve around drinking and other subcultural markers, like banal expressions of patriotism. By inserting “Oi!” into its title, the fest’s promotors –– Dennis Davila of United Riot Records chief among them –– are putting forth their version of what skinhead identity and music should exist as, while directing hostility towards outsider and those they “other.”

There is, of course, historical precedent for this. Efforts to reframe skinhead identity and music were first undertaken by the neo-Nazi political party National Front in England in the early 1980s. The efforts of those organizing NYC Oi! Fest –– a long-standing crew calling itself the 211 Bootboys, of which Davilia is a member –– aren’t wholly dissimilar from the National Front’s attempts to attract skinheads to their worldview.

They go on to outline the violent homophobic and nationalist lyrics of bands in the Oi!Fest line-up, including Brassic.  They have allowed Nazi skinhead crews to make Oi!Fest an annual meet-up point, and bands like Brassic have had explicit Nazis set up their shows around Europe.

Anti-fascist writer Spencer Sunshine outlines the complicated nature of these seeming “multi-racial” alliances that we are seeing in this skinhead event, as well as in circles like National Anarchism and radical traditionalist circles.

Today, neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan are no longer the only groups that endorse White separatism. This is partly due to the secessionist fever that has spread across the U.S. Right, uniting Right Libertarians, conspiracy theorists, Christian theocrats, Sovereign Citizens, neo-Confederates, and traditional White separatists. New groups advocate “pan-secessionist” ideology, and seek to unite the right-wing secessionists with those traditionally closer to the Left, like (bio)regional separatism in Vermont and Cascadia, former Leftist Kirkpatrick Sale’s decentralist Middlebury Institute, and nationalist organizing by those who, in the old anti-imperialist terminology, are “oppressed nations” (Native Americans, African-Americans, Latinos, and other people of color).

However, the most contentious question today is the direct participation of people of color in groups that espouse White separatism as part of their ideology. Loosely organized groups like National-Anarchists, Attack the System, and New Resistance, which actively embrace White separatism as part of their decentralized schema, should be excluded from progressive circles—including people of color who are members of these groups.  This also includes members of groups that are multi-racial, but which promote this political view.

In addition to these groups, some people of color are involved in openly fascist circles. Neo-Nazi groups are active in countries such as Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Mongolia, and Malaysia; and members of these movements reportedly have ties in the United States.

In the past, Leftists excluded White people affiliated with groups that espoused White separatism, such as White Aryan Resistance (WAR) and Aryan Nations. But this new secessionism is more complicated; for example, it has led to the spectacle of people of color advocating for the legitimacy of White separatism—by claiming either that all separatism is good separatism, or that a program of complete reciprocal racial separatism requires that all groups have their own geographical enclave.

Cooperation between racial separatists of differing backgrounds is a long-standing tradition. In the 1930s, when Mississippi’s arch-racist Senator Theodore Bilbo publicly called for the expulsion of African-Americans to Africa, members of Marcus Garvey’s movement (themselves proponents of African-American emigration to Africa) approached Bilbo as a potential collaborator. The Nation of Islam (NOI) also has a history of associating with White nationalists, including the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party; Malcolm X cited these associations as one of the reasons he became disgruntled with NOI. WAR’s Tom Metzger has supported and donated money to NOI and has addressed the New Black Panther Party (NBPP). In Florida, one Black separatist organization even held joint demonstrations with a local Klan group.

However, calling for the exclusion of all supporters of White separatism should not be mistaken for a call for progressives to exclude activists who endorse nationalist forms of separatism for people of color, including Black, Native American, or Latino nationalists. It is only the advocacy of White racial separatism that is at issue. While the acceptance of what is called the “right to national self-determination” of racial and ethnic minorities as congruent with larger left-wing goals is not without its critics (including myself), it has a long-established history on the U.S. Left, and its advocates have included the Black Panther Party, the American Indian Movement, and the Young Lords. However, irrespective of the debates around it, national self-determination by an oppressed group of people is completely different from the “right” of White separatism. White separatism has never had a place in the Left, and its structural function is to reinforce—and not attempt to escape (regardless of whether this would work in practice or not)—existing social hierarchies. In the United States, White people as a group are firmly in control of the majority of economic resources and social power. White separatism is comparable to espousing gated communities for the rich: its purpose is to physically express existing hierarchical social and economic structures.

This type of alliance is something that white nationalists in all circles are going to continue to try and pull from in an attempt to show that “fascism is for everyone.”  Even the most recent American Renaissance conference had a Mexican speaker discussing racial nationalism, and they occasionally post that they have Latino participants in their crowd who are there advocating for their own racial separatism.  Japanese nationalism, often tied to romantic notions about Imperial Japan and national Shinto, is a special favorite for this crowd, and often is used by white nationalists as proof that they have a coherent ideology that is not just a vessel for angry bigotry.  There are very few people of color associating with these white nationalists, but it is a rhetorical strategy that has helped to neutralize opposition who are not aware of these strategic developments on the far-right.

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Black Bear eventually went to Twitter to announce that the show for Sunday, May 29th had been canceled.

The show is actually being moved to the Santos Party House, having just been announced at 3:30pm EST.   That venue is co-owned by rocker Andrew W. K, who very well may not know what is going on. Fascists are hoping that the antifascist opposition will miss this news, but with a growing contingent in New York City looking to shut it down it will be hard for them to hide.  NYC Antifa will be calling for a boycott of Santos Party House if the show is successfully held there.

Contact them and let them know what you think!

SANTOS STAFF:
Chip Su: 212-584-5492, booking@santospartyhouse.com
Bryan: bryan@santospartyhouse.com.
Jackalyn Tipchaieuh: live@santospartyhouse.com (out of the office but send her an email anyway!)
also: info@santospartyhouse.com
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/santospartyhouse
INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/santospartyhaus

Also let Andrew W.K. know what is going on!

ANDREW WK on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/AndrewWK

Big thanks to NYC Antifa for all of their research and work!

Nazi Skinhead Concert To Be Held at Black Bear Bar in Brooklyn

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A crowd of skinheads and Nazi punks are feeling so emboldened in Brooklyn that they are having another party in Williamsburg tonight. Today is Oi!Fest, a Rock Against Communism show that neo-Nazi skinheads attempt to have annually. RAC is the alternative to the more left-leaning working class street punks and Oi! Scene, where RAC is an explicitly “white power” contingent that birthed the “white noise” movement. While the Nazi skinhead culture has waxed and waned, white noise music has been one of the best recruitment tools for the most extreme edge of the violent white nationalist movement.

OiFest! 2016 had been organized in relative secret as most of the skinheads at its reigns know it would be shut down if their venue is revealed too soon. Yesterday they had a large pre-party that brought out their crews and supporters at the Red Star bar in Greenpoint, a well known sports-bar in the area.

Tonight they are going to be having the first of two shows for Oi!Fest 2016 at Black Bear on North 6th avenue in Williamsburg. Black Bear has already caused controversy by hosting the Project Equinox tour from Heathen Harvest, with a line-up of well-known Neofolk bands with nationalist leanings. It is unsure whether or not Black Bear is the venue for tomorrow’s show as well. The bands for Oi!Fest include well-known skinhead fare like OxBlood, Close Shave, Offensive Weapon, and Battle Zone.

Below we are listing all of the information for Black Bear, their social media, yelp, and contact information. Call in and let them known what you think about their choice to host a violent neo-Nazi show.  This is an organizing tool that has real consequences and these events have a track record of being center points for violent racist attacks.

Black Bear Twitter:@BlackBearBKL

Blackbearbk.com

Phone: 917.538.8399

Black Bear Instagram

Black Bear Facebook

Address:

70 N 6th St

BrooklynNY