In a new weekly R$N series, we pick out someone or something that we believe is worthy of a special mention, someone who, in the preceding week, has gone above and beyond and merits our enthusiastic support. We dont restrict our praise to musicians or artists, it can be heaped upon anyone whos caught our eye as being suitable for a gold medal award, a tip of the hat, a round of applause, a Special Disco Mention. This week, fittingly, its The English Disco Lovers....
Last Saturday, in yet another shambolic stab at racist antagonism the English Defence League marched on Tower Hamlets. The motley crew of racists, nationalists and hooligans claim to stand for the forgotten English, forgetting, ironically, that being English is not dependent on being white, racist and ignorant. Driven by an ill-conceived, one dimensional islamophobia and led by the arch-goon Tommy Robinson (actually called Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, but thats not nearly English enough, is it?), they are a hateful, horrible bunch.
Fortunately, as usual, the EDL were met by a counter demonstration, made up of anti-fascists, unionists and everyday folk who, you know, actually quite like living in a multicultural society. In amongst this counter-demonstration were a group who have formed specifically in opposition to the hatred of the EDL, the English Disco Lovers. With a mission statement to reclaim the hated EDL acronym from The English Defence League and make it stand for something positive, the English Disco Lovers have set about harnessing the utopian ideal of Disco as a weapon in the fight against 21st century fascism. Disco, perhaps more so than any other genre of music, is the music of the minorities - born as it was out of the marginalised black, gay and latino communities of the US. Its the perfect vehicle, then, to deflate the posturing, macho hatred of the (other) EDL. With slogans on banners such as Dont Hate, Gyrate the humour they bring to the table is a much needed relief in tense times and a reminder that satire is one of the most effective forms of protest.
Having been established on 18 September 2012, theyre just coming up to their first birthday and have pretty much achieved their initial goal of knocking the English Defence League off their perch as the highest ranking website on Google when searching EDL, with over 50,000 facebook likes and counting too. Having held a number of fundraising parties, most recently at Dalston Superstore last week, with the proceeds split between local education charity Hackney Pirates and LGBT charity All Out, and recently been nominated for a National diversity Award - the English Disco Lovers are going from strength to strength and proving themselves to be a shining beacon for good, and for this we think theyre more than deserving of the inaugural R$N Special Disco Mention.