Sunday, 10 August 2014

Don't Hate, Gyrate

When the EDL visits Manchester on Saturday 16 August it won’t be to spread hatred and fear, but instead the opposite will be true. Two years ago, with EDL protests grabbing headlines in the national media, Alex Jones and some friends joked about the idea of claiming the acronym back from the clutches of racism and violence. Today their joke has developed into a positive movement aiming to promote community spirit and diversity under the heading of English Disco Lovers.

Beginning with social media and search engine optimisation to link the ‘EDL’ acronym with their own English Disco Lovers title, they then set about creatively and humorously deflating the negative right-wing messages by arriving in fancy disco dress, aiming soundsystems at English Defence League demonstrations and turning Gloria Gaynor's ‘I Will Survive’ up to 11. Elsewhere, the Disco Lovers have pointed their soundsystems at various dancefloors across the country by arranging clubnights whose proceeds fill the pockets of charities that work towards greater social cohesion.

Jones will first pay a visit to the People’s History Museum for a 60 minute talk as part of the venue’s Work in Progress exhibition and workshops series. His talk will cover the array of tactics used by the alternative EDL to combat and subvert the far right EDL group.

Later on, the Manchester division of the English Disco Lovers will be on the turntables at the Roadhouse to deliver an earful of soulful grooves. Jonny Shire of Oui Dig fame and Zero are the resident EDL tune selectors, while guests this time around are from the Hi Ku and Full Stop Manchester clubnights.

Ian Pennington

The English Disco Lovers talk at People’s History Museum begins at 2.30pm and the suggested donation on entry is £3 in order to support the museum.
The clubnight is from 11pm til late on Saturday 16 August at Roadhouse. Tickets are available via the ethical ticketing agency, Party For The People, who donate a cut of their sales to selected charities.

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