Riot Ska gig report

stop_police_violence

“Let’s lynch the landlord!” – The Dead Kennedy’s

Another top gig organised by the unstoppable Riot Ska Records crew last Friday night. Shame about the landlord and the cop thugs!

Here’s our report on what went on:

The pub was rammed with loads of good people and the atmosphere was wicked. Helldeath fury – awesome. Bolshy – Bangin! We loved playing the gig and were thinking what a good new venue had been found for punk and alternative gigs. But then things changed really quickly for the worse. News started coming through that the landlord was pestering people about drinking outside, attempting to search bags and getting right up in people’s faces. He was highly agitated, losing it for no apparent reason and his aggressive behaviour was totally disproportionate to the situation. But instead of doing the right thing, being a sensible landlord and dealing with it by having a word with the gig organisers what did he do? He called the cops! Cue two cars of Avon and Somerset’s finest arriving on the scene, making a totally pointless, bullshit arrest, assaulting a man and starting the trouble.

People came out of the pub to question the cops’ behaviour and before you could say “ACAB”, a load more cops had arrived, in full thug mode, pushing people around, using batons and pepper spray in what we have come to understand as their trademark “community policing” approach. These bullies never grew out of it and now they have the full backing of the law to dish out punishment with impunity. And they wonder why so many people hate them so much! Well, as one gig goer pointed out, if this is what we get when just trying to enjoy some bands, maybe it is a case of “Too many gigs, not enough riots”. After making two more incomprehensible arrests with their habitual violence, they withdrew from the area, leaving people wondering what the fuck had just gone on. And perhaps more importantly, what exactly that shithead of a landlord had said to them to bring on such a paramilitary policing response. Interestingly and unbelievably, after bringing all this on, the landlord decided to don a St Pauli football top (a team very much associated with antifascism and anti police/state repression), perhaps in a vain “Look, I’m one of you!” attempt to try and get back in with the punks. It didn’t wash and he was given a big piece of our minds, as well the prize (still to be presented) for the most inappropriate hoodie¬†wearing of the evening. The consensus was that this muppet was really not fit to wear the St Pauli hoodie and a PCSO uniform would suit him much better. What a pillock! So the word has rightly been circulating to leave this pub well alone and numerous gig organisers have cancelled upcoming gigs, stating clearly to the landlord their reasons why. Now you’ve read this, please help tell people about it and encourage them to take their money elsewhere.

So, we were really impressed with the solidarity shown by the Bristol punks this night in the face of it all and we should be proud of what we got. That reminder is one good thing to come out of it (as well as hopefully some successful legal action against the cop thugs!). We made sure the arrestees had friendly faces waiting when they saw the light of day again after being held in Patchway cells all night. Now let’s continue to show our collective solidarity and make sure the two facing charges win in court. Here’s a witness callout put out by the irrepressible Bristol Defendant Solidarity:April 8th witness callout-page001

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