We are pleased to say that our first ever benefit gig was a total success, we probably had between 70-100 people come out (although admittedly this was due to the awesome line up!). First up we need to thank all the acts, both local and those that traveled and only asked for petrol money, they all played fantastic sets! We also should thank everyone who came out, and everyone who made it possible, from the people who stood at the door all night, to those that took the money, those who helped get all the equipment, the sound man who gave us a knocked down rate, and the poor bar staff who served with ear plugs in! Also we are sorry to report to all the people that were asking, but we have now sold out of all our t-shirts.
Although it was at the back of our mind that the organised local fascists might try something on, we didn’t in all seriousness expect them to be that stupid, but then you should never underestimate the stupidity of a fascist mind! They were clearly riding high after it took 12 of them to bully 4 middle aged Hope Not Hate campaigners in Eastleigh a few weeks back (Hope not Hate are a very fluffy antifascist group supported by celebrities and other notable types). The fascists made a video of that shameful action, it’s pathetic, and can be viewed here: crap video.
After getting reports that a few local boneheads had been spotted in the Albert Road area a few people from our gig went and stood at the corner of Albert Road and another group down by The Pheonix to ensure they could not get close to the door. Sure enough 5 fascists turned up at the Albert Road junction with a sixth observing from over the road. Fuck knows what they were planning, One of the scumbags was putting his balaclava on when they bumped into our lot. After a brief exchange of views, things seemed to be going relatively peacefully. It was only after our mate got bored of arguing and turned his back on them that they attacked. Antifascists defended themselves and the fisticuffs quickly spread into Albert Road.
The scum never stood a chance, they were outnumbered about two or three to one, and after a quick thrashing they managed to pick themselves up, running off in the direction of Fawcett Road. It was unfortunate that people out enjoying a Saturday night had to witness it, but to be fair most of them came out of the restaurants for a better look, and to enjoy watching the fascists get proper humiliated. All looking pretty sorry for themselves they were last seen in the loving company of the police. We wouldn’t expect people just to take our word for it though, here’s what was going up on the ‘Spotted Portsmouth’ Facebook page soon after:
A few antifascists remained vigilant outside the gig, but most people went indoors to watch the bands and had a fucking great time! We need to say a big thank you, and also apologise to the good people at the social club, and the residents – It seems that as word spread, and as the night wore on more and more people came down until the area of Duncan Road looked like a new-age tent city…..only without the tents, so in order to try and get people inside and off the street we stopped charging for the last act who was a local lad playing a cool techie/punk/drum&bass set.
To be fair the fascists only had half their usual crew, but they were dealt with by a fraction of the attendees at the gig, It’s probably best that they didn’t get through the doors or who knows what would have happened. Just for giggles this is how Pete Brown told his mates how it went down:
Again we want to thank all who came and all who got involved in every aspect of the night, we managed to make a few quid that will come in useful, but more importantly we put on an openly antifascist event, with no police, no security, and those that were stupid enough to try and stop us were sent on their way. We will be remaining vigilant, but we won’t be drawn into a childish tit for tat situation. Working within our local communities will always be the only way to effectively oppose the spread of far right ideology, but in doing so our message remains simple – When fascists attack, we will fight back.