Monday, 19 December 2011

LMHR Calls for Cancellation of Death in June at Camden Underworld

Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) are calling for Death in June's forthcoming gig at Camden Underworld to be cancelled.

This is the text of the leaflet they have issued. You can contact LMHR via their website, or you can find out about the local campaign by emailing LMHR North London. You might also want to read previous posts on this site concerning Death in June.

Click to Enlarge
On the 23rd of December the band Death In June will play at The Underworld in Camden.
Death In June are in the vanguard of the neo-folk scene and are, to a large extent, credited with its creation.

One of the founding members of Death In June, Doug Pearce, has stated in an interview with Zillo magazine that one of the inspirations for the band is National Bolshevism, closely associated with the hierarchy of the SA - commonly referred to as stormtroopers or Brown Shirts. The name of the band comes from the date in late June on which the SA leadership was executed to remove its threat to Hitler.

Pearce has been quoted as stating that "the most influential man of the 20th century has been Adolf Hitler! He's shaped the world we live in today with his hate and destruction". In 1992 during Yugoslavia's bloody civil war Pearce visited the front-line and the HOS Miliz (Croatian fascists). He made several live recordings in Croatia and then released them as a two-CD set called "Something Is Coming: Live and Studio Recordings From Croatia". Proceeds from the CD went to a Croatian (fascist) military hospital.

Death In June played The Garage in Islington in 1999, a few days after David Copeland (a former BNP member) nail-bombed Brixton and Brick Lane markets and a gay pub in Soho, killing 3 people and injuring 129. In full knowledge of this Pearce dedicated a song from the stage to honour the 'White Wolves' - a very small Nazi organisation who, at that time, were trying to claim responsibility for Copeland's bombs.

The band's aesthetic is militaristic with overt use of Nazi/SS symbols - the Totenkopf, Life Rune and Black Sun - and songs containing Third Reich imagery and tropes with lyrics suggesting Klaus Barbie, the butcher of Lyon, is in the heart in "C'est un Reve" - Ou est Klaus Barbie?/Il est dans coeur/Il est dans noir coeur. This has caused the band to be banned from playing in Lausanne and in Germany their album Rose Clouds of Holocaust was banned from sale to minors due to Holocaust denial and 'Brown Book' was banned completely for inclusion of the 'Horst-Wessel-Lied' Nazi party anthem.

The band, and many of their fans, claim that they are just using the aesthetic of fascism/Nazism and not the ideologies in their music. But the aesthetic of the Nazi regime cannot be divorced from the politics of the party. The aesthetic of the Nazi Party was created to reinforce the politics of the Nazi Party, to encourage an acceptance of the concepts and ideas of fascism through more easily assimilated visualisations and the use of atmospheric tropes to link the ideals of fascism with the visual aesthetic of it.

The Totenkopf (skull and cross bones) symbol and runes that Death In June use are directly connected, through the SS, to the industrialised genocide of 6 million Jews and the slaughter of millions of others who through birth, disability, belief or activity didn't fit into the Aryan 'reality' of Nazi Germany.

We believe that the use of Nazi and fascist symbols can in no way be considered an exploration into folk mythology nor a legitimate artistic aesthetic. They are what they are; symbols of genocide. It is the often playfully disguised removal of the taboos associated with these symbols and concepts within the neo-folk/industrial scene, and the obfuscation as to what they really represent, which poses the threat, allowing both for the rehabilitation of the esoteric/mystical side of the Nazi regime and for the potential of the ideology associated with them to be normalised in the wider community.

We believe that many attending the gig will not be racists or fascists, this is certainly the case for most people who use and enjoy the venue on other nights. We appeal to those fans to join Love Music Hate Racism, Unite Against Fascism, anti-racist groups, trade unionists, local activists and the diverse community in Camden in condemning this concert and calling on the management of The Underworld to cancel it.

CAMDEN UNDERWORLD
The Underworld
174 Camden High Street
London
NW1 0NE

Tel: 02074821932
Fax: 02074821955

Email: contact@theunderworldcamden.co.uk

23 comments:

  1. Douglas P/DIJ are not Nazi's he has stated that more than once. His use of fascistic imagery has always been one partially based on his own uniform fetish and the fact that it evokes a response. He was one of the co founders of the 77 Punk band Crisis, who were firmly planted in the left politically. DIJ is a band not to be taken at face value. Research some of the interviews that are out there w/Douglas before mis labeling him, and his music.Claiming that he'd show support for someone that targeted gays is ludicrous, as he's a gay man. The smiling DIJ version of the totenkopf(SP?) is more often than not surrounded in rainbow.

    "This work was inspired by Mid-Winter and Mid-Summer visits to Iceland. (...) I experienced a spiritual epiphany during these visits in 1989/1990. The word "holocaust" is Greek for "burnt offerings" (normally of a religious kind) and Iceland is full of extinct volcanoes as well as active ones. Its volcanic landscape is the holocaust in question symbolizing death and rebirth. It has nothing to do with the persecution and extermination of Jews" Douglas P's own words about the lyrics of Rose Clouds.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are clearly an idiot - where 'idiot' is derived from the Greek ἰδιώτης, idiōtēs ("individual"), meaning that you are a very special person.

    See how easy that was?

    ReplyDelete
  3. And you are clearly an asshole. GAWD forbid that anyone refute your opinions or try to open a debate on a topic. Reply to me when you can actually discuss the subject, rather than just toss insults.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Click here and you will find articles on this site that address every single one of the points you raise.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Death in June once played in Israel to a Jewish audience, and has been pointed out Douglas Pearce is Gay, so they cannot be real 'Nazis'.
    The police and management had no objection to Sol Invictus/6 Comm/While Angels Watch/Freya Aswynn playing at Electrowerz/Slimelight earlier this year, despite a LMHR/UAF anti-fascist protest outside, and no doubt it will be the same with this gig.
    Remember the punks of the 1970s such as the Sex Pistols wore Swastika T-shirts to shock the Establishment, and Lemmy of Motorhead collects Nazi regalia and wears a Nazi Iron Cross on stage, doesn't make them 'Nazis' though.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The argument that a gay man cannot be a Nazi is ridiculous. Have you not noticed that the band is actually named to commemorate Nazis whose leadership were famously gay? What planet are you living on?

    And your general argument is that some people have used Nazi / fascist symbolism without themselves being Nazi or fascist (which is trivially true - but we know that, which is why the argument does not depend on that, but on other evidence (lyrics, etc)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strelnikov:
      "The argument that a gay man cannot be a Nazi is ridiculous. Have you not noticed that the band is actually named to commemorate Nazis whose leadership were famously gay? What planet are you living on?"

      Having read most Death In June interviews available online, I've yet to find a single one in which Douglas confirms the fan/critic interpretation that the name actually refers to the Night of the long knives.

      Furthermore, I'd like to know what is the LMHR's source on the claim about Douglas, a gay man, decicating a song to neo-nazi group claiming responsibility for bombing a GAY club in Soho? This little piece of fiction nearly beats the one about him taking part in war crimes during the Croatian war of independence!

      That being said, and while I do find some of Death In June's music beautiful, some of the lyrics are in fact troubling. Taken in the albums context, the song Runes and Men does seem to indicate a rather nostalgic interest in the 3rd reich:

      "Then my loneliness closes in
      So, I drink a German wine
      And drift in dreams of other lives
      And greater times
      White sheets wrap my mind
      In drunken thoughts of runes and men
      Why does the devil leave for us
      This legacy of loneliness"

      Feel free to interpret otherwise.

      The lyrics to Rose Clouds of Holocaust has probably been discussed here already, along with Douglas's explanation referring to volcanoes in Iceland.

      Now take the song Takeyya found in the 2008 DIJ album 'The Rule of Thirds'.

      "The principle of Al Takeyya conveys the understanding that Muslims are permitted to lie as a preventive measure against anticipated harm to one's self or fellow Muslims. This principle gives Muslims the liberty to lie under certain circumstances. They can even deny the faith, if they do not mean it in their hearts."

      Could this, in DIJ's context, refer to Douglas denying his "faith", or ideology, under circumstances in which confession could bring harm to him?

      Just a thought.

      Delete
  7. Hi

    I wrote a piece in response to the LMHR campaign against last summer's Slimelight gig with Death In June related bands here:

    http://redmistreviews.com/?p=551

    Let us know what you think.

    Comradely greetings,
    Maciej

    ReplyDelete
  8. To save you cutting and pasting, Maciej's article can be found by clicking here.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Since you ask, Maciej, I think your article bases itself on an unfair accusation that LMHR called a protest on the grounds that if the SLimelight gig went ahead there would be racist attacks on Upper St as a result - I thought they made it very clear that their concern was based on the fact that the groups attempt to normalise fascist iconography and ideas, not that they were open fascists (which is manifestly not the case).

    And if there was nothing to the campaign, how comes Andrew King was forced out of the group only hours after this blog revealed that he'd been supporting the ideas of the New Right in Michael Moynihan's journal Tyr.

    The LMHR leaflet above doesn't go into the fact that DiJ's support group at Underworld will be Fire and Ice - led by Ian Read, who has had definite links with fascist organisations, and has even organised security for meetings of Holocaust deniers.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi again - it's easy not to notice the hyperlinks at the bottom of the page (just below the footnotes), but the article continues for three further pages. I do address the 'normalisation of fascist iconography and ideas' and other aspects later on in the piece.

    Comradely,
    Maciej

    ReplyDelete
  11. Maciej, I think that's an excellent article. Obviously I don't agree with every word of it (especially the idea that we here at WMTN operate in a 'Stasi-like' way), but I think that even where you disagree with us you are talking about the same territory and have highlighted the inherent difficulties of the subject.

    How about letting us repost it here at WMTN as the basis of discussion?

    ReplyDelete
  12. You're welcome to repost it. Conversely, should you ever consider writing an article in response, we'd be happy to publish it at Red Mist.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Herr Steinikov, you are clearly proud of wearing your tinfoil hat, suits you ... But ask yourself what is your magnum opus of copy and paste actually going to bring ? Did you actually stop yesterdays gig?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Kapellmeisters Schallplattenparade, just for you and in simple language, IT'S A LMHR CAMPAIGN, so your penetrating analysis might be better directed at LMHR.

    Talking of tinfoil fantasies, are you the same Kapellmeisters Schallplattenparade who has stated on Myspace that he would "like to meet" genocidal Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Strössner? 

    Neo-folk really DOES attract the calibre of 'fans' that it deserves.

    ReplyDelete
  15. yes, got that one right... same counts for the late Kim Jong Il... Who had a great taste for German Luxury Cars....

    ReplyDelete
  16. Strelnikov:
    "The argument that a gay man cannot be a Nazi is ridiculous. Have you not noticed that the band is actually named to commemorate Nazis whose leadership were famously gay? What planet are you living on?"

    Having read most Death In June interviews available online, I've yet to find a single one in which Douglas confirms the fan/critic interpretation that the name actually refers to the Night of the long knives.

    Furthermore, I'd like to know what is the LMHR's source on the claim about Douglas, a gay man, decicating a song to neo-nazi group claiming responsibility for bombing a GAY club in Soho? This little piece of fiction nearly beats the one about him taking part in war crimes during the Croatian war of independence!

    That being said, and while I do find some of Death In June's music beautiful, some of the lyrics are in fact troubling. Taken in the albums context, the song Runes and Men does seem to indicate a rather nostalgic interest in the 3rd reich:

    "Then my loneliness closes in
    So, I drink a German wine
    And drift in dreams of other lives
    And greater times
    White sheets wrap my mind
    In drunken thoughts of runes and men
    Why does the devil leave for us
    This legacy of loneliness"

    Feel free to interpret otherwise.

    The lyrics to Rose Clouds of Holocaust has probably been discussed here already, along with Douglas's explanation referring to volcanoes in Iceland.

    Now take the song Takeyya found in the 2008 DIJ album 'The Rule of Thirds'.

    "The principle of Al Takeyya conveys the understanding that Muslims are permitted to lie as a preventive measure against anticipated harm to one's self or fellow Muslims. This principle gives Muslims the liberty to lie under certain circumstances. They can even deny the faith, if they do not mean it in their hearts."

    Could this, in DIJ's context, refer to Douglas denying his "faith", or ideology, under circumstances in which confession could bring harm to him?

    Just a thought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pearce did dedicate either a song or the entire set to "David Copeland and the White Wolves". I was informed of this by Geff Rushton/Jhonn Balance at the time, who was both upset and horrified by Pearce's comment. I passed this on to numerous people at the time, so the LMHR source might be one of them.

      Delete
    2. Forgot to mention that Douglas Pearce's Gaydar profile used the name Ernst Roehm....this is/was a fact. It amused me that Dippy's info included the fact that he was a vegetarian who ate seafood! Presumably he regards prawns as an unterspecies, but then again he claims to be from Atlantis and that his dad was a Spitfire pilot!! I shouldn't be so harsh as at least 70% of the people I met in music circles were fantasists who dreamed of being fascist dictators, survivalists, revolutionaries, etc when all they really did was stomp around a stage playing a plank of wood with a few bits of wire attached to it!

      Delete
  17. Strelnikov:
    "The argument that a gay man cannot be a Nazi is ridiculous. Have you not noticed that the band is actually named to commemorate Nazis whose leadership were famously gay? What planet are you living on?"

    Having read most Death In June interviews available online, I've yet to find a single one in which Douglas confirms the fan/critic interpretation that the name actually refers to the Night of the long knives.

    Furthermore, I'd like to know what is the LMHR's source on the claim about Douglas, a gay man, decicating a song to neo-nazi group claiming responsibility for bombing a GAY club in Soho? This little piece of fiction nearly beats the one about him taking part in war crimes during the Croatian war of independence!

    That being said, and while I do find some of Death In June's music beautiful, some of the lyrics are in fact troubling. Taken in the albums context, the song Runes and Men does seem to indicate a rather nostalgic interest in the 3rd reich:

    "Then my loneliness closes in
    So, I drink a German wine
    And drift in dreams of other lives
    And greater times
    White sheets wrap my mind
    In drunken thoughts of runes and men
    Why does the devil leave for us
    This legacy of loneliness"

    Feel free to interpret otherwise.

    The lyrics to Rose Clouds of Holocaust has probably been discussed here already, along with Douglas's explanation referring to volcanoes in Iceland.

    Now take the song Takeyya found in the 2008 DIJ album 'The Rule of Thirds'.

    "The principle of Al Takeyya conveys the understanding that Muslims are permitted to lie as a preventive measure against anticipated harm to one's self or fellow Muslims. This principle gives Muslims the liberty to lie under certain circumstances. They can even deny the faith, if they do not mean it in their hearts."

    Could this, in DIJ's context, refer to Douglas denying his "faith", or ideology, under circumstances in which confession could bring harm to him?

    Just a thought.

    ReplyDelete
  18. "Takeyya" is simply more evidence of Douglas P.'s Islamophobic crap. It has nothing to do with his own ideology or faith. Incidentally at my new job, and Douglas doesn't know this, I talked with a fellow worker who is a Muslim and he pretty much told me that what happened at 9-11 (if what happened happened at all) was against Islamic morals as that killed innocent people. And I'm pretty sure he didn't lie to me, anyways...

    ReplyDelete
  19. Dear sirs.

    I agree that "the argument that a gay man cannot be a Nazi is ridiculous."

    But given the Guilt By Association theme of this whole idealistic pseudo-left blog there is no problem with denouncing you all as homophobic, innit?

    ReplyDelete

Please at least use a pseudonym so it's possible to follow your argument if you make multiple posts