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Rubika Shah

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White Riot

Rubika Shah’s “White Riot ” captures the rise of the extreme right during the 1970’s,  and the counter grass roots movement  started by Red Saunders when he set up Rock against Racism (RAR) and Temporary Hoarding  their in-house fanzine. Temporary Hoarding reported stories and issues that mainstream British media ignored, like immigration, the Catholic side of the Northern Ireland conflict, and the police’s controversial “suspected persons” (sus) powers. Outraged by a racist speech made by Eric Clapton, music photographer Red Saunders writes a letter to the music press, calling for rock to come together and be a force against racism.  NME, Melody Maker, and Sounds all publish the letter, mobilising the  people of the East End and up and down the country against the rising National Front. Ironically, it was in Hackney and Bethnal Green that the National Front won most of its support, two of London’s most diverse and poorest boroughs at the time. The National Front began…