June 26, 2007

Rise: London United steps up the fight against racism

The importance of the fight against racism to London’s success will be demonstrated next month with a free anti-racist festival in Finsbury Park featuring acts from around the world – and the festival will move east the day before to join local people in Barking and Dagenham.

The Rise: London United festival will take place in Finsbury Park on Sunday 15 July, organised by the Mayor of London in conjunction with the Trades Union Congress and National Assembly Against Racism, and with acts including Kelis, Saint Etienne and the Skatalites.

On Saturday 14 July, Rise will host a stage in the Dagenham Town Show.

Acts confirmed for the main stage at Finsbury Park include US star KELIS; SAINT ETIENNE; Jamaican ska legends the SKATALITES; British trio NOISETTES; rising hip hop artist K'NAAN, who won the Best Newcomer section of the BBC World Music Awards; and three time MOBO award winner JAMELIA.

The festival will also see performers including UK Beatboxing champion BEARDYMAN; FRANKIE PAUL, the multi-instrumentalist singer who has been called the Jamaican Stevie Wonder; JAZZIE B (SOUL II SOUL) AND ASHLEY BEEDLE (X-PRESS 2) on the DJ Bus, alongside TROJAN SOUNDSYSTEM DJs.

Among those performing as part of the Rise stage at the Dagenham Town Show on Saturday 14 July will be award-winning UK rapper SWAY and NEILS CHILDREN, whose current release is 'You Didn't Care'.

Mayor Ken Livingstone said: 'London's success depends on the international character of our city and London’s fortunes are tied up with our stand against racism and prejudice. Fighting racism is a daily fight and a political priority for our city and the Rise: London United festival is a clear statement of that fact.

'Linking up with the Dagenham Town Show this year will mean many more Londoners can come together to for a great day out, demonstrating that they reject the politics of hate.'

MP for Dagenham Jon Cruddas said: 'We're delighted that Rise is coming to Dagenham. As well as being a great day out it provides a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the wonderful diversity of our city. It sends out powerful messages too - that we are happy and proud to live in a multicultural city and that racism will not be tolerated in our communities.'

Milena Buyum, National Assembly Against Racism, said: 'The Rise festival is a fantastic counterblast to those arguing that multiculturalism doesn't work. It vibrantly demonstrates that the idea that people need to give up visible cultural or religious difference to successfully live, work and play together is a nonsense. The festival's enormous popularity is testament to Londoners’ overwhelming support for celebrating diversity and opposing racism and division.'

Megan Dobney, Regional Secretary of SERTUC (the TUC in London, the South East and East of England) said: 'We are delighted to take part in the 2007 Rise festival. As well as celebrating the diversity of both our city and our membership, London's trade unions will demonstrate our opposition to racism, fascism and all forms of discrimination. And this year SERTUC is launching union city – we’ll be round the DJ Bus, with mural painting, and a bar – if you're a union member come and visit us, if you're not, come and join us!'


Event: Rise: London United
Location: Finsbury Park, London N4
Date: Sunday 15 July 2007
Time: 12pm – 8:30pm
Public information: www.risefestival.org / 020 7983 6554

Event: Rise: East
Location: Dagenham Town Show, Central Park, Wood Lane, Dagenham, RM10 7EJ
Date: Saturday 14 July 2007
Time: 4pm - 8pm (festival runs 11am-8pm)
Public information: www.risefestival.org / 020 7983 6554

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