I’m rich – but in ways that rich people don’t understand,
when we fight back we have to link hands.
My boss keeps tellin’ me to work harder:
I’m running on empty – no food in the larder.
Work is a prison – without release.
Form 696: intimidation – we get no peace
and 666 is the number of the beast,
turn it upside down and you get the police.
We’re supposed to mourn Blakelock but forget Blair Peach.
Justice: a concept that’s just out of reach –
look at all the black deaths in cells,
if cops come in behind a mattress, then you get hell
The original Black Death was spread by rats,
now they’re in a uniform – and that’s a fact Jack.
Estates across England, Scotland and Wales
now party with Molotov cocktails
When you attack our music – you build unity,
treat us all like a suspect community.
This system we live under has failed inspection,
time is ripe….. for insurrection.
Why the cops hate Grime
A storm of protest hit last week over the way police are using form 696 to shut down Grime events. Even the Tory Culture Minister, – an oxymoron if ever there was one – has been getting in on the act.
Grime began as a predominantly black music form – rooted in confrontation to stop and search and police raids. It caught on big time with kids dumped on the scrap heap in austerity Britain, and became a multi-cultural underground scene; drawing comparison to the rise of Punk. By 2011 Lethal Bizzle’s Pow! (Forward) was the unofficial soundtrack of the student protests.
While police deny their form targets certain genres of music, the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Programme found that some forces around the UK were “still asking for the ethnic make-up of the audience attending and the music genre being played at an event”. Leicestershire Police still ask for the ethnic make-up of the audience attending and the music genre. Bedfordshire Police also ask for the music genre on its form, saying that “failure to complete the risk assessment correctly may jeopardise future events by the promoter and the venue”. A Freedom of Information request also found a version of the form has now been adopted by 16 other forces in England.
Grime artists and MCs such as P Money have spoken out to slam the measures as ‘racist’. Giggs had his tour cancelled in 2010 following police advice. P Money said he had been removed from gig line-ups on account of information passed on via the form.
In 2014, after one of his performances was cancelled at short notice, the artist JME said “It’s an attack on people’s civil liberties, but also it’s blatant discrimination.” In 2012 at an event at a mainstream live venue, organisers say that police insisted on searching 18 performers for weapons before they went on stage, as well as a group of young people on work experience organised by a charity.
In 2011, a cultural event organised by London youth arts charity A New Direction aimed at young people, featuring Bhangra drummers and a 14-year-old talent contest winner, was informed the day before the show that extra security would be required or the event could be cancelled. The resulting cost took the event over budget and two police vans were deployed outside the event.
Alan Miller, chairman of the Night Time Industries Association, said the form was “flawed”, adding: “You do not get more crime with young black men than you do with young white men or anyone else.”