Rise Festival to rise again?

Met with UpRise (London United Against Racism Festival) a group formed to reinstate the Rise Festival that Boris scrapped as one of his first acts to bring London together and spread the love. This was an annual anti-racist, free, music festival in Finsbury Park each summer.

It was indeed supported by that spawn of the devil (as far as Boris is concerned) ex-Mayor Ken – which may be the reason that Boris pulled the plug on it. However, at the risk of extending the ‘plug’ analogy – it plugged a good message – and it is a shame that Boris wasn’t big enough to understand the importance of that message in this very diverse part of London. And with the abhorrent rise of the BNP – my own view is that a public statement where we all hold hands together against racism is a jolly good thing.

Or maybe it was because the unions backed it.

Either way, the two who came to see me and Cllr Ed Butcher (LibDem Stroud Green councillor) have managed to contact many of those involved in the organisation of the original Rise. We suggested that they concentrate also on making it a local community event and bring in the local businesses and schools – so that the heart of the new festival is community too – albeit obviously open to all.

They are working very hard to find funders and sponsors so that – albeit on a smaller scale – Rise can rise again.

0 thoughts on “Rise Festival to rise again?

  1. TBH a better solution would be to have events to tackle all forms of hatred. There’s an too much obsession in focusing on racism, and the people who do so tend to be blind to other forums of discrimination such as sexuality, gender or class (especaily if the gender in question is male)

    edit – just did a search and seems like last years event was exactly as I suggested with no explicit focus on racism, as well as an exclusion of overtly political groups from the event and an attempt to be more inclusive. Sounds like Boris made some HUGE improvements last year if nothing else and that should be commended.

    I’d suggest you’ve got this totally wrong Lynne and have been seriosuly mislead. It seems pretty clear that the Unions got offended with the big improvements made last year and they’re the ones who’ve thrown their toys out of the pram and pulled the plug. They’ve withdrawn their sponsorship solely because they aren’t allowed to politicise the event as in previous years.

    I’ve never voted Conservative and it’s very fashionable to bash Boris. However, in this case I’d suggest anyone remotely interested in equality should be commending him. He did exactly as you sugested last year – making it more inclusive community event and less political. I’d say you owe the guy an apology.

  2. “It seems pretty clear that the Unions got offended with the big improvements made last year and they’re the ones who’ve thrown their toys out of the pram and pulled the plug. They’ve withdrawn their sponsorship solely because they aren’t allowed to politicise the event as in previous years.”

    Er, are you from City Hall, by any chance? I’d suggest a check on the IP address of this comment, as it smells highly suspicious.

    “Sounds like Boris made some HUGE improvements last year if nothing else and that should be commended.”

    No, he didn’t. That’s what I mean about suspicious.