The Day We Kicked the Fascists Out of Walthamstow

This September, we’ll celebrate ten years since we drove the fascists out of Walthamstow.

I remember walking up a packed Hoe Street, past closed and shuttered shopfronts, with the notable exception of the Rose & Crown of course, thinking “This is big”, but it wasn’t until we got to Bell Corner that I realised quite how big. Over four thousand local people, anti-fascists and trade unionists had turned up to oppose the racist EDL who had been escorted to Blackhorse Road with the intention of marching through our community to a rally outside the Magistrates Court and whose numbers barely troubled two hundred.

Met with opposition from local people from the moment they set foot outside the tube station, their route blocked by thousands of us at a key junction, forced into the back streets and literally wetting themselves in a police kettle in Farnan Avenue, and their leaders surrounded by anti-fascists in Forest Road, it’s fair to say that that Tommy Robinson and co. did not have a good day.

Like Roger says, most people aren’t racist.

To mark the anniversary, there’s a whole series of events which can be found here, including us playing a show at the Trades Hall, with tickets available here.

In honour of the occasion, we’re also re-releasing the Double B-Side, The Day We Kicked The Fascists Out Of Walthamstow (Graham Larkbey & The Escapees) c/w No Pasaran In E17 (Steve White & The Protest Family). It’s a free download and you can find it here.

The Wakes


So, who are your influences?

I hate that question and it catches me out every time even though I know it’s coming. Answer that and stay fashionable. I’m a songwriter and I write about what’s going on around me, politically often,  from experience usually,  trying to see things through someone else’s eyes occasionally. I want to write a song with an opening line that tells a whole story in a few words (influence: Billy Bragg), I want to write a song with a clever, funny, persistent rhyme scheme (influence: Ian Dury), I want to write a song that the whole band comes in with a bang right at the beginning (influence: The Clash), I want to write a modern acapella folk song (influence Chumbawamba), I want to write a song about Brexit (influence: David Cameron, Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, EU directives, the electorate), I want to write a song that exorcises my rage and frustration (influence: Future Of The Left, Christian Fitness), I want to write a song with a killer hook and an immediate singalong chorus (influence The Wildhearts),  I want to write a song about the second-fastest milkcart in the West……

But enough about me.

The Wakes cite The Pogues, Dick Gaughan, The Clash, Dropkick Murphys and Bob Dylan, wisely using the word “including” to avoid making an exhaustive list, which should be enough to give you some idea. Proudly Glaswegian and anti-fascist, I was blown away the first time I saw them live and they come highly recommended by The Family.

You can make your own mind up at the end of the month. The Wakes are opening for Billy Bragg at Islington Assembly Hall on the 25th, and we’re lucky enough to be opening for them on the 26th at the New Cross Inn. If that wasn’t tempting enough, we’ll be joined by our good friend and Bragg favourite, Paddy Nash.

Philosophy Football are already calling it the gig of the year, and you can still get a ticket here.

I suspect that The Wakes’ and Protest Family’s influences Venn diagram has actually got more than one name in the bit where the circles intersect, so who’s going to edit their Wikipedia page and add Uncle Bill?