Friday, October 23, 2015

Mek' it Blow: police raid New Cross Jah Shaka Blues Dance (1975)

From the groundbreaking black radical magazine, Race Today (May 1975), a report on 'the atmosphere of tension that has gripped the community of black youth in South London following a police invasion of a blues dance at Malpas Road, New Cross, on Saturday 26th April'. 

'More than 200 young blacks danced to the sound of the popular Jah Shaka at Malpas Road on Saturday/Sunday 26th-27th'. After visiting to demand the sound be turned down, the police 'reinforced in numbers and violent in attitude... ordered everyone to leave the building. One of the organisers who stood at the door was dragged out and thrown into the van. The police proceeded to kick, punch and truncheon people indiscriminately. Not content, they went on to wreck £400 of equipment with their truncheons. Sixteen people were charged with crimes ranging from assault to drunk and disorderly behaviour... one police officer exuding arrogance warned Jah Shaka that the sound was banned from playing in South London'.

'A mass meeting was organised on Monday 28th at the Moonshot Youth Club, New Cross. Some 300 youths attended. They dealt at once with the ban placed on Jah Shaka. They immediately announced details of another party in the area at which Shaka would play'

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