Rubika Shah’s, “White Riot” Is A MUST SEE, Documents The 70’s Rock Against Racism Movement

Photo Syd Shelton

Release Date: 10/15/2020        

Directed By:  Rubika Shah                          

Format: Digital 

Featuring: (Per White Riot website)

Featuring: Red Saunders; Roger Huddle; Kate Webb; The Clash; Steel Pulse; Tom Robinson; Poly Styrene; Sham 69; Alien Kulture

For Fans Of: Pick it Up Ska In the 90’s, Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten, The Decline Of Western Civilization, and Punk’s Not Dead
CPRA Rating: 9.5


Photo Syd Shelton

In the age of the Trump administration we have seen a meteoric rise in facism and systematic racism. It has been there all along, but it was lurking, sure to peek it’s ugly head again. In Rubika Shah’s new movie, “White Riot”, 1970’s England was a breeding ground for a fascist and racist movement called the “National Front”. The economy was bad causing many of the youth to go without work.

See the video review here, https://youtu.be/dLkg2fjtnCI

Many popular music acts at the time showed their support for the “NF”, such as Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, and yes even David Bowie. A movement was started by a punk zine called “TempoRaRy Hoarding”. The magazine was a complete DIY project. The magazine was used as a political tool to combat the “NF” members such as Enoch Powell. The magazine also interviewed bands like Sham 69, The Clash, and Steel Pulse. Out of Temporary Hoarding, the movement Rock Against Racism was born. I absolutely loved this movie.

Here are a few things I loved about the movie. 

  1. The inspiration for Temporary Hoarding and Rock Against Racism was England’s economy, and a right wing fascist movement called, The National Front. The National Front was inspiring youths to go out and commit acts of hate. 
  2. I had heard that Eric Clapton was in favor of the National Front, but I never looked into it. I think people want to shove this under the rug. I no longer hold him with the respect I once did. I also had no clue that other mainstream artists from England at the time held Fascist/and Nationalistic views. David Bowie s also mentioned,
  3. The archival footage is amazing. Kate Webb’s story details how Temporary Hoarding created the zine, and distributed. The DIY element still survives today and I feel Temporary Hoarding was a major inspiration into today’s punk rock culture. 
  4. Seeing The Clash and Jimmy Pursey of Sham 69 performing “White Riot” to a crowd of 100,000 supporters at the Rock Against Racism Carnival was amazing. Jimmy Pursey showing his support for RAR after a riot by National Front Kids was pretty cool. 

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Photo Syd Shelton

“White Riot” by Rubika Shah is by far one of the most profound punk documentaries of the 21rst century. No time is more important than now to embrace the grassroots element of Temporary Hoardings and the Rock Against Racism Movement. We MUST continue the fight against fascism and racism, in the alley and in the voting booth. For information about making your vote count go here, https://www.headcount.org/state/. You can watch “White Riot” here, https://www.filmmovement.com/white-riot 

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