The gig showed me that this is more than just being about a record, or music, one album, one song, one thing. It's like a movement, and it's about community and friendship, loyalty and empowerment. It's not about exclusivity. It's not about celebrity, or fame. It's not about measuring success by the size of your wallet, or amount of Twitter followers you have...
I've never been involved nor had a friend involved with a hate crime before. I didn't know what to expect or how that would feel. I've read stories in the news. I've read about 'The Sophie Lancaster Foundation' online. In fact, I first heard of it because of my friend Mika. On 13 July, Mika went out with one of his best friends - a girl who dresses alternatively and has a lot of tattoos. They were in a chicken shop in Soho when a couple of guys took a disliking to her alternative look. They threatened to stab her because of the way she was dressed, Mika stood in and was beaten so badly, he now has a fracture in his face.
The evening was planned as a retrospective of the album that changed everything for British music. Never Mind The B******* sprang angrily into life in 1977, an original musical work that openly criticised a culturally cobwebbed United Kingdom. But the organisers do not get politeness this evening. Instead they get cat calls and verbal threats.
Activists involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement are working with a record label set up to support the movement to launch a high profile community outreach project. The School of Roccupy is a collaboration between Occupation Records and Occupy activists that aims to creatively engage high school students with the processes and idealism of Occupy Wall Street.