White power music is alive, and unfortunately well, as we were bitterly reminded this weekend by the arrival of the neo-nazi music group Hammerskin in Milan, Italy.

The event was organised by Blood and Honour, a neo-nazi group founded in the United Kingdom in 1987 by the late Ian Stuart, who spent 12 months in prison for attack on black youths at King’s Cross station. The self-proclaimed neonazi band, Hammerskin set up a concert/gathering in the border district of Milan, Rogoredo. The events name ‘Europe Awake’, is based on a song written by another one of the Blood and Honour memeber bands, Screwdriver, with lyrics attacking communism, the race board and immigration.  

The Hammerskins emerged in the late 1980s from the Confederate Hammerskins. Its name is based, quite ironically, on a scene in the 1982 film Pink Floyd – The Wall, in what was intended to be a negative portrayal of the skinheads. Power struggles split the group into several sects, such as the Outlaw Hammerskins who provided security at a white pride festival at the NordicFest in 2002, hosted by the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

Despite the efforts of the anti-fascist resistance and state intervention against public spaces being used to disperse the violent message. Although the dates had been announced days before, the location was not announced until Saturday morning; the concert took part in a privately rented space called “Space 25”.

Banned in a number of countries across Europe and in Russia due to links to extremism. The enforcement agencies continue their efforts to regulate and resist this type of event, and so organisers often hold the concerts in privately rented spaces and properties, as they did in Cambridgeshire only last month, where according to a BBC article, the Cambridgeshire Police said the force had been told the Haddenham gathering on 23 and 24 September was in aid of Help for Heroes.

Promoting white nationalism and racism, the genre is comprised by many sub-genres such as Nazi Punk, Hatecore, Rock Against Communism and National Socialist black metal, all trying to out hate the other.

The conversation is now steered yet again as to what the state can do to prevent such events, no matter how small, to take place in the first place.

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