STAND UP TODAY, SAVE TOMORROW – NORWICH SAYS ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

by Rowan Gavin

“We are living in unique, unique times.”

The words of Eddie Dempsey, Assistant General Secretary of the RMT, speaking to the packed-out rally for the Enough is Enough campaign at Epic Studios in Norwich on Tuesday night. He’s right. Many are saying they can’t remember a time when so many were so hard-off in this country. Meanwhile, by a number of measures, the richest few have never been so rich. My rent and the rate on my electricity meter have gone up this year, and with more price hikes on the horizon I’m worried about what it’s gonna cost to stay warm this winter. My friends, colleagues, and almost everyone I speak to are facing the same concerns. But despite all that, one thing makes this moment feel unique to me more than anything else: the strength of working people’s will to fight back.

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NORWICH DEFENDS DRAG QUEEN STORY HOUR – DISPATCHES FROM THE ANTIFASCIST COUNTER-PROTEST

By The Norwich Radical Editorial Team

In the process of putting together our reporting on the far-right presence and pro-LGBTQIA+ counter-protest at Storytime with Auntie Titania in Norwich last Wednesday, we received a number of accounts from people who attended the counter-protest. We were not able to reproduce all of those accounts in our original article, but we believe that they offer valuable insight into the events in question, the strength of LGBTQIA+ solidarity in Norwich, and the lessons that can be taken forward from this action. This article reproduces more of the content of those accounts, with small edits in places for clarity and to maintain anonymity.

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WE ARE NOT YOUR BOGEYMEN – NORWICH RESISTS THE FAR-RIGHT IN SOLIDARITY WITH DRAG STORYTIME

By Anonymous

Content Warning: descriptions of fascist violence & racist ideology

Following the anti-LGBT protest outside a Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) event in North Walsham library on 2nd August, a new event, titled ‘Storytime with Auntie Titania’ and featuring local drag artist Titania Trust, was scheduled for August 17th at the Millennium Library, Norwich. A counter-protest gathered outside the library on Wednesday ahead of the event to defend the national DQSH initiative and protect attendees from the presence of far-right protestors. 

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BATS, BIKES AND BETRAYALS – THE FIGHT TO STOP THE WENSUM LINK

By Sophie Ciurlik-Rittenbaum

The Norwich Western Link, also known as the Wensum Link, is a proposed road that cuts through the Wensum River Valley. It would cut through a Site of Special Scientific Interest destroying critical habitat, most notably inhabited by one of the only colonies of endangered Barbastelle bats. The project is already over budget, and according to Stop The Wensum Link, may cost up to £300 million. The Conservative-controlled Norfolk County Council is responsible for the Link and is pushing for its construction, whereas the Labour-controlled Norwich City Council has announced its opposition to the link.

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SPIRITED, RIDICULOUS, FUN – THE LOVELY EGGS LIVE AT THE WATERFRONT

by Kasper Hassett

The Lovely Eggs brought a buzz to an eager crowd at the Waterfront on a Tuesday night last April. Formed by the Lancaster couple Holly Ross and David Blackwell, the band delivers a charismatic hippie-punk sound which brings the room to life. Although there are only two members, there is enough going on to satisfy any noise-hungry gig-goer. Holly juggles vocals with the guitar, complemented by David on the drums, creating something which is lively, interactive, and absurd. 

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OUR SUBVERSIVE VOICE: 400 YEARS OF PROTEST SONGS

By Rowan Gavin

Last year, two-tone legends The Specials released an album entitled ‘Protest Songs 1924-2012’. It featured covers of tracks by Bob Marley, Leonard Cohen, Big Bill Broonzy and other legends of protest music – but not one song penned by a British person, despite the band’s Coventry origins. This, UEA Professor John Street tells me, was part of the impetus behind the project Our Subversive Voice: The History and Politics of the English Protest Song.

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‘IT MIGHT GET WEIRD’ – AN INTERVIEW WITH THE NEUTRINOS’ KAREN REILLY

by Ananya Wilson-Bhattacharya

In November 2021, as Glasgow swirled with police, delegates and protesters during the COP26 conference, one sound art gallery was hosting a unique performance. There, Norwich band The Neutrinos performed Darkroom, their lockdown-inspired, one-audience member soundscape show which takes place – as the name suggests – entirely in darkness. I caught up with vocalist Karen Reilly about the show, the band’s partner project Klanghaus and their dream Darkroom performance venue.

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‘REAL INTIMACY’ – THE NEUTRINOS LIVE

by Rowan Gavin

Sometimes you go to a gig not quite knowing what to expect. I found out I would be covering The Neutrinos’ recent double-set Norwich Arts Centre show for the Norwich Radical at relatively short notice, and decided on a whim to perpetuate my ignorance of the band’s work until I could hear it live. What I discovered, one December Saturday evening in that beautiful converted church hall, was all the more delightful for my lack of expectation – in fact, I’m not sure that any amount of pre-listening could have quite prepared me for the experience of this show.

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THE NORWICH RADICAL IN 2021

by The Norwich Radical team

If we’ve learned one thing at The Norwich Radical this year, it’s that solidarity is our strongest tool. It has been for the past year, and it will continue to be for the year just started.

Solidarity is what is keeping most of us going on this fascist little island, filled with transphobia and xenophobia; this island in which the government is enacting destructive and violent repression of migration, of self affirmation, of any form of protest; this island in which the media and arts establishment are complicit instigators of a mental and physical retreat to the dying nightmare of empire and colonisation.

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2021 IN 21 GREAT RECORDS

By Rowan Gavin and Kasper Hassett

Yes, it’s been a weird old year, but you don’t need us to tell you that. What you do need – what we all need – is some great music to get you through and give you life. Luckily, 2021 delivered that in spades. The following is a not-at-all-comprehensive list of 21 records that we and other members of the Norwich Radical team loved this year, and think everyone should listen to. They’re not necessarily the best out there; they don’t necessarily all say or do anything particularly radical; but we promise they’re all great.

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