The Truth of Revolution, Brother: Brixton, punk and politics

Penny Rimbaud of Crass
Penny Rimbaud of Crass

A Brixton-based author is writing a ground-breaking new book on punk and DIY culture.

The Truth of Revolution Brother by Charlie Waterhouse and co-authors Robin Ryde and Lisa Sofianos examines the continuing relevance of punk and its philosophy in society today.

The book places the ethos of punk within the context of the global economic crisis and the ubiquity of neo-liberal capitalism.

Waterhouse said: “The ideas in the book – of challenging authority, of disrupting ideology, of taking charge of your own situation – couldn’t come at a better time.”

The book features interviews from punk legends including Crass, Fugazi and Steve Albini.

However rather than focusing solely on punk music, according to Waterhouse the book looks at “the attitudes and ways of living that are inherent in the punk movement”.

Highlighting the link between punk, politics and resistance, Ryde said: “The philosophy of punk offers a way of doing things differently.

“It offers a route out of a system that persists in failing us.”

Eve Libertine, Crass
Eve Libertine, Crass

Brixton has a well-established connection with both punk and protest.

Waterhouse told the Blog: “Brixton is a punk kind of place.”

He added: “Anyone who was involved in punk in Britain would’ve passed through Brixton at some point.”

Paul Simomon of The Clash grew up in Brixton and wrote the song Guns of Brixton.

The song draws attention to the building tensions, borne out of heavy handed policing and the economic problems of the time, which eventually contributed to Brixton Uprisings in the 1980s.

One of the current focal points of the punk scene in Brixton is The Grosvenor pub, Sidney Road,which regularly hosts punk gigs and related events.

Reel News, an activist video collective that publicises and shares information on political and social movements, has a long standing night at the pub.

Over the weekend the pub hosted a benefit gig for South London Antifascists and Solidarity Federation, a revolutionary anarcho-syndicalist group.

Sadly, it is set to close later this year.

When the Blog told Waterhouse about the closure he commented “It’s terrible shame, The Grosvenor is a wonderful pub and such a contrast with somewhere like the Crown and Anchor“.

In its previous incarnation the Crown and Anchor was the home of punk and free party sound system REKNAW.

Waterhouse added he hopes “The Windmill and other venues like it continue to thrive.”

Waterhouse and his co-authors have raised 32 per cent of their target in the campaign’s first few days.

Visit the Kickstarter page to find out more about the book and to make a pledge of support


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