April 21st, 2005
we just had an australian "blood and honour" connected band play at a national front orginised gig. police outnumberd punters!
as for the roots of the skins movement....the neo nazis like to ignore these little facts;
It is widely accepted that the Skinhead subculture originated in 1960s Jamaica, among the "Rude Boys" who ran drug and prostitution rackets on the impoverished streets of cities like Kingston. It is true that Jamaican immigrants to Britain, who emulated the rude boys as folk heroes, joined the London working class youth as dock workers, and that their music and culture provided a nucleus around which the skinhead subculture coalesced.
London in the early 1960s was experiencing a growing class separation between the working class - struggling, relegated to substandard housing, and increasingly neglected by their political representatives - and the middle class. Those youths who could afford it invested in new fashions popularized by The Beatles (haircuts) and Carnaby Street merchants (clothing). These were the Mods, a youth subculture noted for its consumerism and affection for style, music and scooters. Those of lesser means, such as the dock workers, made do with the practical styles that suited their employment - steel-toed boots, straight-legged denim jeans, and shirts and braces (suspenders in the US) often handed down by their fathers. When possible, their limited funds were spent on smart outfits worn in the evenings to the dancehalls, where they danced to ska, reggae, and rocksteady beats alongside their Jamaican coworkers.
Around 1965 a group of "hard" or "gang" mods, who could be identified by their shorter hair and working-class image, emerged from the larger mod scene. This resulted in a schism that produced "peacock mods" (The Who, The Kinks) and skinheads, commonly known by that name by around 1968. (Other early nicknames included "lemons", "peanuts" and "suits.") Early followers were mainly interested in and influenced by Jamaican Reggae and Ska music (aka, The Spirit of 69), Jamaican Rude Boy culture and a dislike of those perceived as the 'ruling classes'. They had an extreme dislike for the government and many larger businesses as both appeared to lack sympathy for the increasingly desperate straits of the working class.
Skinhead culture exploded in the year 1969, to the extent that even the rock band Slade adopted the look, after which the original skinheads slowly dropped into new categories, including the "Suede-head" (defined by the ability to manipulate one's hair with a comb) and the next-stage "Smoothies" (often with hairstyles down to shoulder length). Fashions within both groups regressed to their mod roots, reintroducing the common wearing of brogues (originally an identifier once boots became too conspicuous) as well as the slacks-and-sweater look. Here was a far cry from the singularly blue-jeaned and typically steel-toe booted skins of the past.
During the mid-1970s in the UK, the skinhead movement was reborn in an unexpected way. With the introduction of Punk Rock to the public, kids were looking for the next great shock-rockers. Skinheads with shorter hair, less emphasis on style, and a new sound grew in numbers and grabbed the attention of the media as a result of repeated incidents of hooliganism during football matches, often to the point of rioting between rival groups of supporters. Whether these riots were, in fact, initiated by skinheads or by overzealous fans in general is the subject of some controversy, but it is clear that skinheads were eager participants.
So-called "Punk skins" also gained a great deal of media attention after they were recruited by the racist political group, the National Front, which used the skinheads' reputation for violence to intimidate its opposition. Most skinheads deny that their group was recruited to engage in racist and criminal activity by this organization, claiming that the National Front recruited street youth, shaved their heads to give them the appearance of skinheads, and paid them to bully, threaten and even commit violence upon immigrant workers. The negative press generated concerning skinheads caused a decrease in their numbers.
American skinheads were also being recruited (or created, for similar purposes by racist groups around this time. After a number of brutal attacks were reported in the media, they received the same spin as their British counterparts. Fueled by sensationalist television, all skinheads were stereotyped as mindless, violent, and racist, with little attempt made to discriminate one subgroup from another. In an attempt to counter this negative stereotype, 1987 saw the birth of the SkinHeads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP) organization in New York. The group claims to be opposed all forms of bigotry. In addition, Anti-Racist Action (ARA), a militant anti-racist organization, also has its roots in skinhead culture, along with RASH, "Red and Anarchist Skinheads".
The Third wave of ska brought a resurgence in skinhead subculture in the early 1990s, and the popularity of the group continues to grow. Today, skinheads can be found in all of North America and Europe, as well as in scattered places worldwide such as Japan, Brazil, and Israel.
There are a number of different "types" of skinhead, who divide themselves and their allegiances across political and racism lines, resulting in three primary categories.
Neo-Nazi Skins (sometimes called White Power and derogatorily referred to as "boneheads" by Trads and SHARPs) - Racist and highly political. The most vocal and well recognized subgroup is the Hammerskins.
SHARP (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice) - Political, and aggressively anti-racist. Considered a response to mass media's stereotyping of skinheads as racists.
Traditional, Trad, Trojan or Original - This group closely identifies itself with the original skinhead movement ("The Spirit of 69"), maintaining working class pride and a dislike for the "ruling class". Largely apolitical. This group is the largest sect of the subculture.
There are a number of minor sects within these which are worth mentioning, the Reds or Redskins (communists), Anarchists, white pride/racialists, and gay skinheads among them.
In-fighting and Hostilities
Each sect of skinhead may be considered to be hostile to a number of other groups, though violence is the exception to a rule of name-calling, harassment and defamation behind closed doors. Some traditional enmities include:
Traditionalists - Punk-Skins (sometimes including SHARPs and racist/racialist groups), Punks, Bikers, Greasers, Red Skins, Metalheads, Hippies
Punk-Skins (old school) - Mods, Trads, Bikers, Greasers, Teddy Boys, Red Skins, Hippies
SHARPs - Red Skins, Hippies, Fence-Walkers (non-racist skins who will associate with racist skinheads).
Racist/Racialist/White Pride/White Power/Neo-Nazi - Minorities, Anti-war protestors, SHARP / ARA skins, gay skinheads, and especially Jews and non-white immigrants
It should be noted that degrees of hostility vary regionally and locally. In many places, for example, trad skins, punks and SHARPs mix freely and without conflict. White Power and neo-Nazi groups tend to be less tolerant, however.
as with all things...neo nazis lose themselves on the "little" details