SchNEWS Of The World


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Rhythms of Resistance

Rhythms of Resistance samba band - veterans of international actions including Prague and Barcelona. After two years of whirlwind pink and silver action, we're still going strong. So..... here's some thoughts on what motivates us, and why we do it....

Formed in spring 2000 as an open carnival bloc in part from the London based group Reclaim the Streets, Rhythms of Resistance (RoR) has become a way of embracing the changing face of protesting and demonstrations that we have seen in across the world over the last five years.

RoR has been a way of exploring the link between art and politics; between carnival and protest. What we do is part of a long tradition of mixing music and politics. RoR endeavor to continue in this tradition, whilst simultaneously having a bloody good laugh. For us, wearing pink and silver costumes and feather boas is as much political as it is frivolous. We become a subversive version, a circus parody of the uniformed military marching bands that accompany regiments into battle.

To play together in this way is to be doing something that has no hierarchy. We are all dependent on each other for making the rhythms fit together. We are a street guerrilla carnival troupe. Our actions are the very antithesis of capitalism.

When necessary, i.e. Prague during the World Bank/IMF summit in September 2000, with help, we can move large blocks of people quickly and safely with the dual purpose of entertaining as we do so. The police have come to see us as a threatening force, often because they recognise this strength. Playing in Placa de Catalunya at the anti-World Bank demonstrations held in Barcelona in June 2001 highlights this. Towards the end of a long day we headed to another barrio to play in front of the police station where those attending a peaceful demo earlier on in the day had been arrested. RoR hit the streets leading a large crowd down into the metro and off to the site. We had a ball making loads of racket on the tube and generating lots of support. At the time we headed towards the station, it was late, most people had been at demonstrations all day and were cream crackered. However, if we hadn't played, it would have been much more difficult to generate such prisoner support. A couple of hundred people finally arrived in front of the police station along with food, beer and a sound system. Not bad for a random bunch of drummers!

The bright pink and silver colours we wear make it much harder for observers who see us to take offence at our actions, also for the police themselves to take action against us. To try to arrest or assault a frivolously attired musical group when it is such a positive, popular and inclusive force, becomes difficult in the extreme.

RoR shows the possibility of peaceful social change.... sort of like a 'pink' velvet revolution. A type of protest that is accessible to all, anyone can play an instrument, make props, or cover themselves in glitter, and show their feelings that way. The fact that there are now RoR sister bands in Holland, Belgium, Spain and the USA show that there are lots of people looking at alternative ways of participating. We are becoming the McDonalds of Samba! Do it yerself and make some fucking noise!

For more info on us check out our website on:

If you feel like setting up a radical samba/percussion band, or if you want to join us or another one already in existence, email