The organizers of last night’s Cold Cave/Boyd Rice show: Todd P., Ric and 285
Kent have released a statement about the controversy surrounding the
We are disappointed with the decision to continue this show and we do hope
that Todd and those at 285 are sincere about their pledge to have
anti-fascist literature as well as information on supporting victims of
domestic abuse and sexual assault available at the venue. Obviously the
juxtaposition of Boyd Rice trotting around on stage in his SS dress up
spewing his bile, while people table against what he stands for will be
quite a bizarre spectacle.
We would like to clear up a couple of points in regards to this latest
mini-controversy. To be honest the first shows that Boyd Rice played in
Brooklyn this year should also have been addressed. Many of us were
hesitant to provoke a washed up shock rocker, and our attention has been
focused more on the troubling rise of local fascists and neo-nazis, such
as the Golden Dawn and NATA, among other things (including government
repression and surveillance). However seeing the creeping rise of both
real fascist organizing in NYC: the Golden Dawn in Astoria, the troubling
reemergence of groups of neo-nazi skinheads who have been spotted in
Williamsburg, and the rise in attacks and even murders of queer people in
the city, combined with the re-emergence of Nazi and fascist imagery,
aesthetics, and even ideology in Black Metal, Experimental music and other
sub cultural scenes have led us to decide that enough is enough.
Todd P. has for years put on DIY shows with acts such as
Defiance Ohio, Japanther, and others who share many of the core
anti-fascist and free thinking values that a DIY scene should embrace.
Unfortunately St. Vitus, on the other hand, has a growing reputation to
being open to bands with sketchy ideological underpinnings; it is not
surprising that they would host a character like Rice. It is possible this
is why people feel a greater sense of outrage over Boyd Rice playing at
285 Kent; it seems out of character.
As far as the topic of free speech and artistic expression goes, we do not
believe in censorship, nor would we appeal to the authorities to stop
someone like Boyd Rice. We do believe however that fascists should never
have a platform to espouse their beliefs, especially in the DIY scene.
They believe in racial domination, authority, genocide,the subjugation of
women and the suppression of all who are different to them. Creeps like
Boyd Rice who hide behind their role as ‘artist’ to promote fascist
ideology are just as dangerous as the cross burners, and gay-bashers, they
are given a platform to put forth an ideology of hate to large audiences,
the trick with Rice is he can always play his card that “he is just being
provocative”, “its just a prank”, or that “he has the right to artistic
expression” and people buy it.
Finally, we invite everyone who is outraged by Cold Cave and Boyd Rice’s promotion of hate to actively oppose the forces of oppression ubiquitous in our culture. While Rice is an abuser and fascist hatemonger, we are constantly surrounded with people who are no better–police, bosses, rapists, politicians. Anti-Fascism does not begin or end in the DIY scene, it is a form of struggle we must commit to enacting every day.
In respect and a hope for further dialogue and action