When it comes to what the UK thinks of Donald Trump and how Donald Trump thinks the UK feels about him, there appears to have been a breakdown in communication.
During a recent press conference in Brussels, the President of the United States said: "They like me a lot in the UK. I think they agree with me on immigration.” However, on July 13, 250,000 people took to the streets of London (with more in the rest of the UK) to protest his arrival, brandishing signs saying things like 'Shit Gibbon', 'Wotsit Hitler', 'Wasteman' and 'Piss off you orange bastard'.
The Stop Trump protest not only brought the capital to a standstill, they brought the capital together and chants of "Donald Trump, go away, racist, sexist, anti-gay" echoed down Regent Street, Oxford Circus and Trafalgar Square.
As well as a women's march and a general march, there was a strong LGBTQ+ presence at the demonstration and their meeting point was outside Soho Radio. Of course, Soho has long been home to some of the best and most frequented gay and lesbian bars and clubs in London but with Trump in town, it was time to move out of the venues and onto the streets.
Gideön, co-founder and co-director of Block9 and one of the 2 brains behind NYC Downlow, Glastonbury's very own gay paradise (and perhaps our favourite club in the world), hosted Revolution Day, a 12-hour musical marathon/street party. This meant inviting some of the world's best DJs to play all day and night, broadcasting out on the airwaves and right onto Great Windmill Street outside of the station too.
Hundreds of people, some dressed head-to-toe in drag attire and incredible costumes, others in shorts and a t-shirt with a beer in hand, gathered to dance, protest and revolt in unison. It wasn't just Donald Trump being protested either, it was Brexit and the Tories and the general bullshit facing people everyday. The who's who of DJ talent included Seth Troxler, Jackmaster, Eats Everything, Gideön, Prosumer, Hannah Holland, Midland and Breach and that's not even half of the line-up.
Anyone who knows about the history of dance music knows that its very roots were born from what Trump is trying to crush. The Trump protests were important, Revolution Day was important and anyone who made a sign, showed up to dance and marched alongside strangers with a common concern were important.
We chatted to some of the DJs involved with Revolution Day to gauge their thoughts on the current political climate and why making their voice and music heard is one of the most crucial things they can do. We also had a dance against Trump just to remind him that we don't in fact like you "a lot in the UK".
Why am I protesting Trump? Why are we not? Right now fascism is on the rise. It’s funny because everyone goes out partying and a lot of people going out from the youth culture, the people who follow Mixmag, don’t necessarily follow the news. They don’t really understand how dire the situation we’re in is, with the American government and fascist administration that's taking place. Me personally, someone of colour, I'm directly impacted by the policies of these people and many other people in our culture, like the LGBT community are all incredibly affected.
It’s a life and death situation for some of these communities and it’s not like something where you elect someone and some things happen and they’re out. This is having a global impact and it’s also leading the way for other people to get on the same boat so if want to preserve being alive and being free, then we need stand up for who we are. At least in tale of history and time, we’ll be able to say we tried, even if we don’t succeed.
Dance music should resist Trump because it’s always been the forgone of cultural society, so for us not to protest is crazy. At the core of any art movement or any art is a radical protest. If you look at what happened after Stonewall and how underground music had to go underground, that was a form of protest. Right now we’re protesting, through our music. Our art needs to be the way we radicalise and inform society.
Our industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, if we use our resources, our ideas and reach, as Mixmag are doing, then we can really make some change and at the very least make people aware of what’s happening. It’s not fun and games all the fucking time, it’s fun to go out and party but life is happening and it’s real and people need to be involved.
Partying is an effective means of resistance, especially resisting fascism because freedom is what they’re trying to restrict, so we need to express our freedom, our freedom to live and who we are as people. Right now we’re in Soho, the gay district, this area alone is a cultural mecca for resistance and being able to stand up is everything.
People who that dance music isn’t political, fuck you. Just because you’re some ‘A’ person who doesn’t like to get into anything, or maybe you’re a supremacist who uses it as a satire, fuck off. Music is political, art is political, life is political and if you’re not involved then you’re just a waste of space.
I can’t have a message for Trump because I’m lost for words, I have this anger built up inside me which is part of what he does. He creates this distractionary anger and it’s sad. We’re in this weird, cold depression. You don’t know you’re depressed but all of these things are happening everyday and it washes over you. I read this thing in the Irish Times about Donald Trump and I read the same thing in a book called ‘Fascism’ by Madeleine Albright and this is how they said they do it.
First they start to desensitise you, they start to desensitise who we are and they push the boundaries step by step to see how far they can go until they make people not look at each-other, no matter who they are, as the same. We’re in the test trial for fascism. It’s hard to figure out what to say to someone who’s doing such evil deeds to humanity. We need to be aware of what’s happening otherwise we’ll all be fucked.
That’s the truth.
I'm protesting Trump because I think it's important that people are seeing that we don't want to put up with this nonsense. The racism, the misogyny, the lies. It's about Trump because he's here but it's also about Brexit, to say that we're not really into that either. I think it's important that as many people are seen to be doing this as possible. It’s important for people to get involved and it’s important for people to get out there.
Dance music should resist Trump because his whole policy is against what we’re about. It’s about being inclusive and free to do what you want. Under his manifesto, we wouldn’t have any of that. If it was up to him and bloody Theresa May we’d all be sat at home knitting or something.
Partying is an effective means of resistance because it’s light-hearted and it’s dancing but it brings people together and everyone here is part of a like-minded group. It shows solidarity more than anything. This is a movement, this is how it all started with acid-house. I remember back in the 80’s when the tories were in power then, people were being stomped down. Partying shows we’re not going to put up with it.
Dance music is absolutely political, it started off as a political thing. House music started as that. Disco came around from black and gay people in clubs, people that were being downtrodden. It was always a means for escape for people and it still is. It’s very political and the people who think it isn’t, who are into dance music, are wrong.
If I was to say anything to Trump, can I say anything? Fuck right off. Go home. Actually don’t even go back to America, just bugger off.
I’m here for a couple of reasons. One is because Gideön from the NYC Downlow told me I had to do it and you do everything that Gideön tells you because he’s amazing and secondly I don’t think it’s necessarily just about Trump, it’s a protest against populism, against regressive political ideas that are strangling creativity, against homophobia and misogyny, transphobia, racism and bullshit. I think there’s a hunger in a lot of people in London anyway to try and at least stand together collectively to say “actually, we believe in good stuff and we stand against bad stuff”
Everyone will say this but dance music should resist Trump because its very heritage is everything that Trump stands against. It’s about marginalised communities finding a voice, it’s about linking up with people from different walks of life, it’s about women and people who aren’t white men and it’s about all the things Trump stands against.
Voting and protesting things like this with your money and your voice is the most effective means of resistance. Dancing is just dancing. I suppose some dance music isn’t political and I guess some is but I don’t really have a message for Trump because there’s no point talking to people who don’t listen to you.
I am disgusted by the hijack of our political system by rightwing fuckwits motivated by money, self interest and hatred of anything outside of their narrow spectrum of the “normal”. Brexit and Trump are two sides of the same coin. They are the thin end of the same wedge that led to the extermination of 6 million Jews in Europe within living memory. We are seeing a rising wave of Nationalism and hatred of the “foreign” in the western world. I feel the young people of this country need to come together urgently and resist this bullshit.
We must act now or forever live with the consequences. Everyone I know who’s is influential in the music world feels the weight of their responsibility to do something, to motivate young people to put down their smartphone for a second and engage with whats going down right here right now. So when I messaged everyone and said "come play some records at this Stop Trump/fuck Brexit thing I’m doing", everyone said yes straight away.
I looked through my little black book of DJ’s who have guested on my SohoJams show on Soho Radio and dropped everyone a message. All these artists are either friends or partners in crime or people who’s music I love who I have wanted to book but have never had the chance. Some are people I have booked for Glastonbury before as part of the arts partnership I am co-founder/co-director of (Block9) and some are NYC Downlow disciples and contributors. All are united in our resistance to Brexit, Trump and the Tories!
Dance music by its very nature represents love, unity, oneness and the joy of feeling the same thing at the same time with other people. Trump is a poisonous hater. A divider of people. A racist. A homophobe. A liar and a cheat. We can use music to conquer hate. Music has always been a weapon in protest and always will be. This is nothing new.
The act of partying is the act of coming together in rejection of class, race, creed, gender and sexuality. To defeat Brexit, nationalism, racism and hatred we must come together and be with each other and remember that together we are more powerful than them.
Jeremy Abbott is Mixmag's Digital Editor, follow him on Twitter
Seb Wheeler is Mixmag's Head of Digital, follow him on Twitter