The Musicians’ Union (MU) was delighted to attend the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Black Workers’ Conference, which took place from Friday 20 April – Saturday 22 April 2018. Nadine Wild-Palmer and Linton Stephens represented MU members at the Conference.
Stephens moved the MU’s motion, titled ‘Protecting and Promoting Black Grime Artists’, highlighting the marginalisation of grime and related genres in the media.
It calls on the TUC to highlight the ongoing situation and recognise the importance of grime and black music genres for the UK’s cultural diversity and creative economy.
This follows Capital Xtra losing nearly all its specialist black music programming and the axing of Dancehall DJ Robbo Ranks and R’n’B DJ CJ Beatz from BBC Radio 1Xtra.
The motion, which also raises form 696 and how versions of it are still in use in Bedfordshire and Leicestershire, was seconded by Equity and passed unanimously by Conference.
Find out more about the MU’s Equalities Sub-Committee and get involved.
Full text of the motion
Grime, predominantly a product of black creativity, is one of the most interesting and successful musical genres to emerge in recent years from the UK. It also played a part in the recent general election with several grime artists expressing their support for Jeremy Corbyn.
Despite this, grime has been the subject of oppressive treatment by the Metropolitan Police, who until recently could shut down gigs because of form 696.
The Metropolitan Police finally scrapped form 696 in November 2017 after pressure from Sadiq Khan. However, other police forces including Bedfordshire and Leicestershire are still using versions of it, and the MU would like to bring this to the TUC's attention.
The MU would like to raise a concern that grime and related genres are being marginalised in the media. It was recently announced that resident Dancehall DJ Robbo Ranks and R'n'B DJ CJ Beatz have been axed from 1Xtra. Similarly, last year. Capital Xtra, formerly Choice FM,lost nearly all its specialist black music programming.
Conference asks the TUC Black Workers Committee to: Highlight this ongoing situation and to recognise the importance of grime and black music genres for the UK's cultural diversity and creative economy.