Manic Street Preachers are taking legal action against the English Defence League for using their song ‘If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next’ to promote an upcoming demonstration in Birmingham.
Ironically, the song – taken from the band’s 1998 album ‘This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours’ – took its name from an anti-fascist slogan used during the Spanish Civil War and has now been used by the far-right group in a video about one of their demos. The song famously features the lyric: “So if I can shoot rabbits/Then I can shoot fascists”.
Michael Wongsam, the Chair of West Midlands Unite Against Fascism said in a statement: “We are appalled to discover that the racist and fascist English Defence League has used the anti-fascist song ‘If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next’ by the band the Manic Street Preachers…This song takes its title from an anti-fascist slogan used during the Spanish Civil War where anti-racists and anti-fascists from all over Europe tried to stop Franco’s fascists from taking over the country.”
He adds that West Midlands Unite Against Fascism will be stating a counter protest on July 20. “We want to have a peaceful counter demonstration on the day to show that Birmingham is a united, multicultural and peaceful community that does not want a group of racist and fascist thugs intimidating or attacking Muslims or any other minority group in our city.”
A spokesperson for the Manics told NME that the band were “horrified” that their track was being used in the promo and that the label requested the video was taken down immediately.