Jazz Musicians Drown Out Danish Far-Right Rally With Truly Dreadful Music
A collective of jazz musicians from Denmark have come up with a brilliant way of drowning out the hateful sounds of far-right rallies: playing loud and fantastically dreadful music.
Protest group Free Jazz Mod Paludan (FJMP) follows far-right politician Rasmus Paludan around Denmark, drowning out his divisive words with noise.
For those unaware of Paludan, he is the head of Denmark’s far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party, a party well known for taking an openly anti-Muslim stance.
Stram Kurs very nearly won a seat in parliament during the last Danish election. Some of their policies included implementing a ban on Islam in Denmark and going ahead with the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Muslim people.
A former lawyer, Paludan has been in the public eye since 2017 after he began making YouTube videos targeting Muslims.
As reported by BBC News, in June this year Paludan was given a month in jail for a variety of offences, including racism, after he was convicted of sharing anti-Islam videos via the party’s social media channels.
Paludan is known for organising far-right demonstrations in areas with significant immigrant populations. Regarding himself as a guardian of free speech, Paludan has previously carried out anti-Islam stunts at these rallies, including publicly burning the Koran, which he sometimes wraps in bacon.
FJMP was established as a means of peacefully counter-protesting these rallies, with the group welcoming anyone to join in and play along – as long as they are not Rasmus Paludan, of course.
According to the FJMP Facebook page:
‘Free Jazz Mod Paludan – FJMP’ is potentially Denmark’s biggest band, which aims to accompany racist Rasmus Paludan around the country with free jazz accompaniments and improvisations. Everyone can be with except just him. He must not.
Participants don’t have to be particularly talented musicians, and indeed it could be argued that a tone-deaf protester would be even more effective. People are welcome to turn up with frying pans and spoons as well as traditional musical instruments such as saxophones and accordions.
IT consultant and activist John Rasmussen, who played the sax at a Copenhagen FJMP demonstration back in July, told Vice that the group are ‘fighting noise with noise’:
I’m of the opinion that rhetoric like his should not be ignored. You have to protest against it, but in a way that is not destructive and violent.
This initiative fits that really well in that we simply try to make more noise than him. We just provoke Paludan as much as he provokes others.
I want to make it very visible how destructive he is, and the louder we can play, the more attention we can draw to it. What he does is incredibly, incredibly evil.
FJMP has reportedly raised an approximate £7,000 from its supporters, with all profits going to Together WE PUSH, a nonprofit organisation that supports families awaiting deportation after having had their applications denied.
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