Rhythms of Resistance samba band has ‘branches’ all over the world: London and Amsterdam are the original bands. We have spawned other bands in Manchester, Oxford, Paris, Cordoba (new one), Berlin, Turin, Bremen, Mexico City amongst others. There is also a Rhythms of Resistance in Israel. To be an activist band in Israel today is uneasy. One of the members recently sent out a rather despairing report about joining the protest against the bombardment of Gaza and commented on the general state of affairs for the ‘opposition’ in Israel.
“We are a band of a few but very devoted players (around 20 people max) and we are playing in most of the left-wing events. especially this last month of war.
I think that the anti-Zionist left-wing movement in Israel is dying. The consensus is becoming more and more Zionist, patriotic, and fascist. This last war was one of Israel’s biggest crams (sic), and it was so scary and so depressing to feel the complete sport of the Israeli society. Even the Palestinians didn’t protest as much as expected. The left-wing resistance and especially the Palestinian resistors is being strangled by the police. Hundreds of people got arrested for protesting against the war, and some are still sitting in jail. The general feeling here is frustration and deprecation from the situation and from our power to affect any of it. Many people don’t come to demos from fear of the police, frustration and a lack of faith.
I think that we really help keeping the movement alive. People are coming especially to demos because they know we are going to be there. We give joy and power to our serenading. People are dancing around us and shouting with us and with our drumming. We make a strong sound that a small movement, like we are in Israel, cannot make only by their voices.
We make the demos more energised and fun and hope full.
I guess that in black days like this, a ROR band can give a lot, especially to the protesters.”