Enlarge Photo Credit: Victoria J. Polsoni

Antifa Protest Against NSBM Band Graveland Causes Black Metal Fest in Montreal to be Canceled


Graveland, a Polish band with National Socialist ties (aka white supremacists), were set to headline the final of three nights of the Messe Des Morts music festival in Montreal this past Saturday. Antifa, a collective of protestors who often employ equally violent tactics as the hate groups they’re speaking out against, had other ideas.

Antifa sent word to the event’s promoters earlier in the week that they were coming to protest, and demanded the final night be shut down. The festival’s organizers eventually acquiesced:

For safety reasons, we are forced to cancel tonight’s concert. Know that the Théâtre Plaza’s administration, as well as the Messe Des Morts’ organisation have put every effort to find another conclusion. Despite this announcement, we invite you to go back home calmly and to show the same respect you have shown since the festival’s debut. Understand that we cannot give you further details for the moment.

But that’s not the end of it. Antifa protestors clashed with police and at times got violent towards members of the community. Here is an anonymous Facebook account:


I think it’s a stretch to call Graveland “politically neutral;” they’ve a history of defending and even admitting to their National Socialist views, and that kind of hateful rhetoric has no place in metal. But if the account listed above is 100% truthful, it certainly begs the question: do the ends justify the means Antifa is taking to stand against these kinds of shows? Neither side is really presenting a compelling argument here.

Many concertgoers who had traveled from as far away as Los Angeles for Messe Des Morts — which bills itself as the largest black metal festival in North America — were incredibly disappointed about the last-minute cancelation. Sortsu.ca reports that Graveland’s music isn’t political in nature, and that frontman Robert “Darken” Fudali has explained away his association with NSBM as being a very, very long time ago, the acts of a naive youth. Here’s a rough Google Translation (from French) of the report:

“I am Chinese ! I am Jewish ! I am First Nations! I am an Arab!” Protested several members of the public, of various origins, in the throes of disappointment and frustration of a situation they consider absurd and ridiculous. “We came to see a music show, you have nothing to do with it. »Car Messe des Morts this year is no less than nineteen other groups, including nearly a dozen had to play Saturday night.Music programming quality making it the biggest black metal festival in North America, attracting enthusiasts from across the continent.

“I came on purpose to Los Angeles, California,” said Heather. Mexico. Pennsylvania.Boston. New Jersey. Vermont. Abitibi. Vancouver. Calgary. Edmonton. Sherbrooke.Halifax. Winnipeg. The list is long and impressive among the many spectators.

“It is the triumph of ignorance and misinformation, says Sebastian, came to Quebec with his friends. The media will get the buzz, and there is a danger of radicalization now. “And the risk of amalgam easy to jump to conclusions to involve the public in the event of any neo-Nazi ideologies. Target … ghost and nonexistent. No skinhead in the crowd. A saleswoman false image that circulates quickly in public opinion and easy media voyeurism hunters clicks and views. Again, it’s simple to separate the political views of a member of a group and its music which does not contain reference to racial hatred for example.”

So: what do you guys think? This is a tough issue. Sound off below.

[via Montreal Gazette]

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