‘CHURCH OF PUNK’
Guest article by Andrea of Punk 'n' Disorderly, Manchester
I was asked to write a fashion blog entry for Offend My Eyes. As everyone already knows about Punk 'n' Disorderly, the shop in Chorlton - we don't follow fashion. We sell Punk Clothing, based in Chorlton Manchester. Punk tshirts, bullet belts, studded belts, TUK footwear, Necessary Evil, Punk Rave, Gringo. Here's an interview with Scott from Church of PUNK.
What is Church of PUNK and how did you get involved?
When I first joined Facebook, being a punk rocker, I joined a few punk pages and I found they were playing the same old classics like the Sex Pistols, Ramones, The Clash and all this type of music that everyone is already aware of. I thought to myself, even though those bands are great, I can do better as there are so many other smaller bands or unknown local ones that deserve to be listened to. So I decided to open my own page. Church of PUNK is an oxymoron and a dig at hypocritical religions and is anti war, anti racist, anti homophobic, pro life, animal rights etc, etc. At the moment there are over 56K people who have liked the page, which is pretty astounding really.
Church of PUNK is going global, how do you feel about that?
Church of PUNK has snowballed since about five years ago and it's turning into a collective. More and more like minded people are getting involved and now there is Church of PUNK Ireland, Church Of PUNK Germany, Church Of PUNK Indonesia and Church of PUNK 2, they're all anti fascist and that's cool. Soon people worldwide will see the Church of PUNK symbol and know what it stands for.
Do you think punk music is under represented?
I think punk music that is mostly very left wing and helped start Rock against Racism and anti war, etc, so it's more relevant than ever with the madness going on worldwide today. There are some really great new punk bands out there right now, and if people want to hear something different, they need to switch off their TVs and radios because there is some really good stuff if you take the time out and go and find it, instead of listening to what you're told to by the BBC.
Church of PUNK has actually joined forced with PUNX.UK to release a CD called Cracks in the System. 66 DIY punk bands have donated their music and you can buy it for as little as £1 or as much as you think it's worth. All proceeds from the CD will be going to charities in London and Manchester, because fuck austerity.
Is Church of PUNK involved in Class War and how did that happen?
I am an activist and I have done a lot of demonstrations over the years. I've read Class War as a paper for years and I am currently a member of Class War because I oppose the effects of gentrification that you can see all over London. When you seen buildings that have a poor door and a rich door, you have to think, fuck this, I've got to stand up for people's rights and the underdog.
What is gentrification?
I believe gentrification is a worldwide government policy and it IS happening worldwide. I live in what was a poor working class area. Families that have been in these areas for generations have to move now to make room for the so called "wealthy". Small family businesses are being replaced with massive profiteering tax dodging corporations and coffee shops - I mean, how much fucking coffee can these hipsters chug down FFS. This is gentrification and it is taking over poor working class areas. Where are the poor meant to go, exactly? On top of this all the benefit changes, low pay, zero hour contracts, and humongous debt that students start their working lives with - this is all that the Tories have brought in, not to mention the suicides linked to government sanctions... it all looks like it is an economic war on those who have fuck all except a mounding pile of debt.
What does it feel like to go on a protest march? Is it empowering? Do you think it makes a difference to society when people are making their voices heard?
Demonstrations do nothing as the government will do what they want anyway - BUT there has to be protest. We can't just capitulate and say nothing. For me it is empowering and walking side by side with people from other ethnic backgrounds and social circles; all for one common goal, to send a message: "We don't like this".
Question on fashion, as it is for a fashion blog: Can you describe your fashion style? Are you "punk" or "hippy"?
People like to stereotype others, but yes, you could say I dress like a punk, however all punks dress their own way - it's each to their own, and it's what's in your heart that counts.
As you're in London, what is the Punk London 40 year anniversary celebrations? Are you getting involved?
PUNK in London can fuck right off! Punk sponsored by the National Lottery [another poor man's tax] WTF?! Punk to me is D.I.Y but if they want to try to access it... well, good luck to them.
Based on your experience of life and what you oppose about the governments, etc, what's your advice for young people?
My advice to young people is: educate yourselves and always question "why am I being told this?" Don't believe the propaganda as governments have a long history of corruption and lying. It's your life, so stand up and fight for your future.
Anything you'd like to add, in particular as it looks like we're about to face another banking crisis?
I call this one another crap poem:
When you want to fucking shout
But inside your mind is full of doubt
Just look around and you will see
A million or more just like me
For our children we must stand
Walking together hand in hand
You have no future if you have no voice
But my dear that was your choice
Life is full of love of liberty
Passion and colour if you could see
Interviewee Scott from Church of PUNK
Buy Cracks in the System anti-austerity CD at PUNX UK