Rhythms of Resistance take some of their inspiration from the « blocos-afros » bands (e.g. Olodum or Ilê Aiyê) that emerged in the mid-1970s in Salvadore, in the Bahia region of Brazil. These bands were formed as expressions of black awareness, in defiance of a military dictatorship which viewed any « cultural » group as potentially « communist » and ruthlessly suppressed them. Blocos-afros bands were responsible for blending traditional samba rhythms with reggae, salsa and merengue to create the samba style now known as Samba Reggae. Today many of these bands still campaign for freedom, human rights and equal opportunities, and fight against social injustice and racism
The first Rhythms of Resistance band formed 2000 in London, in reaction against the repression of Reclaim The Streets happenings by the police. Rhythms of Resistance formed as part of the UK Earth First action against the IMF / World Bank in Prague in September 2000. A Pink and Silver carnival bloc, focused around a 55 piece band, detached itself from a march of 67000 and outmanouvered police resources defending the IMF annual summit. With an international ’black bloc’ and a large contingent from the Italian movement, ’Ya Basta’, three diverse forms of direct action worked towards a common goal and resulted in the shut down of the IMF summit. From then on, along with the movement against capitalist globalisation, one group after the other popped up – now we’re all over Europe and occasional in the rest of the world.
Currently, there are bands all over the world