Cuba Fiesta rocks at London's Rise Festival

Campaign News | Monday, 16 July 2007

Thousands brave rain for Latin American solidarity party

THOUSANDS of festival-goers swayed to Cuban salsa, hip hop and reggaeton at the Mayor of London's anti-racism festival.

Rise: London United is in its seventh year, and an estimated 80,000 revellers flocked to the free event, which was held in Finsbury Park on SUnday 15 July.

The Cuba Solidarity Campaign helped to create some Latin spirit by running the Big Cuba Fiesta and El Barrio Latino marquee, which proved to be one of the most popular stages at the festival.

From Cuban salsa classes hosted by Tio Molina, through to Cuban music from Raices Cubanas, reggaeton from Kid Afrika and Venezuelan ska outfit Palmeras Kannibales, the party united people from different nationalities in dance, music and solidarity.

The event celebrated the spread of Latin American unity, which now involves countries stretching from Nicaragua to Argentina.

Stalls representing solidarity campaigns with different countries were there including Venezuela Information Centre, Colombia Solidarity, Nicaragua Solidarity, Bolivia Solidarity, Mexico Solidarity, Ecomemoria (Chile), as well as Casa Latin America, War on Want and the Latin American Workers Association.

Rob Miller, CSC director, was impressed by the reaction to the Big Cuba Fiesta.

He said: “It was fantastic to see so many people party and enjoy themselves while listening to great music. We were able to celebrate the growing unity being achieved across Latin America and speak to a new audience about the vital role Cuba continues to play in supporting progressive change in the continent.”

Steve Hart, Unite T&G Regional Secretary, spoke at the event and told the crowd that "solidarity with Cuba was essential today in the face of continuing US aggression against the island"

CSC signed up more than 30 new members on the day. The event was organised by CSC with tremendous support from Unite T&G London and Eastern Region, and from Movimientos Latin American Network. A huge thanks to all who helped on the day to make it such a success.

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