Searchlight, January 2003
On 9 November a Blood & Honour gig just outside Bedford in England attracted 150 nazis. Besides the Legion of St. George, Eye of Odin, Whitelaw andConquest, the Dutch band Brigade M also played, a surprise because another nazi concert was taking place the same weekend in Eindhoven, organised by Brigade M's friends. That Brigade M opted to play in England is a further indication of the international focus the band has developed lately .
Brigade M was founded in 1996 by two late members of the hardcore band Opel Kadeath (OKD) and was at first named Brigade Mussert, after the bodyguards of Anton Mussert, the leader of the Dutch Nazi party, the NSB, before and during the Second World War.
The main man behind the band is bass player Tim Mudde from Sassenheim. Mudde was member of the board of the nazi CP'86 and used to be "action leader" of the fascist movement Voorpost. He is also very active in the "anti-antifa"' collecting and publishing information about his enemies.
At the outset, Brigade M was not very active but contributed to a racist sampler CD in 1997 with the song Eigen volk eerst (Own people first). At the start of 2001, however, Mudde refounded the group, recruiting a new singer, Dave Blom, until then known as one of the nazis convicted for desecrating a Jewish cemetery in The Hague in November 1999.
Blom was, like Mudde, a member of CP'86 and also tried his luck in a nazi outfit called Nationaal Offensief before it collapsed. He also shows up regularly at meetings or demonstrations of such nazi organisations as the Nederlandse Volks Unie (NVU) and Stormfront Nederland. Other members of the band nclude a guitarist named Wickie and the drummer, Jasper Velzel, who owns the fascist distribution and music label, Berzerker Records. Velzel was convicted on 27 May 2002 for distributing racist, nazi and antisemitic music.
Brigade M has now recorded a host of new songs, made a video clip for the band's website and performd two gigs in Eindhoven, at the squatted nazi house "De Kazerne". It has also produced a mini-CD, contributed two songs to another racist CD-sampler and is touting T-shirts and other material. From every sold CD, Brigade M is contributing money for nazi activities against anti-fascists.
The bands songs carry such titles as "Shame for our race", "Loyal to red, white and blue" and "50.000 heroes", the latter a tribute to the Dutch members of the Waffen SS who fought on the eastern front during the Second World War. In another song, the "lyric" states that "supporters of multiculturalism will be executed". Brigade M has also covered the song "Rock gegen ZOG" by the outlawed German nazi band Landser and ends messages to its mailing list with the notorious nazi motto "14 words!" Despite the clear evidence that Brigade M's activities are racist and incite hatred, however, no interest is being shown by police prosecutors .
Brigade M is, in fact, part of a new strategy of a group of nazi activists who call themselves the Nationale Beweging (National Movement) and are organised in loose structures on the local and regional level. These groups produce a magazine called Vooraan and have a website but are reluctant to participate in party politics preferring to describe themselves as "national anarchists" with the aims of changing society and forming circles of activist friends around activities like football, parties and gigs. They claim to be an umbrella organisation for all nationalists and are trying to assume the legacy of the moribund Voorpost.
It should be noted that the youth wing of Voorpost separated itself from the main organisation and squatted De Kazerne so that they had a venue for meetings, parties and gigs. Members of Brigade M and the circles around the band are active on a number of issues. For example, they have protested against a visit to Leiden by anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, thrown a cake in the face of the Socialist Party leader, Jan Marijnissen, and picketed Islamic butchers' shops against halal meat. The central figure in all these stunts has been Mudde.
In April 2002, Brigade M played at a Blood & Honour gig in Flanders, together with Legion of St George, on 31 August performed at a German nazi festival organised by the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands in Ramstein where Mudde also made a speech. At other gigs in Germany and Flanders, the band has played with Whitelaw and Eye of Odin and, in October, urged solidarity with the convicted German nazi bard Frank Rennicke and called on its followers to raise money for his court appeal. Brigade M has also recently launched a new EP with songs by Störkraft and Landser.
In October, Anti-Fascist Action (AFA) started a campaign against Brigade M's council-sponsored practice studio in Leiden but the councillor responsible for allowing this argues that "nobody is bothered by Brigade M practising songs in a confined space" because "nobody hears them". He also says that he will not have a "politically correct approach" and has asserted that he first wants to talk with the racists and antisemites of Brigade M.
Obviously, this individual thinks the fact that the city of Leiden is contributing to the production and and distribution of hate music is not important. Meanwhile, the majority of the parties on the city council want to terminate the contract with Brigade M but have yet to act.
By Jeroen Bosch of Alert! in Utrecht