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On 26 July 2008 RATB held a successful live music event in Brixton, south London, to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the Moncada attack, the spark of the Cuban Revolution.

Cuban Jamm at Brixton a great success

The skies were clear and the Sun shone like the great star that it is. The venue was the Jamm, 261 Brixton Road, London. The event was a Cuban fiesta organized by Rock Around the Blockade in solidarity with Cuba and celebrating 55 years since Fidel Castro and his revolutionary rebels attacked the Moncada Barracks, sparking the Cuban Revolution. Supporters of the event were the Revolutionary Communist Group, the RMT trade union, Movement of Ecuadorians in the UK and the Marti-Maceo Cultural Organisation of Cubans in Great Britain.

An impeccably timed event turned out to be a roaring success. In fitting with the occasion everyone turned out in rad summer clothes and dresses. The kaleidoscopic colours were only matched by the wonderful decorations on the front lawn. In particular, a large red Che Guevara poster turned heads on the busy street. The face of Che is all too familiar, although to many the man himself is less known.

Inside, no corner of the hall was left undecorated. Perhaps unsurprisingly the busiest corner was the food corner. On offer were two dishes, one being a vegetarian option consisting of Bean stew, saffron rice and Cuban Potato Salad. The other option offered Beef stew as part of a meat option. As more and more people flooded in food sales increased drastically. The Cuban Beef stew in particular proved to be an irresistible luxury!

Exquisite books on sale at the stall encapsulated the most crucial parts of Cuban history. These included: Che Guevara: Politics and Revolution and the RATB pamphlet: Revolutionary Cuba the Streets are Ours. Michael Moore’s stupendous film SICKO stood out as did John Pilger Documentaries.

Perhaps the magnum opus of the event was the stunning, free-flowing Cuban music which DJ Dave took charge of. Rhythmic and catchy, and sometimes therapeutic, many inevitably enjoyed the warmth and gaiety of Cuban sound bites. The propitious music paved the way for the much anticipated Salsa/dance classes. Novices and seasoned pros strutted their stuff on the dance floor in a valorous, vivified manner. Not since Michael Jackson did the Moonwalk has the world seen such fine dancers! The step-by-step guide was simple and clear and within minutes the floor made Salsa experts look like an amateur!

The kids were very much a part of the event with face paintings of tigers, Spiderman and other such superheroes. They also enjoyed the variety of options available to them for their pleasure: blow-horns, balloons, soap bubbles and soft drinks.

As the day wound down everyone was treated to an extra dose of Cuban music courtesy of the wonderful Cuban band Movimiento Cultural Amigo Artista. A grand raffle was announced, with a box of the finest Cuban cigars as first prize . The scene of people eating, talking, laughing and drinking merrily was emblematic of a fine, well planned event in solidarity with Cuba. A resounding thank you to all who made the event a huge success including the Ecuadorian comrades who came along.

Patricia O'Muerte