“Using my platform for the greater good. I stand in solidarity, this is sisterhood.“
This poignant refrain sums up all that the powerful new release from Solidarity Not Silence stands for. With members of The Tuts, Petrol Girls, Personal Best and Colour Me Wednesday collaborating, as well as a snippet of the legendary Kathleen Hanna speaking about the cause, ‘This Is Sisterhood’ sees members of the DIY feminist music community come together to raise funds for the legal costs of a group of women who are fighting a defamation claim made against them.
The Solidarity Not Silence movement was started to raise money for the legal cost for this group of women, after each of them spoke up about their accuser’s alleged abuse. A number of his former partners, as well as feminist musicians who spoke out in support, including Nadia Javed of The Tuts and Ren Aldridge of Petrol Girls, are facing a libel claim. Their case is immensely relevant in the aftermath of #MeToo and could affect legal precedent on how similar cases are treated by the law.
And ‘This Is Sisterhood’ marks the perfect way to bring the case to people’s attention; as Nadia Javed explains: “… we’re musicians not lawyers. We can’t fight this case without the help of our lawyers, but what we can do, is use our skills and resources as musicians to tell our story, and build the momentum that we need to expand our fundraising campaign and keep covering our legal costs.”
A truly impassioned and empowering creation, ‘This Is Sisterhood’ is a totally necessary call to arms; a plea to unite in solidarity against the patriarchal norms seeking to hold us down. Starting with the glistening, honey-sweet vocals of Javed telling the story of Solidarity Not Silence, it builds with swirling riffs (courtesy of Katie from Personal Best) and a stirring energy to a rousing anthem.
As the poignant, spoken word from Ren (Petrol Girls) states some of the disturbing facts surrounding gender-based violence against the heartrending backdrop of a sweeping chorus of harmonic voices (all powerful voices from across the DIY punk community), we’re left to reflect on the track’s resonant sentiment – “When will the reputation of men stop being valued over our safety?”.
Propelled by an immense, stirring splendour, ‘This Is Sisterhood’ sends shivers down the spine with its emotion-filled sweeping power and urgent sentiment. An utterly necessary, and deeply cathartic, listen; a beautifully compelling way to bring attention to such a pressing issue, showcasing the true power of women and non-binary people coming together to unite and fight back against the powers that seek to control us.
Watch the emotive new video, created by Martyna Wisniewska and featuring footage of the community recording the track, for ‘This Is Sisterhood’ here:
Engineered by Simon Small and produced by Patrick James Pearson, ‘This Is Sisterhood’ is out now via Alcopop! Records.
Photo Credit: Martyna Wisniewska
More information about Solidarity Not Silence and the defamation case:
The group of women has been fighting this case for over four years, and is desperately trying to fundraise enough money to maintain their legal representation. Since launching their crowdfunder – and again since identities were made public – they have received an extraordinary amount of support. It seems that their case resonates with many people who have had similar experiences of being silenced by someone with more power, fame or financial backing.
However, they have now reached a crucial point in the case, where costs are escalating rapidly. Therefore, in an attempt to reach out beyond their usual networks they wrote and recorded this powerful single, which tells the compelling story of their legal battle, in 2019 and are now releasing it into the world. Their strategy in releasing the track is twofold: firstly they hope to raise money directly through digital downloads and merch sales, but ultimately the goal is to tell their story and get as much attention, and therefore donations, to their crowdfunder as possible.