BLAGGERS I.T.A (formerly The Blaggers) were an Oi!/punk and agitpop band noted for their strong militant anti-fascist and left wing lyrics and activism.
The band forged particularly close links with Anti Fascist Action, donating money to the organisation as well as using themselves as a platform to promote the organisation and its ideology. The band was founded in 1988 by singer Matty Blagg, who had been introduced to Marxism while in prison. Although the band started out as an anti-racist skinhead band playing hard-edged Oi! music, they eventually incorporated influences from hip hop and electronic dance music, adding the letters I.T.A. to their name, which stood for "In The Area".
The band's vocal support for Anti Fascist Action and revolutionary politics, along with their previous association with the Oi! music scene, meant that in the early 1990s they became a target for fascist groups such as Combat 18, who allegedly boasted that Blaggers ITA would not be able to play in the United Kingdom. However, Anti Fascist Action managed to defeat this threat, and neo-Nazi bands found it virtually impossible to play in Britain. In 1992, the white power band Skrewdriver attempted to play a major concert, and the band's fans were attacked and routed at Waterloo Station. This incident is mentioned on the United Colours of Blaggers ITA album in the anti-fascist song "Its Up To You".
The band had several top 50 singles in 1993 and 1994 and they signed to EMI and enjoyed moderate commercial success until they were dropped from the label in 1994. Their signing to EMI resulted in some criticism from individuals in the DIY/independent music scene. The record deal alienated some of their fans because of Thorn EMI's former links with the arms trade and because EMI was seen as a large corporation dominating the music scene. Blaggers ITA justified the move by arguing that it is pointless having a message if you're only spreading it to a small number of people. They also demonstrated that signing the deal gave them more money to spend on political causes that they supported.
Many of their biggest supporting tours and festival slots were cancelled and the music press effectively boycotted them after Blagg punched Melody Maker writer Dave Simpson in mid 1993. The incident led to a court case, although none of the band members were convicted. Shortly after being dropped by EMI, Matty Blagg left the band, and Blaggers ITA continued for a short while. Blagg died in February 2000. A new version of the band have since reformed and played some concerts, although they have not released any records.