Music in the Garden

The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival committee is very happy to report that the Lion Youth Brass Band from Cheshire will play at the Garden party in Shandon on Mother Jones Day (August 1st) starting at 4.45.

 

Lion Youth Band

The Lion Youth Brass Band

This 40 member community youth band formed in 1989 is on their first trip to the South of Ireland and is taking in the Limerick City of Culture, the Waterford Spraoi Festival and has now confirmed that it will also play at the historic Butter Market in Shandon.

 

“This Brass Band recital will be a lovely way to finish off the four day long festival of film, talks, discussions and music” stated Jim Nolan of the Cork Mother Jones Committee.

 

He continued “we are organising a party for all our guests from America, the UK, Greece and elsewhere to round off the festival and we are really delighted that the Lions Brass band have selected the Shandon event as a place to show off their musical ability and of course we will show off our Shandon Bells to our visitors”

 

“Of course later that evening we will have the famous Butter Exchange band, which will also provide music for a recital on John Redmond Street at the Mother Jones Plaque, where Professor Jim Green and Rosemary Feurer will give an account of her life” declared Jim. “It promises to be a wonderful day of music in and around Shandon to crown a fantastic week of activity about Mother Jones”

 

The Band currently has over a hundred members, who come from schools in the South Cheshire area and in 2014 it received a gold award in the Championship section at the National Youth brass Band Championships of Great Britain. They have competed local, national and international competitions winning many including The National Youth Championships of Great Britain twice.

Oops!

Some of our eagle-eyed readers may have noticed an error on the site over the last few  days.   We added a “countdown clock” and managed to put the wrong starting date for the conference on it!    No need to panic, we haven’t changed the date.    The conference will start on schedule with the official opening on Tuesday, 29th July at 5.00pm.

Apologies for any confusion caused.

The Battle for Orgreave – 30 years on

Orgreave Festival poster 2014

Orgreave Festival poster 2014

Paul Winter of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Committee (OTJC) will speak at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival on Wednesday morning 30th July 2014 at 12 noon at the Firkin Crane, where as an eye witness he will describe the events of 30 years ago at the Orgreave Coking works during the British Miners Strike.

Paul’s account of his experiences will be preceded by the classic film The Battle for Orgreave by Journeyman Pictures and shown with the kind permission of producer/director Yvette Vanson. 

Paul Winter

Paul Winter

The Battle for Orgreave was a major event during the British Miners strike. Orgreave was the site of a Coking Works in the North of England which had been subject to picketing in an effort to bring production to a halt during the strike. It then became a focal point of the miners’ anger on the morning of 18th June 1984 when a mass gathering of pickets from all over Britain converged on Orgreave.

The events of that day have left a lasting legacy of bitterness all across mining communities ever since. Organisations such as the Orgreave Truth and Justice Committee (OTJC) have continued to campaign for the full story of Orgreave to be told. What happened at Orgreave, and the scenes of brutality involving a full scale charge on horseback on the miners by the police gave rise to some of the most horrifying images of violence ever seen in an industrial dispute anywhere!

While Mother Jones in her day would have experienced extreme violence against miners, the scenes at Orgreave were reminiscent of the violence perpetrated on the ordinary workers of Dublin during the infamous 1913 Lockout.

The events of the day formed an essential element of the efforts by the Thatcher government to defeat the miners by any means whatever. The use of the police in this manner by Margaret Thatcher ensured that the events would never be investigated and like the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, the payback was made by official cover ups and lies.

The Cork Mother Jones Committee is extremely grateful to have received permission from Yvette Vanson, the Producer/Director of the film “The Battle For Orgreave” to permit a showing of the film at the Spirit of Mother Jones festival. This was first shown on Channel 4.

This will be followed with a talk by Paul Winter of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Committee. Paul is an ex miner from Barnsley who worked in the mining industry from 1980 to 1993 and was present at the Battle For Orgreave. Paul will describe the events of the day and will discuss the impact of the miners strike on his small but proud and passionate community. An understanding of the sometimes ignored events at Orgreave on that morning in June 1984 is essential to understanding the wider anger and raw feelings of injustice in the mining communities which remain to this very day!

Full programme of 2014 Festival now online

MJ poster 2014The full programme of events for the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2014 is now available to download on this site and printed version is currently in production.

This year’s festival runs from Tuesday 29th July to Friday 1st August.  You can download the full programme by clicking on the link below:

Programme 2014

You can also download the official poster for the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2014 by clicking on the following link:-

 

Mother Jones poster 2014

 

 

Qatar – a World Cup graveyard?

Qatar rerun the vote

Among the many issues which Mother Jones championed was the protection of workers and ensuring that miners and factory workers worked in safe and decent working conditions. In spite of the passing of a century, tens of millions of workers are still denied basic human rights. None more so than the modern day slavery which is institutionalised in Qatar. This has been highlighted by the preparations for the World Cup in 2022. It is totally unacceptable that thousands should die to ensure we can enjoy the beautiful game in 2022.

 

David Joyce, the International Development Officer of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) will discuss the position at a lecture entitled “Qatar……a World Cup graveyard?” which will be held at the Firkin Crane in Shandon at 12 noon on Wednesday 30th July next, all welcome!

 

He makes the following points;

“Recent reports of corruption involved in the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar have cast doubt over its suitability as a venue for the Football World Cup.  Long before these revelations however, trade unions and human rights activists have been calling for a rerun of the vote for other reasons.

 

What’s wrong with working in Qatar?

Qatar is a government which takes no responsibility for workers. There are 1.4 million migrant workers in Qatar who have no rights.

  • 4000 workers could die before a ball is kicked in the 2022 World Cup.
  • 1200 workers have died since the World Cup was awarded in 2010, on available data from just two countries.

Qatar is a slave state. 1.4 million migrant workers are trapped in a broken system. Fundamental rights and freedoms do not exist for workers in Qatar whether for poor migrant workers or highly paid professional expatriates. Foreign workers are enslaved – owned by employers who hold the power of recruitment, total control over wages and conditions of employment, the authority to issue ID cards and the ability to refuse a change of employment or exit visa to leave the country. This is known as the kafala system.

 

Unions around the world have been calling on FIFA to rerun the vote for the Qatar 2022 World Cup unless Qatar respects workers’ rights. FIFA president Sepp Blatter has finally conceded the decision to award Qatar the World Cup was a mistake. But Qatar’s promises on labour laws have been purely cosmetic and it is time for FIFA to stand up for human rights. FIFA must use this opportunity to be a catalyst for change and ensure that the World Cup only takes place in Qatar if workers’ rights are fully guaranteed.

 

The five conditions the International Trade Union Confederation will impose are:

  • End Kafala;
  • Allow freedom of association and collective bargaining;
  • A minimum wage for all workers;
  • Introduce grievance procedures;
  • Work with responsible international recruitment agencies.”

 

Prof. Rosemary Feurer set to return to this years Spirit of Mother Jones festival

Image

Prof. Rosemary Feurer visits Cork’s historic Shandon Steeple in 2012.

The Cork Mother Jones Committee is delighted to confirm that Professor Rosemary Feurer, who attended the inaugural Mother Jones festival is returning to the 2014 festival.

Rosemary is Associate Professor of History at the Dept. of History, Northern Illinois University. Her fields of study include the United States – 20th Century, Labour and Social Movements.

Rosemary will present a lecture entitled “Get off your knees”: James Connolly, Jim Larkin and Mother Jones in the Fight for a Global Labour Movement”, at the Firkin Crane Centre on Friday 1st August at 3pm.

“James Connolly, Jim Larkin, and Mother Jones were leading transnational organisers a century ago who learned from each other.  Connolly’s decision to come to the U.S. was in part inspired by the grounding in direct action labour movement struggles that Jones had helped to innovate. Long before James Connolly or James Larkin came to the U.S., the Irish workers and socialist movement that they led caught Mother Jones’ attention. The Irish and U.S. labour movement came to use the same language and inflection as they grew together. The similarity of language and purpose in these leaders, despite factional distinctions in their organisational loyalties, allows us to see how the radicals of a century ago contributed to the grounding of a global labour movement.

 

Both Connolly and Jones were members and speakers for the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World. And they both meant the “World” part of the title, even after Jones had stopped paying dues to the organization. They thought of themselves as being part of the same global movement that would allow workers democratic decision making and ownership and direction of human civilization. They used notions of “civilizing” influence of socialism and democracy.  

 

Both deeply believed that there was no one more suited to controlling the economic destiny of the nation than those who produced the wealth of the nation. They were comrades in the struggle for workers power”.

 

Rosemary Feurer, has been studying the links and connections between these activists and will discuss her important findings and reflections at this lecture, which is co-sponsored by the School of History at University College Cork.

She manages the largest website on labour history in the USA, www.laborhistorylinks.org and also manages www.motherjonesmuseum.org  Her publications include Radical Unionism in the Midwest 1900-1950 from Working Class in American History Series in 2007.

Rosemary’s award winning documentary which she produced and co-directed,  “Mother Jones: America’s Most Dangerous Woman” was shown at the 2012 Cork Mother Jones Festival and Rosemary will again present this documentary on the opening night of the 2014 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival at 6pm.

2014 is the 100th Anniversary of the Ludlow massacre. Rosemary will also contribute at our remembrance of this important event in American history; “Then came Ludlow and the nation heard” a discussion along with Jim Green which will take place on Thursday evening at 7.15 at the Firkin Crane.

A Depiction of Louis Tikas and Mother Jones.

 

"Resurrectional Ethnogenesis at Ludlo" by  Giannis Gigas Thomas.

“Resurrectional Ethnogenesis at Ludlo” by Giannis Gigas Thomas.

Above is an icon depicting Louis Tikas, the Ludlow Massacre and Mother Jones by Giannis Gigas Thomas.  This icon was exhibited at the Art Athina Exhibition 2014.  Below is a graphic describing the scenes depicted in the icon.    For more on Giannis Gigas Thomas art visit his website at www.prosopa.eu

Graphic explaining Louis Tikas icon.

Graphic explaining Louis Tikas icon.