With the rolling back of labour rights, deterioration of working conditions, government maintenance of an artificially high unemployment rate, proliferation of guest worker programs, and prolonged wage stagnation we’ve witnessed over the last few decades, the workers around here, if not the World, have good reason to cry “May Day” But who would answer the call now? As with much of labour history, even that term has been appropriated, its original meaning and intent being all but erased from public consciousness.
Art Farquharson is a fully paid, life-long member of the Working Class. He’s laboured in the fields and factories of this nation, and on its highways and high seas too. A proud unionist, Art’s held CAW, Unifor, Machinists, Public Service Alliance, IATSE, and Ferry Workers Union union cards.
He’s also a card-carrying member of the Industrial Workers of the World, or Wobblies, who never misses a chance to sing, march, or provide guitar accompaniment for pickets, protests, demonstrations, or celebrations of the working people like the Corporate Golden Piggy Awards, and New Year’s Day Poor People’s Levee Tour. In short, Art says he “comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable,” adding, “There is no retirement from being a citizen, [and] can be no rest until all workers the world over have peace and justice.”
Art Farquharson in the first segment.
And; earlier this month, Citizen’s Forum, a public access public affairs program produced by volunteers at Victoria’s Shaw Cable affiliate, in accordance with the CRTC’s mandate to cable operators in return for the market monopolies they enjoy, was axed. Jack Etkin is the long-time, Victoria-based democracy and media activist who hosted and produced the show. He’s also behind a number of other media and democracy projects around here, and has been for more than a decade.
Jack Etkin on the demise of Citizen’s Forum, corporate media, and Canada’s frail democracy.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what’s good going on on the streets of our city, and beyond there too, in the coming week. But first, Art Farquharson and bringing the meaning back to May Day.