May Day concert back by popular demand
Local activist and union organiser Dion Martin has a strong belief that International Workers’ Day should be celebrated.
Over the past 15 years May Day concerts have been held annually in Palmerston North with a recess last year. Dion believes the time is right to bring the concert back to the Globe Theatre. He’s had plenty of encouragement for its return.
He says International Workers Day is a huge celebration overseas with a number of countries treating it as a public holiday.
‘‘It’s important for working people and the communities in which they live. We need to celebrate the positive aspects of our working life,’’ Dion says. ‘‘It’s a chance to stand on the shoulders of those who’ve gone before.’’
He says the April 30 concert at The Globe takes the form of music, song, dance, poetry and short addresses. The impressive line-up of artists includes folk singer/songwriter Peter Hicks, the Brazen Hussies, a women’s singing group, the Brass Razoo Solidarity Band, a popular instrumental group and Not the Day Job, a group who’ll sing three songs dedicated to the late unionist Peter Conway,
One song is special. To a poem written by Dave Evison, Peter Hicks has composed a melody and will pay tribute to the memory of Peter, in the presence of members of his family.
‘‘The concert is a celebration of people in their work, the significance of the union movement and how it has enhanced the lives of millions throughout the world,’’ says Dion.
While it’s firstly a concert, it’s also a gentle competition for the MayDay Cup. All those who want to compete are evaluated by a senior panel of judges on the night.
The concert begins with the Roger Award ‘‘for the worst transnational corporation operating in Aotearoa, NZ.’’ The Roger referred to is Roger Douglas whose political career and his introduction of Rogernomics had a detrimental effect on working people.
‘‘This is a serious but also tongue in cheek award where we highlight oppressive legislation and practices that have threatened the lives of workers and the community.’’ Dion says. The award will be presented by political activist, Sue Bradford. Entry is $5 or a koha.