Posts Tagged ‘labor music’

Madison, Wis.—March 12, 2011

[All photogs by TedF—click to enlarge]

“They say up in Wisconsin—it’s time to take a stand. You’ll either be for workers—or a thug in Walker’s hand. Which side are you on? Tell me which side are you on?” sang activist artist Andrea Potts.

Andrea Potts accompanied herself on the 12 string guitar and was joined by a percussionist and a fiddler in the opening act of union music.  All three activist acts played in front of the largest crowds of their careers when they performed from the podium for over 100,000 appreciative workers in front of the State Capitol in Madison on Saturday.

“I’ve never been so proud to be an American in my entire life, “ Potts boomed through the huge speaker system set up outdoors. “This last week has been an atrocity—one of the worst things I’ve seen in my life!”

Potts  kicked off her set with an updated version she re-wrote of  the Florence Reese-penned song “Which Side are You On?”  She also did a self-penned song for Wisconsin: “…You’ve gone way too far.” And Potts finished her set with “Solidarity Forever” and was joined by thousands of working family voices.

“Stop, children, what’s that sound…” and “…We can’t go on together, with suspicious minds…” were sung by Matt Joyce and the Midwest Beat and thousands of rally goers in Madison last Saturday.

Next up was Matt Joyce and the Midwest Beat and they hopped right into Woody Guthrie’s “There’s a Better World a Coming” and then moved into the old Credence Clearwater Revival  song “Fortunate Son” which was written by John Fogerty.  To the delight of the audience, MJMB’s next number was a song Stephen Stills penned and first performed with Buffalo Springfield—“For What It’s Worth.”  That song, synonymous with ‘60’s activism, is better known by its refrain verse which thousands of Madison protesters happily knew by heart:  “Stop, children, what’s that Sound? Everybody look what’s goin’ down…”

Matt and the MB finished their set with a rewrite of the song Elvis Presley made his own—“Suspicious Minds.”  At the end, Matt’s spoken words, “…[Governor] Walker, never lie to us again..oh, no…but we’re gonna recall you anyway…(sung) Walker, I don’t believe a word you’re saying…”


“There is power in our union…” sang Chris Shiflett from the group Foo Fighters of America.

Chris Shiflett performed next without the benefit of the rest of his group (the Foo Fighters of America). “Today we’re in a class War! And today we are Wisconsin!” declared Shiftlett. “I’m gonna quit talkin’ and start singin’.”  And he did, as he sang his self-penned ditty “There is Power in Our Union.”

Andrea Potts and friend joined Chirs Shiflett and thousands of working family voices singing “Sol-i-dar-ity For-ev-er, for the union makes us strong…” in Madison on Saturday.

Shiftlett also did an upbeat version of “Solidarity Forever” and was joined by Andrea Potts and friends.

Rally attendees shouted and waved signs in appreciation.  The music fired up the crowd for the soon-to-be arrival of the Fab 14.

Andrea Potts and friend

Walker take a walk!

Walker must be Stopped


American Tragedy

Don't take my rights!


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Madison, Wis.—Saturday, March 12, 2011

[All photographs are TedF photogs—click on any photograph or thumbnail to enlarge]

Wisconsin farmers and other supporters of working families drove tractors and pulled  wagons and floats in a tractorcade parade—PULL TOGETHER, SUPPORT WORKING FAMILIES– held prior to a huge rally for workers at the Capitol in Madison last Saturday.  Local media estimated that 100,000 to 150,000 working people and supporters attended the parade and rally.

Nine Wisconsinites dressed as dairy cows and one Wisconsin woman carried signs spelling out “S-O-L-I-D-A-R-I-T-Y” as they danced in the street around the perimeter of the Capitol while singing “Na, na, na,na. Na, na, na, na. Governor Walk-er, good-bye!”

People poured in for the PULL TOGETHER PARADE as it circled the perimeter of Capitol Square in Madison.  As the parade progressed, people kept pouring into the Capitol area and joining the parade so that it was soon hard to tell the paraders from the parade-goers.  Two things were for certain at this Madison Mardis Gras for working middle class Americans–everybody was in unity and solidarity, and nobody believed that any good would every come from the blatant anti-worker policies of Wisconsin Republicans as they continue to abuse their power.

Thousands carried signs and banners illustrating their extreme dislike of Republican Governor Walker, the Republican Wisconsin State Senate and the Republican Wisconsin State House of Representatives as well as the billionaire Koch Brothers and other billionaires who pull the puppet strings that make the Republican executive and legislative branches of Wisconsin government dance. Recall Republicans and Recall Walker were the action phrases of the day and it is the recalling of Republicans that will chart the course of Wisconsin’s political future.









More thumbnails and photogs from parade in next post–Everyone was There and Nobody Tried to Hide

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Indianapolis, Ind.  March 10, 2011

USW International Union President Leo Gerard introduced Canadian rapper Mike O’Brien at the “Stand UP for Hoosiers” rally in Indianapolis. The rapper goes by O.B., and after the crowd sang “Happy Birthday to Leo” with O.B., he led the crowd of sister and brother Hoosiers and their supporters to participate in some union rapping.  O.B.’s self-penned rap number “One Day Longer, One Day Stronger” is also the refrain that the union members chanted while swaying to the music and pointing fingers to the sky to denote “one day.”














































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