One hundred years ago this coming November, legendary songwriter and Wobbly Joe Hill was executed by the state of Utah. To celebrate the life and spirit of Joe Hill, we have created an all-day concert in Salt Lake City at Sugar House Park (a few hundred yards from where Joe was killed) with fine musicians in a variety of styles and with creative activism. The all day festivities will be held Saturday, September 5th, from 11:30AM – 10PM.
During the past hundred years since Joe Hill’s death, we have seen significant improvements in labor rights and protections. But, with the advent of big money into big politics, these basic reforms such as the 8-hour day, fair wages, and worker protections are now under threat of total obliteration by today’s monied politicians.
Which is why Joe Hill’s story remains significant and relevant for today. He addressed the concerns that are now plaguing the 21st century: a new economic order that brings rising inequality and the myth of a classless society; the consequences of free speech and dissent; the separation of church and state; the right to a fair trial; the definitions of patriotism and democracy. Hill wrote about all of these critical issues in a manner that reached millions of workers and that has made him, in the words of the New York Times a day after he was killed in 1915, “much more dangerous to social stability than he was when alive.”
Contributing to this post:
Recording Secretary Emeritus, SEIU Local 1021