‘Wobblies Down Under’: Labour Day radio feature on Joe Hill and the IWW in New Zealand

While I was in Wellington for the launch of my book, I managed to catch up with Jack Perkins (of Spectrum fame) for Radio New Zealand National. I’m pleased to say our talk has been turned into a 50-minute feature, to be aired on Labour Day, October 24 at 10AM (this Monday).

Featuring music, sound bites from participants in the Great Strike of 1913, and readings from the book, it’s well worth a listen. Tune in to 101FM or listen live here: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national.

A web page has been started here: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/documentaries/wobbliesdownunder

It will be free to listen to again or to download from the site, after it is broadcast.

Songster, poet and member of the radical socialist Industrial Workers of the World, known as the Wobblies, Joe Hill became a martyr for the working classes world-wide. After a funeral in Chicago which attracted over 30, 000 mourners, Joe’s ashes were placed in 600 envelopes with the inscription ‘Murdered by the Capitalist classes’ and sent to Wobblies around the world including New Zealand. No trace of the ashes sent here has ever been found. ‘Wobblies Down Under’ explores how I set out to track down Joe’s ashes and in the process uncovered a story of the ruthless repression of Wobblies and other socialists in the early 1900s and World War 1.

Cheers, and happy Labour Day.
Jared Davidson