In a surprisingly bold move the TUC has invited Linton Kwesi Johnson to headline an event for its World Day for Decent Work. The day will focus on the impact of the international financial crisis on workers’ rights.
Johnson’s electrifying combination of oral history, Jamaican creole and dub poetry makes him the supreme chronicler of the black British working class.
From the police’s use of “Sus” laws and the fight against the National Front in Southall in 1979, to cleaners on the Underground, Johnson always has powerful verse to provide both commentary and inspiration.
Johnson will be accompanied by longtime collaborator Jean “Binta” Breeze, and by one of the new generation of performance poets, Laura Dockrill. Congolese refugee band The Zong Zing All Stars provide the rhythm.
Paul Mason, author of Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed, will open the evening, while Wellington Chibebe, general secretary of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, will close it.
World Day for Decent Work
Wednesday 7 October, TUC Congress Centre,
23-28 Great Russell Street, London WC1. £9.99. Phone 020 8802 3499.