Bless me now with your fierce tears XII

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Our province’s labour movement joins British Columbians everywhere mourning the death of Charan Gill. We will always remember his courage, warmth and compassion, along with his lifelong commitment to justice.

Co-founding the Canadian Farmworkers Union took extraordinary courage, vision and an unshakeable belief in the power of people working together for a greater good. He, Raj Chouhan and the farmworkers they organized stood their ground against bitter opposition from wealthy, powerful forces. They prevailed, dramatically improving the laws and working conditions governing farm work in our province.

That same bravery allowed Charan to stand up to neo-Nazis and the KKK, stemming their growth here with the creation of the British Columbia Organization to Fight Racism. And his faith in collective action led him to found what has become the Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society, an invaluable lifeline for the South Asian community, new immigrants, seniors, farmworkers, women and at-risk youth to this day.

We feel Charan’s absence especially keenly with the approach of the annual Golden Tree memorial ceremony next month. He was instrumental in winning stronger safety rules in the aftermath of the terrible accident that claimed the lives of three farmworkers, and he has played a prominent role in every one of these memorials. That he won’t attend this one simply feels impossible.

Countless thousands of British Columbians are living better, happier lives today because of Charan Gill. Nobody has done more to embody the value of solidarity. He changed our province for the better, and we will always be grateful. Now Charan will be with us all in spirit.

To Charan’s family, our deepest condolences on your loss. We grieve with you, and we offer our profound appreciation for sharing him with us all for these many years.


Thanks for posting this krop.

Condolences to Charan's family, Raj Chouhan and members of the Canadian Farmworkers Union.


Another sad passing from COVID.

“I had seen artists include politics in their show before,” Anti-Flag frontman Justin Sane said upon its release, “but Anne Feeney was the first artist I encountered whose set was unapologetically and ferociously political. That set had a major impact on me as an artist. I remember thinking to myself, ‘This is the kind of musician I want to be. This woman is punk as hell!’ And she still is!”

Rusted Root’s Liz Berlin, who covered Feeney’s “Have You Been to Jail for Justice?” in her Social Justice Disco project with Phat Man Dee, noted last week that Feeney, her musical mentor, “introduced me to the world of folk music and activism.”

“First time I saw her I was 17 at a hospital workers strike in Canonsburg,” Man Dee said. “She was [expletive] fierce, with amp on back and guitar in her arms, her hair bouncing out of her sun visor like a shampoo commercial as the cops were throwing protestors into school busses. I wanted to be just like her.”


Have you been to jail for justice?


97-year-old veteran Wolf Solkin has died at Montreal's Ste-Anne's veteran's hospital (

Solkin was the local voice for veterans who felt that they were not being given adequate care. He was the driving force behind a class action lawsuit against the government for the handling of veteran care in Quebec and had been recently outspoken about COVID-19 and the elderly.

Additional information:

‘I won’t take it.’ Wolf Solkin, a 96-year-old WWII veteran, is suing two governments. And he’s not one to retreat | The Star


Alan Pickersgill, long-time socialist activist from Guelph.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I am friends with Alan's brother Edward on Facebook. Alan's last blog posting is heartbreaking. He endured a second round of chemo with next to nothing in terms of keeping him around longer :-(

Ken Burch

This is huge...

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, whose City Lights Bookstore in North Beach, San Francisco, birthed and sustained a massive literary and cultural era, has died at 101:

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, literary citadel of San Francisco, dies at 101 (


I always like his bookstore. Always a definite visit when I'm there