"We need to take care of our health — including our mental health. Music is a beautiful salve for worry and anxiety." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Ottawa (03 April 2020) — AT 8 p.m. EDT last night, hundreds of people tuned in to the first free online concert sponsored by the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). Performing an hour long set, David Rovics shared music and stories of struggle and inspiration. The concert was promoted as a way to enjoy the company of others while practicing physical distancing and taking a brief break from the news and reality of COVID-19.
Viral Solidarity concert brings people together from Canada to Australia
As Andy Kershaw of the BBC said, "If the great Phil Ochs were to rise from the dead today, he would probably be hailed as the new David Rovics." Rovics, a well known activist and musician, from Portland, Oregon, performed new music about the ongoing pandemic and about the call for a rent strike during this health and economic crisis.
His first song called Viral Solidarity describes the reality we are facing dealing with this pandemic not only in Canada but around the world: "In times like these we find out / That a society / Is only just as strong / As our solidarity.|"
The labour movement has strong history of solidarity and caring
"Throughout this difficult time, we have been trying to ensure that our members who are on the frontlines of the crisis have what they need to be safe while providing essential services," says Larry Brown, NUPGE President, "but we also have a responsibility to ensure that the most vulnerable in our communities are not left behind because of COVID-19."
"We're thrilled that David could join us to share these messages with such a broad audience," Brown said. "We need to take care of our health — including our mental health. Music is a beautiful salve for worry and anxiety."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE