Phill Jupitus wrote the Foreword for this new anthology, which is available here. All proceeds of sale will go towards strike funds.
I have always thought there’s an unrecognised grace and beauty in a picket line. Also, they are a huge embarrassment to the organisations being picketed. The fact that, for centuries, news organisations have portrayed the objectives of those who stand on them as avaricious, unreasonable or somehow evil is a testament to the strength of the image. A picket line is the simplest most direct manifestation of the will of people to be treated with some measure of fairness. Ordinary workers, forced to stand outside a place of work, because they simply won’t take shit any more.
The Poetry on the Picket Line crew have been pitching up at many and various sites of industrial action, and showing their support with impromptu alfresco performances, for a few years now and the scope of their activities has grown over that time. This collection encompasses the passion, empathy, wit and commitment of their work.
It is not merely the job of art to hold a mirror up to society from a distance, the best of it needs to engage with hearts and minds on the ground. Poetry on the Picket Line is a perfect manifestation of this. It’s odd to say that I wish there was no need for them. But the fact is that over the coming years they’re going to be getting busier if anything.
So thank you for buying the book and supporting them and their work - and by extension, everybody out on the line.
Don’t cross them.
All proceeds of sale will go towards strike funds.