[act-ma] tonight (Sat) Musical History Tour with David Rovics

Charlie Welch cwelch at tecschange.org
Sat Nov 3 13:10:58 PDT 2018

Community Church of Boston, 565 Bolyston St. Copley Sq 7:30 

This event has been on the Act-MA facebook page 


It seems to me that in order to understand the world we live in now, we have to know how we got here. In order to have any idea of where we’re going, we need to know where we’ve been. We need to know our own history — the history of the social movements, uprisings, invasions, coups, economic bubbles, stock market crashes and other events that have shaped our societies and created the world we live in today. The more we know about key events of the past — often events that the powers-that-be would prefer we forgot about completely — the more the world around us becomes a comprehensible place, existing not just in the three dimensions of the physical world, but in the dimension of time as well. 

There are many ways to learn history — ways that can be a lot of fun, as well as educational. I have a Musical History section of my website dedicated to using songs as well as prose to introduce people to important events in world history. With the Musical History Tour, I’ll be taking that act on the road. Concerts (we can still call them concerts even if I’m talking more than usual in between the songs) will be appropriate for any adult or teen audience, and will seek to use historical anecdotes as a means of addressing the present moment. 


Refugees: Throughout Europe and North America, they’re calling it a “refugee crisis.” Did you know that in 1492 the Muslim-led Ottoman Empire sent its entire fleet to go rescue as many as 800,000 Spanish Jews and resettle them in Muslim lands, where they lived in peace and prosperity for hundreds of years? (“1492“) Did you know that most people in the US as well as Australia are descended from European refugees? (“Before Their Ship Arrived“) Did you know that the US didn’t lift its quota on Jewish and other eastern European refugees until 1944 — five years into World War II and the Nazi Holocaust? (“Send Them Back“) 
Child Migrants: The children and adults at the Mexican border are also refugees. Did you know that the United States government sponsored a military coup in Honduras in 2009 that has caused the country to become one of the most violent places on Earth? Did you know that the US also violently overthrew the democratically-elected governments of Iran in 1953 and Guatemala in 1954? (“US Embassy“) 
Immigration: Many politicians and media pundits talk about “illegal immigrants.” Did you know that before 1964, Mexicans were free to cross the US border anytime? (“No One Is Illegal,” “Guanajuato“) 
Trade Wars: Between Trump’s US and the rest of the world, the trade war is on. The original trade war — the Opium War that began in 1839 — involved troops from Britain, France, Russia and the US, and involved the deaths of tens of thousands of Chinese people, ultimately forcing China to “open its economy” — to an addictive drug being forced down the throat of the nation via naval bombardment and fire. (“Trade War“) 
Lots more examples… 
-David Rovics, songwriter and rabble rouser 


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