Just a short post to draw attention to something.
Some of you might know that I'm very much involved in the music scene in Jersey. I play in a rock band and organise the "Jersey Dead" festival each year to provide an alternative to Jersey Live. That combined with an interest in politics and history means I want to do my part to spread the word about the Corn Riot Knees Up! event.
Tomorrow (that's Friday 28th September) in the Royal Square at 5pm is a free concert to commemorate the corn riots in 1769. It will start with a few acts from La Motte Street Youth Centre, which is an organisation I was involved in for several years (even as chairman of their studio management group) and I think the world of them for the great work they do, so it's always worth being there to support them. Following that local band the Badlabecques are releasing an album in Jerriais. I've not had a chance to see them live yet, but I've seen some footage and they seem like a good laugh.
To be perfectly honest, I've always had a bit of contempt for Jerriais as something that I saw as a waste of time and certainly not worth wasting money on. But I think a group like the Badlabecques will do a lot more for the language and make it more relevant than any compulsory school lessons that I believe are being tried in some primary schools at the moment.
Were I in Jersey I'd certainly be down there at the front row.
But more importantly, the 28th of September was the date in 1769 in which the people of Jersey rose up against their oppressors and posed their biggest challenge to their authority. So much so, they couldn't ignore all of their demands, and had to implement some reforms in the way Jersey was governed to make it more accountable. Clearly a lot more still needs to be done and Jersey desperately needs another 28th September.
Events like 1769, along with the revolutions that began to happen in France and America show that there is no greater force for democracy than an organised mass of people who have the courage to demand their rights. Those in power will not grant those rights easily out of generosity, they need to be coerced.
The Tom Gruchy blog has done a lot of posts about the mini-Jersey revolution and is in fact named after the man who led the protests. It makes for fascinating reading and is definitely worth having a look at.