Thursday, July 6, 2006

The VIEW view on the benefit concert


VIEW MAGAZINE: July 6-12, 2006

Politically active in Hamilton since the mid '90s, you might know the name Randy Kay from his weekly radio program, “Radio Free School," a show he produces with his wife and three children on 93.3 CFMU FM or you may have even read his column right here in View.

Kay has been working the grassroots political landscape for the past six years while also working part-time as volunteer coordinator for the Ontario Public Interest Research Group at McMaster.

Just up Highway 6, local landscape has made headline news for the last few weeks and Kay is hoping to raise more awareness about the situation with a concert in kind this weekend.

"I've been trying to support the Six Nations activists, some of whom I met during the Red Hill days," recalls Kay on some of his activities trying to maintain the green space before the expressway.

“I respect their courage and really feel that we can all do something, to not stay silent as they assert their rights. I noticed that other cities were having support rallies and there didn't seem to be much happening in Hamilton, (even though) we're so close to the reserve.

"I spoke with a couple friends who are close to the Six Nations struggle and they thought a benefit would be great. At Caledonia, we see a people who have survived genocidal policies and state sanctioned abuse standing up for their rights," Kay adds to explain the nature of the current dispute over land rights.

“Opposing them we see a strong racist reaction that is shameful in its ignorance of the history of Aboriginal/Canadian relations. With the land claim at Douglas Estates, we can see the strength of the traditional leadership stretching their wings, so to speak. I'm referring to the Six Nations confederacy as the traditional form of government, forced into exile by the RCMP in 1924. Maybe we can think about the history behind the current situation and reflect that maybe we have screwed these people over long enough, and maybe we can consider that we all benefit from having a living example of a different way of living and governing that the Six Nations confederacy gives us."

While Kay has also invited Six Nations musicians and spokespeople to attend, the activist has also enlisted some friends and some new acquaintances for the musical benefit. Anyone that would like to help the cause or learn more is welcome to participate.

“A few are friends, but most are people I've never met," says Kay.

“You know some of the performers are political people, but there's no test, it's like if you want to play and understand why we're doing it, that's enough."

“If people who are fans come out and maybe pick up a bit of information and have a good time listening to great bands, well, we'll have some money to give to Six Nations activists," Kay reasons. “If we get a few more people interested in helping right some of the wrongs of the past, then that's like icing on the cake.

6N, a benefit concert to support the Six Nations' land claim at Caledonia happens this Thursday, July 6 at The Casbah featuring Mark LaForme, Tiny Bill Cody, Kim Koren and friends, The Ray Materick Band, Raphael Keelan, Martin Verral, Jack Pedler, Tim Gibbons, Linda Duemo, Katie Caron and more. Doors for the all ages/licensed event open at 8pm and proceeds from the $6 cover go to Six Nations. 

For more info contact Hamilton Action for Social Change at 905.525.9140 x26026 or

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