The labor movement has lost an important voice, singer and songwriter Anne Feeney. The US folk singer and activist self-described as a “performer, producer, hellraiser”, died aged 69 from Covid-19. Over the next few weeks many tributes will be posted and published. We will use this space to celebrate our sister. May she rest in power.

Anne Feeney participating in a protest calling for healthcare reform before the G20 Summit, in Pittsburgh, 2009. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

Sister singer, songwriter, and activist Bev Grant created this video tribute:

News coverage

4 thoughts on “Anne Feeney, 1951-2021”

  1. This is terrible news indeed. I had the great pleasure of meeting Anne right at the start of my time at the School for Workers, when she headlined a performance at our department 80th-anniversary celebration. Her smile, spirit, and keen wit were something I looked forward to every time our paths crossed. I am deeply saddened and we all are poorer for this loss. I would love to hear the jam sessions happening now! Rest in power Anne!

  2. I was deeply involved for almost three years with the locked-out Staley workers in Decatur, Illinois, in the mid 1990s. I remember the power and emotion of Anne’s songs as she sang at rally after rally. She wrote this on her website:

    “In the early 90s if you approached the town of Decatur IL from any direction you would see billboards saying ‘YOU ARE NOW ENTERING A WAR ZONE – WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?’ UAW was on strike at Caterpillar, URW (Rubber Workers – soon to merge with USW – Steelworkers) was on strike at Bridgestone/Firestone and AE STALEY workers were locked out. During the labor wars there, restaurants had signs in their windows saying NO SCABS or NO COPS or DISCOUNTS FOR STRIKERS/LOCKED OUT. I made over a dozen trips to southern Illinois during the Staley Lockout. Road Warriors from the lockout stayed at my home in Pittsburgh. I raised thousands of dollars for the workers at concerts and rallies all over the United States. War on the Workers became the theme song for the Staley workers, and in subsequent years many other locked out and striking workers have adopted it as well. It is often played on DEMOCRACY NOW!”

    1. DM Lewis, IBT 916, ret..

      Brother Meadows and I rode with her in the Teamsters Semi in Decatur during the War on the Workers, her music blaring as helicopters kept a watchful eye from the sky. What an encourager of the lives she touched.

  3. I am saddened to hear this news. I first met Anne at a Polk Conference in Illinois, which was my first (and really well done) introduction to Labor Education. What a great honor to hang with all of those strong union women and hear Anne sing, play, and generally lead the wonderful group that had gathered. She was a true champion of labor. She will be missed.

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