Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Fighting to Work 

Wednesday, Jul 1 2009
Seventy-five years ago, San Francisco was brought to a standstill after police fired into a crowd of striking longshoremen and their sympathizers. “Bloody Thursday” turned the once-radical dream of a general strike into a reality: movie theaters and nightclubs shut down, trucks stopped in their tracks, nothing but food came in or out. Panic set in, and a state of emergency was declared. The National Guard “patrolled” the Embarcadero with machine guns while vigilantes sacked union halls, “Reds” were kidnapped and beaten, and a noose appeared in downtown Hayward. But the workers held fast, and ultimately all West Coast ports were unionized. In celebration and remembrance, the month-long Laborfest, featuring more than 60 events, explores labor from a variety of angles, from the artistic legacy of the New Deal to the plight of ship dismantlers in Bangladesh. Today, labor historian Louis Prisco leads the Mission Walk — Labor, Art, and the Politics of the Mission District. It begins at the historic San Francisco Labor Temple, the flashpoint of the strike. Vivid murals depict pivotal labor moments such as the 1966 murder of Dow Wilson, the San Francisco Painters Union leader, and the picket line held by the Chinese Ladies Garment Workers Union Local 341. Prisco’s constitutional is but one of today’s events, which also include a bus tour, an ironworker-led bridge walk, a film festival, and a poetry reading.
Sun., July 12, 2 p.m., 2009

About The Author

Silke Tudor


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"